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‘It had always struck me that, despite its overwhelming importance in the story of mankind, far too little attention had been paid to the Industrial Revolution in literature and art . . . I conceived the idea of concentrating a number of actual historical happenings in the English Midlands upon one imaginary industrial town . . . from the days of the first monastic mill on the river to the present day when an atomic research establishment on the outskirts of a huge blackened town struck a new apocalyptic note . . . I called my imaginary town Winterstoke.’ Tom Rolt, writing in 1972

L. T. C. (‘Tom’) Rolt (1919-74) was a famed pioneer in the preservation of Britain’s canal networks and railways, a biographer of the great civil engineers, and a forerunner of our current green movement. Winterstoke (1952), arguably his most visionary work, is reissued here with a new introduction featuring his widow Sonia and son Tim.