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Book reviews — June 1984

Published by S.P.A.B.
This is a 56-page guide to over 200 mills in Britain which are now visitable. Each mill is described in about 100 words with address, contact and opening dates/hours. There are a number of photographs. A good and useful guide. Price £1.60.

Manchester Polytechnic has recently published an occasional paper by David George entitled Aircraft Building Around Manchester. This is an introductory digest of the literature and is not the parochial paper which the title might suggest since it contains much of interest about early aircraft factories in London including a gazetteer of the main sites. Of general application too is the note on techniques of aircraft manufacture. David is currently researching the development of and recording aircraft factories built up to 1939 and we must hope that there will be more interesting papers from him in due course. (We trust that he will learn how to spell Edgware!) The current paper is recommended to anyone interested in the early aircraft industry and copies may be obtained (free) from David at 30 Kingsway, Worsley, Manchester M28 4FD. BILL FIRTH

Following the AIA decision to publish the IA Review itself, they have purchased the outstanding stock of the Review from Oxford University Press. The back numbers Volume 1-6 (18 issues totalling 1,800 pages) covered 1976 to date and cost about £100 originally. These are available to members (GLIAS members are affiliated) at a bargain price of £18 (plus £3 postage & packing) from AIA, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, The Wharfage, Ironbridge, Telford. (Stocks are limited, order now). DAVE PERRETT

Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology has just produced a 3rd edtn of Industrial Archaeology in Gloucestershire describing 126 sites & 18 museums. It costs £1.50 (£1.75 incl postage) and is available from Ray Wilson, Oak House, Hamshill, Coaley, Dursley, Glos GL11 5EH. (Dust the job for a visit to the area).

SUBTERRANEA BRITANNICA have just published the proceeding of their 1978(j) Symposium, lots in it about burrowing from the Marne to Nottingham price £1.50 + 35p p & p from Mrs S.P. Beamon MA, 16 Honey Way, Royston, Herts SG8 7ES

David & Charles 1984 pp239 £9.95
With his earlier work, Brunel's Britain, the author found a new and interesting format for works about engineering history. Neither a full biography of an engineer nor a detailed account of an engineering era or enterprise, the books are a mixture of both, spiced with the sort of detailed insight that only a practising engineer can give. Derrick Beckett is an associate in Sir Frederick Snow & Partners as well as a university teacher and ably explains the details of the works of his predecessors George & Robert Stephenson. This book includes a readable text, a selected gazetteer of the Stephensons' work arranged in a series of motor tours and a series of technical appendices. In these the details and calculations behind the Stephenson's designs are explained in an easy way to the lay reader. George's abilities as a mechanical engineer are not studied in detail and not surprisingly the emphasis is on Robert's civil engineering works particularly the tubular bridges, Newcastle High Level Bridge and the failure of the Dee Bridge. The overall concept is fresh and successful, but one's only problem is that it works too well and you will be forced to seek out the earlier volume. DAVE PERRETT

© GLIAS, 1984