General STC News Items


On Thursday 30th March 2017, a contract was signed for the work to Cover in the Ratho Dry Dock.

On Friday 21st July 2017, the required Building Warrant was received.

On Thursday 21st September 2017, the steel work costruction started.

On Monday 5th December 2017, Building Inspectors Certificate of Completion was received.

The completed building is shown on the last photo shown below.


A new building has appeared beside the Union Canal in Ratho. The dry dock, owned and operated by the charity Seagull Trust Cruises, has been covered in. This provides shelter and new facilities for boats that enter the dock for maintenance or inspection. Previously workers had been exposed to the elements and some tasks proved impossible in wet or cold conditions.

“Now we can get on with the important jobs, such as regular boat inspections which every craft must undergo at some point.” explains Boat Manager, Bill Reid. “Our own boats have annual checks, and are then cleaned and painted ready for the new season. But any boat can now use the facility - there’s no charge, but a donation is always welcome. It’s really an exciting development and offers better facilities.”

But as STC Chairman, David Mieras, explains, it has come at a cost. “We wouldn’t have this building if it weren’t for the generosity of former members and non members. People like Skipper Bill Shannon, who sadly died recently - his bequest of five thousand pounds has helped enormously. Then there are locals like Ryan Neilson, who ran a marathon on our behalf and raised over one thousand pounds.”

However, David and the STC team still need to raise the remaining funds. “We’ve had a loan from STC Central Funds to get the structure up and working but that must be repaid, so more fund raising efforts are required. Hopefully others will support what is a tremendous asset to the canal community.”

Meanwhile Bill Reid is leading a team of volunteers preparing for the new season in March. “A small group from STC worked hard to get this building up, and it is such a great environment. We now have a power-operated gate, a range of electrical feeds and a much easier access to the dock floor. We’re sure it’s a facility others will also enjoy using.”

The covered dry dock sits alongside the STC Ratho base, from where people with special needs are taken on cruises along the Union Canal. Boats operate with trained crews from March to October, seven days a week, and are free to users. The charity, which is now forty years old, relies solely on donations and gifts with none of its staff paid for their work. Volunteers are always required and are guided through the operation, whether maintaining boats or driving them.

For more information on using the Dry Dock, call Bill Reid on 07763 351142, and for details of how to volunteer contact David Mieras on 0131 445 2022. Trips can be booked by calling Carole McLellan on 07511 055081.

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