Photo By D J Norton

"Birmingham Past & Present: In My Father's Footsteps"

Front cover of book

My first book was published by Sutton Publishing, the UK's foremost source of local history books, at the tail end of 2006.  Shortly afterwards, Sutton were taken over by NPI Media.  Then, in December 2007, NPI were replaced by The History Press.  Because of all these changes, I suggest that Amazon is the best place to obtain a copy online as at least their site doesn't keep changing or disappearing!  The contents are very much based upon the website and the book includes the following sections:

Foreword By Dr Carl Chinn
Introduction About my father, the photographs and the book
Inner Ring Road Contains all the pictures from the Inner Ring Road pages with some improved modern views.  Before and After maps are also included.  Two fantastic double page spreads!
City Centre Contains all the pictures from the City Centre pages with some improved modern views.
New Street Station Contains most of the New Street Station pictures complete with many modern views not available on the website.  Two fantastic double page spreads!
South Birmingham A series of before and after photo's from all around the south of Birmingham.  Includes pictures of Stechford, Yardley, Balsall Heath, Moseley, Kings Heath, Selly Park, Stirchley, Cotteridge, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge and Rubery.
Trams Around the City Contains almost all the pictures from the Trams pages with many modern views.  Two fantastic double page spreads!
Forward A very brief chapter containing my views on how Birmingham is moving forward now.

I have spent a lot of time researching the photographs so the captions are more interesting and informative compared with the website.

The ISBN number is 0-7509-4504-4 and it retails at £12.99 in paperback cover.  The initial print run of 1200 copies sold out at the end of March 2009 but an additional 750 copies were printed and made available from June 2009.  They sold out in December 2010 and a very small reprint (100 copies) was made available from March 2011.  How much longer it will remain in print remains to be seen!

I am donating at least 20% of the royalties to Asthma UK.  Some of the remaining royalties will pay to keep this site on-line and free of adverts for the forseeable future.

How the book came about

Since starting this project there have been a number of coincidences that make me think that I was destined to put this site and book together.  If you haven't read the Story of the Dudley Road picture then you won't know why I wrote to the Evening Mail to thank the person who placed my lost photo on a bench for me to find it.  The Senior Commissioning Editor for local history books at Sutton saw my letter, looked at the site and e-mailed me to see if I would be interested in writing a book.  It was several months before we met, another month before I got the verbal go ahead and a further couple of months before contracts were signed and I really knew that it was going to happen!  A few months later and the delivery of the page proofs really made it clear that my father's photo's would soon be available to all those people who prefer books to webpages.  The finished article has more than met my expectations.