Chris latest book, Small Island by Little Train, has just been published by the AA. In it, he sets out to discover the eccentric stories of Britain’s narrow-gauge steam trains – stories which include a miniature railway on the Kent coast, used for Home Guard military trains during World War II, and now the school commute for dozens of tocal school children; the UK’s only Alpine-style rack-and-pinion railway, scaling one of Britain’s highest mountains; the five different gauges of railway circling one man’s landscaped garden; and the team building their own trains to run on it. Far more than mere relics of the nation’s industrial past, or battered veterans of wartime Britain, these are also stories of epic feats of preservation, volunteerism, tourism, and local history.
Chris became an author after writing features for national newspapers for more than 25 years. A regular contributor to The Guardian, he also wrote for the Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Observer and The Times. He co-wrote The Archers Archives for BBC Books, and Aurum Press has republished his book on Britain’s Lost Cricket Grounds for the second time.
His other books include The Day We Won the Cup and Fields of Dreams, well as Britain’s Lost Breweries and Beers, while Britain’s Lost Mines was described by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall as ‘an extraordinary gallery of lives and landscapes’, and Britain’s Lost Cricket Festivals was shortlisted for the British Sports Book of the Year awards.