NEXT Saturday, George Nairn, the doyen of postcard collectors, launches his latest book, Durham Railway Stations in Old Picture Postcards. It contains 72 images, nearly all of them rare and many of them, in the highly charged world of postcard collecting, with tens, even hundreds, of pounds. It is a marvellous collection - and it is also marvellous to consider all the stories that each postcard tells.

For example, today's front cover is an extremely unusual card showing Shildon station in August 1911 when the first national strike by railwaymen caused the government to send in troops to keep order at stations and railway works. The strike only lasted a handful of days, and the scene at Shildon looks pretty calm, with the soldiers leaning casually on their bicycles. However, at Llanelli station in Wales, troops shot two men taking part in a mass picket, provoking a riot in which railway trucks were set on fire in an explosion which killed another four people.

None of which seems to have worried the sender of the Shildon postcard. It is postmarked September 3, 1911, and is sent to Bellingham in Northumberland, and there is no mention of the strike in the handwriting.

Equally, there's no mention of the Echo billboard which is behind the busby of the soldier on the right – the main headline seems to be something about Auckland.

George's book costs £4.95 and is published by Reflections of a Bygone Age. He is launching it at the Durham Postcard, Cigarette Card & Stamp Fair which is at County Hall, Durham, from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, July 13. It will then be available in shops, museums and visitor centres, or direct from the publishers via the website

If you've got any information or thoughts – was there any drama in Shildon during the 1911 strike? – about any of the scenes shown, please email