Harbour Minutes (1890-)

 MINUTE BOOK OF THE SKERRAY HARBOUR TRUST

At Farr and within the Bettyhill Hotel on the 13th day of July, 1892.

In the first meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers
(Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Messers John Box, William Morrison, William Mackay and John Milne.

The Trustees present made and subscribed the Statutory Declaration in terms of Section 12 of the Commissioners Clauses Act 1847.
On the motion of Mr William Morrison seconded by Mr William Mackay, Mr Box was appointed Chairman of the Trust until the Annual Meeting of the Trustees in February 1893, in terms of Section 37 of the Commissioners Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5(4) of the Order.

On the motion of Mr William Mackay seconded by Mr Box, Mr John Milne was appointed Clerk and Treasurer of the Trust.

There was submitted to the meeting working plans of the works, which had been approved by the Board of Trade. The Trust approved of the Plans conditionally, on the introduction of a condition, obliging the Contractor to take a portion of the material from the reef- the Engineer to obtain separate offers for this Scheme. It is the opinion of the Trust that a round corner of the sea face of the Pier is preferable to the sharp one.

The Trustees resolved to carry through the Works by Contract and the draft advertisement submitted by Mr Barron the Engineer was submitted to the meeting and approved of, and the Clerk was instructed to send Mr Barron a copy of the minutes and ask him to insert the Advertisement in the following newspapers: - “Scotsman”, “Aberdeen Free Press”, “Glasgow Mail” and the “Northern Ensign”.

Signed:

Mr Box, Chairman

At Borgie the 22nd day of August, 1892.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Messers W. Morrison and J. Milne, Members, Mr Barron, Engineer and Mr Argo, Law Agent.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
There was submitted to the meeting the following tenders for the works:-

1) G. D. Mitchell, Aberdeen   £5206 17s  8d
2) Charles Mackay, Inverness  £5367 14s  8d
3) John Mackay, Thurso   £5503   9s 10d
4) Alexander McGregor, Thurso  £5777 14s   3d
5) R. C. Brebner, Edinburgh  £6272 10s   1d
6) G. Gunn, Thurso   £8091   1s   9d
7) T. McDonald, Inverness  £8899 16s   9d

These tenders were remitted to Mr Barron and the Chairman to report to the Trust.

The Clerk was instructed to open Bank Account for the Trust with the Town and County Bank Ltd., Thurso; to be operated upon by Cheque, signed by Chairman and one member of the Trust, and Treasurer; and to transfer the sum lying in Deposit Receipt with the British Linen Bank, Golspie to new account; and the Clerk was further instructed to send a list of the Trustees to the Agent of the Town and County Bank along with an extract of the minute.

The Trustees fixed security to be found by Treasurer for his intromissions at £200, and the Treasurer intimated that he would provide the security.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Public School the 15th day of October 1892

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman, Messers. William Morrison, William Mackay, George Mackay, George Clark Mackay and John Milne. Members.

The minutes of last meeting were read and approved of.

The Report of Mr Barron and also the correspondence between Messers. Stibbard, Gibson and Co., and the Secretary for Scotland were submitted to the meeting.
Mr Barron stated that the tender of Mr Charles Mackay, Inverness, was the lowest which should be considered; that he waited on him on the 6th and 8th September, and went over the Plans with him, that he is agreeable to execute the Works at the rates in his tender; and that by shortening the Pier to the extent of abolishing the outer part which turns landwards the cost may be reduced to the sum allocated.

The Trustees were unanimously opposed to the curtailing of the Pier, and they provisionally resolved to carry out the works themselves under the supervision of Mr Barron; and the Clerk was instructed to communicate this resolution through Mr Argo, to the Secretary for Scotland.

An application from Mr Barron for £30 to account of his remuneration was agreed to- the sum meanwhile to come out of the money in the hands of the Treasurer, on the understanding that it be returned when the £3000 promised by the Government is received.
The Trustees would be obliged by Mr Barron rendering a detailed account when he wants money.

It was agreed to hold future meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m.

Signed:
John Box

At Skerray Public School the 4th day of February, 1893.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Messers. John Box, William Morrison, William Mackay, George Mackay, George Clark Mackay, and John Milne.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved of.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioners Clauses Act 1847, and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

The Correspondence between the Under Secretary for Scotland and the Duke of Sutherland, the letter from the Under Secretary to Mr Argo, and the reply sent to the Under Secretary were read.

