In conversation the other evening, I discovered that I have my own FMB history. Not only was my late father-in-law a member in the 1970s but my husband was also a member a decade later. I’d been rummaging about in the study at home and unearthed a collection of books dating from the 1940s which had belonged to my father-in-law, who had a building company in Stamford, Lincolnshire. ‘General Building Repairs’ (Volume 1, Brickwork, Carpentry and Roof Coverings) edited by Alfred G Geeson was written (according to the introduction) for the “jobbing builder who needs to have a general knowledge covering building in all its phases.”
The book starts with a chapter on bricks and general brickwork construction and works its way up a building to the roof at the end of the book where we learn that first quality Bangor slates could be delivered by rail to London stations. Particularly fascinating are the intricate illustrations which go with equally detailed instructions for all sorts of jobs – remember life before the Internet? This is how we learned.