It seems so long since I first started writing the manuscript for my book and as well as writing the text I was very actively seeking illustrations, from the the beginning my aim was to source enough good quality illustrations so that I had numerous options open to me. Whenever I was fortunate enough to have been loaned photographs the first thing I did was to have a print for print made. The primary reason for this was that a computer printed photograph can never hope to match the quality of a true print. A true print can be scanned to a users preference for example making a copy suitable for the internet or for publications like my book. With a print I was comfortable that I would have something that would ultimately stand the test of time, I do of course have digital copies, but my concern is that with an electronic print that there would always be the risk of loosing it should a disc or hard be unreadable in the future. I took every step possible to care for the photographs as I would do were it my own, they were without doubt very special to their respective owners. This aspect of writing the book was to become my biggest expense, although at the time I'm sure our local photographic shop welcomed my frequent trade.
Once I had the original copied I would scan them into my computer as some required proprietary cleaning, some though needed a little more care and attention using photo software. I had a 'cleaned' copy commercially printed before returning the original to its owner along with one of the 'cleaned' versions as my way of giving something back to those who were kind enough to help me.
Sarah Turner was the illustrator of my first book "Scuba Diving" and the first choice when it came to my second book "Lets Dive". I was grateful for her help and many of her illustrations feature in Rohilla book. I knew the range of illustrations for this book were going to be quite broad and I consulted a local artist, John Littleford. He was well known around town for being able to create sketches in fine detail and he didn't disappoint me at all. I was really pleased with how fine his work was and he produced some exquisite illustrations . I had acquired a photocopy of the certificate presented to Coxswain Thomas Langlands along with his Gold medal. The museum photocopier was only an A4 one at the time and the copy was done in two halves and then taped together. The photocopy was a fairly decent copy of the certificate although a little dark, but I felt it would make a nice addition to the book illustrations. The original certificate was created using a fine Old English type font, and I took it to John for his thoughts. I left it with him and went back later in the week. John had sketched selected parts of the photocopy to give me some idea of what he could do and I knew straight away that he was more than capable of recreating the certificate.
The finished reproduction was simply magnificent, in essence John had created own masterpiece and one that is one of my most treasured pieces. The fine detail was hardly any different to the original certificate I had only ever seen in the museum. The way it is reproduced in the book on page 117, doesn't really do it justice although it does give some idea of the complex design John was faced with. The sketch John completed for me of the remaining bridge section is one that I use it extensively throughout much of my paperwork.
I naturally gave both Sarah and John a signed copy of the book when it was released, they both welcomed seeing their work in print so to speak. Next to the photographs the illustrations were my biggest expense, but like the photographs I saw this as an investment and an extra element to my enthusiasm for the tragic story.
John was especially touched by how well his drawings had been reproduced, he was separated from his family and often had his boys to stay with him here in Whitby, I can recall him telling me how proud his son's were seeing his illustrations in the book. John passed away around a year after the book was released but at least the book will be a lasting tribute to their father.
I still work away at gathering illustrations be they photographic or sketches and have recently acquired some new material which I aim to showcase on the website as soon as I can.
Copyright © Colin Brittain 1999 - 2014