The Clerk was instructed to write Mr Argo for a copy of the agreement between the late Mr Tait and Mr Barron, or otherwise to let us know the arrangement as to the latter’s charges and also to write about the £50 advanced to Mr Tait and obtain a detailed account of his intromissions.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Public School the 22nd day of April 1893.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman, Messers William Morrison, William Mackay, George Mackay, George Clark Mackay and John Milne, Members.

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved of.

With reference to Harbour Accounts, Mr Argo’s letter was read, and the Accounts contained therein considered. It was resolved to pay the proportion due by this Trust of Messers. Stibbard, Gibson and Co.’s Account for £40 18s 6d viz. £13 12s 10d, and a cheque for which amount was then signed.

The Trust then considered the account recorded between the late Mr Tait’s trustees and the Sutherland Harbour Trust, showing a balance due to the Trust of  £93 6s 4d, which sum Mr Argo writes has been placed on Deposit Receipt. The principal outlay in this Account viz. that for £40 16s 3d due to the late Mr Tait which had been charged in his Executor’s Account was approved, as also that of-
William Rae of the Northern Ensign for Advertising £33 0s 6d
George Robb and Coy. , Edinburgh for Printing £19 10s 0d.

And the Trust agreed to pay their share of these accounts on receipt of separate accounts from Mr Argo and a cheque for these amounts was also authorised to be signed.

The Chairman was requested to convey to Messers Stibbard, Gibson and Coy. The thanks of the Trustees for the way in which their business was carried on, and express their regret of the unavoidable delay in the payment of their account.

The Trust having considered the letter from the Under Secretary dated 14th April, 1893, resolved to reply as follows:-
“As already explained in their letter of 22nd Oct. 1892, the Trust regrets to say that it is perfectly impossible for the people of this district to supply the deficiency of £1367, or indeed to raise any more money; and that considering the urgent necessity for the erection of a Harbour at Skerray, the Trust hopes that the Secretary for Scotland will kindly use his influence with the Government to increase their promised Grant from £3000 to £4367 so as to enable the Works to be carried on as approved by the Board of Trade.
But the Trust would at the same time respectfully bring before the attention of the Secretary for Scotland the fact that they have good reason to believe that the prices charged in the Schedule of Offers by even the lowest contractor are greatly in excess of what the Work should be done for, and consequently a very large margin has been left for risks and profit. This belief is strengthened by the fact that their Engineer’s estimate for the work was only £4000.
The Trust would therefore suggest to the Secretary for Scotland the desirability of the Work being undertaken under the superintendence of a Government Engineer.”

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Public School the 21st day of September, 1893.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman, Messers. William Morrison, William Mackay, George Mackay, George Clark Mackay and John Milne, Members.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed.

The correspondence with the Secretary for Scotland and the Amended Plans in accordance with the recommendation of Colonel A. Hill were considered and approved.

The Account from Mr Argo dated 2nd September 1893 was received showing a balance of  ½ in favour of the Trust, and the Cheque drawn for £13 12s 10d at last meeting was cancelled, it having been found that Mr Argo had money in hand.

A letter from the Secretary for Scotland dated 12th September was read, and the Clerk was instructed to inform Mr Argo that the Chairman was to write the Judicial Factor and ask him to forward copies of the documentary evidence to the Secretary.

It was agreed to take legal proceedings in conjunction with the other two Trusts against the Judicial Factor for payment of the Grants promised by the late Duke, and being led to understand that Mr James Macdonald W.S., Edinburgh, is willing to undertake the case free of expense to the local committees, it was resolved that the Clerk be instructed to communicate with Mr Macdonald and place the case in his hands if he will undertake it on these terms.

The Correspondence between the Chairman and Messers. Macpherson and Mackay, W.S. on the subject of the payment of the Grants promised by the late Duke was read and the Trust instructed the Chairman to convey to them their sincere thanks for the trouble they have taken in the matter; at the same time regret that they cannot place the case in their hands as they have had a liberal offer from a legal gentleman connected with the County.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Public School the 10th day of February, 1894.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman. Messers William Mackay, George Mackay, William Morrison and John Milne, Members.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioners’ Clauses Act 1847, and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

The correspondence between the Chairman and Mr Macdonald W.S., Edinburgh, was read. The Chairman stated that he had communicated with Mr Barron for the purpose of obtaining Contracts for the Amended Scheme, with the least possible delay- of which the Trustees approved.

