2020 marks an historical year for Falmouth Harbour Commissioners – its landmark 150th anniversary.
On Monday September 5th 1870, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) was formed by an act of Parliament, as the statutory port authority.
Expanded in 1991 and now covering 16sqm, including large parts of Falmouth Bay, the organisation is a Trust port – an independent statutory body governed by its own, unique statues and controlled by a local, independent board.
FHC today is responsible for the safe management of the harbour area, maintaining channels for navigation and moorings, reporting and recording shipping movements, emergency environmental responses, enforcing harbour byelaws and providing a wide range of services for shipping, including pilotage services. It has always been a not-for-profit organisation, meaning there are no owners or shareholders, and any profit is ploughed back into the port.
To celebrate the occasion, Assistant Harbour Master Lloyd Pond has written a book called 150 Years of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, which will be launched later next year and will include information on incidents that have occurred over the years, including several shipwrecks and plenty of near-misses, dramatic rescues, tragedies, fires, thefts, a murder in the harbour office and even involvement in a case of cannibalism. It also covers many prominent events, including royal and ministerial visits, five Tall Ships races, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson’s non-stop circumnavigation of the world, Dame Ellen MacArthur’s return as the fastest solo round-the-world yachtswoman and numerous sailing regattas and races.