The Ghosts of Swarbacks Minn

My fourth and final post about the naval heritage I visited during our recent holiday in Shetland… By complete coincidence (honest!), our rented cottage looked out directly over Busta Voe, at the head of the Swarbacks Minn anchorage. During World War I, this was the base of the Tenth Cruiser Squadron, responsible for enforcing the […]

The Shetland Bus

Perhaps the most moving naval memorial in Shetland can be found on the harbour front in Scalloway, the archipelago’s one-time capital. This is to the unbelievably brave young Norwegians who lost their lives while operating the ‘Shetland bus’, the covert ‘shuttle service’ of fishing craft and, later, submarine chasers, which operated between Shetland and Norway […]

The Submarine and the Bus Stop

Number two in my short series of posts based on last week’s holiday in Shetland… Unst is an absolute must for visitors. As Britain’s most northerly inhabited island, it racks up the superlatives literally every few hundred yards, the further north you go – the most northerly roads, the most northerly shop (splendidly named ‘The […]

The Hollanders’ Graves

Last week, we had a terrific holiday in the sun-drenched beach resorts of… Shetland. OK, it’s a fair cop, the temperatures never reached double figures in the week we were there, and were driven down further by the constant northerly wind (reaching gale force at times, e.g. on our return ferry voyage to Aberdeen). But […]

When Two Tribes go to…Conferences

To start with this week, some long-awaited and exciting news – The Rage of Fortune, the prequel to the Quinton series, has just been published as an e-book by Endeavour Press, and is available from the various Amazon Kindle stores! I’ve mentioned this a number of times in this blog (notably here and here), so won’t […]

A Falklands War – 35 Years On

Still in Easter holiday mode, so no completely new post this week. But as it’s currently the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War, I thought I’d re-blog this post from the very early days of this site – five years ago, to be exact, at the time of the thirtieth anniversary. I’ve not changed the […]

Eggs and Bacon, Belly Squeaks, and Polly Infamous – Revisited!

Easter holiday mode at the moment, so for the next couple of weeks I’m going to re-blog some posts from the very early days of this site, which were originally seen by the relatively small number of hardy souls who, back then, managed to locate this far-flung recess of the Interweb. This one is on […]

Dead Admirals’ Society Goes Irish

Another one in my occasional series, based on my predilection for photographing interesting naval or maritime graves and memorials that I come across on my journeys… Some twelve years ago, we had a terrific holiday in the north of Ireland, taking in the Glens of Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway, and Lough Swilly, with all its […]

Sea, the Conference

This blog has often touched on the subject of ‘sea blindness’ in modern Britain, notably here, and I also took that as the theme of the keynote lecture I delivered to last year’s conference for new researchers in maritime history. One important element of this discussion is the state of maritime history research in the […]

The Barbary Corsair Raid on Iceland, 1627

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Professor Adam Nichols as my guest blogger. Adam is the co-author of a new book which provides a first-hand account of one of a remarkable but very little known event, the Barbary Corsair raid on Iceland in 1627. Having done quite a lot of work over the years on aspects […]