During the Second World War, it was decided to install a system whereby the entire British Fleet could be re-fuelled without having to venture out into dangerous waters and run the risk of German U-Boats. At the time, this proved to be an enormously expensive project.
In order for you to understand the logistics involved in this massive task and how the Golden Wharf got its name, a wartime photograph will explain a thousand words. Suffice it to say that Huge oil tanks had to be installed in a place safe from enemy bombers. This necessitated excavating miles of tunnels under the hills, then installing the tanks deep underground, which are accessible to this day.
However, millions of tons of earth, rock and debris, which had been painstakingly extracted and mostly dug by hand, had to be disposed of by a convoy of six ton trucks. Being dumped into the sea at Lyness, it formed a new peninsular and deep water facility, which, owing to the cost of the exercise, Winston Churchill named it The Golden Wharf.
And, nowadays, this is precisely where the Lyness ferry docks from the mainland island. The line drawn across the picture illustrates the man-made wharf.