The Chairman produced a letter from Mr Barron containing Accounts for advertising estimates in 1892, the proportion chargeable against the Skerray Trust being £3 18s – less twelve shillings for Northern Ensign Account, which it is understood is not to be charged; also an account of £1 18s 0d for printing specifications making together £5 4s 0d of which the Trustees authorised payment.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Borgie the 6th day of April, 1894.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman, Messers. William Morrison, George Clark Mackay, George Mackay, William Mackay and John Milne.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

Read correspondence between the Chairman and Secretary for Scotland, Mr Sutherland M.P. and Mr Macdonald W.S., on the subject of continuing the Grants by Government for the current year, the result of which is most satisfactory to the Trust.

The offers received for the harbours having been considered – as follows:-

1) G.D. Mitchell, Aberdeen  £3301 18s 10d
2) William Kidd, Loftus-in Cleveland £3347 15s   1d
3) Tait & Reid, Builders, Wick  £3878   4s   0d
4) R. C. Brebner, Edinburgh  £4036   5s   6d
5) John Ross, Harbour Works, Thurso £4685   6s 10d
6) R. Fraser, Contractor, Inverness  £4862 16s   0d
7) Alexander Pirrie, Edinburgh  £6186 14s 10d

The Trust unanimously resolved to instruct Mr Argo to accept the offer of Mr Kidd as above and to take the necessary steps for informing the Government and Mr Macdonald for the Court of Session.

The proposed plan of Site for the Skerray Harbour was approved and the Chairman was instructed to apply to the Duke of Sutherland for a Charter.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Farr and within the Bettyhill Hotel on the 27th day of April, 1894.

In a combined meeting of the Skerray, Talmine and Portskerra Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman of the Three Trusts, William Morrison, George Clark Mackay, William Mackay, George Mackay and John Milne- Skerray Harbour Trustees.
A. Morrison, M. Mackay, D. Sinclair, Hugh Campbell- Trustees and A. Macdonald, Clerk Portskerra Harbour Trustees.
Alexander Mackay, Hugh Gunn, William Cameron, D.H. Mackay and Charles Mackay –Talmine Harbour Trustees.

The correspondence between Mr Argo, Mr Barron, and Mr Kidd was read, and after an explanation from Mr Barron, the meeting resolved to accept Mr Kidd’s offer for Talmine and Portskerra, but as it appeared that there might be a doubt on Mr Kidd’s part as to the relative position of Portskerra and Skerray it was resolved to send the following telegram:-
“Kidd-Loftus-in –Cleveland, Yorks. Joint Trusts at meeting accept your offer for Talmine and Portskerra. Skerray lies between the two places. Reply, which you mean. Meeting waits. Barron”

Wire received-“I mean Portskerra. Kidd.”

The Chairman was therefore authorised to instruct Mr Argo to have the contracts with Mr Kidd completed immediately.

With reference to Skerray Harbour it was resolved that Mr Barron place himself in immediate communication with the other offers with a view to obtaining amended offers for this Harbour only, and that when Mr Kidd visit Talmine next week, as proposed, he be asked to visit Skerray in the hope that he may be induced to undertake that Harbour also.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Shore the 24th day of May 1894.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman, Messers. William Morrison, William Mackay, George C. Mackay and J. Milne.

The Amended Offer of Mr John Ross, Thurso to construct the Harbour for £3550, having been previously accepted by Mr Barron on behalf of the Trust, it was resolved to make a road, the route of which was marked out from the Storehouses to the site of the Pier, and Messers. William Mackay and George Mackay were asked to see the work carried through.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray School the 11th day of August 1894.

In a special meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees, called by circular notices and held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman. Messers. William Morrison, William Mackay, George Clark Mackay and John Milne.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

The Trust met to consider the Contract for the Harbour with Mr John Ross and which has already been signed by him. The Trustees approve of the contract and authorise its signature on behalf of the Trust by the Members present. Mr George Mackay was unavoidably absent.

The Trustees authorise a cheque for £20 for Mr Argo as requested, towards expenses incurred by him. The Accounts for Road making amounting to £45 18s 2d were passed.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray School the 5th day of October 1894.

