Britain’s Royal Mint Honours 500 Years of Trinity House

Britain’s Royal Mint honours 500 years of Trinity House 20 May 2014 The Royal Mint is this week commemorating the 500th anniversary of Trinity House (20th May), the organisation that has safeguarded the lighthouses, pilot ships and coastal waters of Britain since being awarded a Royal Charter to do so by King Henry VIII.

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Silver

 

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Gold

To mark the milestone event The Royal Mint has produced limited edition commemorative Trinity House-themed £2 coins in sterling silver and 22 carat gold. Its striking lighthouse design also appears on 2014-dated circulating versions of the £2 coin which people are likely to find in their change from October this year. Each coin is edged with the words ‘SERVING THE MARINER’. Continue reading

Dreams of Being a Lighthouse Keeper

For years past, adults and children of all ages had dreams of growing up to be an adventurous lighthouse keeper. That dream is slowly dimming as the world automates its lighthouses.

The following article from The Guardian  brings to our attention the dimming of the dream in the UK

The lure of the lighthouse for our islanded souls
With the last lights set to go out, many of us will miss these concrete symbols of our humanity

by Joe Moran The Guardian, Saturday 12 April 2014.

Lighthouse, County Durham

The tower lights, the ones that rise impossibly out of the sea and carry the most romantic connotations for landlubberly ignoramuses like me, were the most dreaded by the keepers.’ Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Growing up, I wanted to be a lighthouse keeper. Just like Moominpappa in Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, my ambition was to live on the loneliest lighthouse on the remotest skerry farthest from land. It didn’t end well for Moominpappa, the island he and the other Moomins settled on being barren and desolate, inhabited only by a silent fisherman who turned out to be the ex-lighthouse keeper driven mad by loneliness. It didn’t put me off.

I have since met many compatriots who have had the same dream, for there is something about lighthouses that seems to speak to our islanded souls. more . . .

Reprint – Finders Keepers

Finders keepers
Published: 31/07/2012 with permission from the Aberdeen Press and Journal

Earlier this month, we revealed that the Northern Lighthouse Board was selling off three lighthouses near Stonehaven, Lossiemouth and Thurso, with price tags ranging from £75,000 to £270,000 – along with a foghorn at Girdleness, in Aberdeen.
All the buildings, once a beacon for sailors and fishermen, would be ideal for those willing to spend some time and money creating an unusual home.

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, on the other hand, is ready to move in to. The keepers’ accommodation, at the foot of the tower, has been run as a successful home and holiday accommodation for years.

This B-listed home sits in a stunning location, on the cliff edge at Melvaig, around 12 miles from Gairloch on the west coast – officially named as the happiest place in the UK last week – and overlooking the Isle of Skye to the south-west, Harris to the west and Lewis to the north.
It is for sale at offers over £325,000.
Building of the lighthouse was started by David Stevenson, one of the famous family of lighthouse engineers, in 1910. Two years later, it was helping steer boats safely through the seas. Continue reading

Three More Lighthouses Saved! Sadly not Canadian

New status shines light on landmark from UK News Guardian

Published on Thursday 10 May 2012 09:29

A coastal landmark on the borough coastline has been declared a listed building to help preserve it for future generations.

St Mary's lighthouse

St Mary’s Lighthouse, a popular destination for sightseers and school trips, has been given grade II-listed status by English Heritage.

The 19th century tower and adjoining cottages host more than 80,000 visitors a year.

Officials at English Heritage decided to list the lighthouse, keeper’s and fishermen’s cottages because of their historic and architectural interest.

A spokesperson for English Heritage said: “The late 19th century lighthouse and associated cottages have been designated at grade II. More ->

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A Lighthouse Story – The Bell Rock Enigma

The winner , Eleanor Kirkland

In it’s seventh year the National Galleries of Scotland’s writing competition, Inspired? Get Writing! asked beginning authors to write a story or poem based on one of the gallery’s paintings. This request fired the imagination of 1,200 entrants this year (2012).

Entries are judged in five categories: Under 12s, 12-14s, 15-18s, Adults Prose and Adults Poetry. The work must be inspired by a piece of art in the National Galleries of Scotland permanent collection, which can be viewed at any of the galleries or online. Prizes include writing workshops and free tickets to major exhibitions. Three collections of winning work from the competition have already been published.

Here is one of the winners from the youth category, and naturally it is a story about a lighthouse or it wouldn’t be here on this website.

This winning story was written by eleven year old (11) Eleanor (Ellie) Kirkland of Perth, Scotland. She had never been in a lighthouse before and had no idea of the inner workings, but her imagination inspired her to create this eerie short tale. I have been given permission to publish it here for you. I think it is very good.

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The Bell Rock Lighthouse that inspired Eleanor Kirkland's short story

The Bell Rock lighthouse as it stands today - photo Wiki

THE BELL ROCK ENIGMA

ELEANOR KIRKLAND, 11, Craigclowan Prep School, Perth

 Inspiration: J. M. W. Turner’s1 Bell Rock Lighthouse

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The Lighthouse Keeper – A Day in the Life

Scottish lighthouses

In December 2011 I received a Guestbook entry from a Scottish ex-lighthouse keeper who said “I was made redundant from the service in 1992 and the last Keeper retired from the service in 1998 . . .” His name is Peter Hill and he has written a few poems about his life and also a book. The poem I like the best is reproduced below. 

Peter was a keeper in Scotland and I was a keeper in Canada, and we have never met before, but he wrote in the poem below:

“I dress in darkness yet know my style, my clothes on dresser neatly piled.”

Now only a lighthouse keeper would write about this fact about dressing in the darkness to go on the morning shift. I did the same thing, as it allows our eyes to adjust to the darkness so we can see better before going outside to observe the weather for the upcoming weather report.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.

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The Lighthouse Keeper – A day in the Life

In softest echo and muffled beep, I am awakened from my shallow sleep
Anticipating that very call! It’s a wonder how I sleep at all
Accustomed and by ritual seed refreshed in body by slumbers need
My motions slow and gentle take, while sleeping Mags, am careful not to awake
I dress in darkness yet know my style, my clothes on dresser neatly piled.
Shirt and jumper left till last, washed and ready for my watch.

Just as quietly as before, I open out the double door, closing soft and handle gripped on well oiled hinge in jam it slips Continue reading