Michael Portillo, Bradshaw’s Guide, and Great British Railway Journeys

OK, I have to admit being a closet anorak and watching Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys on the BBC.  In this show, Portillo used something he called “his Bradshaw’s Guide”, but the real Bradshaw’s Guide is the well-known series of monthly time tables published between 1839 and 1960.  Bradshaw also produced an annual publication called Bradshaw’s Railway Manual, Shareholders’ Guide And Directory. This doesn’t have any tourist information, either. These versions of The Bradshaw’s Guide contains no tourist information, except for hotel advertising.  The book he actually used was Bradshaw’s Tourist Handbook. And, according to Robert Humm’s books (a store specialising in transportation related literature):

Bradshaw’s Tourist Handbook, Mr Portillo’s ‘guide’, is unfortunately extremely scarce. The individual parts turn up from time to time, but to get all four together is most unusual. The one Mr Portillo is using came from us (of course!) but it is the only complete set we have ever seen. Sadly, we have no more, even of the individual parts, to offer at present.

Robert Humm mentions this in his blurb Michael Portillo’s Bradshaw

Fortunately, there is a complete copy available online which is similar to the one Portillo used in the show:

1 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065192919

2 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065192927


4 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065192935

The book is downloadable in PDF form.

UPDATE: There are two facsimile versions available for you to own if you want a hard copy. Robert Humm sells them (as does Amazon UK). If you buy it from Robert Humm, you can say that you bought your copy of Bradshaw from the same person who sold Michael Portillo his copy.

And you’re helping to support an independent bookseller!

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