Maritime heritage

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Mr Stuart Edmond (Letters, 22 July) is correct in all he writes in response to my letter on the 2,000 years of the maritime heritage of Scotland. He rightly states that shipbuilding and ship owning, inter alia, played a central part. As to shipbuilding, sight must not be lost of this ancient craft as evidenced by the 15th-century Society of Carpenters (shipbuilders) of North Leith.

The world-renowned yards in Dundee and Aberdeen added quality and quantity to the tonnages built over 300 years in almost 50 shipyards on the Clyde.

With regard to ship owners, the many illustrious families and companies throughout Scotland hugely contributed to the economy of Britain.

They were fortunate to have their vessels under the command of ship masters, of which a very significant number were and some still are members of the Corporation of The Trinity House of Leith (1380), numbered amongst the 20th oldest guilds in the whole of Britain and Ireland.

Aberdeen and Dundee still possess their 16th-century kindred bodies.

With this very rich and colourful history and before all is lost the Scottish Government must seize the initiative and encourage the promotion of this essential aspect of our nation’s culture.

(Prof) Gordon S Milne OBE

Dovecot Grove

Edinburgh

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