In a meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray, and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Messers. William Morrison, William Mackay, George Mackay, George C. Mackay and John Milne.

Mr Morrison was appointed Chairman of the meeting.
The Minutes of last meeting were read.

This meeting was held specially for the appointment of an Inspector of Works, and with the approval of Mr Barron, Mr George Clark Mackay was appointed to the office at the remuneration of thirty shillings per week, provided the money be paid out of the Government Grant and the Duke of Sutherland’s contribution, but if it has to come from the local funds the rate of wages to be twenty shillings per week. Mr Mackay thereupon resigned his position as a Member of the Trust.

Signed:
William Morrison, Chairman P.T.

At the Schoolhouse Skerray the 23rd day of February 1895.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees called by circular notices and held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present: Mr William Morrison, Mr George Mackay, Mr John Milne.

Mr Morrison was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.
The Minutes of the last Meeting were read.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

The Accounts paid to Mr Barron for Advertising £3 7s 0d and the balance of account due to Mr Argo £5 14s 5d together amounting to £9 1s 5d were approved.

Signed:
William Morrison, Chairman P.T.

At Borgie the 9th day of April 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Messers William Morrison and John Milne.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

Colonel Gore-Booth having certified that Mr John Ross was now entitled to £380 14s 10d and Mr Barron £20 to account for engineering fees, cheques for these amounts were made out and signed.
The Clerk stated that Mr George C. Mackay commenced his duties as Inspector of Works on 7th day of March and that we were now due him a month’s wages, and a cheque for £6 was made out for him.

The Clerk was instructed to inform the Under-Secretary for Scotland that the Trust had ceased to employ Mr Argo, their former agent, and that any correspondence in the future should be addressed to the Chairman.

The Chairman reported that he had paid to the credit of the Trust’s Account with the Town & County Bank, Thurso the sum of £100 being the Duke of Sutherland’s contribution towards the present payment to the contractor.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray the 27th day of June 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:
Mr Box, Chairman. Mr William Morrison, Mr William Mackay, Mr John Milne.

The Minutes of previous meetings were read and confirmed.

The Chairman reported that a certificate had been received for the payment of £669 1s 7d to the Contractor and that he had received the Treasury Warrant for £502, being the Government share; that he had remitted to the credit of the Trust’s Account with the Town & County Bank, Thurso, the sum of £170 as the Duke’s proportion. The Trust therefore authorise payment to the Contractor of £669 1s 7d and a cheque for that amount was drawn.

A Cheque for £18 was also drawn for Mr George C. Mackay, Inspector of Works, in payment of his wages to the 26th of June.

The Chairman reported that he had received a letter from Colonel Gore-Booth stating that he had authorised the construction of a stair in the angle of the Pier.

The Contractor having applied to the Trust for an advance to enable him to purchase additional cement and plant, and Mr Barron having by wire approved of this, the Trust resolve to advance Mr Ross the sum of £250 on his giving an undertaking empowering the Trust to retain this amount from the next instalment due to him.

Signed:
John Box, Chairman

At Skerray School the 14th day of August 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman. Mr William Morrison, Mr William Mackay.

The Minutes of previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The Trust finding that the Pier as presently planned will not extend into deep water before the turn in the work, are very desirous of having the main pier extended 20 or 30 feet into deeper water, and they are willing that, if the balance of money on hand will not allow of this being done on the present plan, the end of the pier from the turn shall be reduced as much as possible or do without it altogether.

The Trust are very anxious to get this proposed extension as it appears that the end of the Pier as now planned will be almost dry at low water O.S. Tides.

The Draft Feu Charter and plan were approved, and the Chairman was authorised to get the matter completed.

The Chairman read the letter from Mr Mackay, Banker, Thurso, stating that he would grant the overdraft on the Trust’s Account necessitated by the advance granted to Mr Ross, the Contractor, at last meeting.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At Schoolhouse Skerray the 14th day of October, 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Morrison, Mr William Mackay, Mr George Mackay, Mr John Milne.

In the absence of Mr Box, Mr George Mackay was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.
The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

The Clerk submitted a list of those persons whom he thought entitled to vote at the Election of Trustees. The Meeting approved of the list, and added a supplementary one.

The Clerk was appointed Returning Officer for the Election, and was instructed to make the necessary arrangements for it.-the fee to be a guinea in the event of a contest and half a guinea should there not be one.

