Informal notes of a meeting of the Directors held on Thursday 17th June 2018

In McArthur’s Store, Dunbar

Present: Alasdair Swan (Chair); Steven Anderson; Barry Buglass; Barry Fisher; Paul Ingram; Kenneth Maule; Eric Robertson.

Apologies: John Band; Andrew Brown; Robin Hamilton;

Quentin Dimmer (Harbourmaster)

Inquorate meeting:

There was no quorum for the May meeting because of hospitalisation, business commitments and holidays so, in accordance with the Constitution, no business was conducted at that meeting. 

Tribute to Thelma Band:

It is with the greatest sadness that we have to note the recent death of Thelma Band on 6th June 2018.

Thelma Band joined Dunbar Harbour Trust as a Director and Trustee in December 2011. For the last few years she was highly active as Vice Chair of the Trust and leaves behind a lasting legacy.

In 2013 she produced and edited a New Year and Spring newsletter and when there was doubt whether a monthly newsletter would be sustainable she picked up the challenge and between April 2013 and May 2018 the Harbour Trust newsletter was published every month without fail, whether Thelma was in this country or abroad at the time. These newsletters provide a lasting archive of the history of Dunbar Harbour over these years.

Thelma was the custodian of the Harbour Trust’s website, always ensuring that the information it contained was relevant and current. This provided valuable information not only to regular harbour users but also to visiting boats.

Thelma led the Trust’s Mooring Committee, ensuring there was order in the allocation and administration of the moorings, and worked in so many other ways to support the smooth running of the harbour.

Perhaps Thelma will be best remembered about the harbour as the visionary who created and delivered the harbour festival known as “Sparkling Dunbar”.

This has always been free of charge to the general public through the fund raising effort that Thelma put into the project each year.

Above all Thelma will be missed by her colleagues. Her wisdom always added to the decision making process round the Board table and her good humour always made her a pleasure to work with. It will not be possible to replace Thelma, but it is possible for us to recognise and be grateful for all that she contributed to the well-being of the harbour.

Minutes of the previous meeting:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th April 2018 were approved.

Public art in the harbour:

The Trust has been offered works of art at no cost by the Spanish artist Manuel Munos to be temporarily displayed on the bank under the castle. It was decided that a permanent home for these works would be finalised after they had been in situ for a period. The Trust was very grateful for the offer which will be accepted.

The works may be called the “Wavebreakers”.

It is now increasingly important that the area at the far end of Victoria Harbour is cleared and the grass properly cut.

Port Marine Safety Code and the Health & Safety Report:

  1. Incident log review

There were no reported incidents or near misses over the last month.

Craning in day was completed successfully.

  1. Risk assessment review

The following risks were reviewed in May –

  • Loss of product as a result of a collision
  • Fire or explosion as a result of a collision
  • Grounding alongside because of incorrect loading of a vessel

None of the above risks has turned into an actual incident so the assessment that the risks are low is supported by the historical evidence.

It was noted that “personal injury as a result of a collision” had not been risk assessed and it was agreed that it would be good to add this to the risk register. In this context the wearing of life jackets is an important means of reducing the risk of injury/death.

The following risks were reviewed at the meeting –

  • Cooking fire on board
  • Crew working davits
  • Falling off ladders

None of the above risks has turned into an actual incident but there have been some reported near misses with crew working the davits. These were before the remote controls were fitted and there have been no reports since. There have been no recorded incidents involving cooking fires or falling off ladders.

Despite this cooking fires are rated a higher than usual risk and it was agreed that the presence of first aid kits on board would help to mitigate any personal injury. This will be added to the risk assessment. PI

  1. PMSC audit

On Thursday 31 May 2018 at 11:00 Capt. Graham Vale, as the Designated Person for Dunbar Harbour Trust, carried out a Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) compliance audit. He noted the Trust’s continued progress towards continuous improvement.

The internal audit will be carried out in July. PI

A response to the external audit will be sent to Capt Vale. AS

Finance Report:

The April and May management accounts show a small profit for the month of May and year-to-date.

