The Isle of Whithorn Maritime History

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An old photograph of the Isle of Whithorn Harbour
The Isle of Whithorn

The Isle of Whithorn

The Harbour Collapse

After the Second World War, the end of the pier was a pile of rubble - the years had not been kind to it. When James Wyllie bought the stores on the harbour he smoothed over the rubble and put a skin of concrete over the surface. It stayed like that until 1969 when, after a bad storm, it was seriously damaged.

Water pressure built up inside the pier and it was described as "looking like a jelly with a jigsaw on top" - huge chunks broke off. The cause apparently was that the pier had been pointed, but the top had not been sealed so that water got in, and built up until the wall just exploded.

Having the pier rebuilt was a major political battle. Mr A.Niblock who was a prominent resident of the village, and Mr D.R.Wilson, Clerk to the Wigtown County Council joined forces to try and get the pier rebuilt. Mr Wilson had the ability to argue and justify a case, and he was convinced that the pier needed to be rebuilt. He got the resources from St.Andrew's House, the Scottish Office, on the grounds of coastal protection - if it was not rebuilt, the bottom of the village would be washed away. The official estimate of the cost was £65,000 but the rebuild cost a lot more than that, and it was said that the result was a penny in the pound on the rates."


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