Picturesque Staffordshire… Official Illustrated Guide… North Staffordshire Railway, 1908 [ebook]


Paperback book, 6.5”x 4.5”, pp.154 , 6 maps, 4 full page B&W photogravure plates including the façade of Stoke on Trent station and the North Staffordshire Railway Hotel, and scores of smaller black and white plates  and vignettes, locomotives , railway scenes (including the Leek and Manifold Valley narrow gauge line)  beauty spots, etc.


The North Staffordshire was a compact railway serving the Potteries district and surrounding countryside. It was hemmed in by larger companies, like the Midland and the LNWR but maintained good relations and was able to operate through trains to Derby and Crewe.The NS also operated the independently owned Leek and Manifold Valley 2”-6” gauge railway, engineered by E.R. Calthrop. Its equipment made it a virtual twin of his Barsi Light Railway in India.


For a book with “Picturesque” in the title, it does get off to a rather shaky start, in that the frontispiece is a portrait of “Tonman Mosley, Esq.”, a not very prepossessing gentleman with a slight squint, Chairman of the North Staffordshire Railway. One hopes that this piece of ego-massaging did someone’s career on the railway a little good.

This is a very pretty example of Art Nouveau book design, with a pleasant readable type face, decorative borders to many of the illustrations and decorative chapter headings.


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