Prestonpans Salt Company Moves to Micro-Panning
Boutique Salt Panning for Real Again!
The Prestonpans Salt Company [PSC] was established in 2004 to explore how the town could once again resume salt panning after a 50 year break. The intention is, as with Fowler's Ales brewed again at the Prestoungrange Gothenburg, to undertake the process on a boutique basis i.e. with low volumes of high quality, distinctively branded Forth Sea Salt. This involves using the salt waters of the Firth of Forth just of the Pans with HM The Queen's Consent.
During the autumn and winter months of 2004, under Tony Gillingham's guidance, three consultancies were conducted looking at [a] the construction of a pier out from the baronial foreshore; [b] the construction thereon of the necessary chemical engineering facilities using renewable sun, wind and wave energy to boil the waters; and [c] the evaluation and assessment of the potential market including its distribution networks.
Such an ambitious approach will require major capital investment, hopefully under an EIS approach with grant support as well. But the immediate next step is to get some trial pans of salt made, and packaged appropriately. For this science staffs at Preston Lodge School are working in association with Scott Taylor of PSC.
We're Running Second to the Welsh and Learning from Lion Salt Works in Cheshire
If the notion sounds off the wall, it has to be reported that the Welsh in Angelsey have already done it using Atlantic Sea water in co-ordination with their sea zoo. Such Welsh Salt has been on supermarket and deli shelves for over five years now and output is expanding.
And on an educational basis the old Lion Salt Works at Northwich in Cheshire have become a museum with active plans to reintroduce small scale panning from traditional underground brine streams. Their location is similar to Prestonpans with a fine pub, the Salt Barge, close by as pictured below.
The Museum's Director, Andrew Fielding, will be visiting Prestonpans in the coming months to provide educational advice to the School's project.
Click on images to enlarge
St Monan's Salt Works in Fife
Talking of Salt Museums, just across the Forth at St Monan's in the East Neuk of Fife a six year archealogical dig from 1990-1996 has enabled interpretation of much of that area's famous salt pans managed by the Newark Coal and Salt Company from 1771 and 1794. The magnificent research publication arising is pictured below [and held at The Barons' Courts Library].
Linked once again to the avilability of local coal for the boiling processes, the foundations of nine pan houses have been unearthed. The windmill used for winching has been restored as the museum itself and the intermediate holding pan can be clearly discerned.
Published Date: March 2nd 2005