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The last issue of Cumbrian Railways was printed by a different printer, Elgar Books. This is a relatively new imprint and was set up by an ex-employee of Amadeus. As is usual, I go out regularly to a number of printers to check on what is available in the market with regard to price and quality and this time round, Elgar Books offered us a very good price, well below what we had been paying up until now. Price is not the only determining factor, though it is increasingly more important, but I have to be sure of maintaining the best quality I can for the finished product. For as long as I can remember, paper prices have been relatively stable, with minimal increases over this time. However, many factors have now come into play and so the cost of the paper is now on a sharp increase. A lot of energy goes into the production of paper and we are all aware of the dramatic increase in price we have all been hit with. Supply problems have also been a factor. The paper used for printing Cumbrian Railways is imported, produced either in the European Union or in China and their home markets have burgeoned following two years of relative inactivity. Both these sources of supply have also been hit with large increases in transport costs — container costs have increased ten-fold since 2017 and has also had an impact on prices. The well-known shortage of HGV drivers in Europe has also been a factor. Demand for raw pulp has seen a wide increase, which is again affecting prices.

All this means that we are having to keep a close eye on rising costs and mitigating against them where possible. The increase in subscription announced at the last Annual General Meeting will go towards helping us to control costs but other financial pressures, the marked increase in postage being one, have also to be considered.

The separation of the County of Cumbria continues and at the recent local elections, governing bodies for both of the new unitary authorities were elected. The two new areas of Cumberland and of Westmorland & Furness will come into being officially on the 1st April 2023. As already mentioned, this will have no effect on the name of our illustrious Association.

A number of times I have had to seek images for the Journal from a range of sources and one of the more important ones is the Cumbria Image Bank, operated by Carlisle Library. For many years I have dealt with Stephen White, the Chief Librarian, who was always very helpful and provided me with high resolutions from the collection for our use. Since Stephen’s retirement, the Image Bank has come under the care of Carolyn White and Carla Horton and both have continued to provide a wonderful service. My thanks to both of them for their help in getting copies of some of the gems from the vast collection of photographs contained in the Image Bank. I can recommend that this source should be looked at — you never know what you might just find tucked away within the hundreds of images they hold. A look at the website at will be well rewarded!

I have spoken many times about the wonderful help I get with preparing Cumbrian Railways and the team of members who help process the material ready for publication. In this issue we have an article written, illustrated and even typeset by Allan Jones. All I had to do was to import it into the master copy of the Journal. This has been a great help and I hope this can continue with further articles. Allan has also been doing the hard work in getting the Lockdown Challenge digests ready for everyone to benefit from and his work will continue with the new Mystery Photograph Challenge. Our thanks to him for his hard work.

Audience participation is loved very much by those producing television programmes and increasingly the news reports we see in our living rooms each evening, the opinions of the ‘man (or woman) in the street’ forms a great part of the content. I have always thought that this was not always a good thing as inevitably we get an equal number of people interviewed with opposing views of a topic, thus maintaining a balance of coverage. However, with a publication, this is not the case and when the people (members) speak, what they have to say is important. Whether adding to a topic or correcting a small point in an article, we all benefit from it and a healthy post bag shows an engaged readership. In this issue, you will see that more than the usual space has been taken up with reactions to previous issues and this is all to the good.

Finally, Ian Lydiatt, our Members’ Meeting Organiser, spotted a new book that will be of interest to our members. Entitled “Railways in Cumbria”, it is by David Spaven, who gave a talk at one of our meetings. David writes in his introduction . . . "and the region is eminently well-served by the publications of the estimable Cumbrian Railways Association" — a very large feather in our collective caps. Howard Quayle has written a review of the book for us and you’ll see it within these pages.

EditorialMike Peascod98
In My ViewDavid Gibson99
Carriages of the Maryport & Carlisle RailwayAllan Jones100
Egremont School trains over the former WCERGraham Worsnop with help from Stephen Landles and Mike Powell104
School Train MemoriesMike Powell108
Off the Beaten Track; Two former railway premisesAndrew Naylor109
Extracts from the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald for 1920 and 1921Jeremy Godwin110
Rationalisation and Re-signalling of the WCML; Part 7 — Penrith No 1Mike Norris111
A Personal View of the Resignalling of the WCMLKen Harper124
Pertinant Paragraphs; References to Cumbrian Railways in The Railway Magazine Part 20 — 1910Barry Stephenson128
Cumbrian Industrials; An Observation at WhitehavenPeter Holmes130
A Ninth Colour-Rail JourneyPaul Chancellor132
Locomotives shipped along Carlisle Canal: an American survivorAndrew Naylor134
The Electronic TelegraphDavid Hunter136
Book Review — Railways in Cumbria: A Snapshot from the Fifties and SixtiesHoward Quayle137
Cumbrian Railways TodayJohn Peel138
Letters: Rationalisation & Re-signalling of the WCML. Part 1 — Introduction; Rationalisation & Re-signalling of the WCML. Part 6 — Penrith No 2; Photograph at Glasson Halt; Sentinel Steam Railcars and the Silloth and Port Carlisle Lines; Canadian Connections; Listed Cumbrian Structures of Railway Interest140
Aw Maks o’ SpecialsJohn Peel142

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