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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 11th November 2021 

at McArthur’s Store


Directors: Alasdair Swan (Chair); Dave Dunbar;  Eric RobertsonYvonne Wemyss


Associate Director: Robin Hamilton


Apologies: Alastair Cook; Paul Ingram; Tania king; Kenny Maule; David Nairn; 

                        John Williams

John Band


1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th October were approved.

Matters completed:

  1. 2022 tariff has been finalised and is now to be placed on the website.
  2. 2022 terms and conditions have been finalised and are now to be placed on the website
  3. Potato box letters have been sent out to the owners of the prawn boats to facilitate the neat storage of their equipment.
  4. The Creel Policy has been finalised and will evolve as lessons are learned. Access ways are currently being kept clear.
  5. The harbour walkabout was completed as planned. The repair to the damaged bollard outside McArthur’s Store will require an imaginative solution.
  6. The enjoyleisure draft was completed and is discussed later in the minutes.
  7. The Harbour Chapel will house the Users’ Meeting on 9th December
  8. The speed bump and safety signs are in position, but the bump is not effective. Improvements will be discussed with A G Thomson.
  9. The problem with the power to the Harbourmaster’s Office and the CCTV cameras has been resolved by  Scottish Power.

Matters carried forward:

  1. VAT refund – outstanding with HMRC. The latest complaint was referred (internally within HMRC) to its Debt Management Department who said there was no issue because the Trust owed HMRC no money – with no engagement on the issue of the money that HMRC owes the Trust. An approach to our Member of Parliament was recommended to try to get HMRC to act.
  2. MacScott Bond’s engineer’s visit is scheduled for next Tuesday – see also DHMC report.
  3. No update re drainage from Scottish Water.
  4. The new donations platform with CAF is now ready to be activated.
  5. Electric sockets under the battery seats

2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There were no major incidents during the month.

There was a case of theft at the harbour during the month.

Damage was caused to one of the rowing skiffs during the month.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Cooking fire
  2. Operation of the davits
  3. Falling off ladders

There was a discussion on the ‘near misses’ where the davits have been in operation. None of these near misses has been recorded, so it was hard to form a view as to their frequency or root cause.

It was noted that guidance notes on how to operate the davits safely exist, but, in terms of the key control “training”, it was not so clear as to how many crew members were aware of these guidance notes.

The Harbourmaster suggested that he would summarise the instructions inside the davit boxes.

The HM will also write out to all  boat owners to remind them that it is their responsibility to instruct their crew members in the proper use of the davits.

There will be no immediate change to the risk assessment, but it will be reviewed again in January. In the meantime an effort will be made to find the details of any near misses.

Fire Risk Review

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

3 Finance Report

A. October management accounts:

The October report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. October produced a surplus of £3.3k.
  2. The landings remain strong, up 14% on last year.
  3. For the first time ever, there was a loss on fuel sales in the month. A shrinking of the margins occurs at times of rising prices.
  4. The donations included a generous contribution from the Dunbar Music Festival for the use of Dunbar Battery.
  5. The project costs in the month were for the work on the fishermen’s monument which was fully grant funded.
  6. There are no credit control issues.
  7. HMRC has still not paid the VAT refunds due to the charity.

Mooring applications

These will be sent out this month.

The application form will be placed on the website.

4. Harbour Management Committee

Hydrographic survey

A hydrographic survey was conducted in 2015 and will be circulated to the Board.

It was agreed that photographs should be taken at the next low spring tide to see if there are any unexpected problems. One member of the DHMC had raised concern about the rising sand bed in the harbour entrance.

12 metre cap on the mooring charge

There is no such cap now.


The Chairman was asked to write to the owner as the boat is uninsured and needs to be removed from the harbour.

Harbour repairs

The Victoria Harbour safety rail, Cromwell Harbour branders, spare cylinder for the bridge, and Broadhaven repairs have all been completed this year.

The bridge signs and speed bump have been installed.

The South Pier roadworks are still outstanding

Forthcoming fabric repairs

There is North Wall undermining and sheared blocks that require repairs.

Trip hazards, ladders, the harbour bridge, the slipway and harbour steps all require attention. 

Maintenance Bay

A grant application is with Marine Scotland which would enable the maintenance bay to be completed next year, if approved.

Harbour murals

The Board noted with gratitude that some of Dunbar’s fishermen had offered to powerwash the North Wall before the Primary Schools’ murals go up next year. 

Seaweed on the harbour walls

It was also noted that it will be helpful if the seaweed can be powerwashed off the harbour wall to facilitate  an examination of the state of the wall.

