Minutes of the Harbour Users’ Meeting held by Zoom on 10th December 2020

Present: 17 attended the meeting


The Chairman of the Dunbar Harbour Trust, Alasdair Swan, opened the meeting and thanked those who were attending.

Summary of the Harbour Trust’s achievements:

Kenneth Maule, Dunbar Harbour Trust Director, introduced a slide show to explain the harbour improvements that have been completed over recent years.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, the Harbour Trust has remained highly active.

The major projects delivered in 2020 were:

  1. New stores under the castle – the Maggie stores.
  2. Full CCTV coverage of all the harbours.

The full presentation can be viewed on -

Open Forum:

Philip Kingscott asked whether the Battery Theatre Company will be able to return for Open Air productions in Dunbar Battery in 2021, and what social distancing measures will be in place.

Alasdair Swan replied that the Theatre Company was a victim of its own success, as it always played to full houses in Dunbar. However the company will be welcomed back in 2021 under whatever guidelines are still in place. A rough estimate is that the attendance would need to be restricted to 30 if 2 metre distancing was still in operation. A production based on the life of John Muir has been postponed from 2020, and other ideas are being developed.

Alastair Mackie suggested that safety rails along the North Wall of Victoria Harbour will be necessary if we are to park trailers across the bridge. This was agreed, and forms part of the 2021-23 Harbour Improvement Plan.

2021-2023 Harbour Improvement Plan

Current ideas include –

  1. Drainage from the DFA store
  2. Branders in Cromwell Harbour for the small boats
  3. New safety signage
  4. Speed bumps at the bridge
  5. Victoria Harbour safety railings
  6. Rebuild the maintenance bay
  7. Develop grassy bank under the castle
  8. Create a net repair store for the fishermen
  9. Pontoons for both harbours
  10. Continuing repairs to the harbour walls
  11. Improved access to Dunbar Castle

In addition to the physical improvements, the Harbour Trust strives to improve the safety standards around the harbour activities. It is recognised as being fully compliant with the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code.

For some years now, it has been recognised that the political and economic climate will make fund-raising more challenging for the Harbour Trust. We hope that it will remain possible to continue the good work to repair the harbour walls, both to avoid any disaster to the sea defences, but also to minimise the long-term expenditure on repairs, if we can continue to catch a stitch in time.



The Chairman thanked Kenny Maule for his excellent presentation and the audience for their comments.

He acknowledged the debt due to the Harbourmaster for his service to the harbour over the year and wished Denholm Horsburgh a full recovery from his recent illness. In Denholm’s absence, James Bisset has acted as Assistant Harbourmaster in a voluntary capacity, and his contribution to the life of the harbour this year has been invaluable. 

Robin Hamilton and John Band both complete 12 years of service at the end of this year, the maximum period that any Director is allowed to serve under the legislation that governs the Harbour Trust. Both Directors have served the Trust nobly and actively. The Chairman expressed the hope that they will stay connected to the harbour in another capacity, as their energy, knowledge and expertise has been of constant value to Dunbar Harbour.

The Chairman also thanked his fellow Directors for their support and achievements during the last year. Much has been done, and much remains to be done.

Before closing the meeting, the Chairman wished everyone a Happy Christmas and a Covid-free 2021.