Harbour books launched to buoy up lifeboat funds

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A Newton Mearns man who harboured a desire to visit and document all of mainland Scotland’s 340 ports has penned a book series to raise money for the RNLI.

Kevin Scott has dedicated a section, featuring lots of photographs, to Campbeltown and Dalintober in the fourth and final book in his Harbouring – A Desire series.

Lockdown provided the married dad-of-two, aged 58, the perfect opportunity to fulfil one of his earliest retirement goals: to complete his journey around the Scottish mainland, capturing tales and local histories of all of its harbours.

Intended to be one book, the result is four 400-page, full-colour books, covering the journey from Burnmouth, in Scotland’s south-east corner on the border, to the Dumfriesshire town of Annan in the south-west.

All proceeds from sales of the books, published in the closing months of VisitScotland’s themed Year of Coasts and Coastlines 2021/22, will be donated directly to the RNLI.

‘The charity, this year especially, does a tremendous role in safeguarding our shores, all on a voluntary basis,’ Kevin said.

‘Staycations have resulted in many more callouts or ‘shouts’ than ever previously recorded. Just watch the enthralling BBC series Saving Lives at Sea for a few examples.’

Author Kevin Scott. 
Author Kevin Scott.

Originally from the Scottish Borders, Kevin inherited his love of both the sea and its vast coastline from his grandfather.

From a young age, he would regularly be found ‘helping out’ in salmon cobles – a type of small boat – netting at the mouth of the River Tweed.

Add to that his boyhood fascination with watching Eyemouth’s thrilling fish-market live auction and he was ‘hooked’.

‘That respect for the sea has only grown over the years and having listened to fishermen, harbourmasters and the like right around our coastline this past two years, my admiration for those dependent on making a living from it has only deepened,’ Kevin said.

‘Whether sea fishing off Tarbert in the west or lobster fishing in the east, I have enjoyed every minute of my travel experiences.’

Local historians and ‘worthies’ have kindly imparted their knowledge of their villages and harbours, adding much colour and background to each individual area’s tales.

‘I have tried to do justice to their passion and pride as I reflect on each of their journeys to this point in time,’ Kevin said.

‘I have added in both the geography and social history, as well anything of historical or architectural significance, and also have various chapters on the evolution of the fishing industry, local seafood recipes, as well as a substantial glossary of every local heritage and tourist-recommended place to visit, for any inquisitive traveller.’

All four books are now available on the Lulu Bookstore website at www.lulu.com/shop, entering Harbouring – A Desire or Kevin Scott.

‘They would surely be an excellent Christmas present,’ Kevin quipped, ‘either one or all four for the complete tour.’

Look out for Kevin visiting a town near you in 2022.

‘My intention is to take these four books around the country next year, Covid permitting, to as many local events as possible on our shores, having bought myself a small campervan specifically for this purpose,’ he said.