First annual edition published in 1898, this Informative reference/directory, including brief but comprehensive histories of the major English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish railways, tables of significant dates in railway history and major accidents. Parliamentary business for previous year, Bills, Acts, etc. Officer listings of railways in England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland. The longer ones paid for by the individual concerned! Route-maps for each major railway and much more. Many of the adverts. (printed in bw.) are illustrated with drawings/photos of locomotives, rolling stock and railway equipment . By 1922, it had expanded to pp 426!
PLEASE NOTE THE FONT USED IN SOME PAGES AND TABLES IS MINISCULE, AND TO READ YOU SHOULD MAGNIFY THE PAGE.
G.A. Sekon, was the pen-name of George Augustus Nokes (1867-1948), who was a partner in a firm of Surveyors and Land Agents, and wrote extensively on railway matters for magazines, newspapers and technical journals on all aspects of railways. On becoming a full-time writer, he was appointed as the first editor of the Railway Magazine, but he was an argumentative and opinionated person (reflected in many of his writings) and left after an argument with the owners to start a magazine of his own. Among those he fell out with were the fantasist Clement Stretton, and the author of a similar work to his own “Evolution of the Steam Locomotive” -(The “British Steam Locomotive 1825-1925”) by E. L. Ahrons.
Both had a similar approach in some ways – a leisurely stroll through the early history of the locomotive, followed by a breathless gallop over the last ten or twenty years. Certainly Sekon’s book showed signs of haste, either with errors or uncorrected typos. Ahrons was in poor health, facing a deadline which no writer can ignore, and his book was completed for the press posthumously. One cause of dispute between them seems to have been the origins of the blast pipe. Before a personal financial crisis in the late 80’s forced me to sell a number of books, I owned a copy of “Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive” which had belonged to E. L. Ahrons. It was full of marginal notes, including on one page in very heavy pencil “THAT EGREGIOUS B#$%&* SEKON!!!” which would indicate little love lost between them…He also fell out with Henry Greenly, although he seems to have got on well with that other pillar of locomotive history, Charles Rous Martin. However, his difficult relationships led to him being excluded from a committee set up to press for the preservation of historic locomotives.
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.