Joining The World Lighthouse Society

Welcome to the World Lighthouse Society blog.

The Society is open to everyone and joining is very easy. To join or get more information please contact the Administration Officer by emailing

There is a once only only administration fee of GBP£ 22.00 (35 Euro) (40US$) Payment can be made through the Paypal website.

Once you are a registered member you will receive a free CD The Glossary of Lighthouse Terminology - WLS designed and produced. You will also receive your password to the members area of our website

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

November 2017 Friends of Tasman Island Lighthouse Newsletter

The Friends of Tasman Island Lighthouse have kindly shared the latest issue of their newsletter with our members.

Click on the following link to access the issue:
 November 2017 Friends of Tasman Island Newsletter.

Check out their Facebook page and like them!
Friends of Tasman Island - Wildcare Inc.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tasman Island Lighthouse Update

Following the success of their crowd funding campaign, the Friends of Tasman Island volunteer Wildcare group are currently engaged in a restoration project. You can follow their daily progress on their Facebook page at

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Lantern Reinstated on Lightship that Saved Lives

After 40 years the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club have reinstalled a lantern aboard their historic lightvessel LV 50 in South Harbour Blyth. A lighting up ceremony was held on Sat 4 November as part of the Club's Bonfire Night celebrations. The lantern was switched on at approximately 1730 on Saturday 4th November followed by the lighting of the bonfire and firework display.
Built on the Thames between 1878-9 for the notorious Seven Stones Reef (off the Scilly Isles) LV 50 was commissioned in September 1879 (138 years ago). At the time she was the most modern wooden light vessel in the Trinity House fleet. Her 8 ft. revolving, flashing lantern (constructed by Chance Brothers of Birmingham) and her 3-reed compressed air foghorn were pioneering innovations.
LV 50 saw service on numerous sandbanks and reefs off south and east England where she provided warning to mariners of danger and provided a navigational fix in the era before GPS. In 1952 she was decommissioned by Trinity house, sold to wreckers in Harwich from whom the RNYC purchased her and towed her to Blyth. She has lain in South Harbour for the past 75 years as the House Yacht “Tyne”
Over the past 3 years The Friends of LV50 have sought to bring this historic vessel to the attention of the public, opening her for visits on the 4th Thursday of summer months and during Heritage Open Days.
The original 2-ton wrought iron lantern was discarded because of its poor condition. The current replica lantern, constructed by 2 Club members, is a wood and fibre glass construction.
In 2015 the RNYC celebrated the 125th anniversary of the clubs founding
Additional information on the history of LV50 can be found at

Current view of LV50 with her new lantern South Harbour Blyth. Courtesy Peter J Fairbairn

On Warner station (off Isle of Wight) 1935. Curtesy A+P Vickery collection

Friday, 27 October 2017

Sligo Bay (Ireland) Lighthouses

On a camping trip in October, on the shores of Sligo Bay (Republic of Ireland), I photographed this character. Apologies for the poor quality, but he is quite a distance out, plus I was coping with Storm Brian. The Metal Man is, in some ways, the opposite of a traditional lighthouse. He stands 4.3 metres tall and he’s dressed like a Naval officer. His weight is 6.3 tonnes and he points out to Mariners where to sail, in a deep channel of water. He has done so since 1821! And this particular day, he had a feathered friend perched on his head! 

I have also included photos of a small, disused lighthouse (on an island) and a taller lighthouse in action (quite a distance out to sea), both visible from the same place from where I photographed the Metal Man. 

