Golden maritime era recalled

Pictured at the launch of Maritime Memories by Robert Anderson at Coleraine Town Hall last Tuesday are from left; Sarah Carson, Causeway Museum Service, MLA Maurice Bradley, Robert Anderson, author, Councillor James McCorkell, Deputy Mayor, Helen Perry, Causeway Museum Service, and     
INCR25-302PL
Pictured at the launch of Maritime Memories by Robert Anderson at Coleraine Town Hall last Tuesday are from left; Sarah Carson, Causeway Museum Service, MLA Maurice Bradley, Robert Anderson, author, Councillor James McCorkell, Deputy Mayor, Helen Perry, Causeway Museum Service, and INCR25-302PL

At very low tides the remains of the wreck of the Devereux can sometimes be seen protruding from the sands at Portrush’s White Rocks Beach.

The sailing ship ran aground with a cargo in timber as it made its way from Quebec in Canada to Belfast in 1864.

“The ship disintegrated following an Atlantic storm and its skeleton can still be seen at the White Rocks beach,” shipmaster, author and historian Robert Anderson told guests at the launch of his book, ‘Causeway Coast Maritime Memories’.

The picture of the shipwreck - taken in March 2015 - is just one of 80 fascinating images of sailing ships, steamships, motor ships, dockers, shipwrecks, port and harbour scenes, visiting warships, lifeboats and seamen which feature in Robert’s impressive volume.

The book encapsulates a bygone era of maritime life, as Robert pointed out to the audience at the book launch in Coleraine Town Hall.

He said that in the 1950s 500 ships had sailed into Coleraine Harbour - last year there were around 15.

For hundreds of years the River Bann and Atlantic were Coleraine’s gateway to the world.

“Our maritime heritage along our coast is very strong. We have always had strong links with Innishowen and the west coast of Scotland,” Robert explained.

“The Vikings, the Normans, those who came here during the Plantation, they all came here via the River Bann - the was no Easy Jet!”

Robert expressed sincere thanks to Deputy Mayor James McCorkell for taking time to attend the launch and to Sarah Carson of the Causeway Museum Service and DCAL for allowing him to host the occasion in the Town Hall.

He also thanked all his contributors who allowed him to use their photographs in the book, Coleraine Historical Society and Tommy McDonald of Impact Printing who published the book.

Each photograph is accompanied by a well-researched and detailed caption giving the reader an insight into aspects of the maritime world sometimes not generally seen or understood by the general public. Robert spent 25 years as the Dredging Master and a River Bann Pilot with Coleraine Harbour Commissioners before extending his career further afield and serving as Master on a variety of dredgers and small passenger vessels within the UK.

The book is now available in local outlets, priced £8.50