The formative years of Britain’s railway network produced a host of ideas, activities and characters, quite a few of which now seem not only highly unusual, but sometimes little short of ridiculous. Weird schemes and designs, extravagant behaviour, reckless competition and larger-than-life characters all featured in the genuine struggle of the railway system to evolve. While the dawning of regulation and common sense brought about more uniform and responsible practices, factors like the weather and the innate complexity of railway operation continued to produce a stream of nonstandard incidents and outcomes, from wild storms to unusual equipment. This book, by ex-railwaymen Geoff and Ian Body, captures over 150 entertaining snippets, stories, and strange and unusual facts from an ample supply of railway curiosities.
From Bell's Comet of 1812 to the preserved Waverley of today, Alistair Deayton records every paddler that carried a fare-paying passenger on the upper and lower Clyde, illustrating many of the vessels using rare images, some dating back to the dawn of photography itself.
The follow-up to Alistair Deayton’s David MacBrayne history tells the story of the other constituent company of Cal-Mac. Founded by the Caledonian Railway, the CSP vessels once flourished on the Clyde, sailing to points in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Argyll.