The Fishing Boats and Ports of Wales : Wales a Way to Explore Spiral bound
Like the original Fishing boats and Ports Books (The Fishing Boats of Cornwall and the Fishing Boats of Devon) published in 2006 this book about the Commercial Fishing Industry in Wales follows the same format and is also both attractively and practically designed. The concealed spiral binding allows it to remain open at any page in rucksack or on chart table without damage, and yet have a title spine for bookshelf display. Its content is also multipurpose. It has been found useful to tourists, and holiday makers, as well as those with a professional interest.
As an illustrated guide to coastal places in Wales associated with fishing past and present, it suggests a purposeful way to explore and learn about the Welsh coastline; but because it contains a photographic and listed record of the contemporary registered fishing boats to be found in these places it also has a wider usefulness.
This ranges on the one hand from a family 'I spy' potential, to a unique photographic record for the historian and a companion for fishing industry support services or an aide for safety/emergency crews on the other. Stewart Lenton came to write these 'Fishing boats & ports' books because as a volunteer watch keeper at the National Coast Watch Institution he identified a need for a photographic record of fishing boats as recognition aid at their lookouts where there is a requirement to log all passing vessels. It was often difficult to identify specific fishing boats because fishing gear would frequently obscure the names and registration numbers of these working boats. As a keen and competent photographer himself, Lenton therefore set about fulfilling this need.
This meant travelling to and seeking out any places where fishing boats might be found.
His wife Liz frequently accompanied him on these trips round Devon & Cornwall when they had only recently moved to the area and they found it an excellent way to get to know it.
Repeated visits were necessary to capture all the boats which by definition would often be out fishing, and Liz took the opportunity to familiarise herself with local attractions, history and traditions. When they found themselves frequently visiting Wales to trace Liz' ancestry and meet present day members of her family still in Wales they put the same technique into practice and started systematically exploring the coast in this way and discovering more about Wales as a result, than Liz had learnt from her Welsh family contacts and years at school in Dolgelley.
She therefore wrote a longer introduction to the Welsh book than she had done for the previous books in an attempt to convey her own excitement in her discoveries hoping to inspire others to do the same.
Stewart continued to search out and photograph the registered fishing vessels of all kinds and sizes, and also take photographs of the ports and places where the fishing boats are kept.
Finding all the fishing vessels was not an easy task because in Wales a considerable proportion of small fishing vessels are kept in their owners homes or lockups and only trailed down to the coast and launched as required for fishing. Stewart also collected the information necessary to write the short synopsis of background information on each of the places. There is an Introductory section before the individual 'ports' are considered in turn clockwise round the coast from Newport in the South to Connah's Quay in the North taking in the island of Anglesey on the way.
In the Introduction there is also a section on the administration and registration of commercial fishing boats and the meaning of the letters and numbers they display and the registration ports in Wales.
Boats change the port in which they are based from time to time as well as their physical appearance providing an additional challenge to their identification. Several photographs of the same boat with very different appearances taken at different times are included to illustrate such changes.
The book concludes with and an alphanumerical and also an alphabetical index allowing a boat to be found by both its name and number.
The type of boat, brief details of it and where she is kept makes it possible to look for her in the appropriate ports pages.
- Format: Spiral bound
- Pages: 176 pages, 822 colour photographs, 54 tables/lists, 7 drawings
- Publisher: Channel View Publishing Plymouth
- Publication Date: 01/11/2010
- Category: Maritime history
- ISBN: 9780955402340