Book reviews — August 1979
INDUSTRIAL MEDWAY by D.M. Preston
1977 Available from the author at 162 Borstal Road, Rochester, Kent for £4.95 plus 30p postage & packing
A thoroughly researched historical survey of the industries of the lower Medway, from medieval times to the present. The area covered is from Aylesford to Sheerness, including the Medway towns. Particular attention is given to cement and to ship and barge building, but many other industries, from salt pans to aeroplanes, are also covered. Some, such as brewing, had links with their counterparts in London, while the cement and brick industries supplied the London building trade. Mr. Preston is however concerned with documentary history rather than IA and it is a pity he does not refer more to the buildings and other physical remains of the enterprises that he describes. Derek Bayliss
THEATRE LIGHTING IN THE AGE OF GAS by Terence Rees
1979 Available from The Society for Theatre Research (to whom cheques should be made out) 14 Woronzow Road, London NW8 6QE at £7.50 plus 80p postage & packing
I have not seen the book, but from the details sent me by the Society it would appear to be a 'must' for anyone interested in gas or the early stages of the development of electricity, as well as those fascinated by the technology of the theatre. The author is well qualified on both the technological and historical aspects of his subject, being a BSc (Wales) and PhD (London) with research into the early work of Gilbert & Sullivan to his credit. EU
July saw the launch of two new periodicals, both aimed at the increasing popular interest in the past, as well as a number of books on IA subjects:
THE IRON BRIDGE by Neil Cossons & Barry Trinder
Published by Moonraker Press at £8.95
Publishers being what they are, it is only to be expected that the bicentenary of the Iron Bridge will be the occasion for the publication of a number of books on the subject. This particular book devotes much space to the history of the Iron Bridge in particular and then undertakes a general survey of early iron bridges. A very useful volume.
IRON BRIDGE TO CRYSTAL PALACE by Asa Briggs
Published by Thames & Hudson at £7.50
This book, again timed to coincide with the bi-centenary, uses the erection of the Iron Bridge as its starting point, but is basically a well-illustrated general look at the growth and spread of industrial technology based on coal, iron and steam power. Although not a reference book for the serious student of IA it is a good introduction to the subject.
THE MAN WHO BUILT LONDON TRANSPORT by C. Barman
Published by David & Charles at £7.95
London Transport has a long and well-deserved reputation for excellence of design and this volume is the biography of Frank Pick, the man who had a profound influence in bringing this about. The book not only provides an insight into the establishment and running of this world-famous transport undertaking, but also deals with many of the other personalities involved.
NORTH LONDON RAILWAY
Published by HMSO (July 1979) at £3.50
Surprising though it may seem, HMSO is now including railway history in its list with the 'North London Railway' — a history of the line which runs from its sad City terminus at Broad Street, via the inner suburbs of North London, to its southern terminus at Richmond. Chris Rule
© GLIAS, 1979