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John Jackson was born in 1929 in rural Devon, England, close to where he lives today. He is an established author, lawyer, businessman and political and constitutional campaigner, but he is probably still best known as one of the founders, and former chairman, of the Countryside Alliance.
First published in 1979, a welcome reissue of John Jackson’s description of life on a Kent small-holding. With his wife and three children (all more or less enthusiastic about the move), they buy a house high in the North Kent Weald. Almost immediately the animals started arriving revealing the family’s genius for naming them. They didn’t need to do the self-sufficiency thing, they wanted to and this account is all the more believable as we read of just as many successes as failures. The family manages to balance the financial side of farming with care and good management; they don’t always manage to keep the animals under control, their decision to breed animals like Jacobs sheep that are able to jump and evade fencing don’t make things easy. Why do we still not use odd corners of the land for crops and grazing as the Jacksons did, why not run sheep with a lone horse at pasture, a mutually beneficial practice, small ways that make the most of the land, this is an enjoyable read that we can still learn from. A 'Piece of Passion' from the author... 'This book tells a tale of how a family - my family - living in a sliver of countryside in Kent in London's commuter belt, came over some ten years, to make itself, in its 'spare time' self sufficient in its requirements for milk, meat, eggs, vegetables and some fruit.My then wife Ann and I had each grown up in the countryside and we had missed the connection with the land we had known then. As child, I had lived in a former fisherman's cottage in Dorset when self sufficiency was a matter of necessity. My father was on the dole, of which there was not much in the 1930's, and my mother was in poor health. We lived on what we could grow or forage and if the tide was right what we could get out of the sea. I remember how a conger eel caught by my father would provide us with fish cakes for a week! But the book is also about more than the activities of a family and their animals. It is an attempt to make a small statement about people's relationship with the land they live on and the importance of that relationship. I have long believed that the 'health' of a nation is better and its communities and their cultures stronger, the more it cleaves and values the land it lives on.' Like for Like Reading Spotted Pigs & Green Tomatoes: A Year in the Life of Our Farm, Rosie Boycott Tales of the Country, Brian Viner
DB Cargo emerged from the government's sell-off of the rail freight sector in the mid-1990s. It has gone through many changes of name and branding since those early post-privatisation days. Like other companies, it has suffered from the dramatic downturn in coal movement by rail and there are undoubtedly uncertain times ahead. It still claims, however, to be the UK's largest provider of rail freight services despite increasing competition from both road and other rail freight operators. Diesel and electric locos of classes 60, 66, 67, 90 and, occasionally, 92 all see regular service today. Twenty years on, John Jackson looks at both the large loco fleet at DB Cargo's disposal today and the variety of traffic it continues to handle. As well as being a major player in the rail freight sector, DB Cargo also provide locos for passenger duties such as Scottish sleeper services, charters and as hauliers for the Royal Family. The full range of DB Cargo locos is covered in this book.
How many times have we heard the phrase `they don't make them like they used to'? Whatever the merits or otherwise of applying such a comment to UK railway locomotives, the fact remains that there are many longstanding survivors from our railway past. Of course, we all know of the role played by preserved railways in the UK; they have secured a place in history for heritage diesel and electric locos as well as many steam examples. But a number of ageing locomotive classes still remain on rail operators' books. Many are over half a century old. A quick tally suggests at least fourteen classes and, more importantly, between 100 and 200 individual examples remain on the network. They continue to attract more than their fair share of interest, particularly among the nostalgia enthusiast market. Yes, some are sidelined but many still see day-to-day service in the hands of mainstream operators. These locos are `50 not out', and the level of variety is perhaps surprising. This book celebrates some of those that have passed their half century and continue to work passenger or freight services.
Most people, rail enthusiasts or not, have heard of steam locomotive names such as Flying Scotsmanand Mallard. A multitude of loco names were inspired by the Royal Family and other famous people; famous buildings such as castles, halls and manors; countries of the British Empire and so on. The list and variety of names applied seemed endless. Today the railway is a very different place. The variety of train operators, both past and present, means there is no universal code of practice as to whether names are carried. Nevertheless, a glance through a list of today's locos and units reveals a considerable number and variety of names applied. This book takes a look at around 100 of those names and digs a little deeper to come up with the stories behind them, accompanied by a close-up of the nameplate and a shot of the loco or unit in action.