Railways at War: Cumbria and its Adjacent Counties

Railways at War: Cumbria and its Adjacent Counties, Ambulance Trains and ‘Jellicoe Specials’ Operated During the Great War. Cumbrian Railways Association, 2019. Quarto, 64 pages, illustrated, laminated card cover. £8. Post and packing £2.50. Overseas please ask for a quote.

“The book covers two very important aspects of the Great War, and without them victory would have been in doubt.

Written by CRA member John M Hammond, in the first part, the operation of specially built ambulance trains is described, with a particular reference to their use in the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and north Lancashire. A network of these trains was set up to collect wounded soldiers arriving at our home ports to distribute them to the numerous specialist hospitals set up to treat the growing number of injured personnel.

In part two, John describes how high quality coal was transported to the north of Scotland to supply the ships of the Grand Fleet. These trains were called ‘Jellicoe Specials’ after the Admiral of the Fleet, John Rushworth Jellicoe and we learn how they were worked through the counties that now form the modern county of Cumbria.

Both stories record the valuable work done by the railways during the Great War, much of it never before covered at this level of detail. As you might expect, other railway companies operating both north and south of the border feature prominently in both parts.”




The History & Traditions of Ravenstonedale, Westmorland Volume 1 by the Rev. W. Nicholls

During the years that we were in Ravenstonedale we republished Volume 1 of The History and Traditions of Ravenstonedale. It is a paperback octavo with 113 pages. We still have some copies available at £5 plus £2 post and packing. Overseas customers please ask for a postage quote.

William Nicholls was the Minister of High Chapel Congregational Church, Ravenstonedale, from 1869 to 1883. He died in 1921 aged 86 and is buried at High Chapel.

His wife, nee Mary Ann Chamberlain, was a member of a noted Westmorland family. She pre-deceased him by 6 years and lies by his side in the little chapel graveyard. Their memorial stone can be found against the wall to the left of the path between the road and the building.

Nicholls had a keen interest in local history, writing five books on various localities. This volume is his first book, published in 1877. It was followed by The History and Traditions of Mallerstang Forest and Pendragon Castle in 1883. By the time this was published he had moved to Bury in Lancashire and he subsequently wrote two books on that part of the country, History and Traditions of Prestwich in 1904/5, and History and Traditions of Radcliffe in 1910. In 1914 his last book, like his first, was about Ravenstonedale and was issued as the second volume of The History and Traditions of Ravenstonedale, albeit separated from Volume 1 by some 37 years!

As he says in his Preface the contents were drawn from a series of lectures, given in the Public Room above the village school. It is this that accounts for the sometimes rather unusual style of presentation and for the extensive Appendix containing additional material which could not be fitted into the original lectures. Nicholls was a careful historian and although many of his anecdotes are based on local tradition we have had occasion to examine much of the original material from which he quotes and in every case his rendering follows it exactly.

The spelling and punctuation in this reprint follow the original as closely as possible.  The original subscribers’ list has been retained in view of its interest today. One or two printer’s errors were found in cross-references and these have been corrected.