Signed:

George Mackay

At the Schoolhouse Skerray the 8th day of November 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman. Mr William Morrison, Mr John Milne.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

The Clerk reported that since last meeting, Colonel Gore-Booth had certified that the Contractor was entitled to a payment of £520 18s 11d and that a cheque for this amount had been made out and given to him; that a Treasury Warrant for £391 had been received and transmitted to the Bank along with a cheque for £130 from the Duke of Sutherland, being the Duke’s proportion towards present payment to Contractor; that Mr Ross had given the Trustees a cheque for £253. 7s 6d in repayment of the loan of £250 advanced to him on the 27th June last; and that Mr George C. Mackay, Inspector, had received a cheque for £24 for wages to the 16th October, all of which the Trustees approve.

Mr Ross applied to the Trust for an advance of money on account of work done, and Mr Barron being wired to, replied that it would be safe to advance £400, the Trustees thereupon resolved to advance Mr Ross this sum on his signing an agreement transferring his stock, plant, implements etc to the Trust until repayment in full.

Signed:

John Box

At Borgie, the 2nd day of December 1895.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Mackay, Mr George Mackay, Mr John Milne.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed.

The following Accounts were passed and payments authorized.

John Milne   £5 11s 6d
William Morrison  £8   2s 3d
Duke of Sutherland  £6   2s 0d
George C. Mackay  £9   0s 0d

It was also agreed to make a payment of £5 to Mr Argo for the legal work he has done for the Trust free of charge.
The Cash Book was considered and the amount of £90 11s 7d to the Trust’s credit less £9 9s found correct.

The Triennial Election of Trustees took place on the 11th November last, and the following five were duly elected members.

Donald Mackay, Fisherman, Island Roan
John Mackay, Joiner, Clashnastruag
William Mackay, Fisherman, Aird
William Munro, Fisherman, Lots
Alexander Murray, Blacksmith, Skerray

The Old Trust met for the last time to-day.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At Skerray School the 28th day of December, 1895

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Mackay, Mr John Mackay, Mr Donald Mackay.

The Minutes of previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Mr Box was re-appointed Chairman.
An application from Mr Ross for a continuance of the loan of £400 advanced to him as per minute of 8th November was considered, and the Trust agreed to the request on same conditions as for previous advance- the Trust being also authorized to retain as a minimum one half of fixture, instalments payable to Mr Ross until the whole loan be repaid, but they reserve the power to retain the whole of the instalments if considered advisable. The Trust authorize the drawing of a cheque for £400 to Mr Ross.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At Skerray Shore the 15th day of January 1896.

In an Informal Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Mackay, Mr John Mackay, Mr William Munro, Mr Barron, Engineer.

In reference to the loan agreed to be granted to the Contractor at last Meeting, the Trustees resolve to ask the Agent of the Town and County Bank to honour their overdraft to the extent of a sum not exceeding £400.

Mr Barron examined the Harbour Works and reported favourably upon them.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray the 29th of February 1896.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr John Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray

There being no quorum present the meeting was adjourned until the 6th March.

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray the 6th day of March 1896.

In an adjourned meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Munro, Mr Alexander Murray, Mr John Mackay.

Mr Murray was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The Minutes of previous meeting were read and confirmed.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

Mr John Milne was appointed Clerk and Treasurer to the Trust at a remuneration of £4 per year.

With reference to the tools belonging to the Trust and which are presently in the hands of different parties in the district, the Clerk was instructed to write and ask those who have the barrows to return them, and try and get payment of the shovels.

Signed:

Alexander Murray

At Skerray Shore the 17th day of April 1896.

In an Informal Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:  Mr John Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray, Mr William Munro.

In the absence of Mr Box, Mr Mackay was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

A communication from Colonel Gore-Booth to Mr Box was submitted to the Trust. The Trustees agree to the filling up of the gully behind the Pier in the manner suggested by Col. Gore-Booth, but subject to the approval of Mr Barron.

The Clerk was instructed to inform Mr Barron that there was a verbal agreement between the Trustees and the Contractor about allowing him 1s per cubic yard extra for all hearting taken from the inside of the Pier.

The Trustees consider that the Works would be greatly improved by:-
1) Six additional Mooring Rings and a Paul.
2) Cleaning the basin of Harbour of stones etc.
3) Blasting some of the rocks at entrance

And the Clerk was asked to communicate with Mr Barron about these matters.

