Guild Member and freelance journalist Martin Rickatson has completed work on the fourth book he has written for over the past year.
Machinery and arable writer Martin recently diversified from magazine articles, press releases and brochures into book contributions.
US-based publisher Lee Klancher, of Octane Press, asked him last year to write the UK sections for Red Tractors, a large, coffee-table type book.
The Red Tractors book depicts the history of the tractors made by International Harvester (IH) and its successor Case IH.
“The two brands have long been popular in the UK, with IH at one time running three Yorkshire factories and a London headquarters,” says Martin.
He was asked to write the copy to describe the history of the UK IH machines, while other contributors covered products from IH facilities in North America, Germany, France and Australia.
“I’ve always had an interest in IH and Case IH tractors, having worked with them on my family’s farms, and am retained by Case IH to write marketing material for them, so was really pleased to be asked to help with the book.
“The publisher sourced some superb, never-seen-before photos to go with the copy, and the book recently won the history category in the Benjamin Franklin Awards, the annual judging of new books by the Independent Book Publishers Association of the United States.”
Since then, Martin has completed a contribution for follow-up volume Red Combines, which is due for publication in July.
It covers the story of International Harvester and Case IH harvesting machinery.
In particular, it examines the development of the Axial-Flow – a combine with a revolutionary threshing and separating design when it was launched in the late 1970s.
More recently, Martin has contributed sections to Dorling Kindersley publication The Tractor Book.
Already well received, this book is subtitled as the ‘definitive visual history’ of tractor development and the major manufacturers.
His most recent book project has been sub-editing Farm Machinery, the standard textbook for students and others wanting to learn the basics of the subject.
Farm Machinery was written by former Otley College vice-principal and well-known machinery author Brian Bell, and first published in 1963.
“I was really honoured to be asked by Brian, who I have known for many years, to help with the editing of what has become the go-to book for agricultural college students and others wanting to learn about how farm machinery works,” says Martin.
“We are hoping the book, now published by 5M Publishing since its purchase of Roger Smith’s Old Pond business, will be out in time for the new academic year this autumn.”