My colourful new paperback Mersey Maritime Tales – True Stories of Shipwrecks, Heroism
and Human Endeavour is out now price just £3.99. Although I say it myself, it’s a great read with amazing stories packed with all sorts of entertaining and inspiring things.
It’s available at Merseyside Maritime Museum as well as newsagents and bookshops in the Liverpool and north Wales areas. In addition you can order it through www.merseyshop.com or by calling 0845 143 0001 (plus £1.50 P&P UK).
Here’s an extract from my Foreword to the 92-page book containing 40 Tales plus a cargo of Did You Know facts and figures:
People tell me: ‘You are clever, knowing all those stories with so many dates and facts’. However, the Tales owe their existence to the outstanding displays at Merseyside Maritime Museum.
There is an amazing array of exhibits which prove a constant inspiration to me. The museum houses some of the finest ship models as well as the rarest historical objects. For example, the 20 ft long original builder’s model of the Titanic is probably the most popular single exhibit among the many thousands of objects on display.
Next to it in the Titanic, Lusitania and the Forgotten Empress gallery is an apron worn by a passenger, possibly the only item of clothing worn on the night of the disaster in a public collection.
This gallery alone has inspired several Tales, the Titanic story continues to fascinate succeeding generations of visitors.
I have to confess there is a trick in writing the Tales. I write four at a time and the drafts are checked for factual errors by Merseyside Maritime Museum curators and other staff. The Tales are done as part of my job as press officer for National Museums Liverpool.
I was a newspaper reporter for many years and am a proficient writer in Pitman’s shorthand. I can write down large amounts of information in a relatively short time using those peculiar phonetic symbols and short-forms. This particular skill is very handy in preparing the Tales. Sometimes I have an idea in my head before I make my monthly visit to the museum to do Tales research. More often than not it is quick flashes of inspiration which will see the birth of a Tale.
Many of the Tales involve my own research and in this area the Internet has opened whole new areas to countless people, myself included.
A new Maritime Tale by Stephen Guy appears every Saturday in the Liverpool Echo.