Clan Line -Illustrated Fleet History

Jim S
20th September 2007, 19:58
I have just received my copy of Clan Line - Illustrated Fleet History by the Ships in Focus team of Clarkson, Fenton, and Munro and arguably surpasses even their high standards.
While not cheap at 34 This is an impressive book that does justice to the "Scottish Navy". Lots of photographs not only of the ships but also interiors and some photos of engine rooms and layout plans - 344 pages
I recommend it.

andysk
1st December 2007, 00:09
I'll drink to that Jim - a superb book.

(Though I may be accused of being biased !)

Cheers

Andy

macca57
23rd March 2008, 22:05
A superb book but full of mistakes and basic errors.

Jim S
23rd March 2008, 22:24
Write to the authors about your findings - certainly in his Ships in Focus series of books John Clarkson welcomes corrections.

Banni
24th March 2008, 09:05
I am half way through the book and find it great, basic errors? Are there many and if so any major ones?

andysk
25th March 2008, 22:30
A superb book but full of mistakes and basic errors.

What are they Macca, I've only found two so far.

But as Jim says, let John Clarkson or Roy Fenton know about them. Maybe they can nthen put out a corrigenda.

macca57
27th March 2008, 22:31
What are they Macca, I've only found two so far.

But as Jim says, let John Clarkson or Roy Fenton know about them. Maybe they can nthen put out a corrigenda.
There are loads of mistakes in the book, in the last two months shipping Mags there has been letters pointing out the books basic mistakes. Yes I wrote to one of the authors and received a reply.
It's not the point the book has been haled as definitive history of the company, and in years to come will be used as a reference point.
They criticise authors of the previous histories on the company (Clan Line)for mistakes made yet they compound the errors.
But in the overall scheme of things why should I write to the authors pointing out all of their errors when they have profitted from printing false information.

Baltic Wal
28th March 2008, 07:43
There are loads of mistakes in the book, in the last two months shipping Mags there has been letters pointing out the books basic mistakes. Yes I wrote to one of the authors and received a reply.
It's not the point the book has been haled as definitive history of the company, and in years to come will be used as a reference point.
They criticise authors of the previous histories on the company (Clan Line)for mistakes made yet they compound the errors.
But in the overall scheme of things why should I write to the authors pointing out all of their errors when they have profitted from printing false information.

At least you got a reply. I wrote regarding a mistake that had been picked up from another author with no attempt to verify it and have heard nothing more. These errors will now become facts, and anyone trying to correct them will be shouted down "It appeared in ......... therefore it must be right." Even if the errors are corrected it is too late to put the record straight.

Jim S
28th March 2008, 18:21
"When they have profitted from printing false information" - seems a pretty damning statement to make. John Clarkson and Roy Fenton have done great work in their various collaborations. Many other well known and respected names are listed as contributors to this book
For such an undertaking it takes a brave person to say that everything is 100% accurate - the passing of time, often the sparcity of records and possible inacuracies in such records must make such an undertaking a daunting task. But I am confident that the authors compiled the book to the best of their knowledge.
I cannot comment too much on the criticism aimed at the sources and acknowledgements where the authors have been unfairlt criticised in my opinion. For instance the comment on Norman Middlemiss' "Gathering of the Clans" - I am sure that even Mr Middlemiss would agree that the production of his otherwise excellent book could have been better. - It looked as if it had been typed out at his kitchen table on an old battered Olivetta typewriter.
Duncan Haws also did great work on his "Merchant Fleets" series but he was not infallible.
As a help to those of us who have or are enjoying "Clan Line -An Illustrated Fleet History" Perhaps some of these errors of which it is claimed the book is full of could be posted.

andysk
28th March 2008, 19:11
Thanks for the voice of reason Jim.

"Profited from printing false information" is a pretty damming statement and rather too harsh in my view. It may even be challengable by the legal profession. I re-read the acknowledgements section, and from my own knowledge and experience saw really quite a constructive appraisal of the previously published information.

In point of fact, anybody who takes secondary information in a book as gospel is really not being too clever, the only way is to go back to prime sources, which to a large extent, these authors have done.

"There are loads of mistakes in the book, in the last two months shipping Mags there has been letters pointing out the books basic mistakes."

Instead of making such sweeping statements perhaps they could be posted on here for a sensible discussion, and maybe benefit from input from the authors.

"Even if the errors are corrected it is too late to put the record straight" - not so, the same publisher's SD14 book had an update published in Ships in Focus record a year or so later.

Bear in mind nobody is perfect, let's just sit back and enjoy the book, and where there are differing points of view or interpretations, let's air these in a measured fashion on here for discussion.

After all, it is the most comprehensive history of the company - so far !

macca57
28th March 2008, 23:00
Sorry that you all disagree with me.
My main point is that in future years this book will be quoted verbatum as difinitive history of the company.
Not everyone knows how to research primary sources of information.
A few of correction facts, which are not definitive of the contents of the book:-
1 Clan Macgregor was managed by CI shipping not Cayzer Irvine in its last years.
2 Greenock Dockyard dates swap with Scott's are wrong
3 J.G Kinckaid engine builder was based in Greenock not Glasgow.
4 Clan Mcl engines wrongly described in some of the ships
Regards
This is not a definitive list mearly highlights the inaccuaries of the book.

