A CHILDREN’S book about a brave little boy who saves a container ship from crashing onto rocks is making waves in North Berwick.

The heroic lead character, a six-year-old called Charlie, is also helping protect the town in real life.

Profits from the tale, A Foghorn Called Charlie, will be donated to North Berwick Harbour Trust in a bid to help repair the severe damage caused to the harbour in stormy conditions last October.

Author Elspeth MacGregor started writing the book six years ago.

She was inspired by her great-nephew Charlie, who is now 11.

The author, from Edinburgh, said: “Charlie used to come roaring into the house yelling his head off.

“I thought his extremely loud voice could perhaps be put to good use.”

Elspeth added he thinks it is “cool” that he is the main character in her story, in which the official foghorn breaks down and Charlie, who has a very loud voice, is rushed to the Bass Rock by speedboat to warn ships about the danger during an east-coast haar.

“He has taken the book to school and it was read out in the classroom,” she said.

A Foghorn Called Charlie is illustrated by Katharine Wake, also from Edinburgh, who was suggested by the book’s publisher, Sandra Shedden, of MD Print and Design.

Elspeth, 83, added: “I was eager to find an illustrator who could do black and white drawings in a caricature style to give a more striking and vivid effect, and to enable the young readers to colour in the drawings.

“Katharine’s drawings hit the spot for me.”

As well as entertaining young readers – who can colour in and make a “hero” badge of their own – it is hoped that the book, on sale now, will help North Berwick Harbour Trust, a charity run by local volunteers.

The harbour wall was damaged during stormy conditions at the end of October last year.

A large hole was created and subsequent poor weather increased the size of the breach.

Work has already been carried out to clear away rubble from the area and designs have been drawn up for the full repairs to be carried out.

Jane McMinn, chair of North Berwick Harbour Trust, which has been working alongside East Lothian Council and other groups to restore the harbour, was thrilled with the idea of the book.

She said: “We are delighted that Elspeth has us in mind for her generous donation and support for the restoration of North Berwick Harbour.

“This book is unique to North Berwick and another example of the tremendous support for the harbour from all aspects of the community and visitors.”

Last month, a crane was brought in to place large bags of rock on the sea side of the harbour.

But Ms McMinn added: “Urgent repairs are needed to two other walls to secure this great community asset and heritage for future generations. Many thanks to Elspeth for this; we hope we can continue to work together in the future.”

A Foghorn Called Charlie is available for £8 through Chandlers and Rock & Bird, both on North Berwick High Street, as well as the Scottish Seabird Centre.