© David Rostance. Reproduced courtesy of David Rostance. West Country Class 4-6-2 No. 34025 at Micheldever Station July 1967.

Welcome to Branchstow Books. We are a specialist railway bookseller with a particular emphasis on high quality books produced by small independent publishers. With this approach, we offer books that are not widely available, and carefully select only the finest books to the extent that each one comes with our recommendation.

Latest Arrivals

The Times they are a-changin by Derek Gawn and Nick Halewood. The year is 1965, the place, the Isle of Wight, when two youngsters, one a schoolboy, one a university student, set out in their own individual ways, unknown to each other, to record the dying days of the Island’s steam railways.

Derek Gawn, not even yet a teenager, encouraged by a local historian, picks up his notebook and pen to chart the events of the era, never for one second thinking that one day his jottings may interest others. Nick Halewood, seven years Derek’s senior, has just purchased his first ‘grown up’ camera. With it he goes on to record a fascinating collection of nigh on 500 images of the two surviving lines, some from rarely seen locations accessed simply by trudging along the tracks themselves.

The times were a-changin’, nowhere less than on the Island’s steam railways, where three short years saw a transition from a triumphant final full-blown swansong (1965), through a dispiriting truncated curtain call (1966), to the swift ousting of the ‘old guard’ (1967).

This book provides a guide of the final curtain call of the Isle of Wight’s steam railways. Follow their teenage journey on the railways with tales, memories and amusing stories. Includes 300 photographs.

The book is limited to 500 copies so  your copy today to avoid disappointment.

Western Times Issue 1 Summer 2021. In this all-new regular periodical, editors Andrew Malthouse, Kevin Robertson and editorial assistant Jeremy Clements, have delved deep in the annals of the Great Western Railway and its successor British Railways Western Region to put together a high-quality selection of articles with something for every taste.

In this first issue are articles on the Locomotive, Traffic and Engineering divisions as per 1915, the first of a series of pictorial locomotive miscellanies; this one on the 4-4-0s, Swindon Works, Shepherding the Branch Line ‘Cornish Riviera’, The Newton Abbot Breakdown Train, A Few Closed Lines, Passenger Divisions and Suburban Sets, Modern Traction, Some Early Incidents and Accidents, John Armstrong, GWR Barrows, Reading Signal Works, an Initial Perspective, The Station Diagram books, Modernizing the Western Part1: Laira, etc etc.

Eighty pages of pure and unashamed nostalgia where history is explained, illustrated and at times questioned. Illustrations are in both colour and black and white. Published every 6 months.

Llanuwchllyn Express Special Edition 3 with Postcards is by The Bala Lake Railway Society.

Launched to coincide with the BLR/BLRS/BLRT ‘Bala Re-Railed’ event, the new 32 page journal is packed with exclusive content. Includes a peek at the proposed designs for the BLR’s Bala station, unseen images from the final days of standard gauge steam in Bala with articles from BLRS supporters who were witness to those events, and insights from the very earliest days of Welsh narrow gauge steam from John Huxley and, in quite possibly the most fascinating article the LE has ever carried, insights from the very earliest days of the Bala Lake Railway by one of the men who built it! The journal features over 30 photographs and illustrations.

This set also includes five limited edition colour postcards depicting the locomotives of  ‘Triassic’, ‘Holy War’, ‘Chilmark’, ‘Meirionnydd’, and ‘Maid Marian’.

The Railways of Salop including the 5.30pm to Bridgnorth by Leslie Price. Historically, Salop has been the sobriquet for the county of Shropshire and the town of Shrewsbury. Salopian railways encompassed everything from main line urban sprawl to cross country and picturesque branch lines and in consequence also witnessed a variety of engines and trains. Adding to the variety the county also bordered the industrial Midlands on one side and rural Wales on the other, all adding to the charm of train travel in past years.

In this very personal and at times anecdotal account, Leslie Price, some of whose ancestors worked on those lines, takes us on a journey of nostalgia around the county as it was in the late 1950s and early to mid 60s. Includes 100 photographs.

 

The Hythe & Sandgate Branch Line and Tramway by Peter A. Harding. The Hythe and Sandgate branch, three miles in length, was one of the shortest lines constructed by South Eastern Railway. The aim was to create a new route to the continent with an extension through to Folkestone Harbour.

This book, the latest addition in the popular Peter Harding series, follows the tale of this branch line. Also included is the fascinating story of the tramway which proved popular with locals and tourists alike. Sadly the tramway closed in 1922.

Published by the Dawish Local History Group, David Allanach has produced two books on the history of the Dawlish line. Dawlish and the Railway 1901 to Today traces the fortunes of the railway and the town from Edwardian elegance through two world wars and the radical changes of the 1960s and 70s. 

Dawlish and the Railway in the 19th Century shows how Brunel chose the route and how the town reacted. It covers the difficulties of the line and how the early decisions are still impacting the railway today. Also features details of the Atmospheric Railway.

 

In the 1980s the BBC TV series God’s Wonderful Railway, which was filmed on the Severn Valley Railway, proved very popular. The series shows three generations of the same family through the years working on the line. Avril Rowlands, who wrote the series, produced a couple of books based on the TV programme.

Signed by Avril Rowlands we now have in stock God’s Wonderful Railway: Permanent Way and God’s Wonderful Railway: Clear Ahead.