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Sailing barge on the Swale, September 2017

It’s probably Greta.

Arthur Beale hosts talks by successful round Britain sailor Kim Sturgess and Last Voyages author Nicholas Gray

On 26th October Arthur Beale and Fernhurst Books will be hosting an evening looking at two contrasting voyages which are recounted in books from the Making Waves series.

Kim C Sturgess will recount how, at the age of 50, he undertook his first major sailing adventure, sailing around Britain – the dream of many cruisers in the UK. He made it achievable in 50 day sails and 1 night passage. This has proved a popular tale and his book (Sailing Around Britain) moves into its second edition in October as part of the Making Waves series.

Nicholas Gray has done many voyages himself, but has recounted the lives and last voyages of 11 famous sailors in his book Last Voyages which was published this year. This evening he will talk about some of the characters from his book and give his take on Donald Crowhurst whom he met before his last voyage. One reviewer commented: “Nicholas Gray even manages to add something new to the well-known story of Donald Crowhurst”. This will become even more well-known as the film The Mercy, staring Colin Firth, based on Donald Crowhurst, is released later in the week. Nicholas will perhaps be able to give a less sensational account.

As well as short talks on these voyages, the authors will be available for questions, conversation and even signing copies of their books.

A nominal £5.00 entry fee is charged but this is fully refunded on purchase of one of the books in the Making Waves Series (or any purchase over £15.000 from the shop).
Places are limited, so we ask you to email talks@arthurbeale.co.uk to reserve your place.
Date: Wednesday, 25th October 2017
Time: 18.30 for an 18:45 start
Venue: St Giles in the Fields Church, 60 St Giles High Street. London, WC2H 8LG (just over the road from Arthur Beale)

The Song of the Waterlily, set to music

Martin Newell’s increasingly acclaimed quartet poem The Song of the Waterlily – the building of a boat has been set to music and recorded by Martin and local band The Hosepipe Band, together with another poem Black Shuck, telling the story of an ancient ‘black dog’ legend.

The Song of the Waterlily describes the building and proving of a traditional Essex deep-sea fishing smack through the eyes of a young shipwright, who helps a master shipwright to construct the boat.

It follows the progress of the Waterlily, from launching and naming, her first regatta, and her first North Sea storm…

“I am The Keel, therefore the king,
For me, the adze and whetstone sing…
And hewn from woodland oak so tall,
Take precedence above you all.”

There’s a sample of the recording on the band page linked above.

Martin’s poem was inspired by the restoration of The Pioneer – a similar boat rebuilt at Brightlingsea by the Pioneer Sailing Trust, an organisation which takes on apprentices and trains them in boat-building skills.

A book of The Song of the Waterlily illustrated by artist James Dodds (see him talk about The Pioneer rebuilding here) is published by Jardine Press.

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog