All posts by Roz Best

The Automotor Journal

Automotor Journal2Presently, with kind help of the IMechE Information and Library Service, we’re focussing our attention on digitising editions of The Automotor Journal.

The  first volume of ‘The Automotor and Horseless Vehicle Journal’ was published in 1896. Monthly journals were published until April 1902 when similarly to The Engineer and Engineering publications, weekly journals were produced as ‘The Automotor Journal’.

These journals are rich with informative and factual literature, going into extraordinary detail into 21st century motor vehicle, cycle and locomotive history.

Please keep checking back to our archives on a regular basis for more additions.

Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway – Extended Skegness Railway will open with ‘if it moves -we’ll run it’ theme

Steam locomotive Jurassic with historic rolling stock in Walls Lane station on the LCLR (image: Dave Enefer/LCLR)


Regular train services, including some operated by steam, will begin on Sunday 27th May 2018, over the extension completed during the winter months to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway in the Skegness Water Leisure Park. The line has been extended by 150 metres beside the Skegness Aerodrome. The terminus run-round loop at South Loop has been moved to this new point (with 50 metres of the original track being relaid), with provision made for the construction of the line’s second station at some time in the future.

Services will continue to operate from Walls Lane station, close to the new Reception Building of the Water Leisure Park in Walls Lane, Ingoldmells. (The Park’s Reception Building was opened last year by HRH The Princess Royal, after her visit to the Railway to inspect its progress and to see how the Water Leisure Park is leading the way in the development of tourism in Skegness).

The extension has been built by volunteers using rail sourced from a Ministry of Defence depot near Carlisle, laid on former London Underground sleepers, secured with track bolts acquired from the famous Welsh narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway. The line is gradually being relaid with similar sleepers, heavier rail and new ballast. Much has been completed throughout the winter and early Spring – despite the cold and inclement weather.

“A new section of passenger railway opening in Lincolnshire is a rare and special occasion” said the Railway’s spokesman, John Chappell. “We will keep fares at £1 return, even on days when we are using our steam locomotive Jurassic. That surely makes us the best value heritage railway anywhere in the British Isles”.

On Sunday 27th May, it’s intended to use Jurassic on after-lunch services and to operate the line’s classic Simplex diesels – built to a design based on those produced for the World War One battlefield lines and for Lincolnshire’s potato railways, along with as much of the historic rolling stock as we can. Trains will run from 11.00 to just before 4 pm.

“The railway is home to a historically significant collection of vehicles from the trench railways of the World War One battlefields, and we will demonstrate as many as possible,” John added. “The completion of the extension, the upgrading of the track and rolling stock are all great achievements by our increasing band of volunteer workers. Some travel from as far away as Wiltshire, Lancashire and the East Riding to work on the LCLR”.


S = Steam after lunch; D = Diesel.


Sunday 27th Open Day S


Saturday 9th: Skegness Water Leisure Park Caravan Show. Rides will be free D


Saturday 21st D
Saturday 28th D


Wednesday 1st D
Saturday 4th S
Wednesday 8th D
Saturday 11th S

Wednesday 15th D
Saturday 18th S
Wednesday 22nd D

Bank Holiday weekend Saturday 25th S
Bank Holiday Sunday 26th S
Wednesday 29th D


Saturday 1st D (not S as originally publicised)
Saturday 15th S
Sunday 16th Skegness Water Leisure Park Classic Car Show S

Full details on the Jurassic story and the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway on

Amazing Railways with a “Pie and Pea Supper”

Railway Oddities, colourThe Friends of Pudsey Roller are once again presenting a fascinating evening event with their traditional “Transport and Steam” theme – this time named ‘Amazing Railways and their Trains!’ presented by Derek Rayner. The group’s ever popular ‘Pie and Pea Supper’will be accompanied by a series of short films on the unusual, quirky and fascinating railway operations ever built in the UK  and around the world – perfect for railway enthusiasts and one not to be missed.

