First published in 1949, shortly after the conflict covered in part of this book, Coasting Bargemaster has been ‘in print’ for many of the years since, such is the quality of both the story and the writing. Though fast dwindling, the sailing barges still had their fair share of the coasting trade and Roberts was committed to earning a living from the wind. It was a hard, high-risk form of seafaring that he describes, none of the glamour and riches possible from careers ashore. ‘No seaman has ever retired rich since the old days of piracy.’ he declares, but sticks to his chosen way of life, largely avoiding the despised ‘jumped-up city clerk who has never been to sea telling me what to do!
Forward by Des Sleightholme, Editor of Yachting Monthly for almost 20 years.
‘An extraordinary story because it takes place within living memory, and yet it portrays a way of life that has been completely obliterated by the advance of technology… there’s lots of interest for the non-sailor, as he [Roberts] captures life in Britain in the inter-war years’
Classic Boat, January 2000