1st Edition

The Impact of the Railway on Society in Britain Essays in Honour of Jack Simmons

By A. K. B. Evans, J.V. Gough Copyright 2003

    Jack Simmons, perhaps more than any other single scholar, is responsible for the advancement of the academic study of transport history. As well as being a co-founder of the Journal of Transport History, he wrote extensively on a variety of transport-related topics and was instrumental in developing the London Transport and the National Railway museums. Whilst his death in September 2000 at the age of 85 was a sad loss to the world of transport history, the achievements of his life, celebrated in this festschrift, remain a lasting legacy to succeeding generations of scholars in many fields. Concentrating on the theme of the railways, and how they dramatically affected the development of Britain and her society, this collection touches on numerous issues first highlighted by Professor Simmons which are now central to academic study. These include the men who built the railways, those who financed the enterprise, how the railways affected such everyday issues as tourism, the arts, and politics, as well as the lasting legacy of the railways in a country now dominated by the private car. This volume written by former friends, students and colleagues of Professor Simmons reflects these interests, and provides a fitting tribute to one of the truly great British historians of the twentieth century.

    Contents: Foreword, Derek H. Aldcroft; Editor’s preface; Three tributes, Alan Everitt, J. Mordaunt Crook, Dame Margaret Weston; Jack Simmons: the making of an historian, Michael Robbins; The Railway: Origins and Working: Pre-locomotive railways of Leicestershire and South Derbyshire, Marilyn Palmer and Peter Neaverson; The transport geography of the Wigan coalfield: the canal and railway contributions, David Turnock; Rolling stock, the railway user, and competition, Michael Harris; A note on Midland Railway operating documents, John Gough; Financing the Bagdadbahn: Barings, the City, and the Foreign Office 1902-3, P.L. Cottrell; Spirit, Mind and Eye: The ’broad gauge’ and the ’narrow gauge’: railways and religion in Victorian England, R.C. Richardson; Railways, their builders, and the environment, Gordon Biddle; Ruskin and the railway, J. Mordaunt Crook; Philip Larkin’s railways, Roger Craik; ’Beware of the Trains’: reflections and a few footnotes on the railways of Suffolk, Norman Scarfe; The train in the landscape: Dovey junction c. 1932, Gwyn Briwnant-Jones; The Opening Up of Britain: The London railway suburb 1840-1914, Alan A. Jackson; The railway and English rural tradition 1840-1940, Alan Everitt; Tourism and the railways in Scotland: the Victorian and Edwardian experience, Alastair J. Durie; Railways and the evolution of Welsh holiday resorts, Roy Millward; Sir George Samuel Measom (1818-1901) and his railway guides, G.H. Martin; Heritage and History: The North Eastern Railway Museum, York, - ’...the germ of a truly national railway museum’: York, Dieter Hopkin; Transport museums and the public appreciation of the past, Colin Divall and Andrew Scott; Writing the history of British railways,Terry Gourvish; ’Bibbling’ the railways, George Ottley; Appendix: Jack Simmons: a bibliography of his published writings, Diana Dixon and Robert Peberdy; List of sponsors; Index.


    A. K. B. Evans, J.V. Gough

    '... quite excellent... The high standard of all the contributions is a great credit to the the discipline of railway studies that Simmons laboured so hard to promote... the festschrift does not usually come this good... a worthy tribute to a great scholar... It is highly recommended.' National Railway Museum Review '... a collection that offers refreshingly rounded view of what railway history can be when it escapes, as Simmons anticipated many years ago, from its traditional technological and economic paradigms.' Literature and History '... a worthy tribute to this country's most distinguished railway historian... an excellent collection at an attractive price.' Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society