Lee Maginnis (Northern Ireland) 

Metal Man, Rosses Point, County Sligo, was originally located where Blackrock lighthouse now stands, but the merchants of Sligo decided Perch Rock was better. An acetylene light was established 6th October 1908 and was converted to propane on 9th October 1979. (Information courtesy of John Eagle & the Commissioners of Irish Lights)

Oyster Island, Rosses Point, County Sligo: Two lights were established 1st August 1837 forming leading lights from Sligo Bay into the Channel to Sligo Port. They were replaced by a sectored temporary light 15th February 1891. The discontinued towers were taken down in 1893. The North tower was rebuilt and became a rear leading light with the Metal Man in 1932. The light was converted from acetylene to propane 9th October 1979. (Information courtesy of John Eagle & the Commissioners of Irish Lights)
Blackrock, County Sligo, is located in Sligo Bay. It was converted into a lighthouse from an unlit beacon in 1835. The tower is 25m high, white with a black band. The light is 24m above MHWS and has a range of 13 nautical miles. It has been unwatched since 29th November 1934.  (Information courtesy of John Eagle & the Commissioners of Irish Lights)

New Member Profile: Geoff Scott (England)

I, Geoff Scott, have always had a vague, non-professional interest in lighthouses.  My long-suffering wife Janet has navigated using them over the years.  We have spent time in Dinard, Britanny where there are plenty of rocks and lighthouses to enjoy.  We have enjoyed quite a lot of light aircraft flying around Europe and, a few years ago, I decided to enter the “Dawn-to-Dusk” flying competition.  I chose to fly at low level around the lighthouses on the coast of France.  This took a great deal of interesting studying and planning and the exercise was completed in two halves in 2015 and 2016.  A relative who is a whiz with websites set up one for me to illustrate the flights:  We are adding more photos as we go along; for example, we missed taking photographs in Ouessant and environs in 2015, so we returned twice this summer (2017).  

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Tour America's only steam-powered lighthouse tender
Learn to tie knots like a sailor
Turn the wheel
Find out lighthouses and buoys help ships find their way
Hear about life and work on board a Coast Guard ship
Discover how steam made the ship go

Open House New York Weekend
Returns to LILAC
Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15
2:00 to 7:00 PM

Free admission
Join us!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

National Lighthouse Museum October Events

October Events!
We invite you to join us for any or all of our October events.
October 14, 2017 Hudson River Boat Tour

Saturday, October 14th we will again tour the magnificent Hudson venturing as far as Tarrytown, NY. It's Fall Foliage time!

Click the link below to learn more and register.
Beacon of Hope Festival

Rocktober 15th is the day of the Beacon of Hope Festival at our Museum Plaza. Great live entertainment for a worthy cause.

Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the gate. Click the link below to learn more and purchase tickets.

Lecture: The Burning of the Quarantine and the Aftermath

Sunday, October 22nd, Dr. Robert Marraccino and Dr. Michael Vigorito return to speak to us concerning the riots and burning of the Quarantine and resulting consequences.

Tickets are $10 for guests and members are free, but we request that members register for the event.

Click below to learn more, purchase tickets and register.

New Jersey lighthouses and museums host Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey Oct. 21-22

CAPE MAY - Lighthouses and select museums throughout the state will host the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey weekend on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.
Challenge yourself to visit each participating lighthouse over the weekend as you tour the state to help raise funds for continued lighthouse preservation.
These majestic beacons have played an important role in New Jersey's history, guarding mariners and protecting our coasts for three centuries. Lighthouses serve as a reminder of American ingenuity while honoring the values of safety and heroism. Visit the lighthouses and museums on the Challenge for an opportunity to learn more about state and national maritime history.
Begin the Challenge at any of the participating 11 New Jersey land-based lighthouses, two life-saving stations or one museum, and purchase a souvenir lanyard ($2).New this year: obtain a pin unique to each site to commemorate your participation in the event. Also new this year: East Point Light and U.S. Life Saving Station 30 are both newly restored and open to the public.
Hours of operation for each lighthouse can be found at participating lighthouse and museum websites and at
The Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey is also on Facebook where lighthouse fans can communicate with other fans.
            The following lighthouses and museums are participating and invite the public to take advantage of this special weekend to support and preserve the maritime history of New Jersey:
  • Absecon Lighthouse (Atlantic City)
  • Barnegat Lighthouse (Barnegat)
  • Barnegat Lighthouse Historical Museum (Barnegat Light)
  • Cape May Lighthouse (Lower Township)
  • East Point Light (Heislerville)
  • Finns Point Light (Pennsville)
  • Hereford Inlet Light and Delaware Bay Lights Virtual Tour (North Wildwood)
  • Navesink/Twin Lights (Highlands)
  • Sandy Hook Lighthouse (Fort Hancock)
  • Sea Girt Lighthouse (Sea Girt)
  • Tatham Life Saving Station 35 (Stone Harbor)
  • Tinicum Light (open, but not for climbing) (Paulsboro)
  • Tucker's Island Light at Tuckerton Seaport Museum (Tuckerton)
  • and U.S. Life Saving Station 30 (Ocean City)
Night climbs will be offered at Absecon, Cape May and Tucker's Island Light at Tuckerton Seaport.
Proceeds support the preservation of these sites. For further information including directions and map of participating lighthouses go to

