D. J. Norton's Pictorial Survey of Railways in the West Midlands
by Bob Essery
Shortly after putting the first of my father's railway photographs on
the site, I was introduced (via email) to Bob Essery
Mike Musson of Warwickshire
had been trying to help Bob with pictures of Washwood
Heath and it turned out that dad had taken a good selection of the
area. These eventually appeared in Midland
I met up with Bob a couple of times and he cast his expert eye over the
whole collection. He soon saw an opportunity to start a project
he'd had in mind for a while - a history of the railways around
Birmingham. What's more, it could be totally illustrated by D. J.
Things kicked off in April 2008. Once we'd identified the
boundaries, my task was to search through the collection and find all
the suitable pictures for each site. I then scanned them,
catalogued them and sent the details to Bob. This kept me busy up
until the first week in August. With all the pictures to hand,
Bob then selected the best and wrote the captions. It was sent
off to the publishers and we had some breathing space in August and
It quickly became clear that there were so many great pictures that a
single volume would be too thick and expensive so the final book will
comprise of three parts. This created a bit more work and October
became hectic as we finalised the contents of those parts and performed
all the proof reading. My final job was to prepare the pictures
for print and send them to the publishers. I have now completed
The plan is to launch all three volumes at the Warley Model Railway Club show
at the NEC on the weekend of Nov 22/23 2008. Whether we'll make
it is yet to be seen! I am sure Part 1 will be on sale, there is
a good chance that Part 2 will make it and if Part 3 isn't quite ready,
it won't be far behind.
division is as follows:-
|Part 1: LNWR Lines
ISBN 978 1905 184 507
Includes Coventry, Tile Hill, Berkswell & Balsall
Common, Hampton-in-Arden, Marston Green and Stechford.
Stechford to Wolverhampton:
Includes Adderly Park, Proof House Jct, New Street (Western side),
Monument Lane, Harborne Jct, Winson Green, Soho Soap Works, Smethwick,
Galton Jct, Spon Lane, Oldbury, Dudley Port, Watery Lane, Tipton (Owen
Street), Monmore Green and Wolverhampton (High Level).
Stechford to Bushbury via Aston:
Includes Stechford, Aston (inc. shed), Witton, Perry Barr, Great Barr,
Soho Road, Curzon Street, Vauxhall & Duddeston and more Aston (inc.
Including Brownhills, Pelsall, Walsall, Pleck Jct, Goldshill Crossing
Aston to Lichfield:
Including Gravelly Hill, Four Oaks, Blake Street, Shenstone, Lichfield
City and Lichfield Trent Valley
|Part 2: Midland Lines
ISBN 978 1905 184 514
to New Street:
Includes Tamworth (High Level and Low Level), Kingsbury Station Jct,
Whitacre, Hams Hall, Water Orton, Castle Bromwich, Bromford Bridge,
Washwood Heath, Saltley Station, Duddeston, Saltley Shed and New Street
Birmingham West Suburban:
Includes Five Ways, Church Road, Selly Oak, Bournville (inc.
Cadbury's), Canal Branch, Bournville Shed and Lifford West Jct.
Water Orton to Wolverhampton:
Includes Penns, Aldridge, Walsall Wood and Brownhills.
Hampton to Whitacre:
Includes Whitacre, Maxstoke and Hampton.
Central Goods, Lawley Street and Kings Norton notices.
|Part 3: More Midland Lines
ISBN 978 1905 184 521
& Gloucester via Camp Hill:
Includes St. Andrews Jct, Bordesley Jct, Camp Hill (inc. sidings),
Brighton Road, Moseley, Kings Heath Ballast Sidings, Kings Heath,
Hazelwell, Lifford, Kings Norton, Northfield, Halesowen Jct, Barnt
Green, Linthurst I.B., Blackwell, Lickey Incline and Bromsgrove.
Longbridge to Halesowen Branch:
Includes Halesowen Jct, Longbridge, Frogmill Crossing, Rubery, Holly
Hill Crossing, Frankley Sidings, Dowery Dell (Hunnington) Viaduct,
Hunnington and Halesowen.
Barnt Green to Redditch Branch:
Includes Barnt Green, Alvechurch and Redditch (inc. shed).
I'll be at the show between 11:00am and 3:00pm on November 22nd.
I've had a reproduction 'Photo By D. J. Norton - Birmingham' stamp made
and anyone who turns up on the day can have their book(s) stamped if
they wish. Bob Essery will be in attendance throughout the
show. You can find us both on stand F24 - LMS Matters.
What does this mean for the site?
You may be thinking that if all the pictures are available in print
then why update the site? Well, that's not what is going to
happen! There are plenty of people who only buy books and don't
use the internet. Likewise, there are plenty of people who like
to look at railway pictures online but would never think of buying a
book. I intend keep everyone happy! What's more, by working
on the book (and neglecting the railways side of the site…) I've done
80% of the work I need to do having sorted, scanned, catalogued and
researched over 600 photo's - creating new web pages will be a lot
easier and quicker from now on.
27 October 2008