Richard Johnstone-Bryden – Author


Richard Johnstone-Bryden is a professional marine author, historian and photographer.


His first published work was an article on restored Motor Torpedo Boat MTB 102 on which he was a permanent member of the crew for two years. This article was published by leading international magazine “Motor Boat & Yachting”. The article has been followed by a flow of articles for major magazines, including “Classic Boat”, “Boatman”, “Motor Boat Monthly”, “Practical Boat Owner”, “Anglia Afloat”. He has written for naval magazines, including “Warship International Fleet Review”, and produces profiles of British historic ships for the magazine “Discover Britain”.


His first book was published by Sutton and has become the definitive history of “HMS Ark Royal (IV)”. The book launch was hosted by the Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Carrier Deck display was modified to display aircraft types that served on HMS Ark Royal. This display is a full size section of the carrier and includes a catapult with light and sound effects. Now out of print, it changes hands on the used book market for more than £100 a copy.


He followed his “Ark Royal” with “HMY Britannia – The Official History”, featuring a Foreword by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. The book launch was hosted by HRH Duke of Edinburgh at St James Palace. This book was published by Conway Maritime and is also now out of print, changing hands on the used book market for substantial sums.


Richard wrote “Norfolk Wherries”, published by Nighthawk Publishing, as one of the first eBooks and one of the few eBooks to include lavish full colour illustration. Richard was responsible for shooting the images and included images of the ancient Norfolk Keel which had been raised and was intended to form a special display. The Keel derived from the Viking longship and the Wherry was developed from the Keel, becoming the main transport system in Norfolk and Suffolk, until replaced by trains and lorries.The Wherry is now represented by a handful of restored craft, representing the three types of Wherry – the Trading Wherry, the Pleasure Wherry, and the Wherry Yacht.


This was followed by “St Joan”, published by Nighthawk Publishing, as an eBook with extensive colour images, following the history and restoration of a classic Brooke Marine Gentleman’s Express Cruiser, built before WWII for a famour racing driver.


Richard wrote Hunter’s Fleet, published by Nighthawk Publishing, as a history of the unique boatyard and fleet of pre-WWII Broads cruisers. These boats have inspired childrens stories and appeared in films and television programs. The yard and boats are a time warp, engines never having been fitted to the yachts and lighting being provided by oil lamps. The yard is housed in the original building and includes the sets of tools made by the Hunter family to build the fleet of Broads cruisers. This book was published as a Hard Back edition, a Soft Back edition, and as an eBook.

Richard has also co-created other books, where his photography has been used in illustration.


After a lengthy break from writing books, to follow other projects, his HMY Britannia book having been published in 2003, Richard has returned to book authorship with “HMS Belfast Cruiser 1939”, published under the Pen & Sword imprint “Seaforth”. This book contains a large number of fine images, many shot by Richard.