Steam Nostalgia from the pen – and camera – of Kommetjie resident Peter Cooper has recently been published. The 128 page A-4 soft-cover well illustrated book is an anecdotal record of the authors interest in railways and steam traction in countries he has either lived in or visited, with an interest in railways starting as a 15-year old Boy Scout in England growing into a passion for the subject and, ultimately this book!

Peter was an army man all his working life – the British Army sent him on overseas postings which gave him a chance to become familiar with railways in Libya and Egypt whilst a mid-1950's move to join the Central African Federation (Nyasaland/Malawi, Northern Rhodesia/Zambia and Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) Army introduced him to the railways and steam locos of those countries, while holiday leave trips meant he also had chance to observe and record the same in Mozambique, East Africa and South Africa, although photographing steam in Mozambique on one occasion got him arrested ... while on honeymoon.

On the break-up of the CAF Peter took up an offer to join the South African Army who, kindly, posted him to such places as De Aar, making it pretty easy to become very familiar with the steam scene in SA as well as to get to meet some of the local enthusiast community and, along with some of these worthies, got himself to every corner of the country where steam still operated, including many of the industrial systems as SAR steam operations came to an end.

Photos in the book are almost all the authors own work and are mainly in colour, all but one or two reproduced very well.

Peter asked me to read the raw manuscript of the book for comment a couple of years back and, having added a couple of pages to bring the local scene up-to-date since that time, he has taken the bold step of publishing.

Cost R275,00 plus postage if applicable from

Mark Robinson - Cape Railway Enthusiasts Assoc.

Objects Artefacts Books
Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 11:51

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