Prescot, 2nd.ed., 1969. 240 pp., frontis + 34 other photographs & plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. V.G. Extra illustration tipped-in. Bookplate of an ex. Clan Line master, Captain George Fyfe Paton. First published shortly after the war, this is the story of Portmadoc on the coast of North Wales and the huge fleet of deep-sea and coastal square-riggers that filled the harbour a century ago. From Portmadoc they sailed with their cargo of slate from local mines and quarries, bound not only for coastal ports but also for far-away overseas destinations including South America. The author recalls these ships, their masters and crews - many of whom came from the same family. He also describes the fortunes of the Welsh slate trade that was finally taken over by steamers and the railways. Vessels varied in size and rig but rarely exceeded 300 tons and at times their freeboard was a mere twenty inches. Under these conditions they would sail on long deep-sea voyages manned only by three men and a couple of boys. SQUARE-RIGGERS OF PORTMADOC AND THE WELSH SLATE TRADE.