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Rowsley - A Rural Railway Centre : ISBN 0-9537486-2-6
by Glynn Waite and Laurence Knighton (Midland Railway Society).
Published 2003 - 132 pages, illustrated, maps.
A4 - Softback : £15.95 now £6.95 (post free!)
A4 - Hardback : £19.95 now £8.95 (post free!).

Softback : £6.95
Hardback : £8.95

Glynn Waite and Laurence Knighton were both born locally and have studied the development of railways in the Rowsley area over many years - in fact, Glynn was the Chief Clerk at the engine shed when it closed in 1966.

They have used material from their extensive archives to produce this 128-page detailed history of railways in the Rowsley and Darley Dale area from their origins in the 1840s to the present day. The book contains 250 illustrations, many of which have not been previously published.

Details of staff, train services and other features that do not fit easily into a chronological account of the area, are contained in 23 appendices. One of these deals with special trains and special passengers, which were regular features 100 years ago when Royal Trains brought King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Rowsley en route to Chatsworth for the famous house parties.

That, however, was the 'glamour' side of Rowsley, for until the mid-60s there was also a large engine shed and marshalling yard. The book tells how the rural peace was disturbed by the coming of the railway in 1849 and how, from the 1870s, it became by far the biggest employer in the area. At its peak just after the Second World War there were approximately 550 staff based at Rowsley. It also shows how quickly this dedicated workforce was disbanded and the railway closed down. In recent years part of the line has re-opened and there are plans for extensions. But one thing is certain - we will never again see the concentration of activities and labour that were so common on the railways of yesteryear, and which are described in some detail in the book.

See above for information on the Rowsley Association

Copies of the book may also be obtained from the author - Glynn Waite, 113 Green Oak Road, Totley, Sheffield. S17 4FS.

Email Glynn.Waite (at) btinternet.com

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