The Girl in the Spotty Dress
Memories from the 1950s, and the Photo that Changed my Life
One breezy day in 1951, Pat Stewart was photographed perched on the seafront railings at Blackpool, her spotty dress billowing in the wind. It was an image that would become one of the most iconic of the age. Here, she looks back over her life, sharing stories about her dancing career and her time working as a showbusiness agent.
Victorians and Edwardians Abroad
The Beginning of the Modern Holiday
The Polytechnic Touring Agency (PTA) was created in 1888 to cater for the growing numbers of lower middle-class people who could for the first time afford to holiday abroad. From the PTA archive at the University of Westminster, this book uncovers the recollections of those who enjoyed ‘Poly holidays’ before 1914. Illustrated with postcards, photographs and promotional items, it records their train journeys to Paris, Switzerland and Italy, and reveals a penchant for mischievous fun.
An Illustrated History
Variety emerged from the music-hall tradition after the First World War, providing a family-friendly entertainment that could compete with the new crazes for revue and cinema. This celebration of its period of dominance in British theatres up to the 1950s profiles stars such as Gracie Fields and Max Miller, remembers famous acts, from vents and hoofers to magicians and jugglers, and includes anecdotes about the itinerant life of a touring performer.
Here's One I Made Earlier
Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s television programme, is known for its famous ‘makes’ – creative projects which transform everyday household objects into toys and gifts. This collection reproduces some of the most memorable designs, including the Advent Crown, the Doll’s House and Tracy Island, and has a foreword by Valerie Singleton and contributions from former presenters and the ‘Queen of Makes’, Margaret Parnell.
Lost League Football Grounds
Since the Hillsborough tragedy and the Bradford City fire in the 1980s, more than a third of English professional football clubs have moved to a new stadium, leaving beloved old grounds, often dating back to the Edwardian era, to disappear beneath housing estates and retail parks. This survey tells the history of nearly 70 lost stadiums, including famous venues such as Highbury, Roker Park, Maine Road and the Baseball Ground.
Doctor Turner's Casebook
Based on the BBC Hit Drama Call The Midwife
Describing the practice of a GP in East London in the 1950s and 1960s, this companion to the popular BBC TV series Call the Midwife recalls many of its storylines to explore the healthcare issues encountered by an inner-city doctor. Illustrated with stills from the programme and period ephemera, the cases highlight the social problems of post-war Poplar and how scientific breakthroughs and the introduction of the National Health Service transformed treatments during the period.
British Buses 1967
The 220 photographs in this survey of bus services in Britain were all taken in 1967, capturing the varied scene in the year before the formation of the National Bus Company, which brought a greater degree of standardization to the network. Explanatory captions identify the assorted fleets of buses, coaches and trolleybuses run by a wide variety of private operators and city corporations.
An Odyssey in Steam
Railway Paintings from 'Rocket' to 'Evening Star'
David Bell made his name as a marine artist, having spent time in the merchant navy, but his boyhood passion was for the railways, fuelled by visits to Doncaster Carr shed during the last days of steam. This selection of his detailed yet atmospheric watercolour paintings and pencil sketches presents a mixture of scenes, from nostalgic imaginings of the great locomotives in their heyday to preserved steam railways and exhibits at the National Railway Museum.
Memories of a Rascal's 1950s Childhood
With a turbulent home life, the young Peter Stockley found adventure and a sense of belonging with his gang, ‘the Scallywags’. Free to roam Liverpool’s streets, they explored bombed-out houses, swam in rat-infested canals and hung on to the backs of speeding lorries. Although some of Stockley’s adventures had serious consequences, this nostalgic memoir tells his story with wit and humour. Slightly off-mint.
South West Wales Through the Lens of Harry Squibbs
Volume One: South Cardiganshire
Harry Squibbs was a photographer in South West Wales, producing postcard views and community portraits during the early 20th century. This book describes Harry’s life and work as well as presenting over 130 of his photographs.
Games from Childhood
A Nostalgic Compendium of Games We Used to Play
Marked-out boards for versions of the game known in Britain as Nine Men's Morris have been discovered on classical ruins, ancient clay tiles and even in a Viking ship burial, the longevity and wide reach of the game attesting to its appeal. This compendium explains Nine Men’s Morris and eight other enduring games, such as Hangman and Battleships, with rules, strategy tips, printed playing boards and grids.
Tales of Somerset Steam
The first steam-driven engine in Somerset was a water pump installed in the 1740s, but the Great Western Railway brought more profound change a century later. With reminiscences of life on the railways, this book provides a round-up of steam in the county with stories including the Radstock accident of 1876 and the filming of the Beatles’ A Hard Day's Night in 1964.
The Way We Were: On Holiday
At the seaside, messing about in boats or rambling between Youth Hostels ... Paul Atterbury's book brings together hundreds of family photographs, advertisements, postcards and ephemera to show the British on holiday between the Edwardian era and the 1960s. As well as depicting aspects of the holiday experience from souvenirs and ice cream to chalet bungalows and charabancs, the images evoke some of the most popular places in their heyday, among them Blackpool, Llandudno, the Derbyshire Dales and St Ives.
Town, Trade and River
Set between the tree-covered Chiltern slopes on a bend in the River Thames, Henley is famed for its handsome timber-and-brick buildings, its elegant 18th century bridge and its regatta. This illustrated account traces its history from its creation as a planned medieval market town, through development as a coaching hub to its present role as a tourist and commuter centre. Drawing on extensive research, Townley's book reveals the forces that have shaped Henley's appealing townscape.
Today Aylesbury has expanded beyond the limits of its ancient parish and is home to a variety of service and light engineering industries. This very readable and well-illustrated account goes back to prehistoric times, describing recent archaeological evidence for ancient settlements on the site before tracing the town's history since the royal manors of Aylesbury and Walton in early medieval times.
Discovering Scotland's Lost Railways
Railway closures were underway in Scotland from the 1930s as remote lines built in the 19th century proved uneconomical. The 1963 Beeching Report recommended further cuts, and by the end of the 1960s large parts of the country were without a service. This exploration of forgotten railways, first published in 2009, traces twelve routes, mixing archive images of the lines in operation with contemporary photographs of what remains of the stations, bridges, signalling and other lineside equipment.
Penryn from Old Photographs
At the head of the Penryn River, just upstream from Falmouth, the sheltered harbour town of Penryn grew prosperous on the back of the Cornish granite and tin trade, and retains some fine buildings from the Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian periods. This collection of images shows the historic market town and the life of its residents in old photographs and postcards, mostly from the early 20th century.