WICK (from the old Norse VIK
a bay) lies in a strategic position on the north east tip of mainland
Scotland. The earliest harbour works began in 1803 under The British
Fisheries Society, to exploit the huge seasonal herring fishing.
Trade at Wick peaked around 1900 when some 1120 vessels were based
here, and over two particularly busy days landed fifty million
It was dry work! For about that time the workforce
were consuming 3000 litres of whisky a week from the local Old
Pulteney Distillery! A comprehensive factual and photographic
history of the port and the town can be seen nearby in the Wick
Heritage Centre, a "must" for anyone with salt on
Thomas Telford, engineering genius, Thomas Stevenson,
father of Robert Louis, who lived in Harbour Terrace, and local
man James Bremner, whose distinctive "Round House" overlooks
the Inner Basin, and whose memorial stands above the Old Lifeboat
shed, were all eminent civil engineers who built the harbour,
largely as you see it today.
From 1879 the port was owned and operated by Wick
Harbour Trust, a publicly constituted body whose members were
elected from local fishing, business and council interests. As
of 1st July 2005, management of the port is now under the new
Wick Harbour Authority. (See 'Latest News' page)
Business today is somewhat less hectic than those
early days, and the port is suffering badly from the demise of
the east coast white fish trade.
Commercial trade is thriving however, with regular
deliveries of fuel oil, agricultural lime, road salt, coal, oil
related cargo and wind turbines. Exports are of local high quality barley
for malting, and timber.