Yorkshire's Days of Steam

Steam enthusiasts are sure to enjoy author Paul Chrystal's latest book “Yorkshire’s Days of Steam” which features a comprehensive collection of photographs of those days gone by. The books cover shows an impressive shot of a steam train heading over Dobcross Viaduct near Saddleworth. The first page impressed me with a photograph of the A4 Pacific “Mallard” as drivers celebrate 30 years of the engine’s retirement at the National Railway Museum in York. People that know me will appreciate I’m a huge steam engine fan. I grew up quite close to the railway bridge in Middleton Road, Hartlepool, and used to watch the main expresses at 13.00 and 17.45 as the passenger trains were usually hauled by ‘namers’ from the A1, A2, A3 or A4 class so it was good to see engines such as the A1 60114 “W.P.Allen” and the B1 61327 “Springbok” in steam. Going through the book I spotted more of my favourites with A4 photographs of “Bittern”, “Dominion of New Zealand” and “Woodcock”. The book has some very impressive photographs and I did particularly like the two of aerial views of Yarm Viaduct. “Yorkshire’s Days of Steam” is issued by Stenlake Publishing and sells at £10.00.

Another recently released book is “Hartlepool Through the Ages” by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon and is published by Amberley Books. “Hartlepool Through the Ages” is the sister book to “Hartlepool Through Time” but this time I have provided all of the modern photographs. As the title might suggest, the book  shows Hartlepool then and now, looking at old Hartlepool and West Hartlepool, and some of the outlying villages including Wolviston, Blackhall and Crimdon. The cover shows an old photograph of Church Square with the Binns’ store in the background and a policeman on duty directing traffic into Stockton Street and Victoria Road. The same image has been recreated with me going to the top of the old Christ Church (now the town’s Art Gallery) to look down. The policeman might have disappeared but the view is still the same - albeit in glorious colour.

Several local people provided the older images in this book and it certainly was a challenge to show the area as it is today. From St. Hilda’s Amateur Operatic Society in the 1950s to the Hartlepool Stage Society rehearsing The Wizard of Oz in the Town Hall, views of the carnival in old Hartlepool in 1950s to as it is today. The book covers the docks and ferry, steam engines in Mainsforth Terrace sheds, Throston Bridge, the coal staithes and engine house and the 1914-18 war and the bombardment.

There is a section in the book looking at some of the old pubs including the Traveller’s Rest and Nursery Inn together with a modern location shot of Birks’ Station Cafe in Church Street. There are memories of the Tall Ships’ Races in 2010, the Saturday morning picture shows at The Forum (ABC) as well as happy days recalled as people used to play the slot machines and visit the playground rides in Seaton Carew. Dalton Piercy, Elwick, Greatham and Hart are also featured in the book. Great memories for me personally and a pleasure to be involved with my camera. I hope you enjoy it, too! The book is on sale through Amberley Books at £13.49. It's also available through Amazon and Waterstones. People living in Hartlepool can buy the book from W.H.Smith's shop in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Also on release from Amberley Publishing is "Secret Middlesbrough" by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon and sells for £14.99 or direct from Amberley's own website at £13.49. I'm so pleased to be involved in a new book which has just been released from Amberley Publishing titled "Secret Middlesbrough" and sells for £14.99 or direct from Amberley's own website at £13.49 and also from various on line book sellers such as Amazon, Waterstones and W.H.Smith.

Middlesbrough may have only been a hamlet in the early nineteenth century, but that all changed with the arrival of the Stockton & Darlington Railway; this led to the former farmstead soon becoming a cauldron of industrial activity, an early ‘powerhouse of the north’. It is also home to much impressive industrial architecture that is recognised the world over, including the truly iconic Transporter and Tees Newport Bridges, both living, and still working, testaments to the town’s industrial past. The book also includes a feast of ‘secrets’ from Stockton, Yarm and Redcar. "Secret Middlesbrough" delves into the hidden past and reveals tantalising tales, traditions and trivia that will fascinate and inform anyone interested in these famous towns. You can read more details about the book, by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon, on a specially created page titled simply Middlesbrough.


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