Signed:

John Mackay

At Skerray Shore the 29th day of April 1896.

In an Informal Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Murray, Mr John Mackay, Mr Barron, Engineer.

Mr Barron stated that Col Gore-Booth had sanctioned the six additional Mooring Rings and a Paul for the Pier. With regard to the clearing of the basin of stones and blasting the rocks at the entrance, Mr Barron said that he had instructed the Inspector of Works to send him a statement of the work done since the last instalment was paid to the Contractor and the amount of work still to do, and that then he would be in a position to say what money would be available for the further improvement of the Harbour.

The Trustees granted Mr Ross an extension of time for the completion of the Works –viz. till the 31stday of May.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At Skerray School the 9th day of May 1896.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr John Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray, Mr Donald Mackay.

In the absence of Mr Box, Mr Alexander Murray was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The Minutes of previous meetings were read and confirmed.

The Report from Col. Gore-Booth on the state of the Harbour was read and considered very satisfactory.

Cheques were drawn for;

George C. Mackay, Inspector of Works, Wages  £7 10s
                                                                   Account  £0    9s 6d     Total   £7 19s 6d
Peter Reid & Co (Ballot papers)    14s 6d

Consideration of the money expended on the Road leading to Pier was left over until next meeting.

Signed:

Alexander Murray
At the Schoolhouse Skerray, the 15th day of May 1896.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present: Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Murray, Mr John Mackay, Mr Donald Mackay.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed.

The Trust considered the matter of the road to the Harbour which had been constructed at a cost of £62 0s 11d. The Trustees wish that this work be charged against the Harbour Works Account so that the money may be used for the purpose of cutting a passage through the reef in order to improve the entrance to the Harbour. The Clerk was instructed to communicate with Mr Barron on the Subject.

An application from Mr Ross for a further advance of £150 was deferred for consideration until next meeting.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse Skerray the 22nd September 1896.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present: Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Mackay, Mr William Munro, Mr Alexander Murray.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed.

The Vouchers in connection with the road, which have been returned by Col. Gore-Booth, were certified by the Treasurer and Chairman and returned to the Oban Office.

A letter from Mr Georgeson, Solicitor, Wick to the Clerk claiming payment of the Contractor’s original tender viz. £3549 18s 0d and objecting to the Engineer’s measurements was read, and the Clerk was instructed to send a copy of it to Mr Barron and to request him to look after the interests of the Trust in the matter. The Trustees approved of the purchase of the store at Pier from Mr Ross for £12 0s 0d.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse Skerray the 27th October 1896.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present: Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Murray, Mr William Mackay, Mr William Munro.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and confirmed.
The correspondence with Mr Georgeson, Solicitor, to Contractor was read.

The final instalment Certified by Mr Barron amounts to £305 1s 2d, which has been accepted by the Government, who remit their portion £229, but according to the Treasurer’s Accounts, the balance should be as follows:-

Total Certified as per Mr Georgeson’s letter dated 16th September 1896 -£3300 (The Trustees having received no details from Mr Barron are unable to verify this amount,) but taking it as correct-

          £3300
Less retention 10 percent        £ 330
          £2970

And deducting previous payments       £2694 5s 7d

The instalment should be        £ 275 14s 5d

The Contractor being still due the Trustees £81 16s balance of previous Advance with Interest, it was resolved to remit Mr J. Ross per Mr Georgeson the sum of £180 on account pending an explanation from Mr Barron.

Signed

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray the 6th day of February 1897.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present: Mr William Mackay, Mr William Munro, Mr Alexander Murray

Mr Mackay was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read.
 
In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.
The Correspondence, which the Secretary had with Messers Georgeson, Barron and Chairman in connection with the last instalment paid to Contractor and his claim for interest thereon, was read, and considered satisfactory to the Trust, the Contractor in the end agreeing to remit the matter of interest to Mr Barron’s arbitration.

A Cheque for £4 was drawn for the Secretary.

Signed:

William Mackay

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 28th April 1897.

In an Informal Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Munro, Mr William Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray.

Mr Mackay was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed.

A bundle of Accounts from Mr Barron, in connection with his outlays and expenses, was submitted to the meeting for the Trust’s approval, and the Clerk was instructed to write Mr Box authorising him to sign them as Chairman on behalf of the Trust.

