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For 2017 - "The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway 1834-1983", published by Twelveheads Press.
We are pleased to award the SLS Literary Award to Michael Messenger, author of"The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway 1834-1983", published by Twelveheads Press.. Our President Michael Bailey (Front) and Michael Messenger at the award presentational during the 2018 Society AGM. Photo: Brian Dotson
The third Annual Literary Award took place at the Aston Court Hotel, Derby on Saturday 19th May 2018 before the dinner at the Annual General Meeting weekend.
The Chairman, Brian Dotson, opened proceedings by reminding members of the origins of this award and the many books that are sent to the Society every year for review. He thanked his fellow panellists, Mike Fell OBE and Roger Hennessey, both of whom could not be present, for all their work in reading and studying the books in order to be able to make this award. It was never an easy task but this year’s winner was the unanimous choice of the Panel. He also thanked Malcolm Paul of the Newcastle upon Tyne Centre for all his work in preparing the certificate for presentation.
He then introduced the President of the Society, Dr Michael Bailey, to make the award. The President was pleased to award the 2017 SLS Literary Award to Michael Messenger, author of The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway 1834-1983, published by Twelveheads Press. The President praised the book as being one of exceptional scholarship, covering in detail the railway, economic and social history of that region of north Cornwall. The President added that Mr Messenger would be interested to know that a replacement piston ring forged by Driver Bonney, one of the drivers of the 1836-built Elephant locomotive, survives in the keeping of the National Railway Museum. It had been passed through the generations within the London & South Western and Southern Railways until O.V. Bulleid, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the latter railway donated it to the Science Museum in 1949. Although not regularly on display, it may be seen by special arrangement at the National Railway Museum.
In reply Michael Messenger was delighted to receive this award. The book had become a bit of an ego trip but he felt that the time and research had more than repaid his labours. The more and more he delved into the railway’s history so more interesting pieces of information emerged. Therefore it was very pleasing to see his work recognized and rewarded in this way. Shortly the Panel will be getting down to the task of sifting through the list of possible books from which to choose the next winner of this award.\
For 2015 - The inaugural SLS Literary Award was presented to Colin Mountford on 10th April. (Section added 11 Apr)
The award winning title = Rope and Chain Haulage – The forgotten element of railway history.
Colin is from the North East and has had several other books published. As the title of the book suggests rope haulage has previously been a neglected area of railway study and the book is a significant milestone in advancing knowledge of this neglected aspect of railway heritage. The award was presented at a regular Society meeting in Newcastle. Link to the full version Press Release (Word docx). and press quality version of the photograph.
Dr. Michael Bailey (Left) President of the SLS presents Colin Mountford with the award. Photographer M A Green – SLS General Secretary.
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