John Dick and John Mitchell

This is the start of an item, using information provided by John Brown, grandson of John Mitchell.

Captain John Dick, during the 18th century, was one of the first mariners to use the rapidly developing port of Irvine.

His great-grandson, John Dick Mitchell (pictured here at his retirement presentation), gave over 40 years service to Irvine harbour, the last 18 of them as Harbourmaster. After a few years with a local firm of solicitors, he joined the Harbour Company on Aug. 13th, 1914. In 1916 he enlisted in the H.L.I., serving in India and Mesopotamia, and returned as Collector to the Harbour in 1919. In 1937 he was appointed Harbourmaster as well as Collector. During the war years, 1939-45, he gave very valuable service to the country, with close connections to the C-in-C Western Approaches, with a very special interest in tank landing and operations exercises.

In all fields, John Mitchell showed great patience, understanding and good humour, with the welfare and well-being of all employees at heart. His interests included football, as a player and an official of Irvine Meadow, and bowling, as a committee member of Irvine Winton Bowling Club. In his work, he was regarded as one of the younger class of harbour masters, with a wide knowledge of shipping, and ever on the lookout for any method that would assist in making loading and discharging easier and faster.


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