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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 14th October 2021 

at McArthur’s Store



Alasdair Swan (Chair); Paul Ingram; Tania King; David Nairn; Eric Robertson

Yvonne Wemyss; John Williams



Apologies: Alastair Cook; Dave Dunbar; Kenny Maule.


1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th September were approved.

Matters completed:

  1. New keys for the Vault Battery have been cut
  2. Donations lighthouse is now in place. The first donations have been received.
  3. Skip management plan has been circulated by the harbourmaster.
  4. The van has been replaced.
  5. Mooring chain plan has been circulated by the harbourmaster. This will be developed after the winter inspections of the chains.
  6. Creel Storage plan – see DHMC report
  7. Existing planning permission has been extended until Spring 2022.
  8. Slippery Rocks notice has been ordered.
  9. Wall repairs - £80k grant received
  10. Kittiwake Café extension – Retail Review received
  11. Potato box proposal has been circulated.
  12. The area outside the Maggie Stores is reasonably tidy. The Harbourmaster expressed the view that the hardstanding outside the new stores was a “working area” and the Board agreed with this. However, the site was always intended to be kept clear, for safety reasons and for public access, and is not a general storage area. Some storage of creels has increased the security risk, facilitating access onto the store roofs. The harbourmaster will ensure that this area is properly used as a working area, but not a storage area.
  13. Creel and potato box  storage to be discussed with fishermen. This has been done through the DFA and DHMC.
  14. Trailers and scrap metal were to be removed from enjoyleisure site. The harbourmaster pointed out that the remaining trailers are in active use and belong to residents and the rowing club.
  15. Plan for the enjoyleisure site – David Nairn has circulate preliminary ideas which were discussed later on during the meeting.
  16. Fishermen’s Monument – the repainting has been completed
  17. Marine Tourism – the meeting with Alan Stewart was held
  18. Ring bolts on North Wall for Creel Storage – no fisherman has progressed with this idea.
  19. Fraser Stewart’s photographs have been completed
  20. Ridge repairs to harbour steps would cost about £2,200 per set of stairs
  21. Cromwell Harbour ladders are part of the recent grant received from Marine Scotland and will be introduced over the winter.
  22. McArthur’s Store light bulbs have been replaced


Matters carried forward:

  1. VAT refund – outstanding with HMRC. Patience required
  2. MacScott Bond’s engineer’s visit
  3. Scottish Water – Alastair Cook has made contact, but we are still seeking an answer as to what is required if satisfactory drainage is to be introduced into the area.
  4. Temporary “Waters are dangerous” notice
  5. Application for a new donations platform with CAF has been initiated.
  6. Electric sockets under the Battery Seats
  7. Yellow lines and hatching

2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There were no major incidents during the month.

The only minor incident during the month was a fuel leak from the May Queen. The source of the problem has been identified and rectified.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Loss of product overboard
  2. Fire or explosion
  3. Grounding alongside

It was agreed that a change should be made to the last risk assessment, but the effect of the change did not alter the final conclusion.

Fire Risk Review

The fire alarm was tested today and found to be in good working order.

Port Marine Safety Code external audit

This has been completed and we are now awaiting the final report.

Speed bump and safety signs

These will be introduced before the next meeting

3 Finance Report

A. September management accounts:

The September report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. September produced a surplus of £3.6k.
  2. The landings remain strong
  3. Fuel drawings also reflect a good level of commercial activity.
  4. The maintenance costs in the month were for street sweeping and weedkilling.
  5. The small project costs in the month brought to an end this year’s North Wall Art exhibition by the Dunbar Primary School.
  6. There are no credit control issues.
  7. HMRC has still not paid the VAT refunds due to the charity.

2022 price tariff

The tariff will now be published

2022 terms and conditions

The 2022 terms and conditions will now be published

Potato box policy

The fishermen will now be asked how many potato boxes they wish to have on the Harbour Trust property  in 2022. The boxes will then be numbered and registered.

4. Harbour Management Committee

Creel storage

With the vastly increased numbers of creels that the Dunbar fishermen now own there is a need for a plan to store them tidily over the winter so that the harbour can continue to operate effeicently. 

The work done by Dave Dunbar, which has been endorsed by the DHMC, was gratefully acknowledged.

It was recognised that not all fishermen have yet bought into the plan, but it is not clear what their alternative suggestions are.

It was therefore resolved that he plan should be implemented, and that it can evolve if improvements can be clearly identified. It will now be communicated to all fishermen with creels.

During harbour walkabouts, attention will be paid to see whether it is clear to whom each pile of creels belongs, and whether they creels are being stored in a tidy fashion. As an absolute minimum, they must not interfere with residential properties or block any access paths.

Fishermen’s Monument

DHMC had considered the problems of items deposited on the area in front of the Fishermen’s Monument.

