At the beginning of the last century it was possible to sail from London to Glasgow via the south coast ports and Belfast, returning along the east coast from either Dundee or Leith for as little as five pounds. Those were the days when 300 passengers were landed twice weekly at Grangemouth or Dundee from the London boat, and the coastal passenger and cargo liner was in its heyday, catering both for the first class tourist as well as offering keenly priced second class fares for the like of football fans following away matches. Sadly, these wonderful steamer services are now largely forgotten but this new book will stir fond memories of the ships and their coastal voyages. The Depression of the 1930s, coupled with competition from both railway and the motor coach, were to spell the end for many of the coastal liners, while heavy losses incurred in World War II left only a few ships each offering just a handful of passenger berths.
The story of their one hundred years of service is accompanied by numerous fascinating anecdotes, and the book focuses as much on the social need for coastal passenger services, the men and women who provided the services and the passengers who used them, as it does on the nuts and bolts of the ships themselves. This beautifully presented book will delight both ship enthusiasts and all those who enjoy the maritime and social history of the British Isles.
Author: Nick Robins
Title: Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles
First published by: Seaforth Publishing
Date: 18 August 2011