(1850's – 1978)
(reproduced with the kind permission of author, Peter A Collinson)
Port Edgar Pier likely to have been used as a Fleet landing place.
1878 – The North British Railway open a rail ferry link between the West Breakwater at Port Edgar and the Town pier at North Queensferry. Completing the
Edinburgh to Dunfermline line.
1891-1906 – HMS Caledonia, a boy cadet training ship is moored off Port Edgar. A
total of 600 boys could be accommodated.
1916 – The Admiralty acquire Port Edgar and adjacent land. Site is to be developed as
an annexe to the newly opened naval base at Rosyth, as a Torpedo Boat
Destroyer Depot. Complete with her own oil fuelling facility.
1917 – Port Edgar is commissioned as HMS Columbine, Torpedo Boat Destroyer
Depot under the command of Captain Cherry R.N. A total of 66 destroyers can
be accommodated in the 'pens'.
Port Edgar based destroyers in action.
1918 – Surrendered German High Seas Fleet is escorted into the Firth of Forth in
preparation for internment at Scapa Flow. Port Edgar destroyers provide
escort for up to 50 German destroyers.
1919 - A mutiny takes place aboard destroyers of the First flotilla. Crews object to
conditions of service in the North Russia Campaign and refuse to set sail.
1924-1926 – Captain Andrew Browne Cunninham as Commanding Officer at Port
Edgar. Later to become Commander in Chief, Naval Forces in the
Mediterranean during WW2 and later as Admiral of the Fleet.
1928-1938 – HMS Columbine Destroyer Base and the Naval Hospital at Butlaw are
closed and placed under 'care and maintenance'. Much opposition from the
population as a number of locals make their living supplying sand working
within the base.
to convert them into a hospital.
1939 – Port Edgar is commissioned as HMS Lochinvar, a training establishment for
officers and men of the Royal navy Patrol Service, who would go on to serve
in Fleet Minesweepers and Trawlers.
October, German Air Raid on the Forth Bridge, warships in river, HMS
Southampton, HMS Mowhawk and HMS Edinburgh are hit and sustain
casualties. Hospital at Port Edgar treats wounded personnel.
1943 – Commissions as HMS Hopetoun, a combined Operations Training Centre in
preparation for the D-Day landings. (Meanwhile HMS Lochinvar and
minesweeping training transfers to Granton). Landing Craft crews train
with Force 'S' for the Normandy landings.
1946 – HMS Lochinvar returns to Port edgar. Mine clearance of the Firth of Forth
and East coast is co-ordinated and carried out from the base.
1948 - Base becomes a Minesweeping Trials and Experimental Establishment.
1958 – Fishery Protection Squadron is based at Port Edgar.
1960 – As HMS Lochinvar, Port Edgar becomes responsible for all minesweeping
training in the Fleet.
1963 – Port Edgar Minesweepers take part in live minesweeping operations off
Iceland and the Continent.
1974 – Mine clearance of the Suez Canal conducted by Port Edgar based vessels.
1975 – New Fleet base is commissioned at Rosyth Naval Base.
October – HMS Lochinvar, Port Edgar closes.
1978 – Lothian Regional Council purchases site from the Ministry of Defence.
Note : In 1988 the Algerines Association erected a memorial cairn at the southern
end of the main jetty, dedicated to ll who served there in 1939-1975.
(Peter A Collinson is a keen naval and local history enthusiast and was a member
of Queensferry History Group at the time of writing this).