As usual at this time of year, I deflected potentially unwanted presents of socks, smellies and chocolates (as a 7mm modeller shouldn’t that be pipes, slippers and cardigans?) by drawing up a list of books and distributing it to my nearest and dearest.

Among the gems chosen by relatives who have long been in the know that I like nothing better than to sit in the comfy leather wing-back with a good book and a glass of red, appeared Geoff Taylor’s treatise on creating model buildings.

I’ve read most all of Geoff’s articles in the MRJ and BRM, and have long been an admirer of his work, and he’s also got a fab website which shows off his immense skill to perfection, so did I really need this book? Of course! Wild Swan books are always gorgeous in their execution and this is no exception. So far I’ve only flipped through for a quick scan of the photos, and I’ve skimmed the first chapter, but with the enormous quantity of brickwork to be modelled on Basilica Fields, I can foresee that it will end up as dog-eared as my copy of Martyn Welch’s treatise on the art of weathering.

Of all the books received, only one other has any direct relevance to Basilica Fields, and it’s another Wild Swan offering, though some ten years since first published – Great Western Goods Services: An Introduction by Atkins and Hyde. I’ve had Part 2A for some time and found it very useful piecing together some of the GW’s services to and around Smithfield via the Metropolitan.

Although I’ve not yet had time to do more than flick through this one, much of what I’ve seen appears to deal with the background to, and is an analysis of the company’s goods services, and there is a chapter on the RCH as well as a précis of the goods districts, including London, which is expounded upon in Part 2A.

I’m very much looking forward to Part 3 which promises to delve into the workings of the GW dockyards.