Jim S
29th March 2008, 17:38
I apologise if this comes a duplicate message. :-

With immaculate timing "Ships in Focus Record 39" came clattering through my letter box this morning. Pages 182-3 titled "Clan Line Follow Up" discusses some of the feedback that the authors have received.
The authors concede that there are some typos, inconsistencies etc picked up by eagle eyed readers.
To summarise a list of corrections is available to purchasers of the book by writing to Roy Fenton at his London address.
I have just sent an e-mail to inquire whether he requires an SAE and will he respond by e-mail to those requesting it.

I will update when he gets back to me.

Regards

Jim S

peterjholcroft
29th March 2008, 20:19
I think it is unfair to moan about the mistakes in the 'Ships in Focus' publications. Along with Norman Middlemass, Paul Heaton and a few others, Roy Fenton and John Clarkson are slowly writing the history of an industry that is now all but dead. Rather than complaining we should be informing them of any errors so that they can put the records right. After all those of us that served in the British Merchant Navy will not be around for ever. It is now or never.

What book of this complexity can be absolutely correct? Errors are bound to creep in, particularly so long after the Company ceased to exist.

I have several publications from the 'Ships in Focus' stable and look forward to having many more by the time my reading days are over. Rather than criticising them we should be encouraging and, wher possible, helping them.

The negative comments about this book have been far outweighed by the positive and I will soon be obtaining my copy to take its place alongside the histories of Blue Funnel, Glen line, Harrisons and many others.

As a matter if interest - I am appalled by the way in which Mersyside seems to have distanced itself from its maritime past. Visit the river festival and you will see no mention of the Ships that used to visit the port, other than, maybe, the occaisional mention of the passenger liners. Companies such as Lamports, Blue Flue, Moss Hutchison and Maggie Booths (to mention but a few) are now but distant memories. It is important that their histories are recorded before it is too late.

Barry Man
29th March 2008, 22:31
As a matter if interest - I am appalled by the way in which Mersyside seems to have distanced itself from its maritime past. Visit the river festival and you will see no mention of the Ships that used to visit the port, other than, maybe, the occaisional mention of the passenger liners. Companies such as Lamports, Blue Flue, Moss Hutchison and Maggie Booths (to mention but a few) are now but distant memories. It is important that their histories are recorded before it is too late.

I don't want to go too far off thread, but has anyone seen what has happened to the Merseyside Maritime Museum's once splendid bookshop? It is a disgrace. The powers-that-be in that museum should be ashamed of themselves.

andysk
30th March 2008, 00:07
I don't want to go too far off thread, but has anyone seen what has happened to the Merseyside Maritime Museum's once splendid bookshop? It is a disgrace. The powers-that-be in that museum should be ashamed of themselves.

It's endemic Barry man, I'm afraid, at least where 'national' collections are concerned.

A few years ago I visited the NMM at Greenwich and their Antarctic exhibition. I would have expected a good selection of the excellent books on the exploration of the region to have been available, but sadly absolutely nothing.

steamship
19th May 2012, 19:22
Hi all,
Anyone remember an engineer cadet called Geoff Skinner from
Hartley Wintney?

aleddy
12th April 2013, 06:53
Hi Guys,
Searching for info led me to this thread. I began searching for a 265 ton cargo ship named Ethel built for D Macbrayne in 1880 by Workman,Clark, in Belfast. She was their 1st build and a further 534 ships followed until 1935.
The owners name turned up a photo of Cargo ship Clan Macbrayne built 1916 on the Clyde.
Clan Line search led to your thread highlighting problems with the authors info but I am hopeful that one or several of you might be able to throw some light on the early history such as was the named owner the beginnings of Clan Line or know of Ethel.
Cheers
Ted

A.D.FROST
12th April 2013, 08:43
Hi Guys,
Searching for info led me to this thread. I began searching for a 265 ton cargo ship named Ethel built for D Macbrayne in 1880 by Workman,Clark, in Belfast. She was their 1st build and a further 534 ships followed until 1935.
The owners name turned up a photo of Cargo ship Clan Macbrayne built 1916 on the Clyde.
Clan Line search led to your thread highlighting problems with the authors info but I am hopeful that one or several of you might be able to throw some light on the early history such as was the named owner the beginnings of Clan Line or know of Ethel.
Cheers
Ted
ETHEL was built for A.McMullin and later owned by D.MacBrayne and her final name was CLANSMAN and CLAN MACBRAYNE(Cayzer,Irvine & Co.) only the same name conects them.

aleddy
14th April 2013, 06:12
Hi AD Frost, Thank you for the Quick reply and Information, A Mc Mullin as the owner and the ships name change to Clansman. I shall search further.
Cheers
Ted