Book reviews, May 1982, May 1982

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“Action Stations. Four Military Airfields of Yorkshire” by Bruce Barrymore Halpenny. 216 pp., 9 1/4″ x 6″ (Patrick Stephens Ltd., Bar Hill, Cambridge CB3 8EL. £8.95)

This book obviously follows the layout and arrangement of previous works in a dedicated series and will be a good companion for those who like to trace aviation hiring, at home, or as they motor. Yorkshire was the “spearhead of Bomber Squadron activity and if little trace remains, hritce Halpenny has sniffed out some fascinating es. The pocket histories of the military airfields the hook contains cover some of the trur;t famous of both World Wars, because Yorkshire the most active county in this respect Mr mostWb the Second World Vier In particular. those t!rved with Nos. 4 and 6 Groups, Royal Itath!. Air Force, will find much to bring back Memories, and those who like earlier history will find details about some very interesting” First World War aerodromes included.

Such famous airfields as Middleton St. George, Driffield, Catterick, Church Fenton, Linton-on-Ouse, Topcliffe, Disforth, Finningly, Snaith and many mure are described, with notes on the main happenings at each, the first aeroplanes to arrive there at, or move into, new aerodromes, movement of squadrons. etc., the book having photographs, maps, explanations of the types of hangars used in Yorkshire, and map references for easy visiting of old sites. There is even a glossary of RAF slang, to guide the reader along. The historian was an RAF Special Security Officer; his first three books are to be followed up by others on the military airfields of the South-West, the Cotswolds and Central Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Greater London (which should be especially intriguing) and the South-East. — W.B.

Graham Robson has climbed on the encyclopedia bandwagon with one devoted to “Classic Cars”, running, the title tells us, from 1900 to the present day. Accuracy is all-important in such works — where did Robson get the idea that the first FIE was an 11.9 h.p. car? Iris all rather superficial, presumably intended as a vehicle for numbers of pictures, mostly in colour, from many sroarces, such as the original “Profiles” and other familiar pictures. The publishers of this second edition are Salamander Books, who charge £7.95 for it. They also do a guide to growing orchids . . . .

“Auto-Classics No. 5” is about the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. It is available from Albion-Scott.

Albion Scott Ltd. can also supply a Portfolio of ten Porsche colour-plates, from original water-colours by Dominique Oberniche, of 911SC, 356 Cabriolet, 928, Carrera RS, 936 Turbo, 911 Targa, 935, 904 GTS, and 3.3-litre 930 Turbo. These are loose-leaf for framing if required, with an eight-page introduction in French by Club Porsche France. Many of the paintings have no background, so are good technical representation of a particular Porsche model. The price is £19.95.

A 9th edition of the “British Isles Airfield Guide” is now available from Merseyside Aviation Society Ltd., Room 14, Hangar 2, Liverpool Airport, L24 8QE, Merseyside, for £2.00, postage and packing 35p extra. This is a most useful guide, edited by P. B. Butler, with a pull-out map by M. C. McIvor. Map references and notes on an airfield’s usage are given, making this a useful book to have in the car, if you like to know when you are in the vicinity cif an aerodmme. Irish sites are listed and apart from active airfields, as are gliding sites and disused sites, the latter are mainly WW2, with some 1930-39 places included. A welcome addition is a list of WWI aerodromes, with historical notes, the only criticism being that some of the information suggests that certain of these sites were not operational until April 1918, when we know they were in use prior to that late date in the war. There is even an “alternative-names” list, within the 32 pages.

The Road Locomotive Society have produced a reprint of the 1904 catalogue entitled “Peden Steam Wagons”. The 28-page reprint includes a loose leaf reproduction of the original price list and shows comparable costings of horse-drawn and steam wagons. There is also a typed sheet giving subsequent details, such as the original owners of the wagons illustrated and mentioned in the catalogue. Costing f2.80, inclusive of postage.

“Foden Steam Wagons” is available from the Road Locomotive Society (to whom cheques should be made payable) at Oak Lc, Moss Lane, Mobberley, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 7BU.

The 1982 edition of the Collins Road Atlas of Britain is rather more than just a revision of their previous large-format atlas. The 96 15″ x 11″ pages contain full coverage of Britain at four miles to the inch, a ten page index with over 23,000 place name, nine large scale maps of the heavily populated metropolitan areas as well as 30 city and town centre plans. Clear and easy to read, this new Atlas is excellent value for money at £3.25, the Metropolitan maps being especially useful.

A revised (4th) edition of the “Aircraft Museums Directory” is available from “Vintage Aircraft”, 16 Church End, Weston Coleville, Cambs., CB1 5PE, for £1.00. postage 25p extra. It lists 58 UK museums and collections. A European edition costs £1.20, Overseas £1.50, post free.

Three Michelin publications have landed on the MOTOR SPORT desk in the last month — the 1982 version of the familiar Guide Rouge to France costing £5.85, the 1982 Camping and Caravanning guide to France available for £3.25 (both of which are printed in French, German, Italian and English) and a new Tourist Guide to New England at £3.50. All are to Michelins usual high standard of production and the red guide to France is almost an essential item for anyone contemplating a tour of that country.

The AA’s Travellers’ Guide to Europe 1982-3 is now available at £3.95. Its 400 pages contain useful advice on car preparation, traffic regulations, route planning etc., together with a reasonably comprehensive gazetteer of each of the 19 countries.

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