For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

MG018: 'Railway Notes' No.72, December 1908.

NEW SEPTEMBER 2021.  Our file MG012 provides Volume 1 of a new magazine entitled ‘Railway Notes’, issued in 1909. Few copies exist, so this is a rare item. Indeed Robert Humm wrote an article in the RCHS Journal entitled 'Three forgotten periodicals':  in it, he said "Without doubt Railway Notes is the most obscure of the three..."

Volume 1 did not suddenly spring from nowhere, however. Prior to that, Railway Notes already existed as a set of typed pages with original photos pasted on to them. These were circulated privately. They were posted to a recipient. Once they had read them, it was their duty to post it all on to the next person in the list and so it progressed through the chain. At the back were some plain pages on which people were invited to add their handwritten comments. Presumably the document finally ended up where it had started.

Such a publication did not go to any library, and copies have not survived – except, that is, for No. 72. It describes itself as part of volume XII, dated December 1908. It is pure speculation, but this one may still exist because the new printed version was to start the following month, which disturbed the usual routine. If the subsequent printed copies are rare, one of these is the rarest of rare.

Like other magazines, it contained separate illustrated articles. There were lots of photos. A typical page would have one of these snapshots pasted on, plus some of the typewritten article it formed part of. Because of the size of the typewriter font, there was limited space on the page, so articles tended to be much shorter than their equivalents in a printed magazine. In this issue none is related to the GE: the main article is on the Leek and Manifold Light Railway (with fourteen pictures), and others include an account of an excursion from London to Birmingham with the GWR and details of the station of the Midland Railway at Buxton.

Our member Alvin Forrest had a chance to photocopy the document, but that was back in 1980 when copiers were not as good as they became later. This file is based on that: he made a full transcription of the text which has been used for us to reassemble the document. Two things greatly helped: someone else had subsequently scanned the Leek and Manifold photos and was happy for us to use them; and the present custodian of the original was able to corect the text where the photocopy was unclear, and willingly provided scans of all the other illustrations.

We have supplied a four-page introduction which compares a page in the original with that same page in this file, and the reconstructed document itself runs to a further 51 pages (including three pages of hand-written notes added at the back in 1908 while it was being circulated).

The file is word-searchable and has bookmarks to all  the separate sections. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

Pages 55
File Size (MB) 9.1

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