Western Ways The R C Riley Archive 1937 – 1964 – Vol 1 – by Jeremy Clements
About This Book
The name R C ‘Dick’ Riley will be familiar to several generations of railway enthusiasts.
There is always pleasure in studying the work of a master craftsman, the more so when he is an accomplished railway photographer, and above all when his camera is aimed at the Great Western Railway. Dick Riley travelled extensively throughout the United Kingdom to capture the pageantry on film.
Starting in 1937, Dick Riley captured over 18,000 black and while UK railway images. Even though it has been over 40 years since an album devoted to his work was published, only a handful have ever been seen before.
This book aims to address that omission. ‘Western Ways’ is the first book in a series dedicated to Riley’s railway passion.
Brought up in the Dulwich area, he attended school in central London which meant a daily return journey to Holborn Viaduct. This was the natural habitat of ex-South Eastern & Chatham Railway motive power enrichened by that of the Midland and Great Northern railways, courtesy of the City Widened Lines and the Snow Hill Tunnel.
Dick loved all things railway: locomotives, trains of all sorts, infrastructure and people of the railways – and that is what you will find inside the book.
Initial selection for this work took place at editorial level to isolate in the main those most appropriate to the more southerly reaches of the Great Western’s world, hopefully to leave other areas for later attention. The specific choice of which should be included or omitted in this volume was left to the compiler – a challenge in view of the amount of material, but intensely enjoyable.
In the preparation of captions, particular attention has been paid to train composition where appropriate. All too often commentaries in books and contemporary steam-related magazines concentrate on motive power while paying scant attention to what the locomotive is hauling. By the mid-1960s, trains in the west were bland and only late surviving Sunshine or Hawksworth stock lurking within the Mark 1 armada provided interest (and of course the vehicle of choice in which to ride). So, let Dick Riley take the reader back to those treasured earlier years of cluttered diversity, when fascination lay in locomotives, coaches, wagons, signals and much, much more.
‘Western Ways’ showcases some of R C Riley’s best photography, with a fantastic selection of images captured during the late Great Western Railway and British Rail periods.