Many of us are thinking of Christmas presents, so here’s a little recommendation from me, priced at just £16.
Sam Larner (1878 – 1965) was a fisherman who lived at Winterton who late in life became legendary for the quality of his singing of old songs, and his extensive repertoire.
This pair of award winning CDs of recordings made by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger of his songs and reminiscences is a gem that includes 65 songs and fragments, plus some illuminating spoken passages.
At 149 minutes, the collection is said to amount to pretty well all of old Sam’s recorded repertoire, and gives a powerful impression of his life and times, and of course his character and the way of speaking on the East Coast in years gone by – for when I hear him speak, it could be my East Coast grandparents talking.
Read the very informative CD booklet and check out the review by an expert in traditional songs.
Martin Black’s 496-page biography of George Lennox Watson is a monumental work, and a Christmas present that would make anyone feel feel valued!
It describes the Scottish yacht designer’s life and work during what has been called the golden age of yacht design, but also focuses on the emergence of the role of the modern independent designer at a time when design was changing from being a slowly evolving craft to a technological discipline making optimum use of new materials and tank testing.
Here’s a quotation from the publisher’s blurb:
‘Watson’s genius shines through in early racing cutters carrying clouds of sail, pro-bono pioneering work on lifeboats, America’s Cup challengers, and ultimately in sumptuous steam yachts, Watson’s adage: Straight is the line of duty; curved is the line of beauty… is consistently evident.
‘Carrying his prodigious research lightly, the author’s work floats easily above its load waterline, including delightful mini biographies of the colourful leading characters. Even the footnotes are entertaining.’
Read all about Martin Black’s biography of GL Watson at the Peggy Bawn Press website. Also read about the restored Peggy Bawn here.
These lovely drawings by the artist Ernest Dade feature in a new volume from Lodestar Books – and if you’re in need of a gift or two it’s available in time for Christmas at a very reasonable £12!
As an artist, Dade trained with Albert Strange and shared his master’s passion for sailing and sailing craft. First published in 1933, the book Sail and Oar contains 100 of his lively and also historically accurate sketches, accompanied by some striking captions.
I particularly like one that reads: ‘The old smacks brought a very powerful odour with them when they returned after six or eight weeks at sea. They could be smelt some miles away.’
One of the local fishermen of the time said this of Dade’s collection of drawings: ‘These pictures… are true in every way. Mr Ernest Dade lived the life, knew the men, and sailed in the various craft he draws so well. It is a record of things passed away.’
Read more about Ernest Dade’s Sail and Oar at the Lodestar Books website.