The Ladybird Book of Everything

Here is a book that will give pleasure to locomotive enthusiasts of all ages.

Illustrated in full-colour are 48 British Railway locomotives which have been specially selected to show the most interesting types at present operating. These include many of the latest diesel and electric locomotives.

Firts published in 1958

1958? I found this book at my folks, it was mine when I was wee. And it is mine again, with a whole rake of Ladybird books in fact. I love the illustrations, the plain talking used to communicate ideas and concepts to a younger audience without being patronising or dumbing it down.
This is an important point. Writing and broadcasting being aimed at the lowest common denominator rather than encouraging the general standard to rise up up to meet a finer, more articulate level of communication and understanding.
I can forsee a time when magazines and newspapers are written in txt spk, and when television news changes it’s format to that of showing video footage of an event accompanied by the presenter merely shouting “This thing is baaaaad!” or “This thing is gooood!” just in case the footage is ambiguous. Actually that wouldn’t be any worse that the current trend of talking endless bollocks about a subject, most of which is opinion and padding. What happened to giving us just the hard facts?
It’s as bad as narrators recapping documentaries after ad breaks. I mean it’s only been four minutes at most, I can remember feeding dolphins in 1971, I think I can pick up the thread again after four minutes, even though I’ve spend some precious and apparently rare mental energy on making a cup of tea.
Stupid bastards.

1958? I’m sure mine’s a reprint, mid sixties at least. I’m not as old as steam trains. Am I?

28 thoughts on “The Ladybird Book of Everything

  1. That documentary recap thing does my nut in. An hour long programme that’s maybe 35 minutes of actual content. Pish.

    On a happier note, past couple of nights I’ve seen a wee puffer go past on the Fife Circle. Marvellous.

  2. Ladybird books,fine things from an age past,better ? An oldie like myself might think so. Train travel has something evocotive about it, even now. I’ll be travelling from Carlisle to LochAilort in a few weeks,letting the train take the strain as they used to say,getting quite giddy about it.

  3. You’ve done it now – picked a subject that makes me madder than jacket hoods! I’ll simply say that I agree with all of the above. I’ll try and think of something useful and/or witty to say whilst I look for my soapbox and megaphone.

    On the up side, my children love reading proper books (including their parents large collection of Ladybird titles) and enjoy going on the train. May be all is not yet lost?

  4. Thats freaky. Two days ago, while looking for a book I stumbled across the Ladybird Story of Arms and Armour.

    Its a page turner.

  5. The last time I was on a train was from Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William, absolutely bloody marvelous. I was like a wean at the window shouting “Look! Look!”.

    I can forsee more Ladybird books being scanned…

    It’s good to get annoyed about stuff you know, complacency is a curse!

  6. Train from Manchester-Penrith 2 weekends ago for £5.50 single & back the following weekend from Windermere-Manchester for £6.50. Train trips seem to enhance my outings these days but cost nothing if you can pre-plan.
    My best ever deal was Manchester/Mallaig for less than £15 return, some years ago, which involved multiple purchases of the Daily Record by a mate in Glasgow (for the vouchers). That’s a lot of miles for virtually no money.
    I was seriously wondering whether to ditch the car completely until I remembered the £180+ it cost on the train out to Dalwhinnie & back from Fort William. That fare could have got me nicely to the Pyrenees.
    On the subject of getting mad (& with possible apologies to adi?) I’ve…….just had second thoughts & deleted the 6 line rant about a certain across-Scotland event which is very close to my spleen! Least said, I suppose.

  7. That’s some cheap tickest there, it cost three of us about £70 to get from Glasgow to Ft Bill, and that was still booking in advance.
    Cross-Scotland event? Whatever can he mean…?

  8. Rannoch to Corrour this Saturday for about £3 – that’s quality not quantity. Then camping out in the mountains on a route leading nack to Rannoch. Thats the plan, and it sounds good to me (time to look at the weather…)

  9. I might have mentioned this before (I tell anyone that will listen – I reckon I’m like an ex-smoker…) but I gave up watching/listening/reading the “news” in August 2007.

    It’s great!

    Less depressing opinions with hidden agendas being dressed up as “factual reporting” leaves a clearer head and more time to get on with thinking/doing more fun/important things.

    As for documentaries – was the Horizon of the 1970s/1980s just as sensationalist but I somehow missed it in the naivety of youth? I really doubt it…

  10. The Ladybird Book of Arms and Armour? We never had that title – I’m really jealous!

  11. rp610, Metric Kate has just walked that very bit of track and the reports were good!

    The Horizon of my youth was ace, the presenters words and manner carried weight. It’s not all bad these days, you just have to wade through the channels to find it. And then when you do find it it’s Laurence Olivier narrating the World at War.

    Kate, I’ve got that one also. I’ll need to do an index.

  12. “Laurence Olivier narrating the World at War”….

