Amberley Publishing's increasingly comprehensive "Through Time" series works to a highly effective basic formula. You take a series of old pictures of a subject, set them against a series of modern pictures of the same subject, add detailed captions, and perhaps explanatory text. "The subject" can vary from individual towns and areas right through to entire cities. We've always felt that the series has been at its best when the subject was compact enough to allow a fairly detailed and comprehensive coverage, and when it was intrinsically interesting enough to keep you turning the page.
Michael Meighan's "Glasgow Central Station Through Time" represents the series at its best. Glasgow Central Station gives the book a clear point of focus; is compact enough to allow the author to cover it in considerable detail; and as for its intrinsic interest, who doesn't love a railway station, especially a railway station whose many changes over the years are emblematic of the city which it serves? Add in an author who has written many books about different aspects of the city of Glasgow and the people who live and work here, and you are on to a winner.
What you find between the covers of this book is, in effect, a highly illustrated history of Glasgow Central Station and its immediate surroundings. The book is organised into a series of logical themes. There is a little background about Glasgow itself, and especially its railways, before you move on to the story of Central Station, which opened in 1879. It's at this point that you begin to appreciate another benefit of the choice of subject: the station's entire history lies within the photographic era, so every stage of its development can be illustrated. Subsequent chapters look at the area around the station; at the fluctuating fortunes of the Grand Central Hotel; at the railway bridges over the River Clyde; at the trains that have used the station over the years; and at Central Station Low Level. This is a "must read" book for anyone who's ever passed through Central Station, or who is interested in its considerable impact on this part of Glasgow.