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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 10th March 2022 

at McArthur’s Store


Directors: Alasdair Swan (Chair); James Bisset; Tania King; Kenny Maule; Eric Robertson; Yvonne Wemyss; John Williams; Alison Wilson


Associate Director: John Band.


Apologies: Alastair Cook; Dave Dunbar; Paul Ingram; and Robin Hamilton


1. Governance and legal

In accordance with section 12 of the Dunbar Harbour Revision (Transfer) Order 2004, there was a unanimous decision to co-opt Alison Wilson as a trustee and Director, being a duly qualified person in accordance with the provision of the Order. She will continue in office until 31 March 2023, that being the period the person in whose place she is appointed would in the ordinary course have continued in office. At that point she can choose to submit herself for re-election.

In accordance with section 12 of the Dunbar Harbour Revision (Transfer) Order 2004, there was a unanimous decision to co-opt James Bisset as a trustee and Director, being a duly qualified person in accordance with the provision of the Order. He will continue in office until 31 March 2025, that being the period the person in whose place he is appointed would in the ordinary course have continued in office. At that point he can choose to submit himself for re-election.

The Chairman will notify Companies House about these appointments

The Chairman will notify OSCR about these appointments when the annual return  is made.

There was concern about the non-attendance of certain Directors and it was proposed that these Directors should be invited to consider their positions if they are unable to meet the conditions of Section 15 of the Order.

The Appointing Body will need to consider the re-election of Alasdair Swan and Tania King and the appointment of the twelfth Director if any candidates apply.

An induction programme has been drawn up for Fiona Kibby, our new harbourmaster.

There will be an introductory meeting on her first day in office with Denholm Horsburgh, James Bisset and Ian Combe, all of whom have done a great job keeping the harbour in order over the winter.

2 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th February 2022 were ratified and approved.

Matters completed:

  1. Mooring application reminders have been sent out. The mooring committee is keeping the current status of the mooring allocations under review.
  2. The first grant claim has been submitted to Marine Scotland for both the Maintenance Bay project and for the North Wall repairs.
  3. The removal of Heron has been organised for 8th April as part of crane-in day.
  4. A list of electrical repairs for David Brady has been drawn up by PI.
  5. A skip hire plan has been finalized for 18th March.
  6. The upper corridor at McArthur’s Store has been cleared.
  7. Toilet working group met as planned – actions on the agenda.
  8. Retail licenses were issued as agreed.
  9. The electricity usage of the two retail meters was assessed as agreed.
  10. Since the last meeting a smart meter has been installed at Victoria Harbour.
  11. A solution has been found for the problems with the harbour notice board. The board now needs to be kept updated, and the locks should be regularly oiled by the harbourmaster.
  12. The Liberty Pay system has been investigated. It is too expensive for our needs.
  13. James Bisset has repaired the Maggie Store door. The PIR lights are now working.
  14. The North Wall barrier has been re-tied to bar access.

Matters carried forward:

  1. South Pier roadworks
  2. Removal of litter bin base by Victoria noticeboard….ask AGT
  3. Cromwell Harbour Dog bin to be moved away from the bench…..ask AGT

3. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There were no major or minor incidents reported during the month. 

There were two situations that caused concern –

  • A boy jumping into the harbour entrance after having been warned of the danger
  • A boy walking along the top of the unprotected wall of Dunbar Battery and with his friends throwing shells at visitors before pulling out the dog bags that are provided for the use of the general public walking their dogs.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Vehicle falling into the harbour
  2. Dropped load or lifting incident
  3. Crush or pinch when mooring

In relation to the first risk, it was agreed that the introduction of a speed bump and also the rope rail reduced the chance of a vehicle falling into the harbour. These will added as controls.

Crushing or pinching is a major risk when the boats are at sea, but has not been raised as an issue during mooring.

Fire Risk Review

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

Directors’ responsibilities

The Directors were reminded about the joint and several liability for safety matters at the harbour, which is why this disciplined approach to the subject at Board Meeting sis so important.

Safety Management System

The SMS is due to be formally reviewed. It will be circulated to all Directors for comments. Any amendments or improvements can be introduced into the next draft for approval at the April Meeting.

Designated person

It was agreed that Ron Bailey should be introduced to Fiona Kibby as part of the latter’s induction programme

4 Finance Report

February management accounts:

The February report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. There was a deficit of £3001 in the month of February. This is normal at this time of year when activity is relatively low, but there were some exceptional items which are noted below.
  2. Wages costs were lower, as the management of the harbour was undertaken by the Deputy Harbourmaster and volunteers in the month.
  3. Fuel prices continued to escalate at such a rate that the Harbour Trust actually lost money on the sale of gas oil for the second month running, with the sale price lagging behind the purchase price. The actual loss was smaller than it would appear as the Trust paid HMRC £192.49 during the month for the duty on the fuel drawn by leisure users last summer.
  4. There was a small surplus in the month related to the Tide & Time Festival. Donations were received from Dunpender Community Council and from the East Lothian Community Rail Partnership, totalling £950. The expensed equipment relates to new barriers bought for the Festival.
  5. In addition to the above a grant of £2,000 was received during the month from the Dunbar & East Linton Area Partnership, but this grant has been deferred to be set against the Festival’s costs in the month in which the costs are incurred.
  6. Landings from January’s fishing were up on the previous year, but February itself was a disaster for our fishing fleet with the storms and bad weather. Fuel drawings, which are a good indicator of activity, were little more than half the level of the previous year. We can therefore expect the landing fees that we receive in March (from February’s fishing) to be correspondingly lower.
  7. Some protective clothing has been procured for our new Harbourmaster.
  8. The repair costs were incurred to deal with –
    1. McArthur’s stores heating system and flue
    2. Interpretation boards destroyed by Storm Arwen
    3. Repairs to the Davit cables
  9. Utility costs continue to soar, and will only get worse.
  10. The credit control position is generally good and the issues identified at the last meeting have all been resolved. There are currently three new overdue accounts which Avril is sorting out for us.

