Lighthouses

The Lower Lighthouse, Isle of Portland, Dorset

A few weeks ago we visited the Isle of Portland, in Dorset, as I wanted to see the Lighthouse at Portland Bill.  I had a lovely surprise as there were three lighthouses, this lighthouse, the lower light, the higher light and the current tower light and whats more, not a rain drop in sight.  I will post about each of them for my ‘Lighthouse Categories’.  

The first lower lighthouse was opened on 29.09.1716, but has been rebuilt several times.  The one we visited was built in 1869, although it has not been used as a lighthouse since 1906.  The reason you can visit, on site as there is a wonderful bookshop, on all things birds, as the tower is now a bird observatory and field centre, also holiday accommodation.  After decommissioning, the lamp room was removed and there is now an observation room.  After visiting the bookshop and with a couple of books in tow, I had a quick look inside the hall of the lighthouse and I was so glad I did, as on the wall there were several photos of the lighthouse during its life span.  So of course I took some photos of them, its not often you get to see the life of a lighthouse, and it was so interesting to see them.

This is how the lighthouse would have looked with the original lamp room.

The lighthouse as a tea room after the Great War.

 

 

The following are some of my photos that I changed to black & white.

Before I go, just a quick holiday up date, we were going to be in France for two weeks, but in the end it was only one, after our stay in Albi and visiting the wonderful Cathedral, the next day on our way to our next stop, we had a phone call.  Our Kennels phoned us to say that Nipper was very very ill, his diabetes had taken a turn for the worse and he was in the Vets.  Then the Vets phoned to say that he had acid in his blood again and his sugar levels were off the scale, and there was the possibly that he might not make it.  Twice we have lost dogs when we have been away, its so horrible not to be able to see them before they go.  My husband drove over a 1,000 miles, we couldn’t get on the train for the tunnel at 12.30pm, and next slot would be 8.30am next morning, so we drove to the ferry and got straight on the boat.  We got to the Vets at 8.30 am and amazingly he had stabilised, we took him home in the afternoon and that was on Monday and at the moment he is doing well.  They have increased his insulin, so fingers crossed it will make him a lot better 🙂

 

Re-Visit Twin Lighthouses, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire

Today 12.09.17, in the South of France it was lovely and hot, we visited some beautiful churches, hill top towns and villages, also a picnic on the beach…….plus a few French Lighthouses.  Still cannot upload any photos, so I found some of a re-visit to the twin lighthouses at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, I wanted to see if  ‘The Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse’ was open, but I think we were too late.  Still I got some better photos of both lighthouses for my collection.  

Tomorrow we are visiting Monaco, should be interesting, as husband wants to drive around the roads, as if driving in the Grand Prix, well he has to have some reward for my churches 🙂 Then we might go into Italy and do a circuit up into the mountains, and then back to Grasse where we are staying.

West Lighthouse.

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, East Lighthouse.

In this view, you can just see the top of the West Lighthouse.

Margate Lighthouse, Kent

I bought a lighthouse book the other day ‘Lighthouses of England -The South East’, and while reading through it, I recognised a lighthouse.  At the end of October 2015 we went to visit our daughter and her family in Kent……looking back now, the weather was amazing for the end of October.  Anyway we had gone to do Halloween with our youngest grandson and he wanted to go to the beach, like they all do at 6.5 years old.  So we arrived  at Margate, a seaside town and the place was packed, there was some kind of bike race on.  I know nothing about this sport, but I took loads of photos because I liked the way the bikes moved on the sand.  I’m glad I did, because I got the lighthouse in a few of them.

A little history……Margate’s first lighthouse was built in 1828 to mark the town’s newly built breakwater. The original lighthouse was a round Doric column.  It had a square gallery and cylindrical lantern, but this tower became a victim of the Great Storm of 1953.   Strong seas pushed the old tower over, leaving it leaning at a precarious angle for several hours, prior to it collapsing, along with a large section at the end of the pier.  In 1955, the current octagonal concrete tower was built, topped by a copper lantern housing a fixed red LED light.

