Book Reviews


This book is an enlarged version of John’s previous book: The Illustrated Diary of a Thames Pilot but with John’s own illustrations or photographs on almost every page of the book, those of you who already own the Illustrated Diary will enjoy this new edition as much. For those who havn’t got the original book Marine Pilot is an essential addition to any book shelf. With half the book dedicated to John’s sea-going career the account will stir nostalgia for the heyday of the British Merchant Navy in the 50’s and 60’s. However, John’s account is not all sunny climes and calm seas and the dangers of a seagoing career are vividly brought home with accounts of collisions and groundings which even in these days of GPS navigation and hi-tech bridges are sadly all too common. The second half of the book begins in 1967 when John was “called” to begin training as a Trinity House Cinque Ports pilot serving vessels for London arriving from the English Channel. As well as his own experiences in “tripping” and piloting John provides vivid accounts of the varied vessels, trades and topography of the Thames and also details disasters and incidents from which all pilots can learn valuable lessons. Because of this the book’s appeal will extend beyond those in London and John’s descriptive writing style and delightful illustrations will appeal not just to pilots but also to all those who are interested in seafaring.

180 pages £12.95 ISBN 0-86025-922-6 Ian Henry Publications Ltd. 20 Park Drive, Romford, Essex RM1 4LH. Telephone: 01708 749119


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