Steamships on the Paterson River book launch

Launch: Wayne Patfield's new book will be launched on October 18 with social distancing in mind, under the poplar trees at Tucker Park in Paterson.
Launch: Wayne Patfield's new book will be launched on October 18 with social distancing in mind, under the poplar trees at Tucker Park in Paterson.

The need for social distancing in a global pandemic will see Paterson Historical Society host a book launch with a difference later this month.

To celebrate the release of Wayne Patfield's new book Steamships on the Paterson River 1832-1950, the society will set up shop in Tucker Park, Paterson on Sunday, October 18.

"People can drift in any time over three hours to talk to Wayne and buy his book - all while maintaining social distancing," said Paterson Historical Society President Cameron Archer.

"No speeches, no launch, no one time to be there - just Wayne and his incredible new book."

The book is based on decades of painstaking research and a love of ships that's in Wayne's DNA from the time his forebears such as Captain Herb Patfield, a highly respected river boat master, navigated steamships along the Paterson River.

"The river trade endured for more than 100 years and the steam ships that Wayne has recorded in his book were the life blood of the Valley, part of the pulse of daily life as they puffed and splashed their way along the river," said Dr Archer.

Last year Wayne wrote his first book about those vessels which were powered by wind and sail. He then turned his attention to the steam powered vessels.

From 1-4pm on Sunday, October 18, the historical society will setup a small desk and stall in Tucker Park under the poplar trees for an afternoon when anyone can call by and see Wayne and purchase the book.

"The books are an important source of revenue for the Society and it is essential to make them available before Christmas," said Dr Archer.

Steamships on the Paterson River will retail for $20.

"It is a treasure trove of information that you will never find on Google," said Dr Archer.

"You will only find it in this great book by Wayne."

A book by Alison Pitkin, Portraits of Paterson, will be released in the same manner on Sunday, November 15.