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Saving Tasman Island’s Lighthouse Heritage – support the dedicated volunteers and be rewarded!

A 2005 visit to Tasman Island, one of the most spectacular lighthouse stations in Australia, with the Tasman Peninsula Rotary Club, was the catalyst for the formation of the Wildcare group Friends of Tasman Island.  Over the past 11 years, an impressive range of conservation & maintenance work has been carried out by their volunteers during 25 self-funded working bees.  Each working bee (10 volunteers for 10 days) contributes around 650 volunteer hours. 
Here’s a 2-minute pitch video about the group, their work and their latest project -
Their current campaign: Tasman Island’s Lighthouse Heritage aims to raise $AUS 16,537 to restore the Sunroom and Front Verandah of the historic Lighthouse Keepers Quarters No 2 to its former glory.  Details of the project are on their campaign page.  They have already raised $9, 692 and the campaign ends on Friday 6 October.  
Photo by Erika Shankley

All their rewards would make beautiful presents including their exclusive Lighthouses of Tasmania tea towel or you can simply make a donation.  You can support their campaign by pledging now at:
For more information on Friends of Tasman Island go to 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

New Member: Friends of Tasman Lighthouse

The World Lighthouse Society welcomes new member organization, the Friends of Tasman Lighthouse, Tasmania, Australia. We're looking forward to learning more about them in an upcoming post on this blog. For now, click on this link to view a video about the group:

NLM Sponsors Hudson River Lighthouse Boat Tour October 14, 2017

Hudson River Lighthouse Boat Tour presented by the National Lighthouse Museum, Saturday, October 14th, 2017 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm - (tides will determine the ending time).  Leaving from the NY Waterway Pier at the World Financial Center located on the Hudson River at Vesey St. and North End Ave.
Presenters will narrate the cruise as we view the Little Red Lighthouse at Jeffrey's Hook, Ambrose Lightship, Frying Pan Lightship, Lilac Light Tender and the Titanic Memorial Light. Presenters will also note significant New York City sites and relate historic tales. We'll learn about West Point, Stony Point and the Tarrytown Light while viewing the magnificent Palisades and fall foliage.
This trip takes place, rain or shine and leaves promptly at 1:00 pm.  Refreshments will be available on board, but feel free to bring your own snacks. Tickets are $60 Adults, $40 Children (under 10yrs.), $50 Military and Seniors (62+).
For info/Reservations

Friday, 18 August 2017

National Lighthouse Museum Boat Tour

East River through Hell Gate to Long Island Sound as far as Execution Rock Lighthouse

Saturday, September 16, 2017
11 am - 2 pm
Leaving from: World Financial Center Pier
                       Vesey St. and North End Ave.
                       On Hudson River
                       NY, NY 10048

Knowledgeable  presenters will be on board to share the history and little know facts of the historical Lighthouses and sights along the way.

Rain or Shine.

May bring own refreshments, only small coolers/ or light refreshments to be purchased on board.

