Book review: ‘Ferries & Pleasure Steamers of the British Isles’

Richard Danielson’s new book is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in ferry and steamer photography, says Stuart Craig. CRSC is offering it at a discount to the publishers price.

Richard Danielson has a passion for a good photograph, especially if there is a steamer in front of the lens. Richard must then be delighted by his new book Ferries & Pleasure Steamers of the British Isles, for he has really excelled himself in collating some superb images of the ships we all love.

This is an album rich in photographic excellence, with all the usual favourites, plus many more, grouped into the geographical areas in which they sailed. It is very much a pictorial book but Richard has added informative and observational passages to each photograph. The steamers and ferries have been carefully chosen from the collections of some of the best ship photographers ever to grace the end of a pier or the deck of a passing ship: Ken Angus, Fred Plant and Joe McKendrick to name three, and of course Mr Danielson himself.

The result is a stunning showcase of 260 images, mostly in colour and many being published for the first time. Around 100 years of history is covered, covering the whole of the UK.

The different styles and camera skills of the photographers give individuality to the pictures. I love the very first – a double page spread of Claymore at Port Askaig on Islay, because Joe McKendrick’s image captures the buzz which envelopes the village whenever the ferry arrives.

For a different reason, one of my favourites is Fred Plant’s image of paddler Princess Elizabeth manoeuvring at Cowes, taken in 1936, which appears to almost splash out of page 118.

The final chapter of Richard’s book gives a fitting biography of many of the photographers and really helps set this book up as a tribute not only to the ships but the people who loved to take such elegant photographs of them.

Ferries & Pleasure Steamers of the British Isles should grace the bookshelf of anyone who loves a good ferry photo.

Ferries & Pleasure Steamers of the British Isles by Richard Danielson. Published by Lightmoor Press. 160 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on gloss art paper, casebound with printed board covers.
ISBN13 : 9781903599259

Click here to buy the book post-free from the CRSC Shop for £28 (£1 cheaper than the publisher‘s price).

Published on 7 June 2019.