Historic Sail


Simply a work of art. This large format book features 91 stunning full colour illustrations of sailing ships built from the 13th century through to the 19th century. I particularly liked the drawings of fine detail such as the scroll work on the stern of the Wasa. Many of the well-known ships of this period have been included such as the Mary Rose, Captain Cook’s Endeavour and Nelson’s Victory




High Cold War


Covers primarily the operation of aircraft for sigint, elint and photo reconnaissance purposes during the Cold War. This is not a truly comprehensive work because an amount of information is still classified, even for some of the operations during the 1950s, but it is a well researched and structured account of the development of signal intelligence and electronic intelligence during the period from 1945. There is also an account of the operations over Germany by Sidney Cotton in a Lockheed Electra in the 1930s and of the development of the Lockheed XC-35, which was a modified pressurized Electra and the start of the long Lockheed association with Black and Grey Projects



Herbert Woods – A Famous Broadland Pioneer


48 years after his premature death at the age of 63 the achievements of Norfolk boatbuilder and designer Herbert Woods have finally been recorded in this new biography undertaken by his youngest daughter Jennifer. Among Herbert Woods’ many achievements was the building of Broads Haven in Potter Heigham which was the first yacht marina on the Broads if not the world. The large 2 acre yacht basin was literally dug by hand and completed in 1931. Broads Haven was home to the renowned Herbert Woods hire fleet with its “Lady” fleet of yachts and “Light” fleet of motor cruisers. Herbert Woods also designed many types of private boats including his personal racing yacht Ladybird, the Norfolk dinghy and the 22ft Norfolk Punt Limelight. The fact that many of these boats are still sailing today speaks volumes for the craftsmanship of the boatbuilders at his Potter Heigham yard. During WWII Broads Haven was used to build a variety of craft for the war effort from the 112ft Fairmile B ML 920 through to the 16ft Admiralty survey dinghies




Wings on My Sleeve


The hardest book to review is always that which seems free of error, does not over state the subject, and has no apparent anomaly. This is one of those very rare books and one which tells a story that is almost incredible. When the author has achieved such a book and yet conveyed the impression of someone who is modest about an extraordinary life that book is exceedingly rare. Winkle Brown has written many articles during his life about his work and experiences as a unique test pilot from a time when test pilots were both highly skilled pilots and had practical engineering appreciation, flying not only new designs but designs that were beyond all established experience. This is a book that no one who claims even the slightest interest in aviation could afford not to buy and read and reread. It should appeal and benefit an even wider readership because it is a modest and warm human story from someone who has experienced a career that he has so clearly enjoyed and who conveys the feeling that he does not fully appreciate how uniquely important that career has been to his country and to so many naval aviators. Perhaps the greatest achievement has been in writing a book that not only contains so much content of value to today’s aviation professionals but is written in a way that will make it equally compulsive reading for those who have little or no real knowledge of the technologies involved. The reader is invited into the cockpits of the most amazingly varied range of aircraft for never to be forgotten flights.




Henry Winstanley and the Eddystone Lighthouse


Of the authors, Hart-Davis is well known to British television audiences as the presenter of popular science and technology programmes, for Troscianko, this is a first book. The story of Winstanley and the Eddistone Light is fascinating for several reasons. By any standard, building a structure of any kind on Eddystone Reef is a major achievement. Only two rocks are visible at high tide and today, one supports the current Eddystone Lighthouse, topped with a helicopter landing platform, and the other supports Smeatons Stump. Of Winstanley’s lighthouse there is no trace, it having been swept away in a dreadful storm in November 1703, taking Winstanley with it



Hebrides at War


Once again, Birlinn has produced a very affordable book on a subject neglected by other publishers. The author tells of the important contribution made by military personnel based in the West Highlands and Islands during the Battle of the Atlantic of WWII. This is primarily about the role performed by long-range land-based bombers and flying boats to protect trans-Atlantic convoys from North America to Britain and Russia




Handguns and Sub-machine Guns


A very handy and affordable reference from the Modern Military Equipment series. Colour is only used on the cover, but each gun is depicted with a crisp black and white side view photograph. Guns are arranged in alphabetical order by manufacturer’s name. Each entry includes details of background, operation, controls, and service. A box is included in each entry and contains key details of dimensions, weight, ammunition, etc.



Hamilton’s Navigations

I am always very cynical whenever I see something described as “The Definitive Guide” however I feel that the latest edition of Hamilton’s Navigations is a rare exception that has earned its title. The 34th edition of this thorough guide to the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Jamie Campbell’s second edition in charge as Editor. As part of this revision he has added more photographs including some fascinating photographs taken by the early Broadland photographers PH Emerson and Christopher Davies