BYELAWS (Currently in force however under revision in 2015)


The North Sunderland Harbour Authority in exercise of the powers conferred by -The Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 , The North Sunderland Harbour Order 1931.

and all other powers them enabling, hereby make the following byelaws.


North Sunderland Harbour






North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners



Alderman H.E. Pitt, J.P., Warren House

Belford, Northumberland



Mr. Lewis B. Ross, J.P., Sea Houses

Tel: Seahouses 15


Harbour Master:

Mr. A. Hargrave, Sea Houses



Notices to Mariners

North Sunderland Harbour


(Latitude 55 degrees-35’ North,

Longitude 1 degree-39’ West, approx)


The signals indicating when it is dangerous to enter will be exhibited as follows:


By Day:

A RED FLAG OVER a BLUE FLAG from the Flagstaff on the North West Pier, at an elevation of 63 feet approximately, above High Water Mark, Ordinary Spring Tides.


By Night:

A RED light OVER a GREEN light disposed vertically 7½ feet apart from a Mast on the Lighthouse the Seaward end of the North West Pier, at an elevation of 20 feet approximately above High Water Mark, Ordinary Spring Tides.

These signals will be exhibited as and when necessary throughout the year.







Outer Harbour: (at Entrance between Piers)

Ordinary Spring Tides 13 feet

Ordinary Neap Tides 9 feet


Inner Harbour: (at Entrance between Inner Piers)

Ordinary Spring Tides 11 feet 6 inches

Ordinary Neap Tides 7 feet 6 inches



The Channel connecting the two Entrances mentioned shoals very gradually and regularly between the depths stated.


Vessels drawing 10’-6" may enter the OUTER Harbour three days before the highest Ordinary Spring Tides, at High Water, and remain until High Water for Three days after the Highest Ordinary Spring Tide.

Vessels of the same draught may similarly enter the INNER Harbour Two days before the Highest Tide and there remain until Two days after the Highest Tide.

The level of water is stated as LOW WATER ORDINARY SPRING TIDES with reference to ORNANCE DATUM and is 7 feet BELOW Ordnance Datum.

While every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given as to the depths of water, etc., The North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners accept no responsibility should such conditions fail to obtain due to tidal variations or any other cause.

The Commissioners accept no responsibility for any damage sustained by vessels when:

a. The services of a Pilot have been refused or not asked for, or

b. The danger signals have not been obeyed.



(as confirmed)



BYE-LAWS made, ordered and enacted by the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners, incorporated and acting under the North Sunderland Harbour Order, 1931, and Acts incorporated therewith:-


1. Commencement of Bye-laws and Definitions

These Bye-laws shall come into operation on the expiration of fourteen days after the date of the allowance and confirmation thereof by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, as from which date the Bye-laws made by the Trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity, and allowed and confirmed by the Board of Trade on 24 September, 1889, and hereby repealed.

In these Bye-laws the following words and expressions shall have the several meanings hereby assigned to them respectively, viz:

"The Harbour" shall mean the area defined by Section 23 (1) of the North Sunderland Harbour Order, 1931.

"The Commissioners" means the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners, incorporated by the "North Sunderland Harbour Order, 1931," and from time to time acting.

"The Harbour Master" means the Harbour Master appointed by the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners, or any of his duly authorised Assistants.

"Master" includes every person having command or charge of any vessel.

"Owner" or "Owners" includes Consignor, Consignee, Shipper or Agent for the sale or custody of any goods or articles, and when applied to vessels shall mean the person or persons, in whose name or names the vessel is registered.

"Vessel" includes ship, lighter, keel, barge, boat, wherry, hydroplane, raft and craft of every class and description however propelled, and seaplane and similar craft.

"Quays" includes wharves, stairs, slips, and approaches thereto, when applicable.


2. Penalty for obstructing Harbour Master.

No person shall obstruct, interrupt, hinder, threaten or insult the Harbour Master in the execution of his duty.




