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Community / ‘One hundred and ninety years of history crumbling into the sea’ – fresh concern over state of Whalsay dock

WHALSAY Community Council has approached the amenity trust and council amid worries the “state of decay” of the isle’s ‘peerie dock’.

The community council says it “urgently requires restoration” – both from a safety and historical perspective.

A report compiled on the situation says the dock, in Symbister, has served the community in various ways for nearly 200 years.

Photo via Whalsay Community Council

It was once the site of a fish processing and international export business and later it was the ferry traffic terminal.

When the Whalsay ferries increased in size they moved them onto the side of a fishing jetty further out in the harbour.

But the community council claims the dock, which is the oldest part of the harbour, has been “abandoned by the SIC” – with large holes appearing below the high water mark and the sloping slipway no longer there because it collapsed.

The matter was raised amongst councillors more than a decade ago, but a potential renovation did not come to fruition.

The community council says no further remedial work has taken place on the dock, with only barriers put in place in an effort to halt public access to the crumbling structure.

The community council also claims the fishing pier where the ferry terminal was moved to is also suffering decay having been built some six decades ago.

The report on the harbour and dock says that local fishermen are concerned that if the council presses ahead with an idea to relocate the Whalsay ferry terminal then the former fishing pier will also suffer a similar fate to the dock.

North Isles councillor Duncan Anderson, who is from Whalsay, said it is a “terrible shame to see such a historic structure be left to become a dangerous eyesore”.