New books log all of coast’s shipwrecks

MAST staff and volunteers surveying the wreck on Bamburgh beach.
MAST staff and volunteers surveying the wreck on Bamburgh beach.

A north Northumberland man has published the first two books in a series of nine which look at the shipwrecks off the county’s coastline.

The first of Barry Gardner’s United Kingdom Shipwrecks & Incidents series covers Berwick-upon-Tweed to Cheswick and Cheswick to Ross Back Sands, including Holy Island.

The bite-sized books feature more than 150 and more than 170 incidents respectively, with added relevant information to aid historical, family and diving research.

Barry, from North Sunderland, explained that the Gazette’s coverage of the Bamburgh Wreck was instrumental in pushing him into researching and writing the books.

The wreck was partially exposed early in 2013, lying south of Bamburgh Castle, and re-covered by sand that December.

In April 2014, we reported that the wreck had been named a scheduled monument after research work carried out by the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) in summer 2013.

MAST carried out a survey of the timbers and established that the ship dates from around the 1770s.

Barry, who has spent the majority of his adult life in the Royal Navy and is currently working for the Queen’s Harbour Master, said: “My interest in shipwrecks comes as a combination of home and work life, as the stunning Northumberland coastline is home to several hundred known shipwrecks with more being found each year.

“I initially began his research as an idea to pass spare time while serving away, but quickly realised just how many wrecks, shipping and aircraft incidents were not included in any other wreck book and so began to write them down.”

Priced at £5.99 each, they are available on Amazon and at all good bookstores.