Books and Videos
"HMS Tara" by Richard Burnell (£7.95)
In November 1915 HMS Tara (ex Holyhead LNWR Steamer TSS Hibernia) was sunk by submarine off the North African Coast. The surviving crew were held deep in the Libyan Desert by the Senussi Tribe for four months until rescued by a column of Armoured Cars and other vehicles led by the Duke of Westminster. Unfortunately fifteen Holyhead mariners and two from elsewhere in the UK were not amongst those saved. The story is one of survival over extreme adversity of very ordinary local seamen whose families knew little of the outcome of the loss of the ship until they returned home. Richard Burnell's excellent book telling the full story of these dramatic events is now on sale with all proceeds to the Holyhead Maritime Museum.
"Holyhead and the Great War" by R E Roberts (£5.99)
First published in 1920 and reprinted by the Holyhead Maritime Museum as part of commemorating the Centenary of the Great War, this book is an unique record of Holyhead's contribution. Not many towns can fully describe the extent of the effort and sacrifice that occurred in one comprehensive document such as this. The book contains details of all those from the town who served their country - their affiliations and home addresses. There is a fully detailed Roll of Honour as well as descriptions of many of the tragic events that led to the loss of a number of Holyhead ships and many of their crewmembers. There is a fascinating description of how the cross channel steamers maintained their service in the face of enemy submarine attack. For those interested in local history, genealogy or just curious about how a community coped with the burden of a world war, this book offers much in detail and explanation.
Holyhead Maritime Museum produced DVD (£5.95)
Three short bi-lingual videos on one DVD telling the enthralling story of Holyhead Port, the Great Breakwater/Quarry and the Lifeboats of Holy Island. Each one expertly produced by a local media company and narrated by Anglesey actors - Celyn Jones and Allan Williams. Short promotional video here.
Every Picture tells a Story of Holy Island by Gareth Rowlands (£14.95)
This book takes the reader on a journey around beautiful Holy Island (Ynys Cybi) describing its rich maritime history and memories involving the Port of Holyhead, the town, Salt Island, Waterside, Newry Beach, Soldiers Point, the Quarry, Mountain, Llaingoch, South Stack and the pretty coves around the Trearddur Bay coastline. The journey continues on to Rhoscolyn, Four Mile Bridge and finally, the Penrhos estate.
The book is illustrated using vibrant watercolour landscapes by local artist Julie Roberts. The description of each of the 80 paintings provides a fascinating insight into the historical background of this beautiful island.
"A Fleeting Visit" by Gareth Rowlands (£5.00)
This book is a fact-based novel set in the period 1861-1862 describing the clandestine operations of Confederate naval officer, Captain James D. Bullock during the American Civil War.
Bullock came to Liverpool to order and oversee the construction of ships. To evade Union spies he travels from Liverpool to Holyhead to take delivery of the Fingal. Bullock spends three days in the rapidly developing town during the time of the building of the breakwater. In the company of a local hotelier he walks to the breakwater and quarry, through the mountain villages and learns about the history and development of the town itself. The novel also describes Bullock’s role in the delivery of ships to the Confederate navy.
The book is illustrated with photographs of ‘Old Holyhead’ as well as rare photographs of Confederate warships.
"The Ancestry, Life and Times of Commander John Macregor Skinner R.N." by Peter Scott Roberts (£12.50)
The book briefly describes his ancestry before the family were forced to flee the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. Glimpses of where they settled in the New World and how influential they became in shaping the the community are protrayed before moving on to cover their involvement with the American Revolution and eventually resettling in Britain.
Finally the book covers the life of Commander John Magregor Skinner R.N. from his early naval career in North America to his service and influence on the town and port of Holyhead until his tragic death in the Irish Sea in 1832.
"No Problem's Too Small" by Gareth Rowlands (£5.99)
The Marine Yard played a central role in the development and daily life of the port and town of Holyhead. The book traces the history of the Yard and describes the variety of work carried out there. Following conversations with many of the men, the author describes the long working hours and often harsh conditions endured, and recounts many humorous tales.
Many a master mariner has commented that the best engineers in the fleet had served their time in the Marine Yard. This book will rekindle many memories for those who worked in the Yard and provide a unique insight into their working lives.
"Trains and Boats and Planes" by Gareth Rowlands and Alf Pritchard (£10.00)
The book describes how the different modes of travel have influenced the development of the port and town of Holyhead. It is illustrated with many photographs dating from the 19th Century to the present day.