This land does not belong to Dunbar Harbour Trust but is owned by East Lothian Council.

Dunbar Fishermen’s Association in 2016 asked if it could take responsibility for keeping this area tidy, free of weeds, and free of abandoned and unseaworthy boats. East Lothian Council in 2016 gave the Association licence to look after its land in this way. The Association was thereafter allowed to repair small boats, make and repair nets, and store gear when necessary.

The Trust has pointed out that there have been too many unseaworthy boats abandoned on this land over the summer, with no on-going work, and too many items of storage that simply have not moved. It is grateful to the DFA for trying to resolve some of these issues, for it makes this area unnecessarily untidy for residents and visitors to the town.

The Harbour Trust plans to work with The Ridge each year to apply a limewash to keep the Fishermen’s Monument in good condition.

5 Retail and events

A. Retail Review Group

 Retail Provision 2022

The retail provision for 2022 will remain the same with no additional opportunity to trade advertised. This will enable the longer-term planning for Harbour facilities to be considered which will provide clarity on remaining capacity for additional retail. 

2022 Retail fees

It was agreed that –

  1. Big Blu Sea fees are covered by contract.
  2. Seasonal fees will be increased to £500 per existing unit and mobile unit.
  3. The rent for the Kittiwake Café will be finalised as and when it is known what the final dimensions will be.

Retail contracts

It was agreed that all seasonal traders should complete a formal contract with the Harbour Trust from 2022.

It was agreed that it is good practice for a landlord to ask its tenants of disclose the annual turnover of their businesses on the harbour to ensure that the rent is fair and equitable.


David Brady is providing quotations for installing individual meters for electricity. Whether it is either in the interest of the tenants or the Harbour Trust to install such meters has yet to be determined. At the moment the cost is allocated on a “fair apportionment basis”, as we know the out-of-season usage.

B. Events

Tide & Time

Good progress is being made.

COP 26

Sunday 17th October. Volunteers required to erect marquee and to take it down.

Dunbar Music Festival

A £500 donation has been made to the Trust, with thanks to all involved for helping it to be the success it was. The donation has been placed in the restricted Battery Fund to support future events.

6 Harbour Improvement plan

The next harbour walkabout will take place on Monday 25th October at 2pm.

A. Development Committee

It is proposed that enjoyleisure should be approached to see if it will permit the introduction of marine-orientated units for clubs and the use of the community.

Such uses would only need lightweight structures so they would be:

a) cheap and more fundable.

b) less of an issue re the vaults below

c) removable (at least far more removable than brick structures)

d) flexible

e) rents could be kept low and affordable.

f) possibly available as “sheds” off the shelf. 

The actual uses and occupiers are open to suggestions from members on potential users and engaging with the local community will undoubtedly bring out more ideas. It was agreed that if this concept was acceptable to enjoyleisure it would be a central part of our discussions at our Users’ Meeting in December.

It was agreed that a paper will be prepared in a form that can be submitted to enjoyleisure for its November Board Meeting, that will be circulated to the Board as soon as it is drafted. It will consider –

  1. Other non marine-orientated possibilities, including educational facilities
  2. Possible requirement for a toilet block
  3. Waste management
  4. Land reclamation
  5. Resurfacing of the area
  6. Security
  7. On-going requirement for fishermen’s storage

B. Harbour Users Meeting

It was agreed that the annual meeting will be held on Thursday 9th December at 7p.m.

Arrangements will be made to hold the meeting in the former Methodist Church.

The event will be promoted in the next newsletter

C. Dunbar Castle

John Williams was thanked for the huge amount of work he has committed to the tender process for the conservation survey of the castle.

JW reported the large variation in costs received in the 15 tender responses and details of these responses are not included in these minutes because of their commercial sensitivity.

Much of the cost relates to the need for ropes and drones to satisfactorily complete the survey on the seaward side of the castle. The costs associated with keeping surveyors safe is not inconsiderable.

There has been support and help from Historic environment Scotland throughout the process, and HeS will continue to be engaged with the project.

Getting funds for the survey will not be easy, funders preferring to be more willing to provide finance for physical improvements. However, a quality survey is necessary if the Trust is going to be able to develop the correct plan for the conservation and promotion of the castle. Possible sources of grant funding are currently being explored.

D. Harbour Wall repairs

Marine Scotland has awarded Dunbar Harbour Trust a grant for the next stage of the harbour wall repairs and for the introduction of new ladders into the harbour.

E. Maintenance Bay

Discussions are on-going to see whether the Harbour Trust can get a grant to introduce a new maintenance bay into the Broadhaven this winter.

9  Any other competent business

Painting of the harbour bridge

An updated costing is being sought.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 11th November 2021 in McArthur’s Store