Father Browne's Trains and Railways
Currach Press 55a Spruce Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland
* Author - E. E. O'Donnell
The latest in the Father Browne series covers trains and railways and whilst not exclusively of Irish material, most of the images are. For the uninitiated, Father
Francis Browne (1880 - 1960) was a Jesuit priest and prolific photographer. He was best known outside of Ireland for his photographs of the Titanic (with amazing
foresight, he alighted from the Titanic at Cobh!).
The book contains photos from his archive of photographs and cover railway scenes around Ireland, with a few images taken in Australia, Egypt and Britain. These
photographs are unlikely to have been published elsewhere and this alone increases the value of the book. Photographs that merit particular mention include the
railway roundhouse at Clones, BNM operations at Portarlington and the Straboe railway accident. The book also contains photos taken during 'the Emergency' (when
photography of railway features was banned, but then, Ireland has always ignored clerical abuses) and a chapter on the operation of the Travelling Post Offices.
A couple of minor errors that proofreading should have spotted detract from the book (the frontispiece dedication states that the dedicatee's first job was running
around Athlone in 1920 making sure that the GSR railwaymen were awake (the GSR did not exist until 1924) and the photo on Page 62 is definitely not Glanmire
Road station in Cork. The platform sign suggests that it is Notting Hill Gate station in London.
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