The event is a ticket only event commencing on Thursday 3rd May 2018 at 7.45pm at Farsley Liberal Club and details on how to book and who to contact are detailed on the poster above.

The Friends of Pudsey Roller are a dedicated group, united in the passion to see the famed steam roller restored back to working condition again. The organisation meets twice a year to continue the successful fundraising ‘Pie and Pea Suppers’ for the project to a “Transport and Steam” theme.  As always, money raised from ticket sales will go towards the cost of food, and the rest to the Pudsey Roller funding. There is usually a raffle held in addition to the evening’s entertainment and the Liberal Club has its own licensed bar.


Registering with Grace’s Guide – Updates April 2018

Book Study 2

We are introducing a small charge to access and view our digitized pdf files.

This month we are updating the way you’ll be able to view and download our digital material so we can continue to digitize and publish invaluable historical publications.

Presently, to view our digitized pdfs you are required to sign in and become a member of Grace’s Guide, but as from 16th April 2018 in addition to this, we will also be introducing a small charge to view this material.

Why are we changing the way you will be able to access digital publications on Grace’s Guide?

This is something we have been putting off for as long as we can, but due to unavoidable costs for the upkeep of Grace’s Guide, we are now asking our members for a small cost to access our digitized material. The price we’re asking won’t only essentially contribute to the administration and technical cost of Grace’s Guide, but will also enable our small team to continue to increase the amount of information published.

How much will I have to pay to access pdfs on Grace’s Guide?

There are three different payment options to choose from once you’ve registered with us.

These options are as follows:

5 pdf files for £4.95

25 pdf files for £12.95

60 pdf files for £24.95

Once you’ve selected and paid for your payment option, you can download pdfs up to your specified limit at anytime within the following three month period. After three months your credits will automatically expire, but if you reach your download limit before your three months are up, you’ll be able to pay for more pdfs anytime. To view your download status, refer to your ‘Account Status’ on the drop-down menu at the top-right of the page where you’d normally log-in.

Once I’ve viewed/ downloaded a pdf, will I be charged again if I re-visit it next time I login?

No, your pdf download limit will not be affected if you view the same pdf more than once. Your pdf download limit counts every new pdf you ever view, so you will technically only ever pay to view it once, then you can come back to the same file freely anytime.

All pdf files downloaded are free for you to store and print for you own personal use, but please be aware you are not licensed to share or resell all or any part of them.

If you have any problems or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form, or use the problem form to raise an issue.

Thank-you for all your on-going support.

Restoration Success in Tasmania

Marshall 2

Last year we were contacted by the St Helens Lions Club of Tasmania asking for advice on the restoration of a Marshall traction engine. With no ID number or clues to it’s original appearance, this engine being one of only two left in the Southern Hemisphere, became part of the Lions Centennial Project.

Marshall 1Originally used at a local sawmills – photo taken March 2017.

Marshall 3 Engine after undercoat and ready to be painted -  photo taken June 2017.

Marshall 4

Marshall Mayor


Now, and after a year’s hard work it sits proudly outside the local history room and information centre. On Friday 16th March the Mayor of St Helens cut the ribbon and uncovered the plaque that has been put in place to commemorate the fantastic work done to bring the engine back to it’s former glory.

Although some areas of it’s working life remains a mystery, it’s a lovely thought to know that a piece of Gainsborough industrial history has not only survived, but been lovingly restored on the other side of the world from where it originated.


Women in Engineering

A generation of men fighting for their country, left a large gap in the British workforce and economy. Over a million British women stepped up to the challenge and took the chance to support their country by signing up for work in munitions factories, TNT manufacturing, or a civil service post.

Hunslet Engine Co , Stuart Turner and Co  and William Beardmore and Co were a few out of hundreds of companies  listed on Grace’s Guide, that took on women workers during the Great War, to relieve manufacturing and production demands.

