(Review by Humphrey Gillott – Retired Railway Mission Chaplain).
If you are one of those people who loves to get lost in a book, then this is one of those books in which you can do just that. Steaming Through the Chilterns is the second book from the Casserley stable, following on from Steaming Through Berkhamsted, published in 2017, which Mary Casserley compiled with her late father, Richard Casserley. This time Mary teams up with Railway Enthusiast Robert Freeman, a fellow Berkhamsted resident. The photographs were taken by Mary’s grandfather and famous railway photographer, H.C. Casserley.
The photographs start in Berkhamsted area, then, moving from west to east, range around Princes Risborough and the branches; Moor Park to Quainton Road, including the Chesham Branch; Watford Junction and St. Albans Abbey; returning to Berkhamsted for some dramatic snow scenes and then to St. Albans City, before moving to Welwyn and Potters Bar on the East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross.
Lastly, on page 110, “In absolutely stonking good condition, with a finish rarely seen even in the preservation era”, as Rob describes it, is a photograph of BR Standard “Britannia” Pacific 70004 “William Shakespeare” passing H.C.C’s house in Berkhamsted, being hauled on her way to London for the Festival of Britain, in 1951.
So, from deep winter snow to hot summer sunshine, Rob Freeman has selected some of H.C. Casserley’s wonderful legacy of railway photographs for us to enjoy and to see what used to be.
Available at £22. Published February 2021 by Goose Publishing.
Available at the Way Inn, Waterstones or http://www.marycasserley.com