Ignoring the guidance of his mother, Jim Lawrence fulfilled a boyhood ambition when in 1948, as a determined 15 year old fresh from school, he signed on as third hand aboard a sailing barge in the Thames Estuary trades.
Given his first command when just turned eighteen, keeping an old sailing barge going demanded the learning of many skills, not least of these the ability to manage ‘a stitch in time’ for sails well past their prime. When, 23 years later, Jim stepped ashore from earning his living afloat, his skills with the sailmaker’s palm saw him establish a traditional sail loft destined to become renowned around the world.
Refreshingly written with an in-depth understanding and experience of his subject, both joy and tragedy touch these pages, with a frequent dash of often mischievous humour. This much anticipated autobiography will not disappoint.
‘Famous for his popular and funny barging talk shows, Jim does not disappoint as a wordsmith either, his wry take on life in full flow.’
Dick Durham, Classic Boat
‘Told in his inimitable and easy style, this is a volume to savour and I have no doubt London Light will immediately become a ‘leading light’ in the bibliography of the Thames sailing barge.’
Charles Traill, Mainsheet Magazine