Mooring applications:

  • 57 public mooring invoices have been issued to date amounting to £15,844.
  • 17 hardstanding invoices have been issued to date amounting to £1,111. It is unclear whether there is a plan as to where these boats are to be accommodated. The matter will be raised with Dave Anderson.
  • 22 fishing boat invoices have been raised to date amounting to £6,744. There are five boats for which no applications have been received, but these owners traditionally apply at the last possible moment, so it was agreed that no action will be taken unless no application has been received by the end of this month. The 28th fishing boat, the Fisher Lassie, has been sold and is with us no longer.

Marine Scotland Grant claims

Claims will be submitted as invoices come in this month.

Budget 2022/23

The financial budget for next year was approved.

It was agreed that there is no immediate need to refurbish McArthur’s Store, but consideration will be given off-line as to when such refurbishment is likely to be needed next. In the meantime, the restricted fund is being held for that purpose.

Fuel supply

With the war in Ukraine, there is real uncertainty about the price but, more importantly, about the supply of marine diesel. It was agreed that the Deputy Harbourmaster’s placing of orders before the price was known was the correct procedure. Certainty of supply is what is needed more than anything else.

5. Harbour Management Committee

Litter management

It was agreed that the notices on the bins should specifically encourage people to take their litter home.

Conversations will continue with the West Port chip shop to see whether they are willing to dispense with the cardboard boxes which cause so much of the problem.

It was agreed that the various litter management plans would continue to be developed.

Marine Tourism 

It was agreed that a further discussion is needed with Alan Stewart to update him on the options available to fit with the space we have got at the harbour. It was not clear whether an application for a second boat has been submitted to the Mooring Committee. 

Skip hire 

A 16 yard skip is arriving on 18th March, to be replaced on 24th March to help to clear the commercial debris from the site, including the creels on the North Wall. The process will be managed with the help of Kevin Thomson

Cromwell Harbour street lighting

Once all the numbers have been gathered from the light stands the matter will be reported on the Council’s portal to East Lothian Council. The problem experienced elsewhere in the town is that the Council has been unable to procure replacement bulbs.

Potato boxes

Owners have identified their boxes. Once the surplus have been disposed of, the owners will be written to so that there can be a record of the authorised boxes.

Harbour walkabout

There has been a marked improvement in the storage since the last walkabout on 27thJanuary

The next harbour walkabout is scheduled for 28th March at 2 p.m.

6 Retail and events

A. Retailers

Invoices will now be raised for all traders, with payment required in advance of trading

B. Events

Tide & Time

The planning of this event continues. Many participants are now confirmed. The SAG meeting will take place on 22nd March ’22. A note of thanks is made to all who have assisted so far. Regular updates are being published on the DHT website to inform of participants and activities. See Events (dunbarharbourtrust.co.uk)            

Any suggestions as to who could bring in visiting boats, or find chefs for the events, will be most welcome.

A chandlery stall would also be a useful addition

Dunbar Battery

No additional bookings have been made in the last month.

Sat 28th May – Private Event

Sat 4th June 2022 – Private event

Fri 10th June – Black Agnes Festival

Sun 19th June – Civic Week Finale (tbc)

Sat 9h July/ Sun 10th July – Battery Theatre Company drama production

Sat 16th July – RNLI Lifeboat Day

Sat 13th August – Sparkling Dunbar Harbour Festival (DHT Event)

Sat 20th Aug/ Sun 21st Aug – Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group drama production

Fri 2nd -Sun 4th Sep – Dunbar Music Festival (tbc)

Sat 10th Sep – Private Event

Please note that each event requires a contribution from the DHT and the support of all Trustees is desired to ensure successful events.

7 Harbour Improvement plan

Maintenance Bay

Maintenance Bay improvements  have started and will carry on until  the end of March.

Other commissioned work (Marine Scotland grant funded)

Also under way and on schedule

North Wall Mural update

The five new boards are well on their way to completion.

There will be ten boards on the wall this coming year.


The working party is investigating the drainage challenges and firming up costs on available options. The recommendation is that a consultation document be drawn up, with perhaps a survey monkey to go with it, to explain the many and various options that have been considered.

Castle survey

It was reported that all the funding is expected to be in place before the next meeting so that the order for the survey can be placed.

Jeff Carter will offer his drone if this is of assistance.

8.  Any other competent business

Harbour leaflet

Yvonne will be put in touch with Kate George to gain help to sharpen up the image of the harbour leaflet.

Sale of fish from boats at the harbour

It was agreed that the important objective is to ensure that the 2% landing fees are paid (so as not to disadvantage other fishermen). Apart for that, the Trust agreed that it wanted to do everything to ensure that this venture was a success


A reply will be sent to the RNLI confirming that they have exclusive use of the slipway for RNLI Day

Seabird Centre

A reply will be sent to the North Berwick Seabird Centre offering our support for their scheme to upgrade the Dunbar camera. It was suggested that it would be appropriate to have a link to a Dunbar website, so that the output could be enjoyed here as well.

It might also be appropriate for the Seabird Centre to take a stall at the Tide & Time Festival 

Oil pollution response

A flowchart will be drawn up for the new harbourmaster

Coastal Garden

Karell is retiring this year, so approaches will be made to those at Belhaven Hospital Garden to see if a new leader can be found.

Dunbar Battery

The water lock needs to be cut off and replaced.

A key safe for the vaults will be introduced.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 14th April 2022 in McArthur’s Store