Port Edgar

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Port Edgar is a marina situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth immediately to the west of the southern end of the Forth Road Bridge in the town of South Queensferry, Scotland. In previous years it had been the site of HMS Lochinvar. In the inter war period Port Edgar was the a destroyer base.[1] under the command of the then Captain Cunningham who later went on to become Admiral of the Fleet. In recent years, it has become a busy marina with a sailing school with 300 berths, owned and run by the City of Edinburgh Council under the Edinburgh Leisure brand. The failure of successive management structures to maintain harbour depths through dredging since the departure of the Royal Navy continues to threaten activity at Port Edgar, with accessibility at low tides increasingly an issue.

Port Edgar as viewed from the Forth road bridge in 2010.

The Royal Navy[edit]

Bought by the Admiralty in 1916 as the site of a future Naval base,[2] the pier at Port Edgar near South Queensferry had been regularly used by Royal Navy ships since the 1850s.

Shortly after its purchase the wounded of the Battle of Jutland were landed at Port Edgar for the Royal Naval Hospital at Butlaw, South Queensferry. The dead of the battle were buried in the local cemetery at South Queensferry.

In 1917 the completed base was commissioned as HMS Columbine, a depot for Torpedo Boat Destroyers of the Grand Fleet

In 1938 HMS Columbine and the naval hospital at Butlaw were closed.

In 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War Port Edgar was commissioned as HMS Lochinvar. A Training establishment for the Royal Naval Patrol Service.

In 1943 HMS Lochinvar relocated to Granton Harbour in Edinburgh just a few miles along the coast. Port Edgar became the home to HMS Hopetoun, a Combined Operations Training centre for British and Allied navies training for the D-Day landings in France.

After the Second World War HMS Hopetoun closed and in 1946 HMS Lochinvar returned to Port Edgar. It was now home to the Royal Navy minesweepers clearing the Firth of Forth and East coast of the UK of its wartime minefields.

In 1958 the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron was moved to HMS Lochinvar. It would remain at Port Edgar until 1975. It then moved to HMS Caledonia in Rosyth (and in 1994 moved to Portsmouth).[dubious ]

In 1960 the port also became Navy’s only minesweeping training establishment.

In 1975 HMS Lochinvar closed and all its operations moved across the Forth to HMS Caledonia in the rebuilt naval base at Rosyth.

Today Port Edgar is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council and is a marina for pleasure craft and a base for other watersports. It sits under the shadow of the Forth Road Bridge, within sight of the 1890 Rail bridge, and soon to be in the shadow of a new cable-stayed crossing to the West. Port Edgar will sit amongst three major estuary crossings, from three centuries.

In 1988 the Algerines Association unveiled a memorial at Port Edgar to the minesweepers and fishery protection vessels based at Port Edgar and Granton between 1939 and 1975.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cunningham information sheet". Royal Naval Museum. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  2. ^ "South Queensferry, Port Edgar Harbour". Canmore database. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°59′35″N 3°24′32″W / 55.993°N 3.409°W / 55.993; -3.409