Key features –

  • The dreadful start to the fishing season continued with the Beast from the East. Landings were down 58%  in April from the same period last year but recovered a little in May.
  • Fuel sales were up in May, partly due to the increase in global oil prices.
  • The number of people seeking public moorings has increased this year. There are still a few moorings to fill.
  • There were no large costs in April and May which compensated for the loss of revenue.
  • One large outstanding debt will need to be sent to the debt collector as all reminders have been ignored.

Moorings Committee update – 

  • Fishing fleet mooring income is in line with last year.
  • Public moorings have increased above last year’s level.
  • There are still moorings to fill in Cromwell Harbour

The Mooring Committee will be responsible for the following 
issues only :

1. Mooring Applications and Allocation of Moorings should the applicant 
be successful.
2. Hardstand Applications and Allocation of Winter Hardstand position 
should space be available.
3. Annual inspection of mooring risers and guidance to owners on such, 
should they be required.   

It was noted that the committee will not be responsible for inspection 
or upkeep of the Main or Side chains in any of the three harbours.   Help 
will however be considered on this, and other issues, should the 
Harbour Master request such.

In addition a meeting of the Moorings Committee will be held on the 
first Tuesday each month at 1500 hours as follows. 
Tuesday 5th June
Tuesday 3rd July
Tuesday 7th August
Tuesday 4th September  

Archives - 

  • There is a need to keep more formal records of the grant aided projects.
  • Thought will be given as to what other records need to be formally archived and how this should be done. Photographs are particularly valuable. KM

Advertising policy:

Anyone wishing to advertise on the harbour premises should approach the Board of the Harbour Trust with a request showing the design and size of the proposed advert. Advertising can only be authorised by the Board and then only after a formal agreement has been signed covering  the duration and cost of the advertisement.

The Harbour Trust reserves the right to produce the advertisement and arrange for its positioning and fixing so that it does not interfere with the working or image of the harbour.

The existing advertisement on a trailer should be removed forthwith, especially as no income has been offered or received from the organisation concerned. QD

Temporary sandwich boards can be approved by the harbourmaster at his discretion.

Harbour management committee:

Harbour bridge

In the April minutes it was agreed that the process that the Board needs to follow is:

  1. the purchase of two new rams;
  2. the removal of two of the existing rams (on one side of the bridge or the other).
  3. the insertion of the two new rams;
  4. the refurbishment of the original two rams;
  5. the removal of the remaining existing rams (on the other side of the bridge);
  6. the insertion of the now refurbished original rams;
  7. the refurbishment of the original two rams that have been removed in 5 above;
  8. the safe storage of the spare two rams for the next five years (when the procedure will be repeated)
  9. the provision of scaffolding and fork lift truck for both operations (2 and 5 above)

The DHMC was still uncertain about the ownership of the bridge. Responsibility for the maintenance lies with the Harbour Trust. ELC now awards an annual grant to help to meet some of this cost. However identifying and delivering a solution is the responsibility of the Harbour Trust and little progress has been made in this regard this year.

Discussions are under way with Gael Force and it was suggested that it would be useful to discover what A G Thomson or ICI might be able to do to contribute towards the delivery of a solution to harbour bridge maintenance. John Blyth is working with the harbourmaster on this subject. QD

DFA matters

The DFA met with four Directors (AS, AB, PI, ER) on 3rd May.

The matters raised were:

  • Branders project
  • Container for the fork lift truck
  • Toilets
  • Advertising policy
  • Continued boiler leak in McArthur’s Store.

All of these matters are included elsewhere in these minutes.

Access to retail sites - 

James Bisset has asked if he could cone off an area around the wet fish van as he is having issues with trailers being parked close to his retail site and blocking access..

James is placing the raft in the Harbour at the weekends or children to feed seals.

