Industrial Locomotives of Gwent, by Geoffrey Hill and Gordon Green
Published by the Industrial Railway Society (IRS) in 1999, 400 pages. Hardback - c.15cm by 21cm (N6051)
From the introduction: This book is a further volume in the series covering the industrial locomotives and railways of Great Britain and deals with the county of Gwent (the former Monmouthshire in its post 1974 boundaries). The names Gwent and Monmouthshire often conjure up images of the metal, mineral and engineering industries of Newport, the valleys and the Blaenau Gwent. Yet this is by no means representative of the whole county. Eastern Gwent contains lush farmland, fine woods and, in the Wye Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty. North of Abergavenny, too, there lies a striking upland landscape as the Black Mountains are approached. The county, containing many pioneering iron and coal enterprises, particularly along the coal outcrop in the Blaenau Gwent (or Heads of the Valley) area, is rich in industrial history and early industrial railways.... not only are known locomotives listed on a site-by-site basis, but the industrial history of each site itself is described as far as is known. The histories of these enterprises can be exceedingly complex, but are of interest and value to both industrial historians and to those researching locomotive history.
The 1974 local government boundary changes affected the county in two ways that particularly impinge on this book. Firstly, before 1974 the western boundary of Monmouthshire followed the Rhymney River for much of its length. Thus some Rhymney Valley communities were in Monmouthshire, some in Glamorgan. The 1974 changes resulted in the county boundary being moved (for the most part) out of the river valley to higher ground to the east. Thus the towns and villages of the valley then found themselves almost entirely in the new county of Mid Glamorgan. In terms of this book, Gwent thus 'lost' a number of industrial locations to Mid Glamorgan. However, a second important boundary change resulted in some industrialised areas of pre-1974 Brecknockshire, particularly Brynmawr and its surrounding area, being moved into Gwent. The information in the book is set out in six sections as follows:
1. Locomotive worked systems.
2. Locomotives operated by the National Coal Board I British Coal from 1947 to date.
3. Known details of locomotives used on civil engineering contracts, including contracts involving the construction of many sections of public railways.
4 Locomotives which passed through the hands of dealers, hirers and repairers in the county.
5. Preservation locations are included where the gauge exceeds 1ft 3in.
6. Known details of non-locomotive worked systems of sufficient length to be of interest.
Indexes are included for ease of reference to locomotives and locations listed within the volume. A range of maps identifying the locations of the sites listed in the text (where known) is also provided.
The book also includes 39 pages of plate black and white photographs to the rear of the book. There are two photographs per page, and thus over 75 photo's in total, showing different locomotives.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.