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Tales of the Tay

DUNDEE AREA members were recently taken on a 'spiritual journey' along the River Tay, when John Carmichael, Arch Henderson & Partners associate, and branch secretary Roger Preston presented a nostalgic history.

The talk started near the source of Britain's largest river at Crianlarich and meandered down to Buddon Ness where the Tay discharges into the North Sea. The speakers outlined the river's importance in the region's commercial development from as far back as Roman times.

Carmichael outlined how Dundee's industrial growth depended on its sheltered position on the Tay estuary. A flourishing port developed, which in the 19th Century served a large fleet of whalers. Whale oil was used to make imported Indian jute fibres pliable and suitable for spinning.

Dundee is still a major port. Its largest import is 500,000t/y of Venezuelan crude oil. This is so thick it has to be kept hot at all times.

He went on to describe how the owners of Dundee Port, Forth Ports Authority, Jack Browne and Georgina Whittikar, plan to redevelop part into a leisure amenity. It was announced that the redundant inner cargo docks are to be turned into a marina and there are plans to build two hotels.

Wastewater policy objectives of the North of Scotland Water Authority were also announced at the meeting. The present sewerage system along parts of the Tay comprises multiple outfalls and offers little by way of treatment.

The Tay Wastewater Project has recently been set up to replace the outfalls with a treatment system linked to a new treatment plant. The £100M public private partnership is a consortium of Morrison Construction, Bechtel and United Utilities.

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