'North Star', one of the earliest steam trains, c1950. Creator: Shirley Markham
'North Star', one of the earliest steam trains, c1950. Shirley Markham (1931-1999) studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central School of Art in London from 1950-1952. The writer, artist, poet, and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was one of her tutors, and her style of drawing was also influenced by other British illustrators such as Edward Ardizzone, Quentin Blake and Edward Bawden. Markham spent time in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and also visited Rome, sketching classical buildings. After graduating from Central, she worked as a graphic designer, producing book illustrations, cartoons for comics, menus and programmes. She gave up her promising career however when she got married in 1957. Middle-class women at that time were expected to devote their energies to bringing up children and running the home, and despite her obvious talent, she lacked the confidence to return to illustration. Her portfolio remained in the family attic for many years, but now her work is published here for the first time.
© Shirley Markham Collection / Heritage-Images
Tring cutting, London & Birmingham Railway, 17 June 1837 (1839). Artist: John Cooke Bourne
Tring cutting, London & Birmingham Railway, 17 June 1837 (1839). Navvies excavating the cutting. Wheelbarrows are filled with spoil at the bottom, and then winched to the top using a line attached to the wheel along a narrow plank with a labourer walking behind and guiding. Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was appointed chief engineer of the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR), the first railway into London. Running between Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, and Euston Station, London, the 112 mile long line took 20, 000 men nearly five years to build, at a cost of five and a half million pounds. From Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway by J Bourne, 1839.
© Oxford Science Archive / Heritage-Images