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  It would be quite difficult for most people to describe their feelings, if they stepped onto a beautiful little island for the first time the day after it became theirs, but Tony Porter manages in his popular book “The Great White Palace”. The tide is in, so he and his lovely wife Beatrice arrive aboard their very own sea tractor, and walk up to the abandoned hotel, built in their favourite Art Deco style back in 1929. That was on 6th January 1986, barely a month after they had heard that Burgh Island off the South Devon Coast even existed.  Having borrowed over half a million pounds, they had only three short months to sell their London house, restore the famous building, once host to the Prince of Wales and Noel Coward, and to open in time for the Spring season. Over more than 300 pages, Tony relates how they overcame virtually impossible problems brought upon them by wind and tide, their constantly threatening bank, and even a man on the mainland who harassed guests on their arrival from far away, as they waited to cross over. Tony's publicity skills worked though, as the press too fell in love with the place and its history. Agatha Christie who had lived nearby, based two of her mysteries on the island which was used during the Porters' time to film “Evil under the Sun” and the opening scenes of “And then there were None”. After sixteen years of total commitment and devotion, they sold their dream on, as a thriving concern. Following a welcome holiday with the whole family, Tony sat down to write all about it in his own entertaining way in the book which has colour photographs, original sketches and graphic descriptions of the hilarious things that happened to them over those incredible years. “The Great White Palace” (Deerhill Books)  £8.99  from good bookshops or through Paypal (plus £1.50 p and p).