I recently went to the re-launch of a unique book.
In 1988 Roy Souter, a retired fisherman, published a book detailing shipwrecks and rescues along the coast of Kincardineshire from the North Esk River to Stonehaven. The period of time covered stretches from the time of the Spanish Armada to rescues in the 1950s. The book is a remarkable record of events that could have otherwise faded into obscurity.
On a different level the book is a fantastic example of a man’s dedication to the craft of writing. Roy fished from the village of Gourdon and when he gave up going to sea he started working in the local mill. It was around this time I met him and, according to his daughter, this was when he spent the majority of his spare time researching and writing about the events recorded in his book ‘A Wild and Rocky Coast’.
The book, entirely hand written, was originally published in pamphlet form and sold in aid of RNLI funds. Because of its unique nature, in both content and technique, the book was re-launched with the aim of providing funds for the Maggie Law Maritime Museum in Gourdon, an undertaking that Roy was instrumental in founding before his death.
It's a few years since Roy died but his achievement will always be an inspiration to anyone who thinks of themselves as a writer.
Below is the forward to ‘A Wild and Rocky Coast’. An example of Roy's meticulous writing.