3. Penalty on vessels impeding traffic and not anchoring or mooring as directed by Harbour Master

All vessels coming into the Harbour shall be subject to the control of the Harbour Master as to the place for mooring or anchoring; and no vessel shall moor or anchor so as to impede traffic to and from the quays or Harbour; and no anchor shall be laid out without having a proper buoy attached thereto to mark its position; and should the Master refuse or delay to move such vessel as directed by the Harbour Master, the Harbour Master shall have power to cause such vessel to be moved at the cost of the Master.


4. Master to report arrival of vessel

The Master of every vessel entering the Harbour for the purposes of loading or unloading or weather bound shall, on the vessel’s arrival forthwith give intimation to the Harbour Mater of the name of the vessel, owner, master and Consignee or Agent, Port or Place from which the vessel has arrived or is bound, her draught, registered tonnage and description of her cargo, evidenced by production of a manifest or bill of lading.


5. Harbour Master to book vessels and assign berths

The date of arrival of all vessels entering the Harbour for the purpose of unloading or loading, and which shall be within the limits of the Harbour shall, as soon as her arrival is reported, be entered by the Harbour Master in a book to be kept open and patent during business hours in the Harbour Office; and the Harbour Master shall, according to the order in which they are booked and nature of the cargo to be loaded or unloaded, assign a berth for such vessels, and no Master of any vessel shall be entitled to claim a berth unless duly booked.


6. Penalty on Master or Agent of vessels not giving a true account of goods to be loaded or unloaded

The Master or Agent of every vessel entering the Harbour for the purpose of unloading her cargo or any part thereof shall on arrival of such vessel, deliver to the Harbour Master at the Harbour Office, a note containing the name and address of the Consignee or Agent of the cargo or part thereof to be unloaded, with a true account in writing, of the kinds, weights and quantities of the several goods, articles and things to be unloaded; and the Master or Agent of every vessel arriving within the Harbour for the purpose of loading, shall, immediately after loading, deliver to the Harbour Master at the Harbour Office a note containing a true account of the cargo loaded and the shipper’s name and address; and if any Master or Agent of any vessel unloading or loading, as aforesaid, shall refuse or delay to furnish any of the particulars above-mentioned, or shall give any false particulars, he shall, for every such offence, in addition to being liable to a penalty, pay to the Harbour Master the Harbour Dues and Rates payable in respect of such vessel, cargo or part of cargo.




7. Vessels to be berthed and removed as Harbour Master directs

The Master or other person in charge of any vessel within the Harbour shall obey the orders of the Harbour Master as to the berthing, mooring, or unmooring, or removal of such vessel, and shall as long as the vessel is afloat, have on board a sufficient crew to receive and execute such orders; and vessels having unloaded shall instantly be removed from the quays to make room for loaded vessels to discharge.


8. Power to remove vessels in Harbour


If any Master or person on board of any vessel which shall be moored, berthed, or fastened within the Harbour, shall not, upon demand of the Harbour Master, unloose or slacken the ropes or chains by which such vessel shall be moored, berthed or fastened, or if there shall be no person, or an insufficiency of persons, on board of any such vessel, it shall be lawful to the Harbour Master to loose, or, if necessary, to cut any rope or chain by which such a vessel shall be moored and fastened; and in the case of there being no person, or an insufficiency of persons, on board of any vessel, the Harbour Master shall cause a sufficient number of persons, for the protection of same, to be put on board such vessels; and all expenses thereby incurred shall be paid by the owner, or master of such vessel.


9. Harbour Master to decide Berth for unloading

In the event of any vessel coming into the Harbour with a cargo which requires an inside berth for unloading, and in the event of no inside berth suitable being vacant, the Harbour Master shall accommodate such vessel by removing from the quay any other vessel having such a cargo on board as may be unloaded over another vessel.


