The Lighthouse (Partridge mysteries Book 1)
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Star Sign: Capricorn. Edit page. Clear your history. IMDb Everywhere. He spent 22 years working the lights and seen duty at 22 different stations, including some of my favourites: he worked both at the Needles and at the Isles of Scilly. He was the last lighthouse keeper at the Casquets, the last to leave up the ladder into the helicopter. Now he regularly speaks on his experiences of Lighthouse Life. To be inside a tall tower offshore lighthouse is quite an awesome experience, especially the first time! On Bishop Rock, west of the Scilly Isles, the tower is approximately ft above sea.
During the worst of the Atlantic weather, the sea crashes over the top; the structure shakes and bangs, crockery rattles, and the noise of the sea is like a loudly roaring lion! When the sea hits and climbs, all goes dark inside as the daylight is interrupted. Such experiences only lead one to pay homage to those Victorian engineers who designed and built such structures. The walls are 15ft thick granite at the base, tapering to some 3ft at the higher levels; each stone is dovetail jointed woodwork fashion to its neighbour.
Before the extensive use of helicopters, reliefs were carried out by boat. It was not uncommon to have to wait several weeks after having served an 8-week duty! Helicopters changed our lives so much!
If I can I will forward you a photo of me being winched from a boat onto the Bishop Rock: a trip up of some 45 ft onto the landing! It might all sound pretty awful but, once inside the tower with the coffee pot simmering on the Rayburn stove, it was cosy! Gordon has offered to answer more questions in the comments so if you are interested in the life of a lighthouse keeper, please ask away!
I for one would love a brief overview of what the daily routine was like. Also, how you dealt with loneliness — 8 weeks is a long time without company although tbh, nearing the end of half term, it does sound rather lovely as long as the lighthouse had wifi :D. As a child, I read fictional accounts of lighthouse keepers with families, children rowing to the local town for school, that sort of thing.
Is that at all realistic, or are lighthouses kept by a single person? Did lighthouse keepers work alone or in pairs? Life was a well ordered routine of watchkeeping,maintenance schedules and cleaning! Because of the watchkeeping hours covering the 24 hr period,sleep times came at irregular hours. Before helicopters,life for the Lt Hse Keeper meant having to potentially await good boat landing conditions at each end of the 2 month duty period.
The two months did not start until the relief Keeper had landed on station! More soon folks but I hope that this answers a few questions! Regards to all Gordon.
Oh no, there's been an error
Thanks for getting back to us, Gordon. Hi I am a teacher at Altarnun school in Cornwall and have just come across your name while planning for the work we will be doing on lighthouses in September. The children would love to meet you. I see you do talks. Any chance you could come and visit our school. The children are aged I have attached my email address. Hello Gordon, Thank you for offering to answer questions RE lighthouse keeping.