Building the Oil Terminal, 1976

Special thanks to Keith Hill

Flotta has played a significant role over the years both in the development of the North Sea Oil fields and in the subsequent exploitation and landing of the oil reserves. Construction on the Flotta Oil Terminal started in 1974 and the terminal became fully operational in December 1976. Many people were involved in the two year construction, living on the island during its build.

Most have happy memories of their time on the island, enjoying the island lifestyle and their time in the Orkneys. One of those working on the island was Keith Hill who has kindly sent the pictures shown on this page.

Quote: “They were all taken in February 1976. Hope that some or all of the photos may be of interest to readers of your message board.

The Turrif Electrical team photo includes self (Keith Hill), on the left, Bill Darcy, and Willie Johnstone standing, and Tom Wainwright seated.”

Many thanks for your pictures Keith.

I’d be happy to hear from any other terminal workers and to receive your pictures and stories.

Working on the Terminal

07 Jan 2006 00:10

Hi I was working on the oil terminal with motherwell bridge about 23 years ago. Had some good times at the dance in the community hall. The only name I can mind is Allan the crane driver. The wee shop had everything in it. I’m from Falkirk.
I’m Derek Gardner. Cheers.

20 Jan 2006 14:34

Hi, my name is Mick Mullin. I was the scaffolding manager on the oil terminal  for lindsey scaffolding from 1975-1980. It was the most enjoyable part of my working life. The Flotta people were the most hospitable you could ever meet in your life, they made you most welcome. My good memories were going to the barn dances and community get togethers all of the construction personnel were always invited, Davy sinclair and his wife Marina were the post master and also had a small shop at his croft I miss seeing them and most of the Flotarians. Their way of life was the most relaxed I have ever encountered it was serene.
Mick Mullin.

24 June 2006 2205

Hello my name is Keith McShane. I worked on the terminal in the mid to late 90s on the shut downs. It was a pleasurable experience working with the people of Flotta and the neighbouring islands. The main contractor at that time was Motherwell Bridge . I was, and I still am a scaffolder. The foreman was Gerry McGuiness who was a good and fair foreman. His workforce, were a good bunch of lads. I enjoyed working with the entire workforce on the terminal; they were very friendly and kind to me, which made my time on the island a lot easier to bare, being away from my family and home. The Orkadians are a very laid back type of people. It’s a good way to live in my experience. Thank you for letting me into your lives and I hope everyone is healthy and still happy in what they are doing

My email address is: k.

29th September 2006 19:10
I’m Hector Bell. I worked at the terminal on board the tug Kent assisting Costains with the jetty construction. We had lots of good days and some very cold one’s. After completion I visited the terminal often with other J P Knight tugs doing relining work, when the terminal tugs were dry docking. Lots of good times were had by all and a lot of money spent. At the moment I’m training guys in Brazil in counter pollution duties. It’s a lot warmer here!


My email address is: