Handwritten 1892 diary for Henry Grote Lewin
including a list of signal boxes from London to Brighton!
This is a handwritten diary for 1892, kept by Henry Grote Lewin. Lewin (1874–1937) was a British railway historian, best known for his books The British Railway System, Outlines of its Early Development to the Year 1844, and The Railway Mania and its aftermath 1845–1852. In his later life, he joined the North-Eastern Railway Co. in 1898; rose to be the Assistant District Supt., then District Supt., and mineral train Supt.; from which he retired in 1912. In the Great War, he was Agent for Ministry of Munitions, Portland Dockyard; and post-war he rejoined L.N.E.R. as Assistant to General Supt.
The diary (T J & J Smith's Small Scribbling Diary with almanack) is hardback with a cloth spine, and measures 21 × 13.5cm, and whilst not paginated, nearly everyday has a handwritten entry. It is signed by Lewin to the front cover and again to the front pastedown.
The entries run from Jan 1st 1892, and show the life of a young gentleman about town (seems to be London, the south coast, he travels around the country by train visiting friends, watches quite a bit of sport, attends lectures and concerts (he was at Trinity College, Cambridge), records correspondence etc etc. There appears to be a fair bit of interest in train travel.
After the diary entries, there are a few pages of his lists, including expenditure, billiards results, a handmade map index, and perhaps most interestingly, a list of signal boxes on the Brighton to London line (both ways), and a list of L & S W R signal boxes. The very last page has a small sketch which may be a small detail from a railway plan.
This item is in good condition for age. One page is neatly detached but the main body of the diary is in good order. The covers are rubbed and bumped, with a fairly heavy crease to the front board and there is some fraying to the rear joint but this remains a unique and interesting item.Sold