Archive for the ‘Robert Humm’s Books’ Category

Bradshaws (and other guides)

The first thing I thought when seeing Great British Railway Journeys was “someone should publish copies of the guide he is using…”

Well, someone has been doing that since the first Bradshaw’s guide was rare (the only complete copy).  It seemed it would have made more sense to use the copy than walk around with a rare book, but that’s me.  Not to mention people at home wanted to follow along.

That is probably why my first post on the topic got so much attention: down to Michael giving the link to it!

Anyway, these guides are available in facsimile editions. Quite nice ones I have to say.  Part of me wants to do a tribute “with my Bradshaw’s guide” video.

Go for the “official guides” which look EXACTLY like the ones Michael uses since the reprint editions tend to be other versions (and not well defined as to WHICH version it is since there are lots of different versions of these guides).  Amazon carries them, which is good if you are in the States or otherwise outside the UK.  You might have to copy the title to your local Amazon site to find it, but they can be purchased for a reasonable price outside the UK.

NOTE: The guide used in the Great American Railway Journey’s is Appleton’s Railway Guide to the USA and Canada (link is to reprint edition: ISBN 978-1471159947).  Watch out for the other reprint editions since they are NOT the same.  Also, the quality of those isn’t that good.

It seems that the original guide was one of Amazon UK’s top sellers!  So, it WAS a good idea to reprint it in facsimile!

I should also give a plug to Robert Humm & Co, which is the specialist book store that sold Michael the original Bradshaw’s used in the series.  They are an independent bookseller specialising in railways, other transport and industrial history.  They bill themselves as “Britain’s largest railway bookshop”.

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Michael Portillo’s Great Continental Railway Journeys!

Michael is back with another Bradshaw’s guide, this time the Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide from 1913. Hathitrust does not have a copy of this, but the people responsible for this show were clever this time!

It seems that Old House has discovered that there is a demand for these guides and they are available for purchase.

Actually, I did search and didn’t find a copy online (there was a similar RAC Title at Hathi). Still, part of the reason I posted the link to the first guide was that it wasn’t available anywhere else at the time. In fact, there were two copies I knew of, the one used by Michael and the one on Hathi. Robert Humm said that the one he sold Michael was the only one of two he had ever seen.

I wonder if an original of the Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide is available?

I know which side of the bread is buttered!

OK, I do have to admit that I do what I can after all my comments about wanting to support the BBC. Since I get the most traffic from Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, I want to show that I am trying to give back here.

I hope Mrs. Thatcher would approve!

BTW, since most of the traffic here is due to the links to the download for Bradshaw’s Guide, I want to repeat that this copy is the same as that used by Michael Portillo on the show per Robert Humm, the bookseller who sold Mr. Portillo the original book. Also, this is the difference between the facsimiles per Mr. Humm:

So much for originals. Now for the good news : not one but two reprints of the Portillo set have been produced and both are on offer in our New Books section. You can use the Search Box to find them quickly by entering the reference codes.

Reference : A2855 . Title : Bradshaw’s Guide. Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. A complete year set of the four regional parts for 1866. Paperback, with an enlarged page size for easier reading. £24.95

Reference : A2893 . Cover title : Bradshaw’s Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. (from title page : Bradshaw’s Descriptive Railway Hand-Book Of Great Britain And Ireland.) A reprint of the actual volume used on the TV programmes. £9.99

Thank you, BBC and Michael Portillo.

Although, I do have to admit that I am thoroughly envious of all the places that Michael goes on his journeys.

Bradshaw’s Handbook – A Facsimile of the Famous Guide

OK, this post is a bit against my interest seeing that the bulk of my traffic comes from fans of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys who come here for where to download a PDF of the guidebook used by Mr. Portillo (Michael?).

Anyway, I was looking at the Series DVD and debating whether to spring for Series 2 at 27 quid (ouch!). While my first thought is to spring for it given that I get loads of traffic from fans of the show. That price is still a bit of a bite with the state of the economy–maybe when I feel much more flush. I will admit to putting it into my basket.

Anyway, it turns out that my other question:

Why doesn’t someone come out with a good facsimile of the Guide used in the show?

After all, the guide is next to impossible to find.

In fact, I have been tempted to say that I completely trust Michael Portillo given that he is walking around with an incredibly rare book. In fact, the rarity of the book makes me think that Michael Portillo has the bravery of an SAS (SBS?) trooper since I’d hate to think what length a crazed anorak would go to for a copy of that guide!

Seriously, walking around with something which is rarer than a first folio Shakespeare takes serious bottle.

But, Bradshaw and railway fans rejoice, for there is a really good facsimile out there for you to own. The nice bit is that the price is only £5 at Amazon!

I can see these going like hotcakes

Actually, there are a couple of copies of this out there. The one I mention and another which sells for £21.94. Since I’ve downloaded the PDF version, the more expensive one seems out of my league.

And I’m not going to debate the merits of both versions since there are enough reviews on Amazon which get into that.

Actually, I won’t, but Robert Humm, the bookseller who sold Mr. Portillo the original book did make a comment about the facsimiles:

So much for originals. Now for the good news : not one but two reprints of the Portillo set have been produced and both are on offer in our New Books section. You can use the Search Box to find them quickly by entering the reference codes.

Reference : A2855 . Title : Bradshaw’s Guide. Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. A complete year set of the four regional parts for 1866. Paperback, with an enlarged page size for easier reading. £24.95

Reference : A2893 . Cover title : Bradshaw’s Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. (from title page : Bradshaw’s Descriptive Railway Hand-Book Of Great Britain And Ireland.) A reprint of the actual volume used on the TV programmes. £9.99

So, there are two choices for where to get a facsimile of this book. Or you can download a copy for free from the hathi trust site I mention in my post.

Give Mr. Humm the business since you can say you bought your Bradshaw’s Guide from the same source who sold it to Michael Portillo.

No one need know that you have a facsimile!

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

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065192943

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!