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Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Story of Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission

The Story of Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission. On an August day in 1864 Sir James Matheson signed the feu charter bringing Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission into being. His view from Lews Castle windows down into Stornoway Harbour was very different from that of the present day.

A seafarer entering the harbour in 1864 would find a shore line of sand and gravel running along the south side of South Beach Street with no quays on that side of the harbour. In the years after that, Stornoway grew into a thriving harbour and became a major herring port. In the modern age as well as being a safe water for naval vessels and other sea-going craft, Stornoway harbour is the main ferry point for travellers to the Isle of Lewis. It must be Stornoway is a treasure of photographs and records of the affairs of the Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission from the 1860s to its transformation into Stornoway Port Authority in the new millenium. The harbour records trace the development of the port, and by extension the town, from the mid-nineteenth century through to the early years of the twenty first, from the days of sail through the years of steam to the age of oil and electronics. The fishing trade reached as far as St Petersburg in the 1900s and during both World Wars Stornoway was a military port.
The characters include such well-known figures as Sir James Matheson, Lord Leverhulme and Robert Hurd, as well as a host of ordinary folk, merchants, fishermen, fish curers and fisher girls, who had their part in it all. Contains a hugely impressive archive photo collection. It Must Be Stornoway: The Story of Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission.

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