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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 14th April 2022 

at McArthur’s Store


Directors: Alasdair Swan (Chair); James Bisset; Alastair Cook; Dave Dunbar; Paul Ingram Tania King; Kenny Maule; Yvonne Wemyss; Alison Wilson


Associate Director: John Band.


Apologies: Eric Robertson; and Robin Hamilton


1. Governance and legal

Election of the officers

Chair……………………………Alasdair Swan

Vice Chair……………………. Paul Ingram

Company Secretary…….Tania King

The Secretary will initially focus on checking that key events are actioned on time to ensure the good governance of the Trust. A draft paper on this subject will be drafted for discussion and ratification at the next Board meeting.

The Chairman will notify Companies House about the appointment of a new Secretary.

2 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2022 were approved.

Matters completed:

  1. Companies House has been notified about the appointment of the new Directors.
  2. The Appointing Body re-appointed Alasdair Swan and Tania King.
  3. There is an induction programme for the new harbourmaster.
  4. The Safety Management System has been reviewed and the latest version has been circulated
  5. Ron Bailey has agreed to participate in the harbourmaster’s induction.
  6. Marine Scotland grant applications were submitted, and the grants have been received for the maintenance bay and the North Wall repairs.
  7. Discussions on Marine Tourism took place as agreed.
  8. The skips were provided as planned and, following a request from the DHMC, an additional skip has been hired in.
  9. Some of the Cromwell Harbour lighting has been fixed by ELC.
  10. The harbour walkabout was completed as planned, followed by a complete report on the findings.
  11. Invoices have been issued to all of this year’s traders.
  12. Funding for the castle survey has not been completed, but a further application will be made to the Area Partnership in the new fiscal year.
  13. The RNLI has been informed that it will have exclusive use of the slipway on RNLI Day.
  14. The North Berwick Seabird Centre’s camera project is a little way off, but a letter of support for the plan has been issued.
  15. There is now a flowchart on the oil pollution response

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
  4. Potato box programme
  5. Leadership of the Coastal Garden

3. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

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

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Washed off sea walls during high seas
  2. Run down by vessel entering harbour or passaging around and between harbours, while diving or swimming.
  3. Electric shock
  4. Fuel spillage

There were no amendments proposed to the above risk assessments.

It was noted that the electric lights at the front of Dunbar Battery are under water and  a safe solution needs to be found.

Fire Risk Review

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

Accident Director

James Bisset has kindly taken on this role. The principal purpose of the role will be to bring any accidents, incidents or near misses to the attention of the harbourmaster so that they can be entered in the log, triggering off a review that will lead to more safety improvements.

Safety Management System

Version 27 was formally approved. Directors were reminded that the SMS can be amended at any meeting if improvements are identified at any time.

4 Finance Report

March management accounts:

The March report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. There was a surplus of £9,605 for the year
  2. Wages costs were lower compared to the previous year, as the management of the harbour was undertaken by the Deputy Harbourmaster and volunteers in the fourth quarter of the year.
  3. In the previous year the Covid rebate had reduced the Public Moorings income. Adjusting for this rebate, the Public Moorings were down 9.1% in the year, an indication that several moorings were never taken up.
  4. Fishing fleet income was up 6.5% on an adjusted basis, showing a further development of Dunbar’s fishing industry.
  5. With a full year’s trading, landing fees were up 36.8% in the year, with nearly £2 million of fish landed at Dunbar in the year.
  6. Over £121,000 was spent in the year on further harbour improvements.

Mooring applications:

The invoicing programme is proceeding well.

Zephyr and Girl Jean have not applied for a mooring this year and have moved to Port Seton. The loss in landing fees is minimal as these boats have not supported Dunbar for some time. The fuel fobs associated with these boats will be voided as they will now be drawing fuel in their home port.

Marine Scotland Grant claims

These have been completed and closed off.

Statutory accounts

These will now be completed and sent to Whitelaw Wells who will be completing the independent examination of the accounts in May.

The accounting for the specific funds, including the Harbour Festival fund and the McArthur’s Store fund will be reconciled and drafts issued before the next Board Meeting.

Fuel supply

The supply of Class D fuel is very uncertain at this time. It may prove necessary to move to the more expensive Class A2 fuel, but some of the commercial users would prefer this anyway. The matter will be kept under review.

East Lothian Partnership grant

The award of the grant will now probably need to wait until after the May election but a review has been promised to see whether funds can be made available.

5. Harbour Management Committee

Elsie B

A letter will be sent to Ross Kittrick as no mooring application or insurance documents appear to have been received.

