Author:   Roger Geach & Michael Mercer

Published:   2021
Edition:   Paperback
Pages:   86

Status:   Sold Out


Western Venture by Roger Geach and Michael Mercer. The Seventy Four Western Diesel Hydraulics were all withdrawn from British Rail service by the end of February 1977. However, they remain very popular to this day and this new book features all Seventy Four at work. Barry Nicolle was a well-known photographer in the 1970s and several of his pictures could be found in the Railway Press at that time including the popular Ian Allan ABC locomotive books and Combined Volumes.

The basis of this new book features Barry’s Western pictures of which many have never been seen in print before supplemented by other photographers. The Westerns were truly a mixed traffic locomotive and the pictures in this book show them at work on the different types of trains from the 1970s. This includes passenger parcels and freight along with the popular clay empties from the Midlands to St Blazey which feature at Barry’s home location around Cheltenham.

Other Chapters include the early withdrawals at Swindon Works for scrapping. Along with reminiscences from some of those people who were there at the time riding behind these powerful locomotives, mentioning the day to day services these locomotives worked written now some forty five years later. Those of you who also rode the Westerns will recall these days from the pictures and memories while younger persons with an interest in history can see how it used to be in pictures and text. Many locations are featured on the former Western Region where now 2021 many are unrecognisable from the Western Days featured in this book.

This book should be of interest to anyone who loved the Westerns. Those interested in the former Western Region of BR, enthusiast and modellers who can study station backgrounds and train consists as well as the locomotives. There are over 120 black and white pictures in this album which date from the late 1960s to 1977 featuring the Westerns at work.