Hi everyone, Dan Quine here. I've been working with Chris and the Flexiscale team to produce the book about the George England locos. Many of you have chosen a copy of the book as your reward for backing us on Kickstarter. The first of these have been shipped and were delivered today. I hope those of you who have received them have enjoyed your books.
Here's a sneak peek at the book. First up, this is the front of the popular softcover edition:
The book covers the history of steam locomotives on narrow gauge railway, from Trevithick's 1802 locomotive through to the introduction of the Englands. You get a detailed history of the introduction of steam on the Festiniog Railway, including the fascinating story of how Charles Menzies Holland - nephew of the owner of Oakeley slate quarry - tried his hand at locomotive design.
Next is a chapter on George England. He's a fascinating Victorian character. He built a successful engineering company that supplied locomotives to many of the early railway companies. He was also know for his temper - the book covers the infamous incident when Robert Francis Fairlie eloped with England's daughter and England sued Fairlie, only to loose the case in dramatic circumstances. A few years later, England retired and left the company in charge of Fairlie who used it to build Little Wonder for the Festiniog Railway. Full details of the extraordinary episode are in the book.
After this, the locomotives themselves are introduced. Here's the timeline of major overhauls and periods out of service for the locos:
Each locomotive is covered in detail, with a full history and a plethora of archive and new photographs. Here for example, are two of the pages covering Welsh Pony:
And here is the first page of the section on Little Giant:
For the first time, the full story of the demise of Little Giant is told, as well as Palmerston's exile to Staffordshire and eventual return and restoration on the railway; we are lucky enough to have previously unpublished photos from Mike Hart, the man behind the restoration, for the book.
We end with a description of the laser scanning and 3D printing of the locomotives earlier this year.
More copies of the book are in production and will be shipping in the next few days. Everyone should have received a survey from us asking for your address. If you haven't filled it in, now would be a great time to do so and we can get your rewards shipped off.
For those who didn't choose a book as their reward, there is a chance to buy one at http://www.festinioglocos.com/. All proceeds from these sales are being donated to the fund to restore Welsh Pony to working order.
I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.