It is always wonderful to receive fan mail for our authors — this letter was recently received and forwarded to Roger Paine whose Sailing Ships and Sealing Wax, terrific collection of naval yarns local histories and legends of Sussex resonated with this reader, himself a naval officer.
“I have just finished reading this compelling pot-pourri of literary treasures. I have seldom enjoyed a book so much, packed with informative content and amusing anecdotal instances.
“I am a retired seafarer whose career in the British Merchant Navy, Royal Navy Reserves, and Royal Australian Navy spanned 42 years. So the “Ships: segment was of a special significance to me. As a raw-boned navy cadet, I joined the ship’s company on the flight deck of the HMS INDEFATIGABLE in cheering Queen Elizabeth II at the Spithead Review in 1953, and also learned the art of slinging and sleeping in a hammock for five days. Roger’s descriptive and concise writing in this segment brought several such instances to mind. Also, in my youth, I spent many a summer holidaying in Heathfield, East Sussex. Invariably, I would cycle through neighboring villages and parishes, exploring places of historical interest. A number of those churches, so adequately described in “Sealing Wax” evoked vivid memories of those past halcyon days.
“Thank you Roger, for warming the cockles of an old seafarer’s heart, and the enjoyment you gave me in reading your book. Lastly, but not least, BRAVO ZULU!”
Captain RAN, retd