Adults $60 Seniors $50 Children ( under 10) $40

For info/reservations : Lighthousemuseum .org
                                    Tel.# 718 390 0040

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Haulbowline Lighthouse

By Lee Maginnis

Haulbowline Lighthouse, built on a wave washed rock, midway between County Down (Northern Ireland) and County Louth (Republic of Ireland), had its tower specially illuminated to mark the centenary of a maritime disaster that happened only metres away.

An arrangement of floodlights was installed and connected to a battery pack which in turn was charged during daylight hours by a solar panel. The lighthouse was lit up on the inland facing side only.

In 1916, a collier called the SS Retriever was sailing into Newry from Garston when it collided with the passenger ferry SS Connemara outbound from Greenore.  Ninety-four people lost their lives that night. Only one person survived.

As these photos by Stephen Rooney illustrate, the lighthouse looked spectacular on a calm night with the reflection on the water.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Spring Ledge Point Lighthouse - Maine - U.S.A.

What a difference a year can make –
how hard work and good fortune can help preserve a lighthouse
By Brian Durham

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse - 2015
Owning a lighthouse is not easy. The lovely location in or near the ocean is also a very harsh environment. Wind, water, humidity and corrosion are ongoing threats that must be addressed.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse - 1897
Spring Point Ledge Light in South Portland Maine is a caisson-style light that went into service in May of 1897. A cast iron caisson was sunk to the bottom in 12 ½ feet of water and secured by four screw pilings into the rock. The caisson was filled with concrete and a cast iron and brick light structure erected on top.

Subsequently, granite rip rap was placed around the caisson to protect it from ice damage and in 1951 a breakwater was built connecting the light with the shore. The light structure remains on the bottom submerged in the water – neither the rip rap nor the breakwater keep the caisson dry.

Lighthouse in 1951 with new breakwater
In the 120 years since the light was built the seams between the caisson’s cast iron plates have deteriorated, allowing salt water to enter the structure. Some of the concrete has been damaged by salt water intrusion and the freeze/thaw cycle. Most of the cast iron plates are corroded and the reinforcing bands placed around the caisson in 1915 and 1929 have failed. Prior engineering surveys recommended removing some of the rocks around the caisson to allow a detailed structural analysis of the cast iron and concrete. This could cost up to $100,000 to find out how many more hundreds of thousands of dollars must be spent to fix things. Fortunately, the light is structurally sound for the moment and this project can be safely postponed while we conduct a major fund-raising effort.

Immediate concerns were water intrusion, corrosion and damage to the light above the water line. Rain and spray were leaking in and the water and high humidity were damaging the structure. This was caused by several factors:

When the Coast Guard automated the light in the 1960s they replaced all opening sash windows with glass blocks. The glass blocks are weather tight but cannot be opened for ventilation. Since the light is closed most of the time the internal humidity is quite high. Even when the light is open there are only two doors that can be used for ventilation – one at the bottom and one at the top. A dehumidifier failed to solve the problem.

From 1897 to 1934 kerosene was used for the light. Atop the lantern room roof was a ball vent to allow the heat and smoke from burning kerosene to escape. There were also vent holes on the sidewalls of the lantern room to allow combustion air to enter and allow regulating the flame. Over the years, the ball vent had corroded and the internal baffle that kept water out had rusted away, allowing rain and salt spray to leak in.

The lantern room windows had more than a hundred years of glazing repairs, very little of which was with modern materials. So, the windows were letting water in as well.

The result was that water leaked from the lantern room down into the assistant keepers’ quarters and was corroding the iron floor beams where they tie into the brick walls. We needed to stop the leaks, reduce the humidity level and fix the structural damage to the floors and walls. Thus was born the Weathertight Project, which we started in earnest in May of 2016.

Assistant Keeper's Quarters
While we were committing some of our maintenance reserve funds, we needed to seek grant monies to complete the project. We were fortunate to partner with Bill Bayreuther, CFRE, of Readfield, Maine, who helped us locate and apply for grants. With his assistance, we were successful in getting grants from the U.S. Lighthouse Society, New England Lighthouse Lovers, the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust and the Davis Family Foundation.

