The Landscape Trilogy


The author became an enthusiast for the industrial revolution and its engineering heritage. In his early career he ran a garage specializing in veteran and vintage cars. From that base he developed his great enthusiasm into a passion. In his converted narrow boat he cruised the canal systems during the Second World War. He then became one of the pioneers of industrial heritage preservation. During this progress he began to establish himself as a writer and broadcaster. This book is his autobiography assembled as a trilogy. His first book Narrow Boat became a very popular introduction that inspired many to take up an interest in inland waterway cruising. He wrote three books which together form an autobiography

The Khyber Rifles


The Khyber Pass is an indelible mark in the history of the British Raj with the destruction of the Army of the Indus in 1842. The 33 year old surgeon Dr William Brydon achieved Victorian fame for his heroic ride to bring the news of defeat to the garrison at Jalalabad. Often referred to as the Sole Survivor, Dr Brydon was not the only person to survive, some soldiers and camp followers being taken captive and eventually freed, but apart from this handful, the rest of the 16,000 strong army perished on the march from Kabul, most of them in the Khyber Pass. The author begins with this event and demonstrates the ambitions of Russia to expand into Afghanistan and India. That ambition continued through to the final days of the Soviet Union. Today, the old players are again involved, but on this occasion as allies, in the fight against Al Qaeda

The Kelleys


The author covers the famous British J, K, and N Class destroyers which performed so bravely and effectively throughout WWII. A well researched and detailed history, concluding with an account of British destroyers in Dutch service after WWII. The only colour illustrations are side view drawings of camouflage schemes used by these classes of destroyer. The other illustrations are well chosen black and white images and excellent drawings of the weapon and control systems, together with the layout and construction drawings. Highly recommended as a definitive book on its subject



This second story in the Kydd and Renzi series is a change of pace. Another compulsive page turner. The first story saw Kydd press ganged and taken aboard the “Royal Billy” a line of battle ship. At the end of that story, Kydd and Renzi were transferred to a new ship together with their mess mates as a group of Able Seamen, an unexpected and welcome addition to the frigate’s crew, depleted by detailing crew members to prize duty. This second book develops the characters and their relationships against a well-paced account of the voyages of the “Artemis”. Where the “Royal Billy” was a solid floating gun battery intended to closely engage similar vessels in set piece Fleet actions, “Artemis” is a greyhound of the seas, a commerce raider and soloist. Frigates combined speed, manoeuvrability and firepower. They required nimble sailors and provided close comradeship without the ceremony and formality of a line of battleship. If this was not to be change enough, Kydd and Renzi are both rated Petty Officers making the enormous move from a seaman’s mess to a Petty Officer’s mess where they become comrades of men who had previously been their task masters. Stockwin paints a full colour picture of naval life and the new environment of the frigate. His careful research, basing this book on the stories of real ships and sailors, pays off and the reader is engaged in the world of Kydd and Renzi



This book begins the career of Tom Kydd, wigmaker and pressed man. It also establishes the character of Renzi. In the first book, Stockwin introduces Tom Kydd at the point he is taken away from his home and family by the press gang. It follows him through his time on his first ship, an aging 100 gun line of battle ship HMS Duke William, the “Royal Billy”. As a pressed man with no previous experience as a sailor, Kydd is rated Landsman, the lowest of the low aboard. Equivalent fictional heroes begin as Midshipmen, officer cadets roughly equivalent in the pecking order to Petty Officers. By good fortune, Kydd joins a mess where a seasoned sailor sees his potential and helps him begin the dizzying climb, literally as he learns to man the masts and handle the sails, that will see him succeed and prosper

The Joint Strike Fighter – Boeing X32 Vs Lockheed Martin X35


The author provides a good overview of the joint strike fighter program including a detailed review of the two contenders for the contract to supply over 3000 aircraft to the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps as well as to the British FAA and RAF. Sweetman also covers the background to the project starting with the origins of the Hawker P1127. The book is well illustrated throughout and includes 80 colour images

The Isle of Foula


This is a new edition of a book originally published in 1938. The author bought Foula over a century ago but spent much of his working life lecturing in the United States. The book is posthumous, being produced by the Professor’s widow Marion from his unpublished papers. The way in which the book came into being makes it difficult to classify. It is a compendium of papers that share in common a relationship to Foula but were not originally written with that object in mind. The book is a memorial to the man and his love of Foula, but it also tells the island’s story

The Island Nation


The author has established a reputation for knowledge of the Napoleonic War period in naval conflict and technology and is Curator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. This book has been published as the official book of SeaBritain 2005 and could be dismissed as a coffee table book which would do it a great disservice. In only some 170 pages he has traced the maritime heritage of the British Isles from 6,500 BC when the last land bridge with the European mainland was severed to the Twenty First Century, and then provided a gazetteer of attractions that reviews many of the British maritime heritage sites and collections. All of this with extensive illustration, mainly in full colour, using reproductions of paintings and photographs. Inevitably, this is a whirlwind tour of a huge multi-facetted subject and it would be very easy to pick up on omissions but the key stages of the British maritime story have all been covered. This will provide a commemorative work of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the SeaBritian celebrations. A source close to the German Ambassador to Britain accused the British of not knowing how to lose. Certainly many are jealous of the British history and the determination of a proud nation to defend its interests and project its culture around the world

The Inland Waterways Manual


This is generally a very readable and useful work covering a range of inland waters in the British Isles. However on careful reading it does appear to be better researched as a general book on canals and boating. It also appears not to have been thoroughly updated since the first edition was published in 1993. Certainly the coverage of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads makes a number of mistakes which have been made by other authors. This area is now a special National Park and the Northern Rivers have a very different character from the Southern Rivers which are fast flowing, demanding and require careful attention. The maximum dimensions information is also incorrect

The Inland Boat Owner’s Book


Now in the third edition, this valuable handbook contains a comprehensive collection of information for the inland sailor. Extensively illustrated throughout with colour photographs, maps, and graphs, the handbook covers hire, timeshare, and ownership issues, together with a wealth of information on construction, use, and maintenance of inland vessels. The twenty two chapters are followed by six appendices, containing contact details for a selection of product and service vendors, a glossary, and a registration plate dating guide