British Steam in Colour: London to Aberdeen from the Bill Reed Collection by Peter Tuffrey
The pictures in this book were chosen from the many hundreds of 35mm colour slides Bill Reed took on and off the route stretching from London to Aberdeen. Station scenes, views on works and in sheds are featured. They roughly cover a period from 1951 to 1967 and depict the last gasp of steam before the introduction of diesels. As if on some imaginary journey, the book begins at King's Cross station wanders over to Liverpool Street steps into Great Eastern country then meanders north to finish at Aberdeen. It is noticeable that Bill has depicted marvellously the post WWII atmosphere on the railways when steam was on its last legs; the vast majority of the locomotives are in a very grimy condition and a number are seen on the scrap line. There is also evidence of how complicated and labour intensive it was to run a steam engine the vast coal hoppers and water tanks are examples to this submission. Looking back now at the 1950s and 1960s, Bill says he would have taken many more pictures of steam locomotives. But that is no matter, he has taken enough to give us more than a hint of what it was like in those last days.