It is no coincidence that 40 years ago Kevin Riley wrote his dissertation on the history of Holyhead Harbour and now he is the Harbour Master! The second largest “Roll on Roll off” port in the UK, Holyhead brims with history. Following the Irish Act of Union in 1801, there needed to be an efficient way of moving the new Irish MPs and Lords to and from Westminster, and so a port with fast ferry, rail and road routes had to be chosen. The final two choices were Porth Dinllaen (see previous post) and Holyhead which was just 60 miles by sea to Dublin. Road, rail and a massive breakwater infrastructure were all developed and Holyhead harbour was born. In 1820 a copy of London’s Admiralty Arch was built to mark the “other” end of Telford’s newly built “A5” road.
Kevin (in Orange jacket), who works for Stena Line Ports gave us a tour of his vast and busy estate. Large ferries constantly plough in and out of the harbour, with lorries and stevedores moving cargo day and night. Enormous cruise ships visit the harbour which is kept dredged to 11 metres and there are plans to enlarge the port further. In a port of this size the HM has to be an expert in health and safety, incident and waste management, pollution prevention and much more. It is a big job. Thank you to Kevin, Mike Coates the AHM, and Mark the Port Control Marine Officer for showing us such an interesting and historic port.
A big thank you also to the staff at Holyhead Marina which is back in action welcoming visiting yachts after the big storm in 2018 (photo 6 shows the proposed new marina). Together with the Maritime Museum and a very friendly sailing club, we had a very happy, educational and interesting stay in Holyhead. [We sailed into the harbour after a fantastic sail around the East and North coast of Anglesey sailing past Puffin Island Lighthouse (photo 8) and the treacherous Skerries rocks (photo 9).]
About the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge: I am circumnavigating #GB
in a #Nauticat
attempting to visit every #harbour
with a #harbourmaster #fundraising
to #support @Seafarers_UK
and their work in the #martime
industry, supporting #seafarers
and their #families