New moorings

The proposal that the allocation of moorings and any movement of moorings should have the formal approval of the Mooring committee before being actioned was adopted.

It was proposed that an article be placed in the newsletter to inform people what the proper process is BEFORE a boat is brought onto Harbour Trust property. The same information can be included on the website

Biosecurity plan 

Algae can poison shell fish and can be aggressively invasive. Advice is available to enable us to draw up an effective biosecurity plan and research will now be undertaken on this subject.

Main mooring chain

It was agreed that there will be engagement with the Sailing Club to see what a complete plan might look like. This will include the sourcing and costing of a new chain, the cost of connecting the lateral chains to the new chain, the method and cost of removing the existing main chain, the plan for disposing of the existing chain, the on-going requirement to raise and inspect the new main chain (and the frequency of such inspection), together with the funding of all of the above, which may need to include a review of the mooring fees for boats wishing to benefit from a Victoria Harbour mooring. It was noted that some of the Victoria harbour users have no or little interest in the Main Chain.

Harbour walkabout

There is still detritus in the area under the North Wall beside Dunbar Battery. This now needs to be cleared and Callum Thomson says that he has removed all of his possessions from that area.

The next harbour walkabout is scheduled for 16th May at 2 p.m.

Appointment of Derek Bloomer

The decision to invite Derek to join the DHMC as a member was warmly approved.

6 Retail and events

A. Retailers

Retail licences have been signed and all relevant documents received for Bisset’s Seafood Shack, the Kittiwake Café (both 2-yr contracts) and SnoCream Ices (seasonal contract). 

The meeting was briefed about the change of ownership and the contractual terms for the Big Blu Sea. The Board was delighted that this retail offering was still going to be available, as it had proved to be very popular in the town.

Sam Mason has been given consent to sell fresh langoustines from the South Quay on Sat mornings, from 10-11am approx., under the name of East Coast Langoustines (subject to availability). Relevant licences and PLI are held or have been applied for.

B. Events

Harbour Event Dates 

One new event has been added since last month                                              

Sun 29 May – Sun 5th June 2022;Tide & Time: Dunbar’s Festival of the Sea (DHT Event)

Sat 18th June; Dunbar Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 (new event)

Sat 16th July; RNLI Lifeboat Day

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

Dunbar Battery Event Dates

One additional booking has 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 (date tbc)

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

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

Sat 10th Sep – Private Event

Fri 16th – Sun 18th Sep – Festival of Recovery, The Ridge (details tbc)

Fri 23rd -Sun 25th Sep – Dunbar Music Festival (change of date, details tbc)


7 Harbour Improvement plan

Maintenance Bay

Now that the maintenance bay has been completed its usage needs to be monitored each month (to be reported to Marine Scotland).

Other commissioned work (Marine Scotland grant funded)

The weather in March proved to be very helpful in getting this work completed.

North Wall Mural update

The new boards and the plankton exhibition are expected to be in place befor ethe next Board Meeting.


The meeting considered the detailed work that Tania had pulled together with Portacabin on the provision of a temporary toilet. This and a possible permanent solution, together with a consultation document, need to get pulled together at a separate sub-group meeting which will be planned in before the next Board Meeting.

Castle survey

Awaiting the final funding plan

Kittiwake Warden

Tania updated the meeting on the project that is being worked up between SSE, Econ-ecology, and ELC to fund a kittiwake warden tasked with looking after and encouraging the growth of the kittiwake colony. With the overfishing of sand eels in 2021 by Danish vessels, this project is certain to go backwards before it can move forwards, but the Harbour Trust supports the appointment of the warden as a means of increasing awareness of the environment around the harbour, and the risks to our seabird population.

8.  Any other competent business

Harbour leaflet

Yvonne is in contact with Kate George to get help to design the harbour leaflet.

Waste management

Tania has offered to carry on with what Quentin implemented as part of working towards becoming a Zero Waste harbour . She will -

1. undertake the collection and transport of the old creels to the Recycling depot. 

2. undertake the regular collection ropes and nets from the harbour area (including litter picks), and deliver these to Ally Mitchell to be made into plant pots

3. help with any other aspects of waste disposal relating to the fishing industry and marine activities

4. help with the disposal of refuse arising from visitors to the harbour, including the emptying of bins and taking of refuse to the refuse centre. 

5. help/work with the harbour master as required with any other aspects of waste disposal.

In order to do this, Tania will be insured on the harbour truck.

Social media

The Facebook page will include more Good News stories 

e.g. Young Fisherman of the Year

Date of next meeting – Thursday 12th May 2022 in McArthur’s Store