Holmes of the Humber


Tony Watts

With articles and drawings by George Holmes

Our immensely pop­u­lar first book is back in a soft­cov­er edi­tion, and we’re delighted that the York­shire poet, writer and broad­caster Ian McMil­lan, the ‘Bard of Barns­ley’ with a soft spot for Hum­ber­side, has con­trib­uted a Fore­word.

GEORGE HOLMES lived from 1861 to 1940 on the north­ern side of the Hum­ber estu­ary. He was an avid and accom­plished sail­or in small craft of his own design, in Brit­ish waters and in main­land Europe, and his pro­lif­ic writ­ing and draw­ing have left us an absorb­ing and charm­ing record of his cruises, his boats, and the people and places he encountered.

In com­mon with his friend and sail­ing com­pan­ion Albert Strange, boats were not his reg­u­lar occu­pa­tion but were a diver­sion from his work­ing life. And along with Strange, his name is forever asso­ci­ated with the devel­op­ment of the Canoe Yawl, now enjoy­ing a renewed pop­ular­ity. Its sail­ing qual­it­ies make it argu­ably the best choice of craft for the single- or short-handed coastal and estu­ary sail­or.

Holmes of the Hum­ber is a naut­ic­al book and a social doc­u­ment. Look with­in to appre­ci­ate the pion­eer­ing days of cruis­ing under sail, when enjoy­ment and ful­fil­ment sprang from per­son­al endeav­our and the camarader­ie of the group, and were largely inde­pend­ent of the extern­al forces which would con­trol us today.

Tony Watts has com­bined ori­gin­al sources, Holmes’ pub­lished out­put and the recol­lec­tions of his fam­ily, and his own know­ledge and exper­i­ence of the Hum­ber sail­ing scene to pro­duce this, The Essen­tial George Holmes.

Front cover: ‘Daisy on the Zuider Zee’ (detail) by Tony Watts, from an ori­gin­al by Albert Strange.

ISBN 978–1-907206–39-9; 275 x 210mm, 272 pages, many draw­ings and pho­to­graphs.
Soft­cov­er with sewn bind­ing, cover flaps and matt lam­in­a­tion.

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