    I can never resist watching that. If I channel-hop onto an episode then that’s it, it doesn’t matter if it’s just starting or 5 minutes to go, I’ll sit and watch it. Quality television. I can’t imagine it getting made today.

  13. Aye, it’s the first hand accounts from the folks that were there, some of it so shocking.
    It’s history, humanity and huge bloody warning all in one. But stunning television as well.

  14. Brilliant opening titles. Reminds me of Timewatch as well – guaranteed quality, and something of a relief to know that the BBC still make Timewatch.

  15. I’m adrift on a sea of nostalgia here; I got the Ladybird Book of Arms and Armour at oor primary school prize-giving 30-odd years ago. World at War made a huge impact on me as a bairn. Always seemed to be on during the summer holidays for years after.

    More recently, the one on the American Civil War was utterly brilliant.

  16. By coincidence, “April 9th, 1865: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, effectively ending the first war of the modern era.”

  17. Help ma Boab, you wrote Ulysses and that’s sent me off on another tangent of nostalgia.

    Ulysee-ee-ee-ees no one else can do the things you do-oo…

  18. thinkgreysky,venting your spleen is good now and then,essential even,i have thick skin don’t hold back on my account :) Cross Scotland event, now there’s an idea…….

  19. On that kind of subject, I think what need is a proper established Glen Coe to Braemar trail and the Cape Wrath Trail route to be confirmed so that we can get folk walking all over Scotland in confidence, and of course spending money in the wee communties along these routes.
    Get folk further inside the country than the usual honey pots. It’s a wee place up here, but it’s got a lot of great stuff that most folk never see.

  20. Whoops! Thought I’d got away with it.
    OK adi, I’ll vent it, with little hope of not offending someone!
    My beef is the assumption that it’s OK to arrange an annual event which encourages 300 folk to descend on a prime wilderness area in what are traditionally the best 2 weeks of the year for good weather & midge avoidance.
    I’m an old curmudgeon, who learnt my hillcraft the hard way. I’m more-than-cynical about the motives of 90% of the D of E awarders swarming over our hills (Just quiz them: “School said it would be good for my CV, I hate it”) My lip curls at those lengthy crocodiles of “club hikers” & I shouldn’t even mention the charity events (why climb mountains – why not, say, dig up 3 football pitches in 3 countries in 24 hours?) Most of us go to the hills for their wildness, either alone or with a like-minded companion or two. We are considerate & hopefully don’t spoil others’ enjoyment.
    For me, you-know-what has gradually created a mid-May no-go area over a broad band of the central highlands. Having inadvertantly had the misfortune to travel on the same Fort William train in the past & after hearing anecdotal evidence of assumed “divine right” to (over)occupy bothies, I now make it my business to avoid the area for the period in question.
    OK, there’s plenty more to go at in other areas but I feel I’m being denied access to stuff I want to do in the remaining time before my legs give out. Why should I subject myself to midges or bad weather because an event monopolises those hills & their visitor infrastructure for the best weeks of each year?
    I’m no great fan of stringently established trails but agree with PTC about the need to popularise other areas. There’s plenty to go at, so if organised events have to happen let’s shift them round for the benefit of both local community & hill folk generally. OMM & Saunders events move around our mountain areas & if I do happen to hit one I’m philosophical because its a one-off occurence & I appreciate that they have to keep venues secret.
    I fully understand why May’s event starts & finishes where it does but surely the easy-organisation option shouldn’t over-ride other concerns. Getting to & from hills in other areas shouldn’t be beyond the ingenuity of someone capable of a wild coast to coast backpack. If it discourages some people from taking part, all the better in my view.
    I accept they aren’t my hills but then I wouldn’t want to selfishly spoil others enjoyment by flooding them with people at peak times. What do you think?
    End of rant, blue touch paper duly lit, steel helmet now donned & yes, adi, the spleen feels better!

  21. There’s a lot of stuff in there.
    The TGOC is beloved of many (including folk I know) but holds no interest for me because I just don’t fancy it, I couldn’t be arsed, besides being away from home and the girls for two weeks would kill me.
    People on a “mission” often think that their needs are elevated above those of others, it’s just human nature, like working on a building site. The electrician always thinks he has the right of way at all times because he doesn’t have to worry about keeping cables level and every other trade’s slowness annoys him, so when you’re having your tea he’ll put bunches of tiewrapped cables everybloodywhere.
    But assuming a bothy is yours for the taking is a risky policy, tents for me.

    Groups are necessary. They give confindence and therefore accessibility to folks how might not otherwise find it possible to go into the hills. I can pack and go anytime because I’m mentally and experientially (?) in the right place for it, but I’d hate to deny others the opportunity to see the stuff that I’ve seen in our wee country because they don’t have the tools available to build that same outlook.

    Charity events? Three Peaks and the like? There’s no need, donate the petrol money you’d spend to charity instead.

