Mallaig Harbour News: February 2019
Current Engineering Issues
Delays have occurred to both Harbour Projects that were highlighted in the January issue of West Word: i) The Passenger Access Pontoons; and ii) The new Mallaig Ice plant.
i) Problems with a prefabricated steel beam which resulted in the need for a new beam to be manufactured and then galvanised has been the main cause of the delay with the Passenger Access Pontoons. Once the beam is on site and in situ all the other components – the access platform, access ramp and the placement of the pontoons – will be able to be placed in position.
The new amended completion date is now the 22nd February 2019. We do apologise for the delay.
ii) Mallaig Harbours new Ice Plant is nearing completion and should become operational by the end of this month.
The containerised Ice Plant arrived from China – it’s country of manufacture – on the 16th & 17th January and, at the time of writing, is now 95% complete.
Utility connections (power, water, broadband line) are proving an issue and that is part of the reason for the delay in the commissioning of the plant.
The Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation Ltd (SFO) calendar for 2019 is entitled The Fisher Folk’s Story and it contains historical black & white photos of fishing scenes from the past.
There are a couple of photos of Mallaig Harbour including this one, the cover shot of the calendar, which carries the sub-title “Valiant OB191, landing lobsters at Mallaig.
The picture dates back to the late 50’s/early 60’s and was probably taken one Saturday morning, the normal day from the Mallaig Lobster Sale.
After being away for the week, fishing on the west side (of the Hebrides) the Mallaig lobster boats of the time, the “Valiant” owned by Jimmy Henderson, the “Beulah” (Jimmy McLean); the “Excellent” (Jimmy Aitchison); the “Winner” (Willie MacDonald); and the Speedwell (Alex Duncan) among them, would return to Mallaig on the Friday afternoon/evening with their catch and then “steep” the lobsters in the bay, the line of boxes being supported by a buoy at each end – this being done to keep the lobsters alive of course.
On a Saturday morning to save all the boats going out into the bay to haul up their boxes one or two boats would venture out, pick up the boxes of lobsters and take them back to the pier for the auction which is why on the deck of the Valiant you can read the name “Excellent OB343” on one of the boxes.
When all the boxes were landed onto the pier, the Auction would commence with Salesmen Ian MacLennan & Robbie Hepburn eeking out the best prices for their clients. Some of the buyers involved around about that time would be George Aitchison; Alex Henderson; Bill Henderson; Andy Duncan; Jimmy Sanderson and Wm Simpson & Sons.
Can you identify the fishermen on board the “Valiant”? Names below.
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Names: (left to right): Duncan Henderson, Jimmy Henderson, Jimmy Aitchison, Ian Campbell, Eckie Aitchison, Jimmy Philip.