People and places of Middleton
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E-books by Harold Philbin
(Electronic books on disc in PDF format)

All discs are priced at £9.99 and include postage and packing.

Beautiful Britain....The Scenery and the Splendours of the United Kingdom

The Thames beginning its long journey This book is an electronic copy of an original book that was authorised by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1894. The ancient book was rediscovered in 2002, "The Golden Jubilee Year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As the book was in very poor condition, it was decided to use modern technology to make this copy. There was no such technology available in the Victorian era and we should give full credit to the wonderful work of an unknown photographer and the magnificent descriptive words of an anonymous writer.

I have decided to interfere as little as possible with the wonderful, poetical text, written in the classical manner of Victorian times by that unknown master of the pen, but I have only altered it sufficiently to make it understood a little more easily.
Harold Philbin
Click here for a shortened sample of this book


The Golden Age of Steam

Louis Armstrong and Harold Philbin, courtesy of Solo International The closing down of the newly Nationalised Bacup Branch Lines by British Rail, and the impact it made upon the lives of the men of the former L.M.S. Railway Company and their families. Specialist information and observations carefully recorded over many years have finally revealed the extent of the asset stripping policies of successive rail managements. The conclusion being that it all began here in The Rossendale Valley as far back as 1947 with the experimental closure of the Bacup to Rochdale Branch Line.

But the crucial question, remaining unanswered by any government source is, "Who was really responsible for the destruction of our Railways; and the appropriation of their enormous assets and uncountable subsidies, and no it was most certainly not the obvious Dr.Beeching." The title Premium Men was the name given by the men of Bacup Locomotive Shed to the Usurpers. They were an invading force of inexperienced, redundant officers returning from the armed forces, and young men straight from college, with very little knowledge of the positions they were about to take up on all of our nationalised industries.

This collection of short stories concerns my path of from fourteen years of age, working in the filthy Card-room of India Mill Bacup to the most wonderful job in the world at that time, fireman on a real, live Steam Locomotive.
Harold Philbin


My Princess

The Princess Anne This wonderful, but most unfortunate English, experimental locomotive number 6202 was "The Turbomotive". She was built about 1936 and completely destroyed in the horrific rail crash at Harrow and Wealdstone in 1952. Her life and death photographs are illustrated in the book "My Princess" and are now available here on disc.

I did have the privilege of actually working with her on an express freight train, on the main line from out of Yorkshire into Moston Sidings in Manchester in 1947, this being only a few years from her final destruction, but in those few very short years she suffered a slight accident, just previous to the final one in 1952 at Harrow and Wealdstone Station, where a great many innocent lives were ended or destroyed. That time, only one turbine was damaged, but British Rail removed the surviving one, and by using scrap material converted her to an ordinary run of the mill Steam Engine, but they were all threatened with being shamefully scrapped or sold at scrap value within a few more years.
Harold Philbin


Rail Revelations

Police Dog Storm, courtesy of Solo International Short stories about life in the post war British Transport Police and the thieving of property, as Traffic and materials were stolen from an easy target, the broken down neglected rail network. The stories flow from the contentment of life in the valley to the big City, in a bid to evade redundancy, in the form of the latest and the worst of all the intruders Dr Richard Beeching.

The British Transport Police Force, despite being staffed by many of the same redundant Army Officers or even perhaps because it was, provided even greater opportunities to me. The rail knowledge gleaned from those men of the Branch Lines would be invaluable, to the new career as a police officer in that force. So too would the art of lip reading, as practised in the card room of India Mill.

Expert tuition and guidance from Constable Peter Cain, Sergeant Harry Bailey and Chief Inspector Terry Shelton, would lead to the highest and most responsible position in the land, Guardian of Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince Andrew, HRH Prince Edward and HRH Princess Anne. Teaming up with the legendary Police Dog Storm would lead to the arrest of two murderers and over one thousand thieves.
Harold Philbin



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