 

Strumble Lighthouse, Strumble Head, Nr Fishguard, Wales

This weekend was our yearly visit to New Quay in Wales, to attend our ‘Welsh Family Reunion’ . I’m not sure how much longer it will continue, the oldest relation is now 91, and the rest are in their late 80’s, but we did have a wonderful family meal and enjoyed every second.  On Saturday we went to look for the Trinity Lighthouse at Strumble Head, near Fishguard, which is on the north west tip of Pembrokeshire.  I wasn’t quite prepared for how stunningly beautiful Strumble Head is and also, how in all the years of visiting, we had never been there.  Also the Strumble Lighthouse was perfect, perched on the small island of Ynsmeicel and is a great one for my ‘Trinity Lighthouse Category’

The one thing that I did find amazing, was the lantern room in the 55ft high circular stone tower, still has it’s original lantern.  I took so many photos to catch the flash, which I did a couple times out of many, but it was well worth it.  

The lighthouse was erected in 1908 and is reached by a small metal footbridge, which is gated with a large padlock.  The Lighthouse is automated so unfortunately there isn’t any access onto the island.

 

A Little About Strumble Head Lighthouse

Strumble Head Lighthouse stands imposingly on St. Michael’s Island (Ynysmeicl), an islet to the west of Fishguard, separated from the mainland by a very narrow gap through which the sea boils and froths in stormy weather.

The station was built in 1908 by Trinity House for the greater safety of sea traffic between Ireland and the new Fishguard Harbour which is located behind cliffs and a breakwater three miles to the east. The new light also formed a link with the existing South Bishop light, 29 km (18 miles) to the south-west. This stretch of coast is very dangerous, and some sixty vessels are known to have been lost along it in the 19th Century alone.

The original revolving lens system weighed 4½ tonnes, supported in a bath of mercury to reduce friction. A massive clockwork mechanism rotated it, driven by a 0.25 tonnes weight which, suspended on a cable, dropped gradually down a cylinder running from top to bottom through the tower and had to be re-wound every twelve hours. The optical system was replaced by more compact equipment when Strumble Head lighthouse was fully electrified in 1965.

Despite the footbridge to the mainland across the narrow sound, Ynsymeicl’s isolation and steep slopes set building problems typical of more remote rock towers. Building material and regular supplies were swung across by jackstay cable, between the winches near the cliff-top on the mainland and beside the lighthouse. The handrail of the footbridge and the steps to it also had a special purpose, as the pipeline to carry oil into the tower basement.

The lighthouse was converted to unmanned automatic operation in 1980.

The surrounding views are spectacular and really do need to be explored more on a longer holiday.

We also saw some wildlife, apart from the birds on the islands, a seal came to say hello.

Ruadh Sgeir & Na Cuiltean Lighthouses, Isle of Jura, Scotland

 

When visiting the Isle of Jura in 2016, I saw these two lighthouses and I think they are Ruadh Sgeir & Na Cuiltean, but I am not too sure which is which, but again its the location they are in.  These modern lights have replaced older lighthouses.  As with the other lighthouse I have posted about on Jura, this is as close as I will get to both of these lights, so it’s straight in to the Lighthouse Category.

 

 

Carragh an t-Sruith Lighthouse, Isle of Jura, Scotland

Last year, 2016, we visited the Islands of Islay and Jura off the West Coast of Scotland, we went for the whisky festivals.  This photo is taken from one of the distilleries, I was just taking random shots of the beautiful scenery, when in the distance I saw a white shape.  Right in the centre of the photo you will see a tiny white lighthouse……now, as this will be the nearest that I will ever get to this lighthouse, it’s going in my lighthouse category.  I made a rule in the beginning, that I did’nt have to visit, although it it’s nice to do so, but just photographing the lighthouses would be ok.  I have zoomed in for a close up, it just gives you a general idea of the shape.   

The lighthouse was built in 1960 and is an octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Not an old light, but what a wonderful location.