Below is a gallery of photographs showing ‘Girl Workers in a William Beardmore and Co Munitions Factory’  from The Engineer journal September 3rd 1915. Read more in the editorial titled “The Employment of Women in Engineering Workshops” – September 03rd 1915, p 228.

"...Sir William Beardmore has looked far ahead and has treated the subject in a broad and statesmanlike manner. He has, in conjunction with his able staff, provided not only for the splendid output which the women workers are producing, but also for the creature comforts of his women workers, grasping the fact that enthusiasm, happiness and health are essential as a combination. These three together, made possible by the generous attitude of the firm, have largely helped toward the excellent results, of which Messrs. Beardmore may well be proud"

"The Employment of Women in Engineering Workshops" - September 03rd 1915, Editorial Article, p 228. 

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The sudden change in the woman’s role from a gentle domestic post in the home to occupations in the  loud, dirty and often dangerous factories and workplaces, stirred a mixture of worry and sense of caution with some , but with others, high spirits and positivity with a focus on winning the war. The founding of The Women’s Engineering Society in 1919 is just one example of an outcome founded from the effects of war and perhaps started to demonstrate the relaxing attitudes towards women’s capabilities in a male dominant industry.

“…It needs but the proper organisation to make the employment of women in engineering workshops during the stress of war demands a complete success, and it means the solution of the problem that faces us. In ordinary times such a change would not be contemplated, but these are not ordinary times, and, to put it bluntly, in order to end the war speedily women must be employed.”

“The Employment of Women in Engineering Workshops” - August 20th 1915, Editorial Article, p 181.

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“The Employment of Women on Munitions of War”, p 123

…it must be admitted on every side that taking it all round the dilution of skilled labour by women workers has been an unqualified success. The women have proved themselves wonderfully apt pupils, and though there are naturally variations in their mental as well as their physical capacities, yet the outputs which have been attained have been, on the average astonishingly good – much better, in fact, than even the staunchest supporters if the employment of women had ventured to predict.

“Women in Workshops”, p 133.

…”The dilution of labour in a very real sense is winning the war, and the more fully this fact is appreciated the greater will be our output and the sooner the end will come. Even now there are many employers who look askance at women workers. They cannot break away from old feelings and old traditions. They think women must be a nuisance in the shop and that their output will be low and the number of “wasters” high. That view must be broken down…”

Abstracts from Editorials in The Engineer Journal February 11th 1916.

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“The manner in which women have adopted themselves to the needs of the nation will never be forgotten. In the lighter shell shops, and even in those turning out quite heavy projectiles, they have worked, and are continuing to do so, as if it were their natural occupation.”

“Women Workers” – January 5th, 1917, Editorial Article, p 4.

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How you can support Grace’s Guide

10th Anniversary  Banner

As a non-profit organisation, we rely wholly on the generosity of the people who appreciate and support the project. Without donations and sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible to publish the amount of historical content we do everyday.

There are many costs we have to inccur to keep Grace’s Guide online, from the running of the website, to the digital software and technology we invest in to reproduce digitized publications.

If you enjoy using Grace’s Guide and would like to see it continue,        please consider donating to us.

Whatever you can afford to give will make a great difference and will go straight to the upkeep of the website and maintenance of the archives. Read more on how your donations help us on our Support Page.

Every day we receive numerous emails with written contributions or photographs to add to our growing digital library of Britain’s industrial past. Many of you also donate important publications, magazines and specialised publications through the post, which we are always so grateful to receive.

This year we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and we hope to continue going for many years to come.

Thank-you for your continued support.

‘Jurassic’ to Steam on Passenger Trains for Classic Car and Bike Show

Skegness Water Leisure Park, Sunday 17th September 2017

IMG_8959“Jurassic” at head of a two coach train seen in our wooded section returning to Walls Lane station. 19/8/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR)

Jurassic, the elegant and historic steam locomotive on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway, is planned to go back into service to pull its first public passenger trains in more than 30 years on Sunday 17th September 2017, in connection with the “Classic Wheels” event, the Classic Car & Bike Show, at the Skegness Water Leisure Park.

