the previously untold story of the MNA, an enigmatic organisation dedicated to capturing the final years of British main line steam railway operation on film, is available in a stunning four-volume boxed set, featuring the finest examples of the railway photographer's art, seen through the lenses of some of the best-ever exponents of that art.
A previous publication written and produced by the MNA
this is the first fully comprehensive record of their activities in those halcyon days, told through words and pictures reflecting the last few years of British Railways steam operation.
It is the story of the MNA, that illustrious band of steam railway photographers from the 1960s. They were well known for their engine cleaning exploits between 1965 and 1968 when hundreds of locomotives received their attention. But there were so many other lesser-known activities that went on behind the scenes in an effort to obtain the illusive master shot, many of those exploits are recorded here for the first time.
Covering the period from the early days of the MNA through to 1968, ‘Never Again’ will include such giants as the Stanier and Gresley Pacifics, well-known passenger classes such as Jubilees, Castles, and Manors, and of course V2s on the Waverley route.
Lavishly illustrated with over 1,000 pictures, on top-quality art paper running to over 1,000 pages in four volumes, this book is a must-have purchase as the fiftieth anniversary of the end of British Railways steam operation approaches.
The chapters of ‘Never Again’ reflect the enormous spread of the MNA’s activities, geographically and otherwise.
‘Midland Roots’ reflects the origins of the core members, including some unique pictures of lesser-known routes in the Midlands.
‘A Day at Beattock’ tells the incredible but true story of how two of our number started the weekend aiming for a day’s photography on Beattock bank and ended it with a footplate ride at 98mph up the Trent Valley on 46240 City of Coventry shortly before that locomotive was withdrawn in 1964.
Set in amongst the grandeur of the Cheviot Hills, ‘The Waverley Route’ was the spiritual home of the MNA. Its wild and unpredictable weather was as much the attraction as was the challenge to capture on film the steam locomotive hard at work against the grade climbing to Whitrope summit, and this section of 'Never Again' describes the group’s endeavours in full detail.
There are chapters covering engine cleaning, chasing trains on foot or by car, and the sometimes unorthodox methods which the MNA employed in order to obtain that ever-elusive master shot.
All areas of the country which still had steam in the mid-1960s are covered, particularly Scotland, Wales, the North East, the North West, and the Southern.
There are evocative cameos of the last days of such idiosyncratic lines as the Somerset & Dorset and the Cromford & High Peak, and of the final days of the iconic locomotive classes including the Duchesses and the Gresley pacifics.
The list goes on………over 20 chapters, plus some smaller glimpses of a long-vanished world.
And, last but by no means least, personal recollections of the group themselves, making this an invaluable social history as well as a record of the last years of British steam operation.
Preview the Book
Below are short excerpts from all four volumes. Simply click on one of the front covers to view a sample of the content inside. If you're using a tablet, please rotate your device to landscape view.
Please view on a larger screen/device to preview the inside of each volume.
(Please note, these are previews only, and do not represent the actual quality of the book itself. The text and images will be printed in high resolution.)
‘Never Again - The Complete Works’ is now sold out.
We are considering a reprint; but we need to gauge the potential demand for this. If you would be interested in purchasing a set in the event of a reprint, please let us know by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a number of copies of individual volumes (Volumes 2 and 4 only) available.
Details of how to obtain these will be posted on the ‘latest news’ page of this website.