RESIDENTS in Port Bannatyne have expressed their delight at the removal and dismantling of a derelict fishing vessel from the old stone quay in the centre of the village.
After years of unsuccessful attempts to trace the owner of the Ocean Queen, the vessel, which had been tied up at the west side of the pier for at least a decade in an increasingly perilous condition, was dismantled early on Saturday morning.
A bonfire lit on the shore nearby early on Sunday morning was still burning away the following afternoon, turning the last pieces of wood from the ship’s hull to ashes.
Alison Dunn from Port Bannatyne Neighbourhood Watch told The Buteman: “I’m delighted, and anyone I’ve spoken to about it is delighted that it’s finally away.
“Kids were climbing on the wreck for years to fish for crabs, and it had been obvious for years that it was unsafe. Taking it away has definitely been a benefit to the village.”
Village resident John McMillan, who chaired the community interest company which oversaw improvement work on the quay in 2010 with the help of a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said the wreck’s removal at last meant the quay could be used again for its proper purpose.
“It was an accident waiting to happen,” Mr McMillan said. “Kids were jumping on it and playing on it, and there were big holes in the deck, and anyone falling in could have been seriously injured or killed.
“That is the best berth at the quay, and the wreck was preventing anyone putting that berth to its proper use.”
Janet O’Sullivan from the village’s post office said: “Given how much hard work was done by the committee who restored the quay, it’s wonderful that it can now be fully used.”