The Shipping Revolution – The Modern Merchant Ship


This follows the story of commercial shipping from 1960 to 1992. One of the major types of merchant ship to appear in this period was the super tanker with giants like the 1135ft long Universe Ireland weighing in at 325,000 dwt. Another development was the emergence of the cruise liner and the launching of ships like the 73,937 grt Majesty of the Sea. At the smaller end of the spectrum the book covers coasters, cross channel ferries, offshore support vessels, ice breakers and modern trawlers. People quite often think that it is just warships that have undergone major changes since WWII but as can be seen from this book their civilian sisters have also gone through a period of major changes

The Shipbuilders – An Anthology Of Scottish Shipyard Life

This could have been called “The People’s Story Of Scottish Shipyard Life” because the author has used so many first hand accounts of those involved in shipbuilding in Scotland during the 20th Century to tell this amazing story. Rather than link the accounts with a narrative each account stands on its own but over the course of the book they build into a fascinating picture of a way of life which has now almost vanished from the shores of Scotland. I particularly liked the way in which Bellamy has chosen the accounts to illustrate many of the jobs within a shipyard as well as some of the dangers faced by those who worked there including the long term nightmare of exposure to asbestosis

The Ship That Changed The World


Tells the story of the escape of the German battlecruiser Goeben and the light cruiser Breslan to Turkey at the beginning of WWI. The ships remained under the command of the German Rear Admiral Wilhelm Souchon who became the C-in-C of the Turkish fleet once the ships were transferred to Turkey. The escape of these ships altered the course of WWI when on 29th October 1914 they launched a series of attacks against the Russian coast to bring Turkey into WWI on the German side

The Ship Model Builders Handbook


This is a book that no ship model builder should be without. The sad economics of publishing lead to some compromises in order to bring material to print. This handbook is likely to be referred to frequently and a hardback binding would have been better. It would also have been highly desirable to make extensive use of full colour illustration. The publisher has obviously chosen to use only BandW illustrations and a paperback binding to keep the price below £20. This will certainly enable more readers to afford the book

The Sea Wolf


The author recounts in a very readable manner the story of Admiral Cochrane, Thomas Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, Baron Cochrane of Dundonald, of Paisley, and of Ochiltree, Marquess of Maranham in the Empire of Brazil, G.C.B and Admiral of the Fleet was typical of the Lowland and Border Scots who served with distinction in the Royal Navy during the 18th and 19th Centuries. He proved to be one of those gifted commanders who took the fight to the French. Becoming a captain at the age of 24, dubbed by Napoleon ‘Le Loup de Mer’ for his inspired use of tactics, Admiral Cochrane also led a civilian life alongside his naval service, being charged with illegal share dealing and served as a Member of Parliament. His skill as a naval tactician and his contribution as a practical engineer and inventor merit a more prominent position in British history, but he also holds a place in the revolutionary history of the South Americas where he served with distinction, commanding the Chilean Navy, and later the navies of Peru and Brazil. In an action packed and controversial life he also found time to command the Greek Navy and develop a plan for the deployment of poison gas. This book will appeal to students of British and South American naval history, but is an entertaining read that should appeal to a wider audience

The Sea Chart


It is a great pity that the economics of publishing price this book at £30 because the price will make it difficult for many young people to read it other than through the dwindling band of under-funded public libraries. In his foreword, HRH The Duke of York makes the point that the excellent charts we take for granted today are the result of centuries of effort, at no small cost, by generations of cartographers and navigators. Today, we can purchase at remarkably little cost high quality charts and maps, together with pilots and guides to navigation. Once we have those charts, we can update them using Notices to Mariners. Increasingly, sailors use computer-based charts and pilots that include high quality colour photographs of coastlines. Once we have the information on CD, or DVD, we can take update services to ensure that all information is as accurate as the latest surveys and notices can make them. With all of these technologies to hand at reasonable prices, it is easy to forget that most of this knowledge has been acquired painfully over the last six hundred years. Sea charts have been in existence much longer than that, but the flowering of navigational skills began with the Italian merchant-venturers of the Thirteenth Century, the great Portuguese navigators of the Fifteenth Century, followed by Spanish, English, French and Dutch sailors, with the English introducing most of the critical instruments of navigation and stamping their authority by taking the measurements from Point Zero at Greenwich. Navigators had to be shrewd observers, artists and mathematicians. Early ‘pilots’ were closely guarded secrets and were detailed diaries observing conditions and important features during each voyage. The navigator, or sailing master, would note the colour of the water, draw sketches of coastlines, adding charts of harbours and sea charts. John Blake tells this enthralling story very well, using a chronological and geographic framework

The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855, Glengarry and Beyond


This is a book that demonstrates meticulous research and provides a history of settlement patterns in Canada by Scottish pioneers. It is an excellent work for genealogists, but will also appeal to the general reader. Roughly half the pages are given to an engaging narrative history and the remaining pages to a series of well-presented appendices and bibliography. There is a wealth of information, with the appendices and bibliography providing very detailed information of particular value to genealogists and historians. The narrative history succeeds in conveying flavour of the trials and triumphs of the pioneers. There are many illustrations through the text comprising maps and reproduced paintings. The illustrations add greatly to the work and bring the period and the endeavour to life. The author may have considered her work as being of special interest to Scots Canadians, but it will be of equal interests to homeland Scots and should appeal to a far wider readership in telling a story of the development of the nation of Canada and describing the way of life of the pioneers and their triumphs in overcoming obstacles presented to them by a great virgin territory

The Scimitar File


This is an excellent history of one of the FAA’s most elegant aircraft. This book which is the result of a 15 year research partnership balances the technical detail with first hand accounts from both pilots and ground crew. This comprehensive account is supported by many B/W photographs illustrating the evolution of the Scimitar from the undercarriageless Type 505 and the distinctive V tailed Type 508 through to the trials of the Scimitar prototype and its subsequent front line squadron service. For the model maker there are two pages of colour line drawings depicting various Scimitar colour schemes as part of the 8 page colour section

The Science of Safety


This book is illustrated almost equally with BandW and full colour photographs. Of particular interest to risk managers in the transport industries, to motor sport professionals, and to motor racing enthusiasts, this is also a useful work for any risk manager or analyst. A solid treatment of an important subject presented in an entertaining manner

The Safeguard of the Sea – a naval history of Britain, Volume One 660-1649


This book benefits from an Anderson Fellowship of the National Maritime Museum funding. Not for the faint-hearted reader, this is a heavyweight book in every sense. There is no indication of how many volumes will comprise the complete work, or when they may become available. On its own, this book is heavy going and makes little or imaginative use of illustrations, but it does cover a period of British naval history that has not been covered well in the past. It shows solid academic research and it should prove a valuable reference work for the serious naval historian. In this respect, it contains a detailed chronology and a very detailed bibliography that are both excellent