Edinburgh’s Leith Docks 1970-80: The Transition Years
By (author) Malcolm Fife
Leith has been Edinburgh’s main port since the Middle Ages. It is one of the oldest harbours in the country, dating back to the 11th century. Modern Leith Docks took shape in the nineteenth century with the construction of stone quays and breakwaters. The number of ships it handled declined rapidly in the latter part of the twentieth century. It was generally bypassed by the container revolution with most ships steaming past Leith to Grangemouth instead. Today, it is the largest enclosed deep-water port in Scotland. The port, was transformed in 1969 when a large state of the art sea lock was installed, transforming the tidal harbour into a deepwater docks. Its fortunes were further boosted with the discovery of oil in the southern North Sea. A motley collection of vessels operated out of Leith to supply and service the oil rigs. There were further ships involved in the construction of the vast undersea pipeline network. Other examples transported heavy equipment to the Orkney and Shetland Islands where the search for oil was just beginning. Cruise ships also began to call at Leith in the 1970s and this has now become one of its main activities.In this book, Malcolm Fife explores this fascinating decade of change for Leith Docks.
Malcolm Fife has written a number of illustrated articles for both aviation and shipping magazines, and has compiled several books on airfield histories, as well as a guide to Scottish First World War aerodromes.