0 items in cart click here to go to basket page - £0.00



£40.00 £35.00

The Dinorwic Quarry and Railways, The Great Orme Tramway and other Rail Systems

1 in stock

SKU: narrowgaugenorth Category:


Away from boarding school on a half term outing, James Boyd persuaded his parents to visit the derelict Lynton & Barnstaple Railway; he had never appreciated that a railway could be abandoned and would disappear – for him such things were immortal. Ere long he had visited other similar systems such as the Manifold and Ashover lines where the writing was equally on the wall. Surely it heralded an apocalypse? If not he, then who would put on record – before too late -this ending of a pattern of railway transport?
With limited means at his disposal, research began on a broad canvas. Attempting something quite new in railway history, his NARROW GAUGE RAILS TO PORTMADOC of 1949 was not an encouraging start. The potential publishers decided not to publish the manuscript in full … ‘it is too long, but we will retain the anecdotes’. The Boyd family honour was now at stake {‘Nemo me itnpune lacessat’), and smarting under his son’s humiliation, James Boyd’s father proffered a loan of ¬£100 to the publishers to have the work printed in full. It was accepted, the complete book appeared and the loan was repaid within a month!
James Boyd was now convinced there was a healthy appetite for more of the same thing but accepting that all such matters would never fall prey to his pen he set himself the target of those subjects which appeared (at the time) to be without friends. It was soon apparent that readers wanted more and yet more detail, with immediate effect on the rate at which research and writing progressed. The quick, cursory treatment of the 1930s was no longer acceptable and dreams of vast subject-coverage – all achieved in spare time – were quickly dispelled.
So comes the last of the present narrow gauge railway series with many subjects awaiting similar treatment, and old titles urgently in need of re¬issuing with improved content. There is always scope with so much untouched material at hand, and it is to be deplored that so many railway historians (?) are simply plagiarists. James Boyd has found the temptation to explore new aspects of his subjects is irresistible and we may expect to read him in a new guise in the future. Take a ride on the re-newed railway tracks, lookout for old footpaths ideal for walking with care.

Additional information

Weight 704 g