Where There’s Smoke
Our journey started with “Northern Exposures”, a full colour rendition of steam operations in the north of NSW, which literally flew off the shelf exceeding all expectations. This was followed by “Lenses South and Shooting The West:, which again were sold out in just a few months. This established our reputation as producers of high quality books. Our best shots were away from Australia, so we decided to take the plunge and cover the world. The result – “Where There’s Smoke”.
The Earth is a middle-sized member of a planetary system orbiting an average sun in a galaxy called the Milky Way. The Milky Way is one of a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Earth is four and a half billion years old. As it cooled long after its formation, a range of species emerged. The dinosaurs in various guises existed for about 170 million years. Sharks have been around for 400 million years and crocodiles for 200 million. Human beings in their earliest evolutionary stage emerged about two million years ago and homo sapiens is approximately 200,000 years old. Steam locomotives strode the world for only 190 years, and they are already gone. There’s some context around our hobby for you! But we say this to the Starship Enterprise and Jurassic Park: “Eat their dust”.
Steam locomotives are descended from the stationary boilers that revolutionised working conditions and productivity in the ‘dark satanic mills’ of the early industrial revolution in the UK and on the Continent. It took a second stage of inspiration to get the boilers moving.
Most people in the developed world first encountered mobile steam on metal rails amid the grey, gritty dirtiness of its city lairs at stations, depots and marshalling yards. The sights, sounds and smells were intoxicating … and redolent of trips to distant places in the age before mass air travel. A lot of us had some exposure to it as the head end power for suburban and longer distance trains. We have memories of whistles, exhaust beats, rocking and rolling at speed, wind in the hair and cinders in the eyes…….
Overview & Preview
In 1974, I headed overseas with Malcolm Holdsworth, later joined by Robert (Rags) Kingsford Smith, John Allerton and Jim Carter, for a 3 month tour of Europe. By that time Rags was already a seasoned traveller, having visited Burma and other parts of South East ASIA. After the trip I ended up sharing a flat with Bazza (John) Allerton in South Africa, between the four of us and a few others who joined along the way, we travelled to all corners of the globe to get coverage of remaining steam operations. We risked life a limb, climbing rock ledges and tall trees, were arrested and detained many times, found ourselves in combat zones, and much more. We were fearless, probably stupid, but saw much of life away from tourist traps and had our perspective on life changed for the better. Now you can share in our adventures!
"It's a beautifully produced book with an excellent choice of pictures and they are really well presented. It's a good read as well with well researched captions and chapter introductions. The book is really a work of art from the heart of all you blokes who produced it for our reading pleasure and as a publicly available historical document.
Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus.
Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus.
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