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14655WLLR Book Review

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  • John C
    Apr 1, 2011
      I was interested to see the review of the recent WLLR book in Narrow Lines. I fully concur with Adrian's comments over the content which is excellent, although I would have liked a location map showing all the various schemes in the context of the towns and villages they would have served. However, I do take issue with the comments of ".. to the standards one expects in a Wild Swan publication" and "...well served by his publisher".

      The last WS books on the VoR, Talyllyn & ALR were all produced nearly a quarter of a century ago and certainly did set a new standard - at the time. The rest of the publishing world has moved on and is now fully end to end digital with colour as a matter of course, but I am led to believe that WS doggedly stick to the same manual paste up methods of yore.

      Several of the plans reproduced in this book were clearly originally in colour (and probably scanned as such) and have lost much by being reproduced in low contrast black and white. Many of the photos seem to lack contrast and clarity. Perhaps some of these may have originally been in colour too. I suspect much of this is a result of multiple scan/print/paste/scan/print steps. I even feel the photos are on the whole worse than in the older books, when true photographic prints would have been used in plate preparation.

      This is a good book, however I feel the material deserved so much better. You only have to look at the Leek and Manifold book produced by RCL publications to see what could have been made of it. I just hope any further definitive books on our favourite railways (L&B perhaps?) get such proper treatment.

      (with hard hat on)
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