The Port Laing Submarine Mining Establishment was built on the foreshore just below Carlingnose Battery in about 1898. The Submarine Mining Establishment included a pier, the end of which still survives. The buildings where located on the shoreline where residential homes have now been built. It is still possible to determine where the 18-inch narrow gauge railway ran from the pier to the this building complex.
The Forth Volunteer Division(Submarine Miners) formed in 1887 with three companies. The first recruits join in May 1888 and HMS Dido was loaned from the Royal Navy for submarine mining use. When not employed as a store ship and headquarters, HMS Dido was moored in Leith Docks. With the building of the Port Laing establishment a Officers Mess was built and the unit had no problem recruiting.
In 1907 the unit was converted to Electrical Engineers with sixteen officers and two hundred and forty three other ranks.