The Inimitable Mr Ellis Part 2

Hamilton Ellis’s breakthrough in the writing of railway history came in 1947. The publisher Philip Unwin, himself something of a railway aficionado, was looking for a new kind of book for his firm, George Allen & Unwin, that would be an antidote to the prevailing dreariness of train travel in post-war austerity Britain: bright illustrations […]

The Inimitable Mr Ellis Part 1

(Originally published in The Railway Magazine for September 2011 under the title “C Hamilton Ellis”) In the first of an occasional series ROBERT HUMM celebrates the life and work of the railway writer and artist C Hamilton Ellis. Known to his friends as ‘Cuthie’ or ‘Chip’ and to himself as ‘Ham,’ Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis was […]

Statfold, peripherals.

A couple of weeks ago I posted some pictures of the various steam locomotives batting around the Statfold Barn Railway at the recent open day. Of course the running locomotives are the really fun part of the open day, but they are only the tip of the Statfold iceberg. The roundhouse contains far more traction […]

What Goes Up Must Come Down Part 3

Originally published in The Railway Magazine for March 2010 under the title “Cliffhangers” Cliff railways, part of Britain’s transport infrastructure since 1875, are often overlooked by the enthusiast fraternity. ROBERT HUMM reviews their history and development : continued from Part 2. The partnership in the 1890s between Newnes as financier and Marks as engineer resulted […]

Statfold Barn, June 2017

There is nothing like Statfold, this year there were sixteen engines in steam – so wherever you stood, wherever you waited there was always something going one – a great sense of highly-organised activity and a terrific atmosphere. This post is simply a catalogue of those sixteen engines (or would be – unfortunately I only […]

What Goes Up Must Come Down Part 2

Originally published in The Railway Magazine for March 2010 under the title “Cliffhangers” Cliff railways, part of Britain’s transport infrastructure since 1875, are often overlooked by the enthusiast fraternity. ROBERT HUMM reviews their history and development : continued from Part 1. With a total of four cliff railways the Kentish town of Folkestone was once […]

What Goes Up Must Come Down Part 1

Originally published in The Railway Magazine for March 2010 under the title “Cliffhangers” Cliff railways, part of Britain’s transport infrastructure since 1875, are often overlooked by the enthusiast fraternity. ROBERT HUMM reviews their history and development. In North America they are called Incline Railways. In Europe, which invented them, they are usually known as Funiculars. […]

High Speed On The Great Western Railway

by Robert Humm (Originally published in the Journal of The Stephenson Locomotive Society for July-August 2015; there are some extra notes about Charles Rous-Marten and Cecil J Allen at the end of the article.) While turning over a quantity of Cecil J Allen’s old papers the writer came across a clip of correspondence that throws […]

On Writing : An Introduction

by Robert Humm Over the years I have published a fair amount in periodicals both eminent and obscure. My very first article, published about 1966, was strangely enough in a long defunct magazine called Sporting Motorist, and we need not dwell on that overlong. It was written under a pseudonym and wasn’t very good, but […]

British Rail Corporate Identity Manual

A rather worrying task yesterday – I’d been putting it off but in the end it had to be done. I washed my hands and removed the cellophane from a copy of the BR Corporate Design Manual reprint so I could catalogue it. Fortunately few railway books come with a white cover; this one is […]