Caroline launches first book as memento to Bay's cruise ships

Two women and man at book launch

Left to right: Caroline Sleeman, Mitchell Searle, Lucie Johnson - Credit: Submitted

Torquay resident Caroline Sleeman has produced her first book at the age of 75 – as a tribute to the cruise ships moored in Torbay.

Semi-retired Caroline worked for many years at South Devon College co-ordinating teaching provision for people with additional needs, and still works part time as part of the house-keeping team at The Lorrens Ladies Health Spa. In her spare time, she crochets NHS hero Teddy Bears, as her son and granddaughter both work for the NHS.

She says: "The inspiration came whilst out on one of my Lockdown walks walking along Babbacombe Downs and the coastal path. I kept seeing the amazing cruise ships ‘parked up' and thought it would be great to create a collection of pictures and send them to the crews as a memento. 

"I started a Facebook page and now have over 200 followers - I contacted people asking if they would give permission to use their photos and many very kindly agreed."

She made enquiries about getting the printing done but hit a brick wall until she contacted the directors of Eat That Frog Community Interest Company.

"Bingo, they put me in touch with Torquay Centre Manager Lucie Johnson and Mitch Searle, one of their digital skills tutors," said Caroline.

" Mitch suggested we create a photo book and a 2022 calendar which we could sell to raise funds for the RNLI. Local people sent their photos into Mitch, and his photography student Seph also took some photos as part of his studies. We will shortly be presenting copies of the book to the cruise ship crews.

Cruise ship

One of Steph's pictures from the book - Credit: Submitted

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The books and calendars are for sale at Eat That Frog (order online via their website).

Caroline is also happy to deliver books and calendars locally to people if they would like to get in touch with her via the Cruise Ships in Lyme Bay and Torbay Facebook page. Local shops are also welcome to get in touch.

Mitch says: "It’s a pleasure to feature photos from talented local photographers, including our own young learner Seph, Andrew Sassoli-Walker, Jem Spicer, Ocean Blue Art Studio, Rock Solid Coasteering and Simon Smith.”

Cruise ship

Another of Steph's pictures - Credit: Submitted