For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One. As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next Misc Tales. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.
– Andrew Hirst Monday, April 14, 2014
For centuries it served as a beacon of security, offering safe passage for thousands of seafarers.
Now, as the sea it once guarded over grows perilously close, the end of Orfordness Lighthouse looms near.
But before the iconic landmark is lost to the waves, a final chance to view it in all its glory has been made possible. . . more
To inquire about visiting email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas Gold, founding member of the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust, opened the building’s once hidden interior on Saturday for the first of many planned public visits.
“It’s one of the most fabulous and iconic features of the East Anglian coastline,” he said.
“People were saying it’s such a shame that it’s going to fall into the sea so I wanted to revere it in its final days.”
Built in 1792 by Lord Braybrooke, the lighthouse has enjoyed a fascinating history over its two centuries on the coast.
Once a hugely profitable source of revenue, charging a penny for every tonne of passing cargo, it became shrouded in secrecy from 1913, when the military arrived, closing much of the Ness to the public.
Although the National Trust has reopened the surrounding landscape, the lighthouse itself has remained off limits – until now.
“People have been knocking on my door saying what wonderful news it is,” said Mr Gold.
More than a dozen local residents were ferried across for the first public opening in more than a century.
As they climbed the winding staircase, examples of Victorian engineering were revealed, from the impressive optics, which once lay on a one-tonne bed of mercury, to the communication pipelines and finely crafted furnishings.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” said Andrew Curtis, a 74-year-old Orford resident.
“I would strongly advise other people to come here while the chance is there.
“It’s a unique building with lots of interesting Victorian artefacts, some lovely craftsmanship and is a real historic part of our heritage.”
From the top of the 30m tall lighthouse, where its powerful beam once shone 24 miles out to sea, visitors were rewarded with spectacular views of the Suffolk coastline.
“They are just incredible, stunning views of the isolated landscape,” said Mr Gold.
“In the 18th Century, a building of 100ft, right on the coastline, must have instantly become an iconic structure that struck a chord with mariners and landlubbers alike.”
Many of the visitors were shocked by the scale of the coastal erosion, which has left just seven metres between the base of the tower and the coast.
Though the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust, with the help of local fishermen, has since built new defences to slow the erosion, last winter’s storms had taken a brutal toll.
“It’s very obvious to see how fast the erosion has increased,” Guy Murray, 43, a repeat visitor to the Ness.
“The lighthouse is a very important part of the heritage of Suffolk and it’s going to be a great loss when it goes.”
Graeme Kay, another of the visitors, said it gave “pause for thought” to see “such a massive structure to be so vulnerable to the elements”.
“It will be like a gaping wound on the landscape when it collapses,” he added.
The Trust will be opening the lighthouse to schools, community groups and anyone else who expresses an interest.
It will also salvage as many of the artefacts as possible once nature takes its inevitable toll.
Now there is a photo which shows the tidal range on the British Columbia coastline. Everything on that pile of rocks is awash with the sea at some time of the year, except for the green area, and it probably gets sprayed pretty heavily. Now put a lighthouse on the green area and you have the reality of living on a lighthouse!
What a nice surprise! McInnes Island lighthouse where I worked for twenty-five (25) years (1977 – 2001) and which became operational in 1954, started also on that date supplying weather information to Canada’s Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) (now Environment Canada (EC)), as well as aiding the mariners and pilots as a navigational aid for Coast Guard (Department of Transport (DOT) at that time).
We never received recognition as a sixty (60) year old lighthouse, but we did get this certificate which is a credit to all the lighthouse keepers of McInnes Island who served from 1954 until the present. Fantastic!
Follow the light
Cove Point Lighthouse
3500 Lighthouse Blvd., Lusby, Calvert County
410-474-5370 or calvertmarinemuseum.com
$550-$1,600 (for minimum three-day stay)
80 miles from Baltimore . . . more
The days of the grizzled lighthouse keeper may be long gone — just about all lighthouses operate on their own these days — but that doesn’t mean you can’t live like one, at least for a few days.
Isolated on a spit of Calvert County land jutting into the Chesapeake Bay, the 186-year-old Cove Point Light is as much a welcome light as a warning beacon these days. And for real lighthouse fanatics, spending a few nights in the adjacent keeper’s cottage is a time-traveling opportunity not to be missed.
The two-story house looks almost exactly as it did in 1925, when the last major addition was completed. It still has its hardwood floors, cast-iron radiators and deep-set window sills. Even some of the modern touches retain links to the past: One table is made of lumber from the dismantled Cedar Point Lighthouse, which stood about seven miles down-bay, while another was made from an old countertop from a Lusby general store.
The lighthouse sits on a four-acre private beach, surrounded by a fence that’s locked at night. Visitors can rent either one half or the entire keeper’s house; a movable wall inside separates the two main rooms on the first floor.
“You feel like you’re a million miles away, but we still have wireless; we still have flat-screen TVs; we have all the amenities you’re used to,” says Vanessa Gill, director of development for the Calvert Marine Museum, which administers the property. “At night, when the sun sets, you have this beautiful lighthouse light that grazes the water. It’s magical.”