The Show will raise funds for the Skegness Lifeboat Station and the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance. Entrance will be £2. Train fares of £1 return and donations will go towards the upkeep of the line’s historically-significant collection, much of which is also owned by a charitable trust.

Jurassic is planned to steam on the LCLR’s tracks adjacent to the Show’s venue in the Park, in Walls Lane, Ingoldmells, PE25 1JF. Trains will run from 11.00 to 3.40 pm, with some initial services being operated by or in conjunction with one of the LCLR’s fleet of historic Motor Rail “Simplex” diesels, the design of which dates back to the First World War.

The third annual “Classic Wheels” event will feature

• Private Classic Car Collection displays
• Club displays
• Trophies and Awards
• Classic Motor Cycles
• Trade Stalls
• Refreshments and Bouncy Castle

The historic locomotive has been restored to working order by volunteers from the charitable trust which owns it, financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and donations. The 114-year old locomotive, has successfully operated three days of trial trains, as the restoration neared completion. Work to repair the boiler, smokebox and firebox was contracted out to the North Norfolk Railway”s workshops at Weybourne near Sheringham and some other jobs were contracted to local firms and specialist suppliers.

IMG_4864The boiler returns from the North Norfolk Railway works where it was refurbished, and is carefully lowered into place in the locomotive frames by crane. 25/1/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR)

IMG_4953The team look relieved after the boiler is successfully reinstalled in the frames. 25/1/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR)

She was built in 1903 in Bristol by Peckett and Sons Ltd., for the quarries and cement works of Kaye and Company in Southam, in Warwickshire, together with similar locomotives named after prehistoric geological periods.

Jurassic runs on tracks just two feet wide, which made her a perfect fit for the rails of the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway, who bought her in 1961 to help operate their services linking the bus terminus at Humberston, near Cleethorpes, with the local beach and holiday camp. When that location closed in 1985, she was moved into store and then to the LCLR’s new location in the Skegness Water Leisure Park, close to Butlins, Ingoldmells, north of Skegness. The line reopened to passengers in 2009, since when the historical significance of its unique collection of rails, locomotives, carriages and wagons from the trench railways of World War One and industry and farms in rural England has become more widely recognised.

In 2016, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Jurassic’s charitable trust, £43,000 for her restoration and for interpretation of her significance to Britain’s economic and transport history.

The first task was to dismantle the locomotive, so that the boiler and firebox could be sent to the North Norfolk Railway.

_MG_6055The safety valves are refitted to the locomotive by Richard Shepherd (L) and Paul Walkinshaw (R) 3/5/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR).

Once these repaired “vital organs” were returned to Lincolnshire, they could be reunited with Jurassic’s frames. Her long elegant chimney has been put back in place; the injectors (which allow cold water to be transferred to the boiler, to produce steam) have been repaired and refitted, as has the connecting pipework for steam and water. The gauge glasses (which show how much water is in the boiler); the regulator (which governs speed); the reversing lever (which controls the direction of travel) and associated fittings, have all been refitted and tested._MG_6152The locomotive has its first test steaming prior to the refitting of the cab and water tank with LCLR engineer Paul Walkinshaw.  31/5/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR)

The large cab (which can accommodate four adults, including the driver and fireman) has been sand blasted to remove 114 years of accumulated soot, grease and grime; the saddletank (which carries reserves of cold water) has been repaired and put back in place. The loco’s insulation, boiler cladding, a new whistle, brass dome cover and other fittings which replace originals stolen several years ago, have all been fitted.

The careful repainting of the whole locomotive – red for the buffer beams, and Middle Brunswick Green for the cab exterior, saddletank and cladding; black for the chimney, smokebox and running boards, has been complemented by lining out in black and gold, producing a strikingly beautiful finish.

Meanwhile, work continues to extend the LCLR by approximately 200 yards, to include a new run-round loop, which will accommodate Jurassic more readily and enable longer trains to be operated. It’s hoped this will be completed in time for the 2018 season.

