A very happy New Year to Shire readers one and all!

We have, we're delighted to report, returned to an office positively alive with the first green shoots of spring!

That may seem somewhat premature, but if you please to consider that by 'shoots' we mean 'early advance copies of the books that will be available over the next few months' we think you'll forgive the hyperbole.  From Battle of Britain to Beauty and Cosmetics 1550-1950, and yea from Transatlantic Liners to Traditional Building Materials, and even unto Walking Dickens' London, these are some of the best Shire books yet and we humbly submit that you'll love them.  Or so we fervently hope ...

Also, for those of you who have somehow failed to notice, last year saw the wonderful Old House Books & Maps join Shire, and the resulting union has already been fertile (we may be attempting to airbrush out the next couple of winter months through the power of language ... but no matter.) We've already seen a brace of beautiful MacDonald Gill maps, including London Theatreland and Tea Revives the World, and the fantastic Bradshaw's Handbook (of particular interest to fans of TV's Great British Railway Journeys) has already become one of our best-selling titles.  Moreover, ladies and gentlemen, yet to come in 2012 we have a fabulous map of Elizabethan London, a classic boys'-own guide to the Great Western Railway, a map detailing every public-house in the Victorian capital, and many more.  To have a look at the range that is currently available take a gander here.  

Finally, to lift you from the post-Christmas doldrums on the updraft of another festive breeze: we'd like officially, once-and-for-all and unequivocally to declare 2012 Shire's 50th Birthday Year! We've got a range of colourful and exciting plans to commemorate the momentousness of the occasion in fittingly momentous fashion, and we'll keep you posted about those as the official birth-month of June approaches ... watch this space!  

All the very best to all of you,

The Shire Team