The Doric Columns
The Harbour Quays
Trinity Quay -
Market Street to
Trinity - The Original Quay
The use of coffer-dams, piles, and concrete in laying the foundations of erections in water had not been introduced when the quay was built, and its foundation, if it had one, had been laid in the muddy bottom of the Denburn. In 1453, £53 was spent upon the Quay, and in 1484 it was in a tumbledown state. In 1512 the Quay again required repairs, and in 1526 it was seen to be a hopeless task to build a substantial sea wall with the rounded ice-transported boulders found lying on the surface of the ground about Aberdeen. On this occasion, therefore, a new departure was made.
The master of Shoreworks of the time was sent to Dundee "to buy famous stonis" that is, large .blocks of squared sandstone, probably from Kingoodie, from which stones were often brought to Aberdeen. These good stones most likely had been used in extending the Quay wall and not in rebuilding the old part, for in 1549 repairs were again necessary. The rise of the tide being about 12 feet on an average, and more at new and full moon, a stair was provided to facilitate embarking and disembarking, and the loading and unloading of ships. The size and depth of ships had been increasing, and in 1561 an ordinance was issued by the Town Council forbidding casting out ballast from ships within flood mark under a penalty of 40/-. Money was constantly wanted for the Quay, and part of the price obtained for the silver ornaments and vessels in use in St Nicholas Church before the Reformation was laid out upon it. Continued growth of trade necessitated machinery for lifting and swinging heavy goods, and a crane was set up at the Quay-head in 1582.
In 1885 the old, quaint-looking Weigh-House, where goods were stored to be measured and examined for Customs duties, was demolished to furnish a site for a new Harbour Office; but the Weigh-House was some distance back from the Quay, whereas the harbour office comes up to the same line as the other houses. It cost £9000, which had to be paid out of surplus revenue.
Ach - Knocket Doon
In 1870 the widening of Trinity Quay was ordered. This was a much-needed improvement, as the roadway between the houses and the water was very narrow. The cost of the whole work was £4900, the greater part of which went for paving and other purposes than the building of the Quay wall,
John Gibb was born near Falkirk in 1776, and only moved to Aberdeen to take up the post of Engineer to Aberdeen Harbour in 1809. He acquired an interest in a quarry at Tyrebagger in 1816. His son Alexander Gibb was also a Civil Engineer, and for several years they operated from Waterloo Quay as Civil Engineers, Contractors and Stone Merchants: their early contribution to the Granite Industry was their introduction of larger drills for blasting holes, allowing larger stones to be brought down in 1 blast. In 1830 John Gibb acquired the lease to all the Quarries on the Rubislaw Estate, which he and his Company continued to work for many years.
It was part of the Harbour improvement scheme that the Inches should be made up far enough to be above the level of the highest spring tides, and to shut up all water ways between the Dee and the Harbour. Of these there were 2, one coming in about Commerce Street, and another farther west. The former took often a large quantity of the river water when the tide began to ebb, and the salmon fishers had to be compounded with before it could be shut up. The other was valued by the Brick-makers at Clayhill, because by it they could get coals brought to their works either by the Dee, or by the Harbour at spring tides. To satisfy them the pier was carried as far as Poynernook, with a channel alongside. There is always in a Town where building operations are ongoing on a quantity of earth and rubbish to dispose of. Mr Gibb was too provident a man not to turn this to account. He saw that earth would be useful on the Inches, and he made a wooden bridge across the harbour at Shore Brae to let carts pass over to the Inches. The bridge had been easily constructed by driving piles into the channel and laying planks on their tops. Shore Brae was chosen because it was far up the Harbour, and Market Street was not then in existence. A bridge had been planned to be made at Marischal Street, but things were not yet ready for its construction.
Photograph is listed as 1920 Regents Quay before the 2 Storey Storage Shed. Region possibly at the Harbour end of James Street (the Snug Bar was at 'tither' end next to Bissets Works). - Anither story ensues at its mention.
It may indeed be Blaikies Quay which had a similar Gantry.
Timber unloaded by derricks – note the high level Gantry Platform for loading what – bags of Grain into ships? Yon logs would rummel aboot and catch yer taes a bit. Cycle over them rails ye 'ham and eggers'
Busy traffic scene on Regent Quay roadway behind the 2 storey goods shed, 6 lorries, 1 being loaded with dressed timber cargo operated by George T Fraser, lorry with tarpaulin over load in the back of the truck has a large sign with a picture in the middle surrounded by the message 'To view Britain's landmarks you can be sure of Shell', behind that 'Good bread, Mitchell Muil Ltd for good health' on the back of another truck, next one 'P Buyers, Ships Chandlers, 55 to 62 Regent Quay and Mearns Street, Aberdeen', several cars in a line, members of the public walking along the pavement, gentleman on bicycle, Munro Transport's lorry being loaded with timbers also, rear of the 2 storey goods shed at Regent Quay, horse drawn cart empty making its way alongside the back of the goods shed, building frontages of Regent Quay and Trinity Quay in background. Photographer's location: First floor window from a building on the east end of Regent Quay.