We were also fortunate to have locally a contractor with extensive lighthouse restoration experience – J. B. Leslie Co., Inc., of South Berwick, Maine. We worked closely with Jim Leslie to define the project and learn from his experience before accepting his bid proposal. He started work in the fall of 2016 and expects to be done by May, 2017 – just in time for the 120th anniversary of the first lighting of the lamp!

Jim Leslie is replacing and repairing the ball vent, re-glazing the lantern room windows, repairing/restoring the floor beam bearings, and repairing brick work. He will also be replacing all the glass block windows with sash windows that can be opened to improve ventilation and reduce humidity. Mr. Leslie advised us to install mahogany windows, even though they were going to be painted, because they will last far longer than pine. He also worked with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to get plans for the round port hole style windows to be installed in the assistant keepers’ quarters. The original plans for the light and early photographs show round windows but they were replaced with square glass block windows in the 1960s.

Much of the Project Weathertight work will be hidden. The repaired ball vent, window glazing, and masonry will look much as they always have. Other portions of the project, such as the replica windows, will be very visible and restore the lighthouse close to its original appearance. The generous support from our grantors is allowing us to repair damage, prevent further deterioration and restore the light to its proper historic appearance.

The Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland, Maine, is owned and operated by the Spring Point Ledge Light Trust, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization.

Assistant Keepers Quarter - Beams

Beams - Brickwork

Brickwork showing double wall

Ball vent ceiling panels

Ball vent opening with all panels removed

Lantern room with ball vent removed

Ball vent

Lantern room rusty base molding

Lantern room rusty floor

Lantern room rusty window sill

Lantern room vent

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dursey Island

By John Eagle

John Eagle
In 1994 when I was starting out on my adventure to photograph all the lighthouses of Ireland, Captain Mick Conneely flew me to the Bull Rock off the southwest corner of Ireland. After landing the helicopter to let out the lighthouse attendants, he flew me round the rock a few times, and then asked if I would like an aerial of the Calf as well. That I readily accepted! As we flew to the Calf I looked through the window and saw this amazing sight of Dursey Island looking like a giant bear’s paw. Alas, I only took two shots, one really good, the second not so good. I shot them on colour slide film, which I processed myself. But there was a problem with the dev [developing] tank. I heated it up too much, so the spiral, which holds roll film evenly spaced for chemicals to reach all the film, got stuck to the base. I had to empty the liquids out into a fresh tank and start over. That is why the Bull Rock pic has a green cast and the Dursey pic a couple of scratches.

Dursey Island, 1994
Local writer and historian Penny Durell wrote a book on Dursey and agreed to write the text for the back of the postcard I had printed of the Dursey shot. The Dursey postcard sold and sold, as many as 15,000 copies. Prints of the shot were high in demand, but there was always a problem with the scratches. In 1994 Photoshop was in its infancy, but even in later years, ironing out the marks proved difficult. I yearned to re-take the shot, but didn’t get my chance until June 2016 when I took my drone, Eagle Eye, to Dursey and flew it off the end. Some people have said it was a bit of a risk flying it off the end of the island, but if it is going to crash it is going to crash. In fact, I sent it up twice, having brought it back only to discover I was shooting at 400 asa. I changed it to 100 asa and sent it back out for new shots. I could have changed the asa in the air of course, but didn’t notice my error until I had brought it back. Of the new shots, I tend to like the angled view where you can see along the south coast side of the island.

Dursey Island, 2016

From a lighthouse point of view you can make out a small building on the right ‘paw’ of Dursey. This is the ruin of the old temporary lighthouse that was built after the Calf Rock lighthouse was destroyed in a storm in 1881. Trinity House had been advised not to build the lighthouse on the Calf Rock, that the Bull was the best location, but they wouldn’t listen to the locals. However, Trinity House had to heed to their advice after the Calf lighthouse was destroyed. The temporary lighthouse was built on Dursey while the Bull lighthouse was under construction.