Britain's Living Past
A Celebration of Britain's Surviving Traditional Cultural and Working Practices
Beginning, as befits a maritime nation, on a covered slipway where shipwrights continue to build and repair wooden vessels, Anthony Burton describes British traditional crafts, working practices, sports and entertainments that are still very much alive. Photographed in action by Rob Scott, here are rope-makers, wheelwrights, farriers at the Appleby Horse Fair and engineers maintaining the Manx Steam Railway; lace making and caber tossing; and the book ends on a fiery note, with Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festival.
A Steam Engine Pilgrimage
The broadcaster Anthony Burton shares an account of his experience of travelling around Britain on a variety of different modes of steam-powered transport, framing each of his journeys within its historical context. Among other adventures, he shovels coal into the boiler of an old Clyde Puffer, takes a trip across Windermere on an Edwardian-era launch and hitches a ride in a replica of Richard Trevithick’s ‘Puffing Devil’ with one of the famed engineer's direct descendants.
The Light Railways of Britain and Ireland
The 1896 Light Railways Act led to a two-decade boom in new rail lines that relied on cheaper, less resilient materials and slower speeds than existing routes. This reissue of a classic 1985 book, extensively illustrated with images of lost lines and stations, details the way that light railways filled gaps in the rail network before post-war competition from roads led to their decline.
The Canal Pioneers
Canal Construction from 2,500 BC to the Early 20th Century
Beginning with the water transport used to construct the Egyptian pyramids, this history of canals features examples from around the world that illustrate improvements in technology, such as new types of lock and the introduction of cast iron for bridges. It also describes how cities, from Birmingham to Bangkok, have been built around canals and how the British network made the Industrial Revolution possible.
Crafted in Britain
The Survival of Britain's Traditional Industries
Essential to the brewing and whisky distilling industries, malt has been made from barley in the traditional way at Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire since the 1850s, raking out the grain onto large floors for it to germinate for several days and then drying it in a kiln. From bell casting and stone masonry to brick making and book binding, this book reveals the processes of 27 craft industries still alive and well in Britain today.
Guide to Britain's Working Past
The impact of the industrial revolution on Britain is unmistakable in the form of bridges, factories, railways and canals, but evidence of industry goes back further to mills, mines and forges of the medieval period. This regional guide to key industrial sites around Britain includes the most significant transport and industrial museums as well as factories, potteries, mills and mines. Entries include information on location, admission prices and opening hours.
The Story of British Classical Music
Anthony Burton’s extended essay surveys a millennium of British music, illustrating its distinctive features through the pieces assembled on the accompanying pair of CDs. These 47 tracks range from an anonymous motet honouring St Thomas of Canterbury (c.1300), via such composers including Boyce, Bax and Britten, to Colin Matthews’ Pluto, the Renewer, written in 2000 to complement Holst’s The Planets.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.