Every time I take my boat to St Mawes I make a point of calling on the harbour master and his welcoming staff. This time two harbour masters greeted me, Gary Cairns who is retiring and Martin Bidmead his replacement.

Martin, who was educated at Falmouth Grammar School became a quantity surveyor. Then followed a spell working in Whitehall for the Ministry of Agriculture.

He then joined the Royal Navy as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. In his class at the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth was Admiral Sir George Zambellas who has just retired as First Sea Lord.

Due to government cutbacks Martin had to leave the Royal Navy and became self-employed for many years running his own business before joining HM Coastguard service in 1996. He eventually ended up as senior maritime operations officer at Falmouth before leaving the service in March 2016

Apart from being a much respected coastguard 57-year-old Martin is also well known amongst the waterfront fraternity for his 30 years involvement sailing with the Falmouth Working Boats.

Martin studied hard or the industry recognised Lloyds International Harbour Master’s Diploma, an intense course covering the marine safety and management knowledge required by harbour masters.

He said: “It is an honour to follow in Gary’s footsteps. I hope to continue the good work already done by him. The picture postcard village of St Mawes is a fantastic place to work, the people are friendly and I look forward to playing an active role in the community.”

Outgoing harbour master Gary Cairns who has been in the hot seat for 11 years is to become the St Mawes Harbour Board’s managing director. Gary was a fisherman operating out of Newlyn before he set up business at Mylor where he operated Mylor Boat Hire and a marine engineering business in Martin Heard’s boatyard. For a time he also ran the Place Ferry from St Mawes to Place Manor.

Bill Whitton, chairman of St Mawes Harbour said: “Under Gary’s stewardship the management of the harbour has been brought into the 21st century – operationally, professionally, technologically and in a transparent manner. Whilst maintaining and retaining the harbour’s natural environment.”

St Mawes Harbour has been modernised but in a sympathetic manner. Even the new harbour office with its futuristic wheelhouse design fits in admirably with this historic quayside. With new seating areas, increased mooring facilities and up to date byelaws Gary certainly has left his mark on this delightful village.

Gary said: “I have had one of the best jobs in the country working in a superb environment mixing with the visitors and people of St Mawes.”