Well if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a map worth? Try looking through the Railways of Great Britain: A Historical Atlas by Colonel M H Cobb. This, my favourite book in the Royal Commission library, has 646 maps, showing all the passenger railways in Great Britain with their owning companies and the opening and closing dates for each station and stretch of line, all drawn over an Ordnance Survey map base. If you’re into that sort of thing – ok, so I am! – it‘s a wonderful historical resource to have available in one place and also provides hours of browsing enjoyment.
And for Radio 4 listeners: along with the Bible and the works of Shakespeare, Cobb’s book would be my choice when castaway on my ‘Desert Island.’
Brian Malaws, Content Development Officer, Royal Commission