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RIVET LAD More Battles With Old Steam Boilers


Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
5.0 (3 reviews)

This latest book chronicles Alan’s story from leaving Phoenix Boiler Makers and establishing his own firm: H.A. McEwen (Boiler Repairs) on the 4th August 1968. In those early days Alan battled with a great variety of old steam boilers in town and country, where he met some extremely interesting and rather bizarre characters. The book is hard back and contains 128 pages of text and numerous amazing photographs.

We would like to inform customers of our ‘SPECIAL OFFER’ the two RIVET LAD books can be purchased together for £50 including p&p to UK addresses. Both books will make fantastic Christmas presents.

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3 reviews for RIVET LAD More Battles With Old Steam Boilers

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Paul G Yunnie

    Retired Master Boiler Maker Alan McEwen’s latest book is a must read for all those people interested in old boilers and steam engines and moreover devotees of the bygone world of heavy engineering.

    Alan McEwen established his own specialist boiler repair company in August 1968; indeed, the company went on to thrive, carrying out boiler engineering projects on both industrial and also on steam heritage museums, on steam boats, traction engines, steam locomotives all over the United Kingdom.

    In his own inimitable way, Alan tells the oft times spine-tingling, dangerous story of how he established his boiler repair business in the period 1968 – 1970, when there was but scant regard for health and safety. There is however, a great deal of highly entertaining comicality throughout the book which is endorsed with Richard Bond’s stunning cartoons.

    The book not only entertains, but gives the reader a glimpse into the world of steam and boiler making now mostly forgotten.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Alwyn Rogers

    Having read all of Alan McEwen’s previous books, I awaited with mounting anticipation for the latest title from the mighty pen of this illustrious Northern character to be published. When it arrived it certainly exceeded my already high expectations. This volume is the latest in a series of similar formatted hard backed books of exceptional quality and presentation throughout.

    The light- hearted cartoon depictions blend seamlessly with quality black & white photographs, and adverts for boiler plant from years ago. While the text is a slightly larger font than usual, I found this made for an easier and more comfortable reading experience. Alan opens the narrative by reminiscing how he branched out on his own after completing his boiler making apprenticeship, his early customers being the ‘Piggers’ and their ancient swill boilers of very dubious safety!

    As Alan’s business grew the increasing number of characters encountered is brought to life through his own inimitable style of writing and insight into his past with amusing anecdotes; and with the local Lanky twang added for greater effect. Overall Rivet Lad More Battles With Old Steam Boilers makes for a truly light hearted and amusing read. It is a fascinating book that, I am sure everyone will enjoy!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Diane Carney

    The latest offering from Sledgehammer Engineering Press is a follow up to Alan’s earlier book: RIVET LAD Lusty Tales Of Boiler Making In The Lancashire Mill Towns Of The 1960s about his early years in the ‘rough and tumble’ world of industrial boiler repairs.

    Set mainly within factories and mills amid a Pennine landscape, in that first book Alan described his apprenticeship in the 1960s and introduced us to the many characters with whom and for whom he worked on a daily basis – the Chief Boiler Maker, Carrot Crampthorn, Reuben ‘ Iron Man’ Ramsbottom, Teddy Tulip and Dermot ‘ Paddy ‘ O’Boyle. .

    The many, often humorous and always ‘human’ anecdotes provide the entertaining narrative through Alan’s early days. In this new book he begins in 1968, the 4th August, in fact, when he broke away from Phoenix Boiler Makers and set up his own business; H. A. McEwen (Boiler Repairs).

    Having accumulated a large collection of Boiler Maker’s tools and an Austin Devon van, he began to build up a clientele across the counties of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Piggeries (and pigs!) feature large, but the beguiling tale-telling is very much in the same vein as his stories from the apprenticeship days.

    This book is in a smaller physical format which I think works better and, as with others in the series from Sledgehammer Engineering Press, the typesetting is unusually large, which may be agreeable to many readers. It is illustrated by photographs and also by cartoonist, Richard Bond; Joanne Swarbrick provided the cover painting.

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