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This is one of the books produced by Finial Publishing

WE REGRET THAT THIS BOOK IS NO LONGER IN PRINT

'A Life With Steam'
by Joe Challis
ISBN 1-900467-04-6
Hardback. 155 x 235 mm (approximately).
Text: 320 pages including archive photographs and illustrations supplied by the Rural History Centre, University of Reading.
Art Section: 16 pages of both full-colour and black-and-white photographs illustrating Joe Challis’ life with steam - at work and in preservation.

Distributed by the National Traction Engine Trust, the book is available by mail order from NTET Sales, 90 Devon Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 0RL or for Credit Card orders by phoning (+44) 1582 733971 (after 18.00 GMT).
£27.00 (including £3 p&p), or £24.00 post free to NTET members.

This is no ordinary book - it is a revealing look behind-the-scenes written by a man who lived, worked and breathed steam ploughing engines from the 1920s to the 1940s before enjoying a remarkable renaissance in the 1980s. An evocative trip back in time, ‘A Life With Steam’ is about the men and machines that were to change the face of British agricultural life during the early decades of the 20th Century. It is about the life and the times of the men and their families whose livelihoods and, in many cases, social lives depended on and centred around the steam ploughing set.
Centred on the Basildon Estate in Berkshire - now in the care of the National Trust - this is a story written by a man who is a living history book, this revealing book charts the ups and the downs, the disappointments and joys in peace and war - in good times and the bad. It is a rich and often humorous tale - never dull, always absorbing - that readers will not want to miss; a rarely seen vein of British rural life between the first and second world wars. From 1912 to the present, ‘A Life With Steam’ is an evocative taste of yesterday - a time not so many years ago, that now feels to many people to be centuries away.
Born in 1912 in Berkshire, Joe began work at the age of 14 for a firm of steam ploughing contractors as a cookboy - before being put in charge of his own mighty ploughing set just a few years later. Joe’s mighty stallions of steam were used to plough up orchards where modern jets now take off from London’s Heathrow Airport. He also used the lumbering equipment to demolish houses for the then new A4 Great West Road out of London before moving on to steam rollers for the construction of Britain’s ever-burgeoning road system.
Today, people of all ages can delight in admiring preserved steam plough engines, many formerly rusting hulks, but to hear from one of the men who made them work - and witnessed their birth and near death - is rare. ‘A Life With Steam’ includes rare archive pictures of steam ploughing and rural life of the period, as well as glorious colour pictures of the steam plough engines as they are today.
‘A Life With Steam’ is published by Finial Publishing on behalf of the Buxworth Steam Group, with the assistance of the Steam Plough Club and the National Traction Engine Trust.

 

General enquiries or comments to Finial Publishing can be sent to mail@finial.co.uk


Finial Publishing Home Page

The magazines we have produced

Some of the books we have produced

Who we are and where you can contact us