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Maritime non-fiction / Shipspotting

More photo albums from a seasoned shipspotter

Reefer Ships and Thames and Medway Shipping, by Geoffrey Watson

Landing page image: heavy repair ship Triumph, pictured at Chatham Naval Dockyard in 1975

Geoff Watson is back with another two collections to stir memories of vessels past and show what's out there now. Like Watson's previous books, Reefer Ships and Thames and Medway Shipping Past and Present are essentially albums of his own ship pictures, with colour images on each page accompanied by a date and a little information.

book_cover_reefer_ships_white_frame.jpgReefer Ships came about because Watson was going through back through his extensive store of photos taken between 1974 and 2006 and discovered that there were so many reefers (ships carrying refrigerated cargo) that they could make up their own book.

Shown in alphabetical order from Akademic Chelomey to Zenta Oloza, the 170-strong collection includes pictures taken in ports such as Dover and Rotterdam as well as on the author's home stomping ground in the London area. The book is bound to include some vessels that Telegraph readers have sailed on, and for some ships, Watson has even managed to capture them at different times in operation under alternative names.

Thames and Medway Shipping Past and Present is meant as a kind of update and extension to the author's previous volumes, featuring some very recent images from the river Thames and then going back in time to explore shipping on the Medway, a Thames tributary.

book_cover_thames_medway_shipping_white_frame.jpgMost of the vessels are cargoships, but Watson is also keen to share his pictures of the warships that used to come in and out of Chatham Naval Dockyard (now a museum).

Both books have a good contents page and index to help enthusiasts find the ships they remember, and are printed in paperback on good quality paper. An enjoyable way to travel in time.

Reefer Ships
By Geoffrey Watson
Self-published, £21.00
ISBN: 979 87137 02090

Thames and Medway Shipping Past and Present
By Geoffrey Watson
Self-published, £21.00
ISBN: 979 87005 01880

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