In 1964 Asian Transport, later to
become Astran, pioneered overland
transport from the UK to the Middle
East, the 10,000 mile round trip that
was to become a phenomenon in the
In the early days truckers had to cope
with unfamilier documentation, unmade
roads, snowdrifts, dangerous
mountains, desert sands and bandits.
Some of these difficulties eased over
the next twenty years, to be
supplanted by problems of congested
border posts and wars in the Balkans
The truckers who persevered were
exceptional, needing high driving
skills, stamina and diplomacy.
Similarly, it was only the best
companies – such as Astran – which ran
Ashley Coghill’s celebration of Astran
and its drivers covers all these
points. He interviewed many of the
people involved, not least Bob Paul,
one of the company’s founder members.
There are mini-biogs of Astran’s
drivers and sub-contractors
accompanied by a wealth of
The abundance of fine photographs
continues through Ashley’s
descriptions of the early years of
Astran. This provides a comprehensive
history of the company.
Chapters are also devoted to the other
areas of special interest: Astran’s
Doha depot: the delights of driving in
Turkey: accidents and incidents: and
the making of the television
documentary Destination Doha.
- 320 pages
- 345 photographs many in colour
- Hardback book
- 280mm x 220mm