There is a lot happening in Dunbar Harbour, so we will keep you informed with our news articles and newsletter. Subscribe to our newsletter on the right of this article and come back to this news page often to read more. If you have news related to Dunbar Harbour then please send us a message using the form at the bottom and we will publish it here.


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The UK is experiencing a once-in-a-decade wildlife phenomenon this year with a mass influx of painted lady butterflies. The painted lady butterfly is a common immigrant from the continent to the UK each summer where its caterpillars feed on thistles (you can see why they're heading to Scotland).

These seemingly-delicate creatures actually travel at speeds of up to 30mph and migrate hundreds of miles to our shores every year.

The painted lady butterfly undertakes an extraordinary 7,500-mile round-trip from tropical Africa to the Arctic Circle - almost double the length of the famous migrations of the monarch butterfly in North America.

The famed naturalist Chris Packham, who is vice president of Butterfly Conservation, said the painted lady migration was "one of the wonders of the natural world".

The Rowing Club has recently seen several painted ladies a mile off Belhaven Bay, "plouterin' aboot, o'er the waa'er".

photo by Kenny Maule (taken in Custom House Square)

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June 29/30th & July 6/7th at Battery 

"Mary, It began with a lass"... is a fast paced journey through the life and loves of Mary Queen of Scots, telling the story of her love for Scotland and for the men around her. Mary Stuart and her cousin Elizabeth I, were two powerful women struggling to retain control of their nations. One choosing to deny herself love, the other opening her heart to it, neither ever finding contentment. Brilliantly performed with moments of tension, dismay and laughter. Must a woman choose between love and power?

Following on from the sell-out success of their debut production, Homecoming, Battery Theatre present an immersive, site-specific play that takes a contemporary look at Mary's story through the complex power struggles around her, power struggles that remain to this day ....

photo by Kenny Maule


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Clan Dunbar is a USA-based organisation of individuals who have the name Dunbar or can trace their origins to Dunbar. On occasion some members take a holiday in Scotland and the History Society kindly shares the Society's knowledge to make the trip a personal experience. Several clan members will now visit other parts of Scotland to continue their 'holiday of a lifetime'.

You can see their clan tartan in the photo. 

Many thanks to historians Gordon Easingwood, Stephen Bunyan, and Alasdair Swan who did a great job with a film show of The Battery for those left at the Townhouse, plus the volunteers who assisted with much chair-moving and answering queries at the museum; also Pippa Swan and Kenny Maule for sharing their knowledge of the harbour. As Gordon said: "a real team effort".

Read more at https://www.clandunbar.com/welcome.htm 

photo by Kenny Maule

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Do you know a young person interested in going to sea and not currently in training or education?  If so, this could be very useful.  Please pass it on.

Sea-Going Career?  

You need this qualification!

East Lothian Works and SOSSTA are running a 1 week Sea-going training course starting in October 2019! Covering 4 Accredited SQA Units at Level 2 & 1 Voluntary Unit, the course is an ideal opportunity to obtain the mandatory qualifications to allow you to work at sea, as well as providing an introduction to a range of careers in the Seagoing industries (Sea fishing, Boat hospitality, Engineering, Navy etc.)

  • Course content: hp://www.seafish.org/training/seagoing-training/basic-safetytraining/mandatory-training
  • Unit 1 Basic Stability 9.30-4pm
  • Unit 2 Firefighting 9.30-4pm
  • Unit 3 Sea Survival 9.30-4pm
  • Unit 4 First Aid 9.30-4pm
  • Unit 5 Health & Safety 9.30-4pm
  • East Lothian venue - TBC
  • Criteria: 16 - 21 and not in education, training or employment
  • Resident in East Lothian
  • Genuine interest in the sea-going industry as a career
  • Committed to undertaking practical and classroom based learning
  • To find out more, contact Connie McLaren @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kathleen
  • Renton @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 01620 827262 
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It is with sadness that we inform you that sailing-club member Gordon Tait passed away on Thursday evening, 18th July.

Gordon (56), a well-liked Dunbar plumber, was on board his yacht Sanderling in Dunbar harbour when he is thought to have suffered a heart attack. He was brought ashore by the RNLI ILB.

Our thoughts are with his partner Laura, and family, at this sad time.

A funeral service, to which all relatives and friends are invited, will be held at Belhaven Church on Friday 2nd August at 10.30am, followed by interment at Deer Park Cemetery. No flowers please, however donations in aid of the R.N.L.I. (Dunbar) may be given on retiral from Belhaven Church.


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All the enormous rocks have now been moved from the slipway area. AG Thomson’s diggers and JCBs transported the rocks over two days, taking advantage of the low tides to brave the mud and carefully place them on the right-hand-side of the breakwater.

This right-hand-side area receives the greatest wave impact. The left-hand-side has been left lower to allow visitors a good view of the sea and horizon (and to save money; these rocks and work are expensive, you know).


"Why not transport the rocks over the bridge?", I hear you cry.      "Because the bridge has a 3 ton weight-limit, duh.", I reply.

photos by Kenny Maule

Click READ MORE for mud-plugging diggers.

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Remember our article in the June newsletter? -- here's an update. Alastair Cook was running four days of workshops as part of Civic Week. Several of his students learned this 'arcane' art of wet-plate collodion which shows character and timelessness in the faces of the subjects.

Alastair raised £500 for the Dunbar Harbour Trust. "Many thanks, Alastair!"


photo by Kenny Maule



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Keep Our Harbour Tidy Project: Yvonne Wemyss, the main organiser, says "We held our Environmental Open Day at Dunbar Harbour on 3rd July and what a dynamic day it was. The event was well-attended by visitors of all ages. Children and adults alike had glorious fun painting upcycled creels, decorating a fishing-net and contributing artwork for the Viridor mural.

The RSPB and Marine Conservation Scotland joined us with educational stalls full of fabulous information. A short film on the impact of litter and dog-waste on the environment and health, produced by local videographer Fraser Stewart, was shown in the Battery. 

Graced with a super-sunny day, our visitors munched on pizza, Mexican delights and ice-cream, whilst listening to Declan Till playing relaxing tunes.  

One 3-year-old said "I put all my rubbish in the bin. If it goes in the sea all the whales will eat it and die." Let’s all learn from this very smart little one

Many thanks from the Dunbar Harbour Trust to all who contributed, participated and attended." 

photos by Kenny Maule

Click READ MORE to see Declan Till.

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CROWN PRINCESS, a cruise ship, sneaks past the Battery, June 27th. 

Details: Destination Le Havre, Cruise liner, Flag:  Bermuda [BM]

AIS Vessel Type: Passenger, Gross Tonnage: 113561, Deadweight:  13294 t

Length Overall x Breadth Extreme:  288.63m × 36.05m, Year Built:  2006, Status:  Active


photo by Kenny Maule

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Sunday 14th July at 8pm

The RNLI ILB dinghy brought in .........a mystery dinghy, named "Tommy 200". There was nobody aboard (and fortunately nobody had been reported missing!)

photo: Kenny Maule





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