BOOK REVIEW | The Burns and Laird Family Interests in the Formation of Coast Lines

A fascinating and really well-illustrated history of a large slice of Scotland’s coastal shipping industry prior to World War II. It shows how, starting from very small beginnings, its tentacles grew to encompass even the huge Cunard Line when at its peak.

The energetic and imaginative Scots needed coastal shipping desperately as their economy grew rapidly in the nineteenth century. They were largely devoid of railways and roads but their coastline, particularly the west coast, was replete with plentiful handy ports. The Burns and Laird families made the most of those facts and, with other competitors, developed appropriate and efficient shipping services to serve those often out-of-the-way ports.

They were important economically and innovative technically. This very valuable history shows how and why.

Authors: Nick Robins and Malcolm MacRonald

Available from: Coastal Shipping Publications, Portishead, UK.


Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.