There is a story on the Guardian website today about the way Portpatrick harbour has been saved by the people of the village:
In Portpatrick, a local seaside village, tiers of pastel houses stretch down to a small harbour where boats are moored. The place is so picture-postcard pretty, it’s hard to imagine that the harbour was almost left to rot – and with it, the future of the village – until local residents raised enough money a year ago to buy it.
As the closest port to Northern Ireland, Portpatrick was once the main crossing to Donegal. But over time the ocean smashed away two grand piers as well as Portpatrick's future as a transport hub. When the crossing moved to nearby Stranraer, sailor numbers dwindled.
Villagers knew that to get them back, they needed to improve the harbour with modern moorings and improved toilet facilities while keeping its charm, or risk losing precious tourist revenue to competing harbours up and down the coast.
The harbour's private owners, Portpatrick Harbour Ltd, had applied in 2007 to build a 57-berth marina and fix pontoons to the listed harbour floor. Councillors quashed the plans, saying it was “completely inappropriate for the conservation of the area”.
Locals then looked for a way to bring the harbour into community ownership where it could be maintained and improved in keeping with the village.The video below will tell you how they did it.
I though the location sounded familiar, and the photograph above shows why.
It is a still from the 1952 British film Hunted. It is an early Dirk Bogarde picture and is worth seeking out, not least for its use of long-vanished industrial landscapes.
Portpatrick harbour featured in the film and the photo shows the Dirk's young co-star Jon Whiteley there.