Amberley Blog

  1. A-Z of Stratford-upon-Avon by Will Adams

    I was delighted to have the chance to contribute a Stratford-upon-Avon volume to Amberley’s ‘A-Z’ series, as the town and I go back a long way. ‘Swans of Avon’: the river and its swans and other waterfowl are central to Stratford and the iconography of Shakespeare. (A-Z of Stratford-upon-Avon, Amberley Publishing) I’m a ‘Coventry kid’, having lived in that city...
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  2. The Merlin: The Engine That Won the Second World War by Gordon A. A. Wilson

    The name sure conjures up a strong mysterious presence from a bygone age and that is what the Rolls-Royce Merlin is; not an ancient wizard from mediaeval times but a high-performance aircraft engine from another century. Over eighty years ago Frederick Henry Royce sat at his desk and further developed in concept some previous successful engines into the very successful...
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  3. Staffordshire Coal Mines by Helen Harwood

    It is no coincidence that the industrial towns in Staffordshire lie on or close to the counties coal fields, notwithstanding the 1974 Local authority reorganisation which saw large areas of South Staffordshire become part of the West Midlands authority. Foxfield Colliery. (Staffordshire Coal Mines, Amberley Publishing) Prior to the eighteenth century the majority of people worked in agriculture while the...
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  4. A Gross of Pirates by Terry Breverton

    Why write twelve books about pirates and privateers? It simply stems from writing about famous Welshmen. I knew about the privateer Admiral Sir Henry Morgan, but by chance discovered Black Bart Roberts, hardly known in Britain, but by far the most successful ‘pirate of the Caribbean’, taking more than 400 ships, and known across the Americas. From the career of...
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  5. Steam in the British Coalfields by Mick Pope

    Trainspotter, a description that has somehow become a term of ridicule, conjuring up an image of some bespectacled nerd who is unable to function in normal society and definitely won’t have any dress sense, wife or girlfriend. Funny how this has come about as an interest in railways in general as the second most popular hobby among men in the...
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  6. A-Z of The Black Country by Andrew Homer

    The Workers’ Institute from Cradley Heath, locally known as the ‘Stute’, and now preserved at the Black Country Living Museum is remarkable not just for its Arts and Crafts style architecture but also for the people and stories associated with the building. Two such people are Mary Reid Macarthur and Thomas Sitch. The Cradley Heath lockout The Cradley Heath Workers' Institute. (Author's collection, A-Z...
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  7. Locomotives of the Eastern United States by Christopher Esposito

    When I was asked to put together Locomotives of the Eastern United States for Amberley, I knew it was going to be a challenge. After all, how does one comb through over 10,000 photos of trains and select the best images to present to readers? What lines to pick? What engine models? NS ES44DC 7716 leads 13R over the Potomac...
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  8. Royal Dragoon Guards by Anthony Dawson

    The Royal Dragoon Guards are one of the oldest, and most prestigious, regiments in the British Army. Although the modern-day regiment was formed in 1992, its antecedents can trace their history back to the 1660s, representing over 350 years of continuous service. The charge of the Inniskillings at Le Cateau. (Royal Dragoon Guards, Amberley Publishing) Those regiments which make up...
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  9. London's Sightseeing Buses by Malcolm Batten

    As the capital of the United Kingdom, and with a history going back to the Roman times, London has obvious potential for tourism. As long ago as 1851, long before London Transport had come into existence, London hosted the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. In 1951 a new exhibition entitled the Festival of Britain was held...
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  10. Secret Rutland by Daniel J. Codd

    The Development of Secret Rutland The idea for Secret Rutland may be said to have developed from two basic concepts. View of Hambleton from Rutland Water. The submerged hamlets of Nether and Middle Hambleton lie to the left. (Author's collection, Secret Rutland, Amberley Publishing) From a personal perspective, I have always been fascinated by Rutland Water as a feat of...
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