Issue 2 2019 - Freight Business Journal

///FREIGHT BREAK Tyne port vows to clean up the Toon

Port of Tyne has taken on a scheme to create clear blue water in the North-East aſt er four local councils were forced to end funding for the scheme. Some 20 years ago the four councils of Gateshead, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, together with the Port of Tyne, set up the Clean Tyne Project to remove debris from the river and improve water quality. However, one by one each

council decided to end their funding between 2015 and February this year, prompting the port to take on leadership of the

scheme. While Port of Tyne has statutory

responsibility for the river, this is only for the safety of navigation and not cleaning up the river per se, although some debris is heſt y enough to pose a threat to vessels.

The port plans to ask all four

councils to be involved on a non-fi nancial basis and will itself continue to operate the Clearwater debris collection vessel, removing around 400 tonnes of debris from the river each year.


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Back in the late 1980s, when the Troubles were still a daily fact of life in Northern Ireland, I stumbled into a modest one- room bar just off the quay in the small port town of Warrenpoint. Many pubs are described as

‘timewarps’ but in the case of Molly McCabe’s it was certainly justifi ed; very little could have changed since the place fi rst opened its doors in, maybe, the 1920s. A dark brown wooden bar-back and space for perhaps a dozen drinkers – what more do you need? (Though apparently the pub was part of a larger enterprise that included in ballroom back in its glory days, all long since closed off .) Molly McCabe was still very much in evidence back then,

full of tales about the huge bomb that had devastated the town centre only a few years back. Local agricultural types contributed stories of rabbit- snaring and hay-baling. They don’t make pubs like

that any more – do they? Except that, visiting Molly’s in February this year, in the company of Warrenpoint freight industry stalwart Vincent McGovern, we stepped through the doors to fi nd everything essentially unchanged. Much more than in most English pubs, you still get that sense of having wandered into your grandparents’ sitting room, surrounded by all the clutter of domestic life. Molly herself passed away in 2011 but her shoes have been

well-fi lled by John McGee from Ballindine in County Mayo, who has leſt things pretty much the same, apart from a small amount of opening up of the unused area round the back. And I could have sworn

that some of the locals I’d encountered propping up the bar in the 1980s were still there. One, evidently an ex- haulier, recounted how the fi rst rail-mounted cranes were transported to the port overland by lorry, pushing overhead lines out of the way of the huge loads with broom-handles. So if you fi nd yourself in the

delightful lough-side town of Warrenpoint, raise a glass or two of Guinness to Molly’s next century.


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