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Book reviews — August 1984

The Melledgen Press of 30 Trent Way, Ferndown, Dorset, 3H22 BUZ, are publishing a series of gazetteers of railway contractors and engineers. Currently available are Central Southern England, West Country, South East and East Anglia. about 44 pages + maps and illustrations, they are £2.95 each incl p 1 p, or £4.30 any pair, £6.90 any trio, £9 the quartet. For £1 Melledgen Press will keep you posted on their publications for 18 months.

STERBENDE ZECHEN, photographs by Manfred Hamm and text by Axel Fruhl
90 photographic plates, 96pp Nicolai, Berlin 1983 ISBN 3-87584-124-7
Another lavishly produced coffee table book of the industrial photographs of Manfred Hamm. Manfred has abandoned 35mm photography and now uses roll film; 6x5 and 6x9 formats, with a corresponding increase in quality. This is not the kind of IA photography we usually see in Britain. The subject matter, mostly around Colliery pitheads, is international in scope. Picking out a few examples we have Charleroi, Le Grand Hornu, Bois du Luc, Binche, Hensies-Pommeroeul, Dortmund, Essen, Bochum, Lens and Hirwaun, Nantgarw, Blaenavon, Pontypridd and Mountain Ash in South Wales. Manfred and Axel have been in England recently visiting sites for a book on water so look out for their next production.

Centreprise, 60pp, £1.35 in Hackney, £1.70 elsewhere. ISBN 0 903738 14 7
This collection of period photographs published by Hackney WEA in collaboration with the Hackney Libraries & Amenities Department contains many excellent views taken in the Borough, of interest to the industrial archaeologist as well as local historians. Apart from railways, horse and electric trams and scenes on the River Lea, there are interiors of R & S Hill, cigar makers, Old Street, Shoreditch and the Gas Meter Co, 23B Kingsland Road, E2. Shopfronts and street scenes abound. Good value, even if bought outside Hackney.

The first publication of the Survey (Docklands History Survey — preliminary edition) is available from GLC County Hall room 32 for £2.95 including postage (it is the same price if you call in). The publication is of A4 format, 111 pages of text interleaved with plans and contains a gazetteer, a location guide to collections of archival material including photographs and a bibliography. There is a 35JS trade discount for those wishing to sell it. BOB CARR

SELSOON & COOMBE, by Brian E. Salter
Living History Publications, Croydon, 1983
Another of Brian Salter's admirably detailed local history guides. This one is based on two 'trails' which are marked on clear maps. Although the area is not particularly rich in industrial archaeology, it includes old brickfields and quarries, railways (although he unaccountably says that the recently-closed Woodside — Selsdon line was never electrified), an early oil depot and a little-known Webb sewer gas lamp. The history of the area's houses — from Selsdon Park to the estates built between the wars — and the woods and open spaces such as Croham Hurst and Selsdon Wood makes interesting reading. DEREK BAYLISS

GLIAS members who are contemplating visiting Merseyside to see the International Garden Festival and to inspect the progress of the restoration of Albert Dock (which opened to the public — for the first time in its history — on 28 July), will want to arm themselves with a copy of A Guide to Merseyside's Industrial Past — the completely revised and up-dated edition (in a new format) of the North West Society for IA and History's invaluable gazetteer, just published. Copies can be obtained from GLIAS member K.E. Catford, Mere Hall, Noctorum Lane, Birkenhead, Merseyside, L43 9TZ at £2.15 per copy, post free (cheques payable to NWSIAH please). For those planning a visit, the following ars the crucial dates to bear in mind:- Garden Festival closes 14 October; Albert Dock warehouse block O closes 2 September (last chance to see Jesse Hartley's remarkable basement construction in its restored, but unconverted, state); Albert Pierhead buildings (piermaster's house, cooperage, etc.) close 4 November. Maritime Museum re-opening dates are 6 April 1985 (Mann Island site and Albert Pierhead); May 1985 (Block D ground floor); and July 1985 (Block D basement — museum of emigration). KEN CATFORD

THE ART & ARCHITECTURE OF LONDON: An Illustrated Guide, by Ann Saunders
Published by Phaidon at £22.50
A racy book on London in the fine tradition of James Thorne's Handbook to the Environs of London, i.e. it contains a vast amount of personally gathered information written up in a very readable form. In fact, if you consult one of the four indexes and look up something in the main text, you will almost inevitably read on, so interesting is the presentation of this huge amount of information on greater London. Obviously in such a general work there cannot be a lot of space devoted to IA, but Ann Saunders has produced what is generally a very balanced book in which all aspects of London receive due attention. Although I cannot honestly say "this is a book no London industrial archaeologist should be without", it is certainly a book anyone interested in London would be pleased to have (perhaps a Christmas present for a near relation who does not see London as a collection of railway stations and disused factories!) BRENDA INNES

© GLIAS, 1984