Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Cretetree Hulk

Last time I was on Scalpay I spent four nights at Dail-na-Mara, a B&B on Scalpay's North Harbour. On the shore below the house was a massive, derelict barge that appeared to be made of cement. It was quite an eyesore, but was making itself useful as a jetty and storage area for the local fishermen.

Later I would learn that this no longer afloat boat was the Cretetree, a 180-foot-long concrete barge built by the Aberdeen Concrete Shipbuilding Company in 1919 for hauling iron ore. (The first five letters of her name come from her con-crete construction.) Cretetree's working life as a transport ended in 1953, and somehow they got her to Scalpay in 1955.  That's 60 years now, and she's so solidly built she'll probably be there for another 60 years. See this RCAHMS page for more on the Cretetree, and this Electric Scotland page for the history of the Aberdeen Concrete Shipbuilding Company.

1 comment:

  1. Marc, your photographs are wonderful and truly do justice to that old boat.They bring back mixed memories to me as I happily played on that wreck as a child during summer holidays. I say mixed as back then, an older friend slipped off the deck and broke his arm/shoulder when he landed.

    Thank you for including its history but even to this day it has always been referred to as The Hulk by Scalpachs and probably always will be. As a kid I simply couldn't get my head around the fact that a huge lump of concrete could move across water- let alone float!