The man who wrote the award-winning BBC series This Sceptred Isle, and who learnt how to sail in an abandoned skiff, has written about his days aboard tramp steamers

This Sceptred Isle author Christopher Lee has written a fascinating book about the last days of the tramp steamer, Eight Bells and Top Masts.

Lee lives aboard his yacht – he has had a love of sailing ever since he taught himself to sail in an abandoned skiff he found in the marshes near his boyhood home in Kent.

He went on to sail aboard a Thames barge before reading history at Cambridge. This book, a personal history, documents the end of the itinerant merchantman – outmoded by the container ship.