Creel storage

The work that Dave Dunbar and the fishermen have done on this was duly noted and the harbour is currently looking tidy, with all of the access paths kept clear.

Parking bays

It was agreed that the parking bays should be repainted, with consideration being given to them being slightly wider, with one space being removed.

The idea of bringing RINGO into the harbour will be considered going forward, as being both a source of income and a method of controlling parking.

Sea Cadets

One of the risers needs to be moved to make the mooring effective. Any boat moored in Victoria Harbour FOC needs to be used

Common Good Land

East Lothian Council has granted the Dunbar Fishermen’s Association the right and responsibility to look after this piece of land. The DFA has not been able to clear the area of the abandoned boats and equipment or to keep the area weed-free. It was agreed that the Trust would see if it could support the DFA to keep the area clear, (apart from any boats that are being actively worked on, or equipment essential to the operation of working boats, or for creel storage over the winter). Ultimately the matter may need to be referred back to East Lothian Council if the owners continue to treat the Common Good Land as a dumping ground.

Windfarm consultation

Dunbar Harbour has been asked to attend a technical consultation in relation to the Navigation Risk Assessment process Xodus are undertaking on behalf of National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and Scottish Power Transmission (the ‘Project Developers’)  for the Scotland England Green Link 1 (SEGL1), also known as Eastern Link 1 (EL1). The Project comprises the installation of approximately 176 km of subsea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables from Thorntonloch Beach, Torness in East Lothian, to Seaham, County Durham. It is unlikely that this will have an bearing on the operation of the harbour, but there will be a report back if it proves otherwise.

5 Retail and events

A. Retailers

A meeting with Chris Percy-Davis on 26tth October discussed terms of agreement, opening hours and annual accounts.

The details of the proposed larger unit for the Kittiwake Café are still awaited

B. Events

Tide & Time

The planning of this event is making good progress with many participants approached and confirming their desire to contribute to the event. The artwork for the logo and promotional materials is near completion. A funding bid has been made to Dunbar Community Council. A further funding bid will be sent to the Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership (DELAP) in the near future. Viridor have indicated they may be able to provide financial support with the focus on environmental issues.

Dunbar Battery

The COP26 event held on Sun 17th Oct was a huge success with an unexpected number of c.275 attending. Further issues were experienced with the electrical power supply. It is thought the issue may have been due to water ingress. David Brady has kindly offered to meet in advance of all events to check & test and ensure all is in working order. More on this event can be seen in the DHT October newsletter.

Fit Form UK will hold classes over the winter period based on bookings as the numbers have dropped dramatically due to the colder weather conditions. DHT will be notified of dates held to invoice as required.

Other Battery Bookings:

Sun 21st November – An enquiry has been made for a performance by the Nevis Ensemble. A summary of the proposal and risk assessment has been received. Confirmation of the time for the event is awaited. 

Sat 4th June 2022 – Private event

6 Harbour Improvement plan

A. Users’ Meeting

It was agreed that there will be a short presentation on recent harbour improvements, together with the forthcoming plans.

B. enjoyleisure site

The draft as circulated needed some expansion on the likely uses of the site, but was otherwise approved

C. Marine tourism

An expression of interest from an Eyemouth tour company has been withdrawn

A review meeting with Blue Wild will take place on 15th November to support planned growth of this marine tourism business.

D. Harbour walk about

Updates are provided as follows:

  1. Creels – Creels storage is now managed under the agreed Creel Storage Policy and will be monitored at each walkabout. 
  2. North Wall – Damage to protected edge. This has been noted in the harbour maintenance schedule managed by RH
  3. McArthurs Store – Items continue to be stored in corridors. The matter will be addressed at the next DHMC meeting
  4. Other areas will continue to be monitored or repairs carried out as required

The next harbour walkabout will take place on Monday 13th December 2021. A report will be provided in advance of the Board meeting to be held on Thurs 13th January 2021.           

The walkabout report will be presented to the DHMC for discussion prior to being presented to the full Board. The timing of the walkabout will be adjusted so that the dates fit with the relevant meetings from January 2022.

7  Any other competent business

Donations box

Consideration will be given to installing additional collection boxes.

QR codes might also be provided for the same purpose.


It was noted that the Harbourmaster keeps a photographic record of his chain inspections, and that all suspect chain is replaced as needed.

Owners who are unable to gain proper access to the chain should employ a diver to secure their riser to the main chain properly.

It was noted that there are other technologies that may prove better than our current chains for securing boats.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 9th December 2021 in Harbour Chapel

Thursday 13th January 2022 in McArthur’s Store