Railways & Maps!
Hello, I’m Tony Thorndike and welcome to my GOLFA PRESS website!
I have two absorbing hobbies: railways and cartography. Now I am retired I can indulge in them to my heart’s content.
I have been a volunteer guard on the delightful Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway in mid-Wales for many happy years. The railway provides the clue for “Golfa”: it is the name of the mile-long, steep, incline trains have to climb after leaving our Welshpool station at Raven Square.Buy ‘Railway Maps: By & For The Industry’
My fascination with maps also goes back in time. I am a member of the British Cartographic Society and the Charles Close Society (for the study of Ordnance Survey Maps) and take an active role in their activities.
In 2020 I decided to combined the two and write a book on railway maps of the British Isles. While work continues on that substantial project, I decided to self-publish one of the chapters, ‘Professionals’. In doing so, I set up Golfa Press.
Suitably expanded and edited, it is entitled ‘Railway Maps. By and For The Industry’.
What is it about? It identifies, analyses and discusses maps produced over 150 years by cartographers either working in, or associated with in some way or the other, the railway industry, for use by the industry. It therefore excludes maps produced for the public for information or advertising purposes, whether by railway company public relations departments or commercial publishers.
“Professional” maps have become very popular with those with a close interest in the railways of Great Britain, their history, development and evolution. A completely new market has in the process opened up, paralleling industry users. They are eminently collectable.
There are four categories of “Professional” maps:
Early maps of Zachary Macaulay, John Airey and the Railway Clearing House, from the early 1850’s
Maps produced by the railway companies such as the Midland Railway and Great Wester Railway for internal use.
Track-level maps which emerged in the 1980’s onwards, pioneered by Quail Maps and TRACKatlas.
Contemporaneous (non-historical) atlases covering the current British network.