10. Vessels in distress to have preference as to berthing

Vessels coming into the Harbour in distress, or meeting with any damage within the Harbour, shall, irrespective of their entry in the Books of the Harbour, receive a preference as to berthing and unloading, and the Master of any vessel lying within the Harbour, or at any of the Quays, must, on being required by the Harbour Master, give place to any vessel entitled to preference under this Bye-law; and any such vessel may be removed under the direction of the Harbour Master, and at the cost of the Owner or Master.


11. Vessels entering Harbour to be dismantled as Harbour Master directs

All vessels while berthed at the Quays shall have their sails properly stowed and during the night all Navigation lights shall be extinguished and the Harbour Master shall have power to give orders and directions for removing any obstructions which the sails, riggings, anchors or fittings of any vessel in the Harbour may occasion, or appear likely to occasion.

Provided that nothing in these Bye-laws shall authorise the Harbour Master or other officer to require the dismantlement of a seaplane or any part thereof or the making of any alteration modifying in any way its structure or equipment or otherwise affecting its airworthiness.



12. Mooring of vessels at quays

Every vessel at the quays shall be attached and fixed by substantial hawsers to the mooring posts or bollards.


13. Use of fenders

All vessels coming to, berthed at, or leaving the quays shall use fenders, to the satisfaction of the Harbour Master.


14. Wilfully cutting of moorings

No person other than the Harbour Master, shall wilfully cut, break or destroy any rope or other thing by which any vessel lying in the Harbour or any of the quays, shall be moored or fastened.


15. Throwing or discharging ballast, etc., into Harbour

No person shall throw, discharge, or put any ballast, earth, ashes, dust, stones, shavings, or chips of wood, cinders, fish, fish offal, or other materials or things, into the Harbour, or approaches thereto, from or at the quays, or from any part of the shores of the Harbour; or pump, or otherwise discharge bilge water from fishing boats or vessels in the Harbour or at any of the quays.


16. Loading or discharging of ballast, etc

The Master of every vessel loading or unloading ballast, coals, stones, bricks, or other loose matter or thing, must have, to the satisfaction of the Harbour Master, a sufficient tarpaulin cloth, canvas cloth, or shoot, so fastened as effectually to prevent any of the said matter or thing, from falling into the Harbour, and all ballast, coals, stones, bricks or other loose matter or thing, whether loaded from, or to be loaded on, any vessel, shall, if allowed by the Harbour Master, be laid down at a distance of at least six feet from the edge of the quay, and shall be removed from the quay immediately after unloading.

No commencement shall be made to discharge or take in ballast before the Harbour Master has satisfied himself that proper precautions have been taken to prevent it from falling into the Harbour.

No vessels’ ballast shall be laid down upon the piers or quays under any pretence whatever, until the vessel is ready to take it in; and any ballast left, or refuse from ballast, shall be taken away immediately, and all ballast shall be put out of vessels to be taken away as soon as it is landed on the pier.



17. Masters of fishing vessels to report particulars at Harbour Office

The Master or other person in charge of every fishing boat entering the Harbour for the purpose of fishing shall report at the Harbour Office, the name of such boat, her number, the port or place where she is registered, the name of the Master, or other person in charge of such boat, the name of the salesman employed by him, or of the curer for whom the boat and crew are to fish.


18. Boats on quays

No person shall haul up upon any beach or pier or quay within the Harbour, any boat, without having first obtained permission from the Harbour Master.




19. Dressing of stones, spars, etc., on piers or quays

No stones of any kind, no spars or any other article shall be dressed upon the piers or quays except for building or repairing the piers or quays.


20. Removal of offensive matter

No fish offal, garbage, or other offensive matter or thing, shall be laid on the quays unless put into tubs or casks, and the same shall be forthwith removed, and, in the event of any delay in removal, the Harbour Mater shall be entitled to remove the same at the expense of the Owner thereof.


