A new railway book written by prolific Macclesfield transport historian Basil Jeuda has just been published and it offers a fascinating glimpse into Macclesfield’s past.
The North Staffordshire Railway in LM&SR Days Volume 3. is the final volume looking at what happened to the North Staffordshire Railway after it became a part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in the railway grouping of 1923.
This was a period of great social, political and economic upheaval, from the General Strike of 1926, to the great depression of the early 1930s and ending with the Second World War. Shortly afterwards, the railways of the United Kingdom were Nationalised, which changed their appearance and the way they were run forever.
This third book commences with a short introduction and takes a look at the road delivery operations in the North Staffordshire Section during the LM&SR era, as well as a brief mention of bus services.
It then takes the reader around the Loop Line, which is followed by a journey along the Biddulph Valley Line, both trips being interspersed with visits to the collieries and industrial concerns served en route.
The next visit is to Stoke Works, to find out what happened to it under LM&SR ownership, after which the author looks at the fate of ex-NSR rolling stock once it had been subsumed into the LM&SR fleet.
A detailed study of Stoke Round House and shed is followed by a look at locomotive allocations and use on the NS Section during the period is followed by another detailed chapter that looks at what happened with the NSR’s smaller canals and ends with a short synopsis of Rudyard Lake’s fall from grace under the LM&SR.
Heading back out on to the rails again, the author looks at the Leek Line from Stoke to Leek, and then to Leek, Caldon & Waterhouses Branch and to the quarries at Caldon Low, to then finish the study of the LM&SR’s North Staffordshire Section with a journey along the narrow gauge Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway.
The research that is gone into the book is impressive. Lavishly illustrated, with over 500 photographs, maps, tickets, posters, handbills, much of the content has never been previously published.
Jeuda has written and lectured extensively on the NSR and the area it served for more than thirty years and, together, these three volumes now form an important illustrated history of the North Staffordshire section of the LM&SR.
This article first appeared in Macclesfield Today.