The Bo’ness Buoy
A colleague and I are leading a project to restore and put on permanent display a large riveted iron plate mooring buoy that was removed recently from Bo’ness Dock – photograph attached. Bo’ness is a small town on the Firth of Forth near Falkirk and was an important shipping and industrial centre in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The dock has long since closed and little remains of the machinery and harbour infrastructure of what was once a very busy port. Aerial photographs from the 1930’s show two mooring buoys in the dock, one we have removed, the other, sadly, has sunk and is no longer visible. We have been doing some research on the internet and the only riveted iron plate buoy that we can find an image of is at Briton Ferry Brunel Dock, Neath. Our buoy is approximately 2.5m long, 2.5m at its widest point and we estimate weighs in the region of 1.5 to 2 tonnes. It is not identical to the Briton Ferry buoy but is very similar.
Once the buoy has been cleaned and the iron treated we hope to put in on display in Bo’ness along with suitable interpretation. The Council is working closely with local community groups in the town and we shall be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant aid towards the whole project.
Locally our buoy is known as the ‘Brunel Buoy’ but to date we have not been able to establish a link to that famous family of engineers. We have also not been able to find anything on the internet that may shed light on its origin or age other than a sketch from the 1880’s by Walter May.
We are sending this e-mail out to as many boat and yachting clubs, harbours and docks we can find in the hope that someone will recognise it and be able to fill in the following blanks, “That’s a ……. buoy, designed by ………. and was made in ……… around ……….. !”
We would be very grateful for any help you may be able to give.
Planning Officer (Environment)