The Malmesbury Branch Swindon Wiltshire GWR
The Vale of Rheidol Railway

The Malmesbury Branch Swindon Wiltshire GWR

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In 1971, when schoolteacher Mike Fenton was conducted on walks around the Wiltshire town of Malmesbury by his wife-to-be, Tricia, his interest in the town's old branch railway was kindled by the sight of the GWR engine shed still standing in the old station yard. Twenty years earlier Mike had been a three year old living in Barton Roadm Swindon, within earshot of the whistle of the Malmesbury-Swindon passenger service when it ran for the last time on 8th September 1951. Almost two further decades on from those first visits to his wife's home town, mike has completed years of painstaking research to chronicle the history of the branch, a line unique in that it switched junctions from one main line to another of equal status during its working life of 85 years.The quest for photographs, references, maps and plans, tickets and working details of the Malmesbury branch took Mike into many public archives, newspaper offices, museums and , most importantly, into the homes of many railwaymen and their families. Combining a wealth of written records with the knowledge gleaned from countless hours of staff interviews, he has assembled a full account of the working life of the Malmesbury line.Assisted bt railway researchers such as Paul Karau, Mike Christensen and Chris Turner, and drawing upon his own local knowledge through Tricia Fenton's familiy, the Lockstones, Mike has put together a railway history which is also a social document; an account of life and times as they once were, which will be of great interest to railway enthusiasts, historians and Wiltshire folk alike.258 pages, 1990, Case bound, 8¾" x 11"

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