The Clerk was also instructed to write Mr Barron about the New Access to the harbour, and to send Mr Pursell, Fish Curer, an account for the rent of the store.

Signed:

William Mackay

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 20th October 1897.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Munro, Mr Murray, Mr William Mackay.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

The present condition of the Harbour was considered particularly in connection with the application by the Scottish Secretary for the Completion Certificate and the final settlement by the Contractor. The Secretary was instructed to communicate with the Engineer requesting him to use his utmost endeavours to obtain the receipt from the Contractor for the balance of Contract paid on the 12th April last; and if the Contractor disputes the measurements, the Engineer to supply the Trust with a Statement showing these differences for transmission to the Scottish Office; if necessary the Scottish Office is prepared to send their representative to meet the Engineer and Contractor at Skerray or elsewhere to arrange for the final settlement of the dispute.

The Trustees then proceeded to consider the most useful way of using up the balance which they hope to get from Government, and the Trustees were unanimously of opinion that the most work would be the opening up of a new passage into the Harbour through the reef of rock opposite, and the Chairman was authorized to reply to Col. Gore-Booth accordingly.

The Clerk was instructed to apply to the County Council to take over the Road leading to the New Pier.

Signed:

John Box

At Jolly’s Store, Skerray, the 9th day of February, 1898.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Mackay, Mr John Mackay, Mr Murray, Mr Barron, Engineer.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and approved.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

Mr Barron reported to the Meeting that he had repeatedly written Mr Ross as to his Claim, that he had personally met him in Aberdeen and that Mr Ross had undertaken to send him a Plan according to his measurements, but had failed to do so.

The various items in the Claim were then taken up and after Mr Barron had examined Mr Mackay, Inspector of Works, and the Trustees, found that not a single item could be substantiated.

Mr Begg, Assistant to Col Gore-Booth, who joined the meeting at a later stage, also questioned his Supervisor on the same points and the evidence brought out was entirely in accordance with that of our Inspector. The Trustees thereupon resolved not to recommend any further payment to Mr Ross.

Mr Ross after being shown his own receipts admitted that he was wrong in stating that he had only received £3301.

The Bank Book was submitted and the Year’s Accounts gone over, the balance at the credit of the Trust being £97 1s 2d.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 3rd day of September, 1898.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray, Mr Donald Mackay.

In the absence of Mr Box, Mr William Mackay was appointed Chairman pro tem.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

There was submitted to the Meeting a Plan prepared by Col Gore-Booth, of the proposed New Access to the Harbour together with a Specification and Schedule of Quantities. The Trustees approved of them and resolved to advertise the Work locally, and instructed the Clerk to write out copies of the Schedule, and send one to each of the following parties who are meanwhile from home;
Viz :  George Mackay, Dall; Hugh Macdonald, Farr; John Mackay, Achnabat; George Munro, Achtoty and Hugh Mackay, Aird.

Sealed offers to be sent to the Secretary not later than Saturday the 17th September at 11 o’clock forenoon and marked outside “Offer”. The Trustees do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any offer. A notice inviting offers to be put up at the Smithy.

A Cheque for £4 in favour of the Secretary was drawn.

Signed:

William Mackay

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 17th day of September 1898.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Donald Mackay, Mr Alexander Murray, Mr William Mackay, Mr William Munro.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and confirmed.

The following are the tenders for the “New Access” to the Harbour:-

George Mackay, Dall    £318 17s
Hugh Macdonald, Farr    £330    0s
William Macleod, Lots    £380 14s
George Munro, Achtoty    £418 10s
George C. Mackay, Strathan   £375    5s 9p
Hugh Mackay, Aird    £427    5s 6p

The offer of George Mackay, Dall was accepted, and the Clerk was instructed to communicate with Col. Gore-Booth on the subject, and if the matter receives his approval, to inform Mr Mackay and arrange with him about terms for an agreement. The Clerk was also instructed to ask Col. Booth if he would draw up the Agreement, and if he should not agree to do so to employ Mr Donald Mackay, Solicitor, Wick.

Signed:

John Box, Chairman

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 27th day of October, 1898.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Mackay, Mr William Munro, Mr Alexander Murray

Mr Murray was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

The correspondence received since last Meeting was read, and the Draft Agreement prepared by Colonel Gore-Booth was considered. Mr George Mackay, the Contractor, signed it on condition that the time for completing the Work be extended till the 1st day of May 1899; and the Clerk was instructed to write and ask Col. Gore-Booth to sanction the extension of time.

