Further Reading

These books expand on various themes covered by this broadsheet.

  • Roman roads There are two inexpensive books in the Shire Archaeology series, Roman Roads by Richard Bagshawe and Roman Forts in Britain by David Breeze, The Ordnance Survey Map of Roman Britain would be extremely useful for planning field research.
  • Canals Anything by Charles Hadfield or LTC Rolt is to be recommended. Among the pictorial albums, Michael Ware's Narrow Boats at Work (Moorland 1980) gives a good impression of the workaday reality of canals in their final years.
  • Docks London's Lost Riverscape by Chris Ellmers and Alex Werner (Viking 1988) is a unique 'photographic panorama' of London's docks in 1937, showing the enormous variety of dockside architecture and activities.
  • Railways Railway Architecture edited by Marcus Binney and David Pearce (Bloomsbury 1985) is an excellent and wide-ranging introduction to the subject; there is a more modest study with the same title, by F G Cockman, in the Shire Albums series. More specific is The Signal Box by the Signalling Study Group (Oxford Publishing Company 1986). Alan Jackson's Semi-Detached London (Wild Swan 1991) is a rare treasure, a brilliant and superbly readable account of how the outward expansion of London's housing went hand in glove with the provision of transport.
  • Road transport Solid historical background comes from Charles Klapper's The Golden Age of Tramways and The Golden Age of Buses (Routledge 1961 and 1978). The Country Bus by John Hibbs (David and Charles 1986) is rich in human interest and subtle social observation. The Country Garage by Llyn Morris (Shire Albums) is well detailed and modestly priced.
  • Airports Kenneth Powell's Stansted: Norman Foster and the Architecture of Flight (Fourth Estate/Wordsearch) analyses the design of Britain's newest airport from an architectural viewpoint.


Places to Visit

The courses of a number of Roman roads - notably Watling Street, Ermine Street, the Foss Way and Peddars Way - can still be followed on foot or, where superseded by modern roads along the same line, by car. Sections of actual road are preserved in situ at Holtye in East Sussex, at Blackpool Bridge in the Forest of Dean and at Blackstone Edge, Greater Manchester, while the Lunt Roman Fort at Baginton, near Coventry, is an archaeologically exact replica of a typical fort of the kind that would be built along such roads.

Britain's inland waterways form one of our principal leisure resources, and many of their structures survive in daily use. At the big maritime and waterways museums in Liverpool and Gloucester you can see some of the huge dock warehouses that were built in the heyday of these ports. The Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire is housed in a typical small canal warehouse. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire has much of transport interest and its canal system includes the remarkable Hay Inclined Plane, designed to transfer barges between levels. Well worth a visit also are the Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire; the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, Ayrshire; the Maritime Museums on Poole quay, Dorset and at the Old Custom House, Lancaster; and the Windermere Steamboat Museum, Cumbria.

In many parts of the country the rich architectural heritage of our railways is still evident - stations large and small, bridges, viaducts. From a historical viewpoint, The National Railway Museum in York (housed in what was once one of the largest engine sheds in the country) is the obvious starting point. Many of the railway preservation sites and tourist lines around the country have interesting buildings, including signal boxes. One of the less well known museums, the Mangapps Farm Railway in Essex, has a particularly good collection of historic signalling equipment. Visits to British Rail installations are possible but prior arrangements must be made - try your Area Manager's office.

The National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire has a superb collection of fully restored working trams. Blackpool and now Manchester, of course, have the real thing. More modest in scale is the East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, which also has buses and trolleybuses. Two of our best regional museums - the North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish, Co Durham and the Black Country Museum at Dudley, West Midlands - offer rides around the site by tram and trolleybus respectively; the latter also has a tollhouse and canal wharf. The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden pays particular attention to LT's role as a leader in design.

Among collections of historic vehicles that feature reconstructions of pre-war garages are the Bourton Motor Museum at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire; the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust at Syon Park, Middlesex; the National (formerly Montagu) Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire; the Peter Black Collection at Keighley, Yorkshire and the Stratford-upon-Avon Motor Museum in Warwickshire. Aircraft too are now of pensionable age and a good selection can be found at the Museum of Flight, North Berwick, East Lothian; Old Warden Aerodrome, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire; and the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Most air museums occupying the sites of former airfields retain some of their distinctive buildings - hangars, control towers and wartime Nissen huts - which may in themselves form a significant part of the exhibits.

1991 - Stansted Airport

British Land Broadsheets