Amberly Publishing, £8.99
Review David Gwyn
Your reviewer has to admit that he may lack entire objectivity when it comes to this book as he is thanked in the acknowledgements and he also commented on the draft in typescript. The author has prepared a concise, informed, well-researched and very readable introduction to a subject that has never previously been written up, the slate industry of Britain as a whole. The illustrations are well-chosen, and the text is clear and enjoyable, though a map might have helped.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters, ‘What’s left of the Industry today?’ (a great deal, in short) and ‘What now?’, which includes a discussion of walking footpaths, slate-related websites and model-building. Anthony Coulls has written a book for the internet age but, as he points out in his conclusion, neither paper publications nor digital media can be a substitute for the real thing where the spectacular environments of the slate industry are concerned. ‘It must be seen to be experienced, and once viewed, will not be forgotten.