17th Jan, 2021

Coventry author Chris Arnot up for prestigious national award for 'Small Island by Little Train'

Editorial Correspondent 22nd Jan, 2018 Updated: 22nd Jan, 2018

A BOOK by Coventry-based writer Chris Arnot about the UK’s narrow-gauge railways has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Small Island by Little Train: a narrow-gauge adventure’ was published last summer by the AA.

It followed Arnot’s idiosyncratic other gems including Britain’s Lost Cricket Grounds, Britain’s Lost Breweries and Beers, and Britain’s Lost Mines.

Small Island by Little Train has now been shortlisted for a category in the 2018 Edward Stanford awards for travel writing.

Narrow-gauge steam locomotives and other trains trundled on terrain which mainlines could not reach – from sharp bends to steep gradients. Often built by the owners of slate mines, quarries or dairies, today they carry passengers around some stunning landscapes.

Far from his Coventry converted loft, Arnot found himself tumbling down a steep railway embankment in the wilds of Scotland, en route to visit Santa Claus down a disused lead mine. Next, he was groping his way across a treacherous track in pitch darkness in coastal Cumbria.

His latest book, ‘Thanks Shanks’, tells the tale of how Coventry educationalist and city councillor, David Kershaw, has Liverpool footballing legend Bill Shankly to thank for his vocation.

To vote for Arnot’s book before close on nominations on Friday (January 26) at midnight, go to www.edwardstanfordawards.com/vote, and scroll down to the Marco Polo Outstanding General Travel-themed Book of the Year.

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