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Been doing a spot of reading, one book not very Birmingham and one not very railway! The first, Life on the Lickey 1943-1986 by Pat Wallace appealed because i’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the place, particularly Blackwell, My great aunt lived there (still does) and many an hour was spent with my dad and brother on the old platform watching all manner of things cresting the top of the incline. Peaks and 50’s were always the favorite and Peaks in particular seemed little troubled by the long climb from Bromsgrove. Funnily I don’t recall seeing any banking as a kid but in later years we were treated to such delights as 3 class 60s on a steel train. The book covers Pat’s time working the Lickey from engine cleaner to driver including accounts on working the unique Big Bertha as well as in later days such shenanigans as starting a failed HST when the guard wasn’t quite ready and dumping the poor chap into the ballast. I was lucky enough to meet Pat last year at the launch of the book where he kindly signed me 2 copies (one for my great aunt). Sadly he passed away a short time after but thankfully his experiences live on in this fascinating insight to working this well known piece of railway
ISBN 978-1-85858-523-9 www.brewinbooks.com

The second book is Birmingham in the 70’s and 80’s by Alton Douglas and while there is some railway interest such as the derelict Snow Hill A Deltic at Bromford Bridge and a picture of 210002 working the Cross City Line, this book is very much about the city. The Street scenes are just pure nostalgia and these are intersected with newspaper adverts from the time. Ive written before that New Street has become less about the trains and more about the place as time goes on and this book fits in with that view perfectly
ISBN 978-1-85858-511-6 www.altondouglas.co.uk

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