21. Curing, etc., of fish upon piers or quays

No person shall, except with the written permission of the Commissioners or their agents, salt, gut, pack, or cure, or allow to be salted, gutted, packed or cured, fish of any kind upon the piers or quays; nor place or allow to be placed thereon empty packages, except for the purpose of being filled, and unless they shall be immediately filled and taken away. Nor shall any person place or allow to be placed thereon any fish, unless for the purpose of being, and unless they are immediately, removed.



22. Curing stances to be kept clean

All person occupying curing stances under the Commissioners shall be bound to sweep and wash out their tubs and boxes and clean their stations daily, and to cause all fish offal, garbage, and other accumulations, to be carried away daily.


23. Obstruction of passengers

No persons shall obstruct the ingress or egress of passengers on the quays.




24. Horses or vehicles not to be left on quays

No person shall leave on any part of the quays, by day or by night, any horse, wagon, or cart, motor car or other vehicle; and no person shall use any part of the quays at any time for the purpose of resting or feeding horses, whether yoked or unyoked.




25. Carters, etc., to exercise care

Every carter or other person in charge of any horse and cart or other vehicle, proceeding along the quays, shall be bound to walk and lead such horse by the head; and no carter or other person shall have under or in his charge, more than one horse and cart or other vehicle.


26. Bicycles and motor cars on quays

No person shall ride a bicycle or drive a motor car on any of the quays or piers of the Harbour, after having been requested by the Harbour Master to desist from doing so.


27. Loitering on quays or piers

No person shall frequent, loiter or enter upon any of the quays or piers of the Harbour without permission from the Harbour Master unless he has business to transact there, and the Harbour Master or other person appointed to keep order at the Harbour may remove summarily from the quays or piers any such person found frequenting or loitering thereon.


28. Breaking up of vessels

No person shall break up, or permit cause to be broken up in the Harbour, any vessel, without special permission from the Harbour Master.


29. Combustible matter on quays, etc., to be removed

Every person, being the owner or having the charge of any tar, pitch, resin, turpentine, oil, spirituous liquor, or any similar combustible matter upon any of the piers, quays, or walks of the Harbour, or upon the deck of any vessel within the limits of the Harbour, shall cause the same to be removed to a place of safety within two hours after being required to do so by a notice in writing signed by the Harbour Master. And no person shall boil or heat any pitch, tar, resin, turpentine, oil, or other combustible matter on the quays, or on board any vessel lying within the limits of the Harbour, nor light any fire for any purpose except in such place and in such manner as shall be permitted by the Harbour Master.





30. Nuisance

No person shall commit any nuisance within the Harbour.






31. Affixing of Notices and Bills

No person shall deface or disfigure any part of the Harbour or any property of the Commissioners or affix any bill, notice or paper to, upon, or against same, except by and during the permission of the Commissioners.


32. Damages to Capstans, etc

No person shall damage or interfere with any capstans, lifebuoys, lifelines or heaving lines in the Harbour provided by the Commissioners or under the charge of the Harbour Commissioners.





33. Damages to Harbour Lights, etc

No person shall interfere with or damage any of the Harbour Lights or Leading Lights, or signalling haulyards.


34. Bye-laws not to prejudice the powers conferred by the North Sunderland Harbour Order 1931

The foregoing Bye-laws shall not prejudice, limit or affect the right of the Commissioners to enforce the provisions of the North Sunderland Harbour Order, 1931, and the Acts incorporated therewith, in regard to any of the matters of things therein referred to.




35. Penalty for breach of Bye-laws

If any person commits a breach of these Bye-laws he shall be liable on conviction to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings.


(Signed) Harold B Robson L.S.


Seahouses, 26 February 1935

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, by virtue of the power vested in him by Article 38 (2) of the North Sunderland Harbour Order, 1931, and of every other power enabling him in this behalf, hereby allows and confirms the above bye-laws.

IN WITNESS whereof the Official Seal of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is hereunto affixed this fourth day of May, nineteen hundred and thirty five.

(Signed) Hendry G Maurice, L.S.

Fisheries Secretary