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Very pleased to be able to announce the official launch of my first book on the shipbuilding history of the Port of Leith, Edinburgh




Friday night 31st January quite apart from competing with the U.K. officially leaving the European Union along with the final hours of the football transfer market.

This being my first such event is it any wonder that I was a wee bit scared of the official launch of my first book – The rest of this story was due to go onto the Blog, but it is taking me too long to work the damn thing out-So the story of the evening shall continue here.

Here we have the author who is sitting on the right, along with the compere Asif Khan, and some of the wonderfully attentive audience.

I need to begin with some thanks to all the people who showed up for the book launch of “LEITH-BUILT SHIPS VOL. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders”

I was surprised and somewhat humbled by the interest shown by so many.

Thanks must go to Asif Khan (Director of the Scottish Poetry Library) for his guidance and very professional comparing of the launch.


Introductions over it’s time to tell all of the audience about my book LEITH-BUILT SHIPS. Vol I, they Once Were Shipbuilders

Thanks also to the great people of the Leith Theatre Trust including Callum and Ian along with all the staff who ensured that the evening was by all accounts successful.

Thanks also to Robert Rowbottom Naval Architect at Henry Robb shipbuilders, Eric Graham maritime historian and everyone else who took the time and trouble to attend.

Thanks To the local M.P. Deirdre Brock (SNP spokesperson at Westminster on Environmental and Rural affairs) for her interest and support.

Not forgetting the representatives of the Granton history group and the same for the Newhaven group.

My wife and family along with my older brother Bill, my auld mate Phil who travelled from the south coast of England to attend the event you all helped to contribute to a great night.

Thanks also to my publishers at Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath, Scotland .


The evening started off once all were in attendance, with many enjoying the local Leith beer and Gin.

Asif was very good in guiding and prompting me with the start of the question and answer session; by half way through he could not stop me as I was in full talk mode.

This is from someone who was terrified at the thought of speaking in front of so many, after about an hour of me talking (It was only scheduled for half that time) about Volume One along with Vol. II & III of the series the floor was opened for the audience to ask questions.


Just getting my point across

I was on a roll now after a little bit of a nervous start.


With a very interesting question put to me from a lady representing the Historical Ships of the U.K. network.

She asked which one of the old ships I would wish to see back in Leith with people working on her to restore to glory, without any hesitation I answered the Scott II the last ice-breaking tug on the historic ships register of the U.K.

The evening closed with me speaking to all the fine people who had purchased my book, and many others with an interest in the Ships Built at Leith.

I did have some interesting conversation with a couple of people involved in documentary production and a very interesting conversation with the local Leith M.P.


As always anyone can reach me at the following


The author signing some more books, what a great night it turned out to be, from a feeling of trepidation if not down right fear to one of sincere enjoyment.

A word or two about the Leith Theatre Trust

They really do a magnificent job of keeping this old art deco building alive and are open for all types of Events from stage shows to book launches to a wedding venue with a difference, so if you are looking for a great venue to hold an event then look no further as all profits go back into the upkeep and running costs of this magnificent building from a by-gone are.



LEITH-BUILT SHIPS VOL. II, Leith Shipyards 1918 to 1939


Very pleased to be able to announce that the second volume in the Leith-Built Ships series is to be published early in 2021 by Whittle Publishing-look out for the launch date. Read more here.


LEITH-BUILT SHIPS VOL. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders


Very pleased to be able to announce that the First volume in the Leith-Built Ships series is now available to readers in Australia and New Zealand. A great many Leith Built Ships were for owners in both Australia and New Zealand, with the New Zealand USSCo being one of the largest customers of Leith Built Ships.

The book is now on Amazon Australia and can be found via the button below.

Delighted to now be able to tell all our Kiwi friends that they can also order a copy of the book from

LEITH BUILT SHIPS VOL. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders is also available on the German Amazon site and now all through Europe.

LEITH BUILT SHIPS VOL. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders is now available at Walmart in America. Also at most good book stores in the U.S.A.


The new website-We hope that you can see some of the many changes that are happening on the website. Along with our website partners at Lucid Media we intend that the website will grow, to become even bigger and better than the old Leithshipyards website.
This will take time and we shall need your help, please tell everyone that you know about the new website which will eventually cater for anyone with an interest in Leith, Ships and the Sea, along with the great maritime heritage of this famous old port. We have many more books to get published and they have just been held up a wee bit by the Covid-19 virus, just as it has affected everyone else.
Some subtle changes while some really do enhance the browsing experience. Don't forget please that if you have anything to add by way of stories or images about old Leith and the ships that were built or visited then just get in touch with
You should also notice the ship's photo pages will start to grow as we still have many more great images to go into the website.


Delighted to be able to tell you all that the first book in the series of books on the wonderful heritage of the shipbuilding industry in Leith Leith-Built Ships Vol I,. They Once Were Shipbuilders has been nominated for a best book award at the Marine Foundation awards.

The Mountbatten Award for Best Book

Leith-built Ships Vol 1 Cover.JPG
Delighted to be able to tell you that we have two more books due for publishing by Whittles Publishers, with the first of the books due for release April 29th 2022. Bustler Class Rescue Tugs with details to be found here.
Leith-Built Ships, Vol-III (Henry Robb Ltd) is due out in June and further details can be found here.
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