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Pick Up a Penguin!

Great Western Railway is strengthening its long affiliation with Penguin Books by teaming up for a competition to win copies of a bestseller.

Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins was published in paperback by Penguin Books on World Book Day — and GWR has four copies to give away on its social media channels.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you’ve got to do is visit Twitter @GWRHelp, Facebook @gwruk or Instagram @gwruk and tell us about your favourite station. Four lucky entrants will then be drawn at random.

The book, a Sunday Times bestseller, explores the station’s role in the national imagination; championing the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible. Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain to select his hundred best, and London Paddington, Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Exeter St David’s, Great Malvern, Slough and Windsor & Eton are among those to feature.

GWR Head of Communications Dan Panes said: “Many of us love a good book to read on a relaxing railway journey to an iconic destination and we are delighted to have partnered with Penguin Books for this exciting competition, building on an affiliation which dates back more than 85 years.”

Author Simon Jenkins added: “I’m delighted that Great Western Railway is helping to promote this important part of our heritage. From Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads to Great Malvern, their stations are part of Britain’s architectural glory. Remember, railways are not just about trains but about stations...”

In 1934, while waiting to travel back to London after visiting Agatha Christie, Sir Allen Lane found himself at Exeter St David’s station with nothing to read. This experience, together with Sir Allen’s passion to make quality literature affordable and accessible to all, led him to create the iconic sixpenny paperback and marked the beginning of Penguin Books and its lasting legacy. The sixpenny paperback was affordable enough to be sold at railway stations, corner shops and even in vending machines across the country, ensuring no one would go without a quality book to read on their journey again. The first Penguin paperbacks included writing by Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie. Sir Allen went on to found Penguin Books alongside his two brothers Richard and John in 1935.

A memorial plaque, commissioned by Sir Allen’s daughter Clare Morpurgo and designed by Penguin Random House, was unveiled at Exeter St David’s in 2017.

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