Maritime

  1. River Thames Shipping Since 2000 by Malcolm Batten

    Cargo Shipping, Passenger Ships, Ferries, Heritage Shipping and More I grew up and still live in East London, only a few miles from where the Port of London Authority ‘Royal’ Docks used to be – the largest enclosed dock area in the world. My grandfather was a boilermaker in the ship repair yards – considered such an important skilled job...
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  2. South Coast Passenger Vessels by John Megoran

    Growing up in Weymouth in the 1950s and 1960s I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the South Coast coastal excursion paddle steamers. We sailed on them as a family. When I was old enough (and in those days old enough meant from the age of 9) I went on them on my own. They laid up...
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  3. Masters of the Italian Line by Ian Sebire

    Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello As a child I was fascinated by ships and the sea, in truth of course I still am. Perhaps it is in the blood (Sebire may be of Norse origin, meaning ‘Sea Bright’), or the result of long summer holidays spent on Guernsey and Herm in the Channel Islands. Whatever the reason, passenger liners...
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  4. Pirates: Truth and Tales by Helen Hollick

     “…A rich and lively vocabulary, with snippets of interesting facts about pirates and piracy that you never knew you needed to know, but which are all recounted with the authors sparkling wit and fine attention to detail… whichever page the book falls open at, you are guaranteed to find a fascinating snippet into the life and times of these colourful...
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  5. Policing South Wales Docks by Viv Head

    During the Nineteenth Century, South Wales exploded into industrial activity; previously peaceful valleys were turned on their head. Iron masters built their furnaces, coal owners sank their pits, the railways arrived and great docks were built all along the coast; at Newport, Cardiff, Penarth, Barry, Port Talbot and Swansea. South Wales became the crucible of the Industrial Revolution. Bute Dock...
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  6. Kirkcaldy Harbour: An Illustrated History by Carol McNeill

    Kirkcaldy harbour has a long and fascinating history, and as a local history researcher and author I’m surprised at myself for taking so long to start tracing its background! Its recorded history goes all the way back to the 16th century when James V of Scotland sailed from Kirkcaldy to France with seven ships to collect his French teenage bride...
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  7. British Paddle Steamers: The Twilight Years by John Megoran

    Looking back on my life I was so incredibly lucky to have grown up as a boy in Weymouth in the 1950s and 1960s at a time when the harbour there was such an epicentre of paddle steamers activity. Not only did the Consul, Embassy and Monarch lay up there each winter but they were subsequently joined by the Princess...
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  8. Narrow Boats by Tom Chaplin

    As my wife and I approach our golden wedding anniversary, we have been reminiscing about our early life, when especially in winter, working narrow boats outnumbered pleasure narrowboats. These wonderful craft, with their floating population, brought their own culture and atmosphere to the canals. Unfortunately, the last of the family-operated long distance vessels stopped trading in 1970. The horse tows...
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  9. The First Atlantic Liner: Brunel's Great Western Steamship by Helen Doe

    Researching Brunel’s first Atlantic liner, the Great Western, has raised some intriguing images. Her launch was quite a spectacle. Built in Bristol and mostly fitted out in Bristol, it carried great hopes of a new era in transatlantic commerce. This extract from the book describes the launch and the generous quantities of Madeira with which she was baptised by Mrs...
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  10. Sailing Ships of the Bristol Channel by Viv Head

    I was not a young man when I came to sailing with a first cruise on a yacht from Southampton to Weymouth aboard a 38 foot Sigma. A fine boat sailed in company with an experienced crew. At the end of four days I recall saying – Well I enjoyed that but I don't think it's going to change my...
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