This is a fascinating portrayal of long-lost vessels recorded in harbours, most of which have changed out of all recognition. For many decades, small coasters and freighters had an essential role in the trade and commerce conducted in the coastal waters around the British Isles. The book is an affectionate tribute to these craft and the men who sailed in them. As an island nation, Britain has always had a great maritime tradition. Whilst large ocean-going vessels still dominate international trade, the small coasters and freighters which regularly plied between the major ports and harbours of the British Isles have, over the past 20 years, largely disappeared. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was still possible to see large numbers of these traditional coasters and freighters in and around Britain's ports and harbours and, during these years, the late Kenneth Whiteman travelled widely recording these vessels and the dockyards they used.Apart from the obvious interest to maritime enthusiasts in seeing images of these long-lost ships, the photographs also show much of the dockyard infrastructure such as cranes and warehouses, that are now as much a part of history as the ships portrayed.
For all maritime enthusiasts and all those who remember the traditional British freighter and coaster, "Coastal Vessels: A Colour Portfolio" is an exercise in pure nostalgia that brings to life a period that, whilst well within living memory, is a lifetime away in terms of these vessels and the environment in which they are portrayed.