Below The Waterline
Hardback - 256 Pages
50 Illustrations

Choose P&P Option...

You can also buy... 

Dockland Apprentice
Softback - 192 Pages
45 Illustrations
Choose P&P Option...

About Below The Waterline

Below The Waterline follows the Author through his experiences from the end of his apprenticeship in 1961 with The London Graving Dock Co. on the Isle of Dogs, now generally known as Canary Wharf, to his time in the Merchant Navy as an engineer.

Those were the days of what could be considered the last generation of ‘Hands on Engineers’ who maintained the ships engine rooms by the senses of sight, sound and feel, often with a bit of blood and always plenty of sweat.

Under normal circumstances they spent eight hours a day, split into two four hour watches in the engine room, unlike today’s automated engine rooms where engineers spend most of their time in sound proof, air conditioned control rooms keeping an eye on the computers and CCTV of the machinery spaces.

In those days the working conditions down below would have given today’s ‘Health and Safety’ brigade apoplexy. However it would be hard to find a ships engineer from those halcyon times that didn’t consider his time at sea as the happiest time of his life.

About Dockland Apprentice

With 192 pages and 45 illustrations, Dockland Apprentice provides a fascinating insight into what life was like for an apprentice marine engineer within the London Docks during the 1950's. It was an area considered by most Londoners as mysterious and inaccessible, some parts enclosed and hidden from view by enormous walls and others bordered by marshland. The nearest that most people came was the sight of the ship's funnels and cranes that dominated the skyline as they travelled to work on the train.

The Docks were full of colourful and eccentric characters. Working conditions at the time were very different to today and the author describes both from an intimate knowledge.

He was an indentured apprentice and learned the skills necessary for a long and exciting career that involved repair work in one of the foremost shipyards and on many of the magnificent ships that docked in one of the world's busiest ports.

About The Author

David Carpenter After completing his apprenticeship at The London Graving Dock Company in 1961, David Carpenter joined the Merchant Navy and went to sea as an engineer with The New Zealand Shipping Company and later with Buries Marks Ltd. With marriage on the horizon he gave up a deep sea career and took up a position as Chief Engineer on an ocean going motor yacht cruising the Mediterranean and home waters.

Later he bought a Cornish shark fishing boat and operated a fishing and diving charter business from the South Coast. After several years, with bureaucracy and the health and safety brigade manifesting itself, he returned to marine engineering.

He was appointed as a Company Director to Catamaran Workboats Ltd who designed and built workboats for the North Sea oil industry and he also managed a marine engineering business on the South Coast.

He retired in 1992 to concentrate on restoring and operating vintage cars and motorcycles with which he still campaigns in sprints and hill climbs. He also runs a family business supplying his vintage Rolls Royce motor cars to the wedding trade.

His writing career spans many years, with technical and historic articles in various publications. ‘Below The Waterline’ is his second book.

His previous book, ‘Dockland Apprentice’ was awarded a highly commended in History Today’s New Generation Book of The Year (2005).

Contact David