A list of persons entitled to vote at the forthcoming election of Trustees on the 14th November 1898 was submitted and approved. The Clerk was appointed Returning Offices, and was instructed to make the necessary arrangements for it.

An account from Mr Jolly, Rispond, for £8 11s 6d for timber, tools etc, which the Trustees ordered last April, when they expected the Reef Cutting was to be carried out by themselves , was submitted and payment authorised. Mr Mackay, the Contractor, however agreed to purchase this plant on getting a little time to pay it.

Signed:

Alexander Murray

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 24th day of November, 1898.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Murray, Mr Munro, Mr William Mackay.

Mr Mackay was appointed Chairman of the Meeting.

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

The Contract for the Skerray Harbour Channel, which had been prepared by Col. Gore-Booth, was signed by Mr George Mackay, the Contractor, and the Trustees present, the Rev. D. Lundie and Mr Adams signing as witnesses.

The Clerk, who was Returning Officer for the Triennial Election of Trustees, stated that only five persons had been nominated, and as this was the number required they were declared duly elected Trustees.

The following are the names:-

William Mackay, Fisherman, Aird
William Munro, Fisherman, Lots
Alexander Murray, Blacksmith, Skerray
Donald Mackay, Crofter, Island Roan
William Mackay (Robb), Crofter, Lots

The Old Trust met for the last time today.

Signed:
William Mackay
At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 25th day of February, 1899.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr Munro, Mr Murray, Mr William Mackay (Robb).

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and confirmed.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

Mr John Milne was re-elected Secretary and Treasurer at a remuneration of £2 per annum.

The Secretary reported that on the 11th February a cheque for £54 15s 9p was drawn in favour of Mr Mackay, Contractor, for work Certified by Col. Gore-Booth.

The Clerk was instructed to write and ask Mr Barron to take the necessary steps with the Board of Trade to empower the Trustees to levy dues.

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 27th day of February, 1900.

In the Annual Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr William Mackay, Aird, Mr William Mackay, Lots, Mr William Munro, Mr Alexander Murray.
The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

In terms of Section 37 of the Commissioner’s Clauses Act 1847 and Section 5 (4) of the Order, Mr Box was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

The subject of the levying of dues was left over for consideration till next meeting.

Signed:

William Mackay

At the Schoolhouse, Skerray, the 24th day of October, 1900.

In a Special Meeting of the Skerray Harbour Trustees held under the Sutherland Piers (Talmine, Skerray and Portskerra) Order 1892.

Present:

Mr Box, Chairman, Mr William Munro, Mr William Mackay, Aird, Mr William Mackay (Robb).

The Minutes of last Meeting were read and approved.

The Clerk stated that about the middle of July the Contractor came to him to say that he had finished the Channel Cutting, and this having been reported to Col. Gore-Booth, the Colonel replied that he had recently visited the Work and was pleased with the workmanship, but that as the whole of the Government Grant had already been paid the balance would have to be met from the local funds.

The Trustees expressed their surprise at the terms of the letter as they understood that when they paid the Contractor the Contract price (£318 17s) there would be no further liability.

When the Work was pretty well advanced the Surveyor discovered that there was more rock to be removed from the East side of the Cutting than was shown in the Plan and Specification, and Captain Andrews asked the Contractor to send Col. Gore-Booth an offer to remove the additional rock. This the Contractor did and his offer was accepted, but as the Trustees were not consulted about the matter they naturally thought, the Colonel was to find the extra money.

The Clerk was instructed to write Col. Booth in terms of this minute.

The Above Minutes have been extracted from the Minute Book as it survives today and have been replicated in accordance with spelling used- correct and incorrect.

Accreditation for this goes to the late Mr Hugh Gunn from Modsary, and the late Mrs Christine Mackay, Torrisdale.
They both forwarded copies of the Original minute book, enabling Mr Iain Fraser and myself to convert to a “standard” format making it possible for you to read

Copyright of the above is reserved to Iain Fraser & Charlie Mackay, who both converted the above document, without each other’s knowledge at different times, and no part may be copied  or printed through digital or any means, without written authorisation.
Please respect the above and if you or anyone should submit documents or files, you too, shall be accredited with your work.

Dingwall,                    Skerray
January 2005.                  2008