South Wales is historically associated with coal, both in its mining and exporting. However, at the western end of the coalfield, a metal refining industry developed and prospered and thus, in the early twentieth century, ports like Swansea developed considerable volumes of general cargo, with tinplate products making up a substantial proportion. By the 1960s - the last years of traditional cargo shipping - it was possible to see a regular flow of cargo liners in addition to any remaining coal shipments. The establishment of the nearby Llandarcy oil refinery also brought regular movement of crude oil into the docks.
Starting with the Prince of Wales Dock, then moving to the King's Dock and finally to the Queen's Dock, it is these movements that Mark Lee Inman has captured and recorded in a nostalgic, must-see collection for both shipping and local history enthusiasts of nearly 200 images, never before seen in print.
Mark Lee Inman spent his childhood and teenage years in south Wales, able to watch the movements of ships in and out of Swansea docks. Thus the passion for ships and photographing developed. Later he read geography at Queen Mary College, University of London. This proximity to London's docks made it an ideal location to continue and develop his passion for ships.