Regent Quay, gas lamps, small section dressed timber stacked in middle of roadway, horse and cart with bagged load, buildings of Regent Quay including Adam Fruiter and Confectioner, Jamieson's Ships Stores, Ellis & McHardy's and Harbour Office and rear of goods shed on Regent Quay, gentlemen clearing manure by shovel into handcart, gentlemen pushing handcart, horse and cart heavily loaded with small section dressed timber, line of horses pulling carriages being led behind Regent Quay single storey goods shed. Note the out of plumb tall water fountain hydrant complete with lions head on the pavement edge for providing drinking water for both men and horses.
Provost Jamieson's Quay
There was a beginning of collapse of Jamieson's Quay following the loss of water level in the Upper Dock due to loss of water through the Victoria Dock entrance, Regent Bridge House stands in the left background, Jamieson's Quay masonry showing signs of bowing due to subsidence, Jamieson's Quay goods shed warped and twisted, locomotive steam crane listing badly due to subsidence, gas lamps, steel handrail, area cordoned off by rope, gentleman standing by the cordon, lifesaving apparatus on the building of float and rope type, sign reading 'Shelter S7', bollards, cobbled quay deck, vessel moored at the east end of Jamieson's Quay. This Quay had been built and unfilled on the site of 3 former Shipyards and the 5 inclined Slipways of William Duthie, John Humphrey & Co, and Richard Connon. Perhaps the last unofficial unison launch of such combined slipways still in use c.1835.
Jamieson's Quay looking West with snow clearance workers, mooring bollards and steam crane 1908.
Jamieson's Quay - Empty railway carriages at the east end of Jamiesons Quay, cobbled roadway, Morring Bollards & rings, rails, permanent steel post, dropped intermediate stanchion and chains, in the background Regent House (left) with some hand carts sitting outside, signal mast for the Regent Bridge, funnels and masts of collier vessels berthed at Blaikies Quay, St Clements Church Spires, corner of Regent Road with road sign apparent, Regent Bridge kiosk.
PROVOST MATTHEWS' QUAY
JAMES MATTHEWS - ARCHITECT 1810-1898
entered the Town Council in
1863, and retired as a Councillor in
he was recalled as Lord Provost and held office until November
He was mainly responsible for implementing the City Improvement Act of
which included building
and giving improved access to the latter area of the City. He was a director of
the North of Scotland Bank, of which he was Chairman from time to time. His
public services (in particular the
brought an Honorary LLD from the University of Aberdeen. In his later years
Matthews lived in some grandeur at
which he had greatly altered for himself.
The introduction of a new way of catching fish by
trawling necessitated the
formation of a Quay for the accommodation of the ships engaged in this industry,
and a place for laying out the fish which they caught where they could be seen
by purchasers. These were provided in Albert Basin, on the north side, in
About the same time sprang up the importation at Aberdeen of store cattle from
Canada. For the accommodation of this trade a wharf was erected at Pocra Jetty
in 1886, and wooden buildings were provided, in which to keep the cattle for a
few days and afterwards dispose of them by auction. The sales were patronised by
farmers from Aberdeen, Banff, and Kincardine and they brought an increase of
revenue to the Harbour Board, but an apprehension arose that imported foreign
cattle might bring into the country infectious cattle diseases, which led to the
prohibition of the importation of live cattle unless for slaughter at the port
of landing. This rendered useless the cattle sheds and Auction Hall at Pocra,
and they had to be removed.
Bomb damage at premises at Mearns Quay, adjacent buildings with windows broken, cladding twisted, sign on building reads 'Buildings for Sale, Apply to Caledonian Milling Company Limited, Palmerston Road, Aberdeen', rubble strewn around the pavement, Cooper's barrels in a yard, undamaged tank adjacent. Photographer's location: North Esplanade East. Direction of photograph: Northeast. Mearns Quay construction started in 1914 and was finished in 1923, broken into 2 phases.
Mearns Quay -
Aerial View of Harbour - with Hall Russell's / Alexander Hall's Shipyards lower right and the Orkney and Shetland Sheds which held livestock and cargo for transportation lower Left. The old footbridges across the Harbour from York Place are evident. and St Clements Church dominates Footdee. To the left of Victoria Dock are the Robert Miller's Sawmills with yards stacked high with sawn timber. Castle Hill Barracks with Castle Terrace Tenements in front where I lived in the top left attic. The Virginia Street Steps and the Swedish Church - (yet to be) are in front of Cocky Hunters Store formerly the Old Sick Childrens Hospital, The old Waterloo Station is now a Goods Yard and Commerce Street School lies at the narrows of the line. The 2 storey storage in Regents Quay with its cavernous aperture where I used to play on top of the daily cargo loads. Marischal Street leads up to the Town House the Marischal College and the North Church. Some vast playground zone for a wee loon tae get lost in eh. Some target for the Luftwaffe are those Gas Tanks. Broadford Works just enter the picture on the top left..