    But, none of this really annoys or affects me. I’ve never met a TGOC-er or had to jump out of a running three-peaker. I have marvelled at adventure racers tearing across the Highlands, I’ve seen crampons scratches on remote peaks, I’ve spend days in the hills without seeing a soul and I’ve seen shit and toilet paper left on the Cobbler.

    Impact on the hills is always down to the individual.

  22. No need for the steel helmet,i’m pleased you replied as i was curious as what someone elses viewpoint was. I can fully appreciate your views and more or less guessed that’s where you stood. Yes i’m on the tgoc this year. It’s the first time i’ve been on it and the first time i have applied. I came (back) to walking/camping relatively lately due to reasons too boring and personal to go into here. i thought the tgoc would be a good way to see a good bit of a country i have enjoyed immensly in the few times i have managed to get there. I certainly take a few of your well made points, although you seem to make out that everyone starts out from mallaig or near. agreed it’s probably the most popular starting point, and people are going to get ‘funneled’ at certain parts. I wouldn’t know about the bothy situation, although i would suspect there could be a ring of truth there. From my point, i will be walking solo and not using bothies, except maybe one. I’ts a bit of a rambling reply this to be honest, i wish i had time to think it through a bit more. Problem is ,i’m off to pack for a wee trip to the Moffat hills, hopefully they will be a bit quieter than my usual stomping grounds of the Lakes, they are a bloody nightmare of a Bank Holiday ;)

  23. Oh and ptc, you’re bang on about sparkys, as someone (currently between upturns) whos has worked on sites a long time as a joiner, they are a breed apart, they have an air of superiority and smugness unparralelled. Or maybe it’s just me :)

  24. A well considered response, as I’d expected, PTC. The laid back voice of reason prevails. Guess the Victor Meldrew in me is developing as I get older. Judging by your WHW trip, I’d say you could take a week at home mid-walk & still do a 2 week coast to coast!
    I’ve nothing but admiration for those who complete the trip but suspect the motives of some differ widely from mine & I’ve no wish to become part of that circus. My main gripe is the unnecessary organised nature of the event & its consequent effect on others.(I didn’t enjoy standing on that train all the way to Fort William but was dismayed that supposedly fit challengers didn’t also see fit to give up their seats to elderly tourists, to the extent that some had to abandon their journey. ‘Nuff said (& Scotrail didn’t exactly shine either!).
    We’ll have to differ on the “crocodile” issue. I’m convinced some folk just permanently develop the herd instinct, which is a shame & their loss.
    I’ve nothing against fell runners/adventure racers on the hill & personally couldn’t hope to achieve what they do. But have you ever seen one looking happy?
    Glad we agree on the sponsor/charity position but isn’t it time the hill magazines put their foot down & stopped accepting adverts from the organisations behind such events?

    adi: nothing personal intended. We’re clearly not too far apart on the principles, I’m just less tolerant. Enjoy your Challenge. Fully agree about the Lakes & after a winter of regular wonderfully quiet trips I’m pulling the plug for the summer. Well, maybe the odd high camp in the quiet bits.
    Cheers both, it’s been most theraputic but I’d expected more protest. Beam me up Scotty!

  25. adi, the spark who builds my control panels is always finished first and leaves me with a knee-deep pile of cut wire-ends and trimmed tiewraps in the boiler house evey time. He’s good though, a fault finding genius so I never complain too much :o)

    thinkgreysky, there’s always a middle ground, and everyone kept that in mind there would never be any conflict, but folks being folks that’s a bit if wishful thinking.
    I take great pride on my camping on the hills being invisble, no rubbish, no scorch marks, no trace of toilet stuff, no tent imprint as I pitch late and strike early and I’ve never stayed more than one night in the same place. It’s really easy to do.
    But for many hills are a tool, a conduit for their need and they will never see them in the way that I do. I think so many night spent on the tops in the last few years has increased my empathy for the mountain environment. I think it’s something that has to be experienced, all the flowerey desriptions in the world won’t let someone see the sun rise, feel that chill mountain air in their lungs, see the dew glisten in the short grass of the summit as the rays lazilly flow over it. Give peole that and if it it doesn’t change their attitude to the hills then they just have no soul.

    Fell racers? Often single-minded and po-faced, adventure racers can often be the same, but I’ve found much appreciation and joy, especially in the overseas teams, at being in the Highlands. Like I say, it’s down to the individual.

    Tolerance and acceptance are two important words in this context. Tolerance might stop a fight breaking out, but will always cause tension and stress. Acceptance will relieve all concerns over an issue, but jeez, that’s so much harder to try and attain!

    I think the TGOC is made up of mostly considerate and experienced outdoor folks who will be invisible for the whole journey until they reach Montrose and gather for the big do.
    There’ll be the exceptions, but there always are to everything. It’s just a pity that the stoopids are always the most visible aspect of any endevour and end up defining it.

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