Kilcreggan’s historic pier looks set to be manned for the foreseeable future after plans to make staff redundant were scrapped this week.
And the news comes as the village piermaster celebrates a personal landmark – 30 years of service.
The jobs of staff at the pier have been in doubt since Clydelink won the SPT-subsidised contract to run the ferry between Kilcreggan and Gourock – as long ago as February it was revealed that redundancies were planned since the new operators said they did not require the pier to be manned.
Since then the piermaster’s job has remained uncertain despite repeated stays of execution, but this week it was confirmed that the redundancy notice had been cancelled.
A spokesperson said: “The council will seek to ensure that manning can be provided to fulfil a request for assistance with rope handling.”
And Councillor George Freeman added: “I am delighted that all the hard work and arguments over the past few months have paid dividends and that agreement has now been reached with council officers that the piermaster’s post at Kilcreggan will now be retained.
“This is good news for the community and also for Gavin, given that he marks 30 years of service this week,
“I am sure that he will see this as a welcome birthday present.
“Although we have now resolved the issue of the piermaster’s position, we have not given up on the problems relating to the ferry service and the fight still goes on.”
Gavin Walker started working at the pier 30 years ago today (Friday); his father Peter was piermaster for 26 years and is remembered on a bench on the pier – ironically this bench is now on ‘the wrong side’ of signs and barriers intended to restrict public access.
Gaven was his father’s assistant for 12 years until Peter’s retirement; more than 400 people applied for the piermaster’s post but Gavin was the successful applicant.
On October 12 1982; Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time and Michael Foot leader of the opposition. Musical Youth were at number one in the charts, while the average price of a pint of beer was 61 pence.
Kilcreggan’s pier also marked an anniversary recently – its 115th birthday.