TODAY: Tarbert Harbour Authority celebrates its centenary with a cascade of events

THA centenary

TODAY – Saturday 17th August 2013 sees the beautiful Loch Fyneside fishing and sailing village of Tarbert en fete to celebrate the centenary of its Harbour Authority.

Cowal’s Walking Theatre Company has created a new play around the the rise of the Harbour Authority and on a day where people are invited to wear period costume, the Walking Theatre performers may be indistinguishable from some members of the audience, who may be seen as escapees from the theatre company. This promises a lot of fun.

There are:

  • two runs – a 5k race and a 10k race
  • the welcome ceremony – with music – at 1pm
  • a community barbecue at 1.30pm until 3pm, promising ‘mouthwatering delights’
  • street entertainers
  • children’s games
  • The Walking Theatre Company’s interactive show at 3.30pm until 5m
  • Maritime Art-time form Artmap Argyll
  • Crafts and food stalls.
  • Eirich Ceilidh Band from 8pm on – prepare to be happily exhausted.

Tarbert has been an important marine haven for a very long time. Robert the Bruce was there in the 1320s and over 170 years later, i 1494, James IV had reason to strengthen the defences at Tarbert Castle.

An Act of Parliament in 1708 gave local landowner, Archibald MacAlister [was he a fiddler?], along with theĀ  local JP and the Sherriff Principal of the Shire, to oversee the running and maintenance of the harbour.

That Act was petitioned for revision in the early 20th century by the landowner of the day, Colin George Pelham Campbell of Stonefield, along with John McLeod [ironmonger], Neil Murray [fisherman] and David Hope MacBrayne [ship owner].

David Hope MacBrayne- now there’s a name to conjure with: son of the David MacBrayne who could be said to have liberated islanders living off the west coast of Scotland and whose name lives on in the iconic black hulled, red funnelled and white superstructured ferry fleet of Caledonian MacBrayne [CalMac] busily plying the Clyde and Hebridean routes.

The petition brought about the desired revision of the 1708 Act, establishing the 1912 Tarbert [Loch Fyne] Harbour Order. This specified that the maintenance and regulation of the harbour be vested in a board of trustees, of 7 or fewer and unpaid.

Despite the considerable responsibilities involved now, as then, the Trustees of Tarbert Harbour Authority work on a voluntary basis.

The first sitting of the Tarbert Harbour board of Trustees was held on April 1st 1913.

Today’s celebrations in the town commemorate the centenary of a harbour authority that has also seen the village’s fishing fleet swell and shrivel; and today sees the power of Tarbert in the marine leisure world, with the burgeoning number of yachts berthed at the pontoons on the north shore of the bay.

Note: The poster heading – cropped above, shows fireworks but we have no information on whether this signals that there will be fireworks.

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