Hopes raised for resumption of old trade at Port of Berwick

The arrival of the Dutch cargo ship MV Frisian River last week heralded what Berwick Harbour Commission hopes is the resumption of a former trade for the port.

Saturday, 13th October 2018, 5:04 pm
Updated Monday, 15th October 2018, 12:22 pm
The MV Frisian River loading the stone chippings from Biddlestone quarry. Picture courtesy of Tweed Shipping Facebook group.

The 87metre vessel arrived in Tweed Dock at 4.30pm on Friday, having made the short journey down from Inverkeithing, on the Firth of Forth, Scotland.

She was in to load 2,400 tonnes of stone chippings from the Hardens quarry at Biddlestone, near Rothbury. For many years, stone was exported from the berth beside the Carr Rock, until the trade transferred to Blyth in around 2001, though four experimental cargoes were loaded from dockside in 2007.

The Danica Hav at Berwick. Picture by Alan Hughes

Port staff worked until midnight on Friday to load the cargo, to allow the ship to sail on Saturday morning's tide, to Terneuzen in Holland.

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The ship in the background of the picture is the MV Danica Hav, having partially discharged her 2,200 tonnes of fertiliser from Ghent in Belgium, a regular cargo for MSP.

The Danica Hav entered Berwick Harbour at dusk on Thursday, having sailed from Terneuzen, the 5.3metre high tide at 5pm allowing easy entry, guided by Berwick pilot boat.

The Humber Guardian, operated by Briggs Marine on behalf of The Environment Agency and Government, also put into the port on Thursday, having sailed from Hartlepool.

The Danica Hav arrives at Berwick. Picture by Alan Hughes.

Briggs Marine's website states that it is one of 'four vessels based to operate regionally around the UK coastline, with Solent Guardian deployed on the south coast, Humber Guardian on the east coast from above the Thames Estuary to Aberdeen, Severn Guardian covering from Lands End to North Wales, and Mersey Guardian extending coverage up to the Hebrides. Thames Guardian, a similar but smaller 14.5m vessel, covers the River Thames and its estuary'.

Curiously, the Marine Traffic web application describes the Humber Guardian as involved in ‘Law Enforce’ although the word ‘Survey’ is painted on its side.

The Humber Guardian at Berwick. Picture by Alan Hughes