It was agreed that a cordon, or cones, would be appropriate to enable the public to have easy access to retail sites. The harbourmaster is responsible for ensuring there is still adequate space for trailer parking, but the latter should not interfere with the retail space. QD

Harbour housekeeping -

The DHMC is considering the most effective way of ensuring that the harbour is left in a neat and tidy condition.

McArthur’s Store:

Boiler –

The leak has now been fixed by Lothian Heating.

Annual accounts – 

The DFA has been given a copy of the annual accounts showing that there was an excess of expense over income last year, with no funds being able to be set aside for long-term maintenance.

These accounts need to be shared with other tenants who are not DFA members.

Fire alarm –

Contact Claymore Alarms to check over. AS



Awaiting the rubber fenders before moving on to the next stage in June/July.

DFA and AGT will discuss the next steps after that.

Project completion is still due in Autumn 2018 to meet the commitment to Marine Scotland.

Toilets –

No recent progress following on from residents’ complaints.

The Sailing Club option will be re-evaluated again to see whether this is viable.

Broadhaven breakwater –

There is an option to build up the breakwater with new stone over three years at £12k per year. This proposal was approved for action at the meeting. RH

Harbour improvement plan:

Development of the area under the castle –

The seating will be replaced and this will be a site for the display of temporary art. There is no reason why this area should not be kept clear and look attractive during the summer season. There is an awareness that storage is at a premium for the commercial fishermen and that this area may be needed for equipment storage during the winter months. The Trust hopes that this area will be treated with as much respect as possible.

The fishing for litter skip needs to go, to be replaced by a smaller more presentable skip on the enjoyleisure site. QD

The DFA container for the forklift could go where the current skip stands until a solution is found for the Maggie area. Discuss with the DFA. AS

Development of the area under the Maggie –

The feasibility of getting containers into this area needs to be determined.

The objective is to get storage for more than just the DFA fork lift truck in this area. Ideally two or three 20 ft containers would be sited here with proper lighting and surveillance. A facility to store a rowing club skiff would also be useful.

A cost estimate is to be obtained from AG Thomson. SA

Feasibility of moving containers onto site will be assessed. SA

A FLAG application for part funding will be submitted. SA

If the project is feasible and affordable the required number of containers will be acquired by the Trust to ensure consistency of the quality and appearance of the storage. AS

North Wall artwork –

Hopes that this would be delivered in the summer of 2018 will not be fulfilled.

A decision on this subject will depend on the artist attracting suitable grants. There is a possible exhibition on Dunbar Battery in November.

Maintenance Bay –

There has been further demand for an improved facility but no progress on this project until it is clearer how much the existing projects will cost.

Cromwell Harbour surface repairs

The area at the end of the harbour beside the monument is breaking up. This might be an appropriate target for a Civic Pride grant. AS

Waste oil tank –

This improvement has been completed and the tank is in place, now awaiting its first uplift.


Thanks go to the Directors, KM, JB, AB, AM who restored and painted the  Robert Wilson propeller. This improvement has been completed.

Telescope –

The telescope at the end of Cromwell harbour is in place and has already been well used.

Cromwell seating –

Also well used have been the seats placed at the end of Cromwell Harbour. These were installed by  A G Thomson. The four seats were donated for no charge by Zero Waste,

Friends of Dunbar Battery:

It is now the end of the defects liability period. The front timber steps are still to be repaired and there is work to be done on the Sea Cubes and planting but the payment of the final retention draws near.

The licence is to be amended to allow 250 to attend a performance on Dunbar Battery. SA

Barriers will be procured to meet the Health & Safety regulations. SA


Everyone will submit articles as usual in order to keep the Harbour Newsletter running.

Identify how to publish and distribute the newsletter. BF

Discuss with Andre Coner how to update the website. BF

At the next meeting it can be decided how best to take the production of the newsletter and the updating of the web-site forward.


A television is available for training purposes. There was a reminder that the Harbour Trsut has no television licence, so any set must only be used for showing training videos. PI

The next meeting of the directors will be held on Thursday 12th July 2018.