A closer view on the same day - showing the Harbour Gates where we could walk over and marvel at the huge capstans and vertical clusters of lever spars then quite redundant. Baltic Street and Links Road are evident. and Commerce Street leads off Wateroo Quay top left and leads to Hanover Street and Heading Hill. Bottom Centre is where we fished for saithes in the harbour for amusement catching the odd eel when fishing with a Calder's Shop provided hook, hand line and lead sinker. Fish Street and Bannerman Street on opposite sides of the rail line. A Pontoon Crane floats in the tidal harbour off the Hall Russell's Quay which appear to be undergoing an extension. Top left are Queens Links which used to be a Horse Racing Course and the strip of greenery on its left was known as the Jungle - complete with Tarzans yodelling calls at which I considered myself audibly exact. Were the strip cultures placed there to mask the horses from passing traffic?
Old Marine Operations Centre, with Abercrombies Jetty to the left a sewage outflow meant you could pull out beautiful mackeral with an unbaited hook by the 100 but mither widnae eat em and threw them at 'Tibsy' our ravenous cat that would oft steal our uncooked dinner off the table as overdue wages for chasing rats. West of this was an Old Tidal lower jetty which had a permanent pool at low tide where we would wade and catch wee crabs - and tiny saithe fish fry. Further on was a Wooden Jetty on Pocra Quay where you could catch lemon sole in the tidal harbour of your line was long enough. Greasy oil laden steps and horizontal frames were a real hazard and care was needed if you were not to fall in the murky drink. The 'fresh' tidal harbour water was brown and mixed with the green sea at the Point of the mile long Pier or Harbour Bar. Nae such freedoms to wander noo!
Heavy Horses - Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull
Pocra Quay Improvements using steam cranes
Upper or Cross Quay - unloading coal from Collier adjacent to Market Street
Mystery at Sea
We could not make out what the light was.' said Capt. Murray. It passed about 3/4 of a mile off our port side, flashing brilliantly until it disappeared. It made no noise at all, yet we could hear the Shackleton when it was miles away. Judging by the way the radar contacts disappeared from our screen, it seems that whatever was there must have sunk before we could get to it. We found no trace of wreckage during our search, but something definitely fell into the water.' "
By the 100 ton shear poles with sign erected entering to it reading 'Welcome to the Master Mariner', coat of arms with flags, various bunting raised, people walking behind a cart, a horse drawn cart without horse on Waterloo Quay saying 'Lyons Tea' on the side and 'Lyons Coffee' on the front, cobbled roadway, concrete flag stone pavement, site hoardings to the shear pole yards, gas lamp, bunting, coat of arms and sign at the shear pole yards possibly to honour the Captain of the steam collier 'Thrift' who made his 500th voyage to Blythe from Aberdeen, the master's name was Captain MacKay, in which case date would be 9th of March 1926. SS thrift was owned by the Northern Co-op
I remember seeing the SS THRIFT many times in Blyth loading for Aberdeen . She was completed by Hall Russell of Aberdeen in 1931 for the Northern Co-operative Society (Aberdeen) She loaded at either Blyth , Seaham or Methil and by the time she was scrapped in 1968 she was one of the last coal burning East Coasters
The Collier 'Spray' built by Hall Russells was delivered to the coal merchants Ellis & McHardy Coal Merchants of Trinity Quay in 1932 to replace a previous cargo coaster of the same name. 'The collier 'Spray' will reach a total of 500,000 tons of coal carried when she completes her next trip. Captain Joe Andrews, an Aberdeen man, has been in command since the ship was built. He was mate on the old 'Spray' (a cargo steamship).' The firm was established in 1880 by John Ellis and Charles McHardy to supply household coal, industry, and steam vessels sailing from Aberdeen. The company purchased its own collier in 1887, a pattern which continued until the last of 5 ships was sold in 1973. Ellis & McHardy was registered as a public company in 1928 following the death of John Ellis. They also had coal distribution premises in Blaikies Quay.
Small steam locomotive of Caledonian Northern Scottish Railway pulling empty coal trucks at the junction of Blaikies Quay and Blacks Lane, Ellis & McHardy Coal Merchants yard and buildings on Blaikies Quay, young boy with hand cart in foreground, and coal being loaded in bags on to flat bed horse drawn carts.
Collier Ferryhill at Blyth on the Tyne
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