Railway spokesman, John Chappell, said: “We’re thrilled that visitors to the third annual Classic Car and Bike Show should be able to take a steam train ride with Jurassic – truly a case of ‘Classic Wheels’.”

IMG_8808-2“Jurassic” and two coach train at Walls Lane station (Skegness Water Leisure Park) following its successful performance on the one coach train earlier in day.  2/8/17 (© Dave Enefer/LCLR)

“Jurassic has been attracting visitors to the railway from throughout the UK, many of whom might otherwise not have been aware of the many attractions of Skegness and our hope now is that she can operate many of the Railway’s services in 2018”.

Full details on the Jurassic story and the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway on

Bell Rock Lighthouse: Stevenson’s Greatest Work


Every beautifully rugged coastline holds stories of the past and keeps secrets rich with hidden heritage. Shrouded in legend, Inchcape or ‘Bell Rock’ is no exception.

Legend tells the reef of the coast off Angus, Scotland, was so named ‘Bell Rock’ when an Abbot of Arbroath attempted to secure a warning bell to ward off unsuspecting sailors from the dangers hidden in the waves. The bell would ring in storms and high winds, warning seamen from the hazardous reef. Sir Ralph the Rover was a Dutch sea-pirate who envied the fame Abbot had gained from his good work. His desire was to pillage vessels along the coast, and so to put them in more danger and uncertainty he stole the bell, plunging the dangerous rocks once again into silent exposure. Little did Rover know he had sealed his own fate in doing so. One day he too became a victim of the rocks when his vessel crashed into them in the midst of a storm.

The poet Robert Southey captured the legend in a beautiful poem published in 1802. It was published in The Engineer on this day (16th May) back in 1879, and described “as narrated with exquisite grace and graphic power”:

imInchCape Rock Poem

The warning bell referred to in the poem caused the name ‘Inchcape Rock’ to fall into disuse, and become substituted with ‘Bell Rock’, a name chosen for the lighthouse that was to be built there.

Now renowned as the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse, Bell Rock (or Inchcape) Lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson between 1807-1810. It stands in the North Sea, 11 miles east of the Firth of Tay, and watches over Scotland’s wild coast of Angus.

Bell Rock was underwater most of the day with a few hours exception at low tide. Stevenson needed to produce a design that would withstand the wildest of storms and roughest ocean waves, but simultaneously shelter the men working on the structure during the fairer months of the year. Perhaps this remarkable work that’s survived 200 years without adaptation or replacement played a part in it eventually being hailed one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.

Becoming a Member of Grace’s Guide

Book Study 2We’ve made a few changes to the way you view our digitised publications.

Now to view any of our digital pdf files, you will be prompted to register with Grace’s Guide to continue viewing the content. Registering will include entering a few personal details.

Once registered, you will be able to log in and continue to read our digital journals, and next time you visit simply log in again to view the pdfs.

This does not apply to the majority of pages and material we have on the site – only the journals we have digitised and made available in pdf format. So you won’t have to register if you’re simply browsing through the company/ biography pages we have.

Why do I have to register to view the pdfs?

We’re asking readers to register to view the pdf files simply to keep a track on which digitised journals/ documents are being found and used. This better helps us understand how to improve and develop the website by analysing which digital journals are being read or downloaded and how frequently they’re being viewed.

Why is Grace’s Guide collecting my details?

When you register to become a member of Grace’s Guide for the first time, you will be asked to enter you name, surname and country of origin.  We use this information to communicate with you when we send you your registration email for example, and for us to analyse the scope of our project.

We will never share your details with a third party or send you unnecessary advertising or unwanted mail.

Every month, Grace’s Guide attracts half a million page views – and every day, around 4,000 visitors. Every day our team of volunteers works hard to update the site so that every time you log in, there is more historical information to discover.

If you have any problems or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form, or use the problem form to raise an issue.

Thank-you for all your support.