Ian Allan Publishing

I have long had an interest in naval history. When I was young the local bookshop near where I lived used to sell small card-covered data books – published by Ian Allan – about all forms of transport (locomotives, buses, and ships) and I collected the entire WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I series … which cost me three shillings and six pence each (the equivalent of 17.5 pence in modern decimal currency!).

Every since then I have been a devotee of this company’s books, and looking along my bookshelves I can see numerous examples including:

  • WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I
  • GERMAN WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I
  • U.S. WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I
  • FRENCH WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I
  • AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR I
  • WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • GERMAN WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • U.S. WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • FRENCH WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • ITALIAN WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • JAPANESE WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
  • BRITISH WARSHIPS 1914 – 1919
  • DIRECTORY OF THE WORLD’S CAPITAL SHIPS
  • PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY Volume Two: 1880 – 1914
  • AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR I
  • AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR II
  • WARPLANES OF THE WORLD 1918 – 1939
  • MILITARY AIRCRAFT OF THE WORLD (1979)
  • A POCKET HISTORY OF ARTILLERY: LIGHT FIELD GUNS
  • ARMOURED FIGHTING VEHICLES OF THE WORLD (1971, 1974, 1977 & 1982)
  • ARTILLERY OF THE WORLD (1974, 1976 & 1981)
  • MILITARY VEHICLES OF THE WORLD (1976 &1978)
  • INFANTRY WEAPONS OF THE WORLD (1977 & 1979)
  • U.S. ARMY HANDBOOK 1939 – 1945
  • JAPANESE ARMY HANDBOOK 1939 – 1945
  • LUFTWAFFE HANDBOOK 1939 – 1945

Not bad for a company that was started in 1942 by the teenager Ian Allan, who was then working in the public relations department of the Southern Railway, based at Waterloo Station in London.

The company is still a specialist publisher of transport books and has retail shops in London (literally just around the corner from Waterloo Station and less than half a mile from where I was born!), Birmingham, Cardiff, and Manchester.

PS. Since 1973 Ian Allan Group has also been the owner of Lewis Masonic, the largest and oldest Masonic publisher in the World as well as being a manufacturer and supplier of Masonic, Police, military, corporate and club regalia … so they have been meeting the needs of two of my very different hobbies – military history/wargaming and Freemasonry – for quite a long time!

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2 Comments on “Ian Allan Publishing”

  1. Pete. says:

    When ever I'm in Manchester and have arrived by train I always pop into their shop by the Piccadilly station- it is rarely beneficial for my wallet.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

  2. Pete,

    I have the same 'problem' if I ever have to use Waterloo Station in London!

    All the best,

    Bob


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