Monthly Archives: July 2014

Railway book published 25 years after first edition



Twenty-five years after publishing the first edition, Brixham author Chris Potts has released a second version of his history of a local railway line. His follow-up edition of the Newton Abbot to Kingswear Railway is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the railway reaching Kingswear 150 years ago.

Potts said the newer version includes more historical information, personal anecdotes from those who worked on the railways and an update of the 25 years after his initial publication. “We found World War Two action records, runaway balloons and bombing that went on. “In particular it’s very fascinating in Kingswear how they had problems getting water in the engines. The railways needed water to run, and in the 19th century there were great problems with water shortages.”

This isn’t the first time Potts has updated a book of his, having published the second edition of his history of the Brixham railway branch in 2000. As well as railways, he has also written on the history of Brixham’s boys’ home and the town’s museum.

Having started his career on the railways at Torquay booking office in 1962, Potts later worked in Plymouth divisional office before spending 34 years at British Railway. After retirement he returned to the West Country, living in Brixham ever since. His latest book took him four years to update, on and off.
“I’ve always taken great delight in railways and railway history, so it’s a dream come true. I’ve made a good job of this, I’m pleased with it.”

With 352 pages the latest version is longer than the original at 218 written pages plus eight blocks of photos. At a print run of 1,000, half its predecessor’s in 1989, the latest edition may not be able to sell many but has still made a good start, with Torbay Bookshop selling 13 of its first 15 copies.


Chris’ book is also available for purchase from the Museum shop – price £19.95