Notice is hereby given that repair operations have commenced at Berwick Breakwater and will continue over the coming weeks. Divers may be working in the vicinity. Mariners are requested to navigate with caution, give as wide a berth as possible and keep speed to a minimum at all times.
D.Wood (Harbour Master) - 20th July 2011
By the mid-eighteenth century Berwick was a flourishing port and market town. Although the town has a fine natural harbour it has a difficult entry and is exposed to onshore winds, especially from the east and south east. There is the additional problem of strong currents in the estuary after prolonged rain.
During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the harbour was gradually improved. The quays were extended to accommodate the growing number of vessels visiting the port. Protection against the north wind was provided by the pier which was constructed in 1810-11. A lighthouse was erected on the end of the pier in 1826. These improvements paid dividends for Berwick, which was the third most important grain exporting port in the UK during the early nineteenth century. However the arrival of the railway in 1850 led to a decline in the harbour and the fishing fleet diminished substantially.
In recent years commercial port operations have been revitalised. The Port of Berwick is the second largest Northumbrian port, handling in excess of 150,000 tonnes of cargo, with capacity to handle significant additional tonnage and around 250 shipping movements annually.
Recent regenerative projects have included the widening of the dock entrance in 1993, to accommodate larger vessels; the Harbour wall has been strengthened and the working surfaces increased. In 2000 an extensive dredging programme was initiated, which improved the working berths and facilitates larger vessel movements within the dock.
Future projects include plans for the increase in facilities for visiting yachtsmen. A much larger project is the recent completion of a pontoon on the Berwick Quay, on the North bank, which is a new venture in promoting the port to cruise ships.
HARBOUR COMMISSION ACQUIRE W.N. LINDSAY (STEVEDORES) LTD
On 22nd July, 2011 Berwick Harbour Commission purchased the business and assets of W.N. Lindsay (Stevedores) Ltd. W.N. Lindsay had been responsible for stevedoring, warehousing and Ship agency activities in the Port since 1947. W.N. Lindsay's core business activities have, in recent years, moved away from shipping and the Commission were presented with an exciting opportunity to acquire the Lindsay business activities in Berwick. The acquisition of W.N. Lindsay (Stevedores) Ltd now allows the Commission to secure all revenues generated through the Port and offers the opportunity for the Commission to develop a stronger, more sustainable business model. This acquisition will secure the long term future for the Port. All staff previously employed by W.N. Lindsay (Stevedores) Ltd are now employed by the Harbour Commission. The Harbour Commission now offer a comprehensive shipping service to all our customers and hope that potential new customers will appreciate the advantages of a fully inclusive shipping service which can be tailored to suit their specific requirements. Any Companies interested in discussing shipping opportunities should contact either Mr. Duncan Wood, Harbour Master or Mr. Alan Irving, Chief Executive on Tel. 01289 307404 or 01289 306209.