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

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.

The 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge

Coming This September - The 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge
by Karen Rosage, Chesapeake Chapter United States Lighthouse Society

Cove Point Lighthouse
Mark your calendars now for the 11th Anniversary of Maryland’s premier lighthouse event. The 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 16th and 17th, with an early bird date on Maryland’s Eastern shore of Friday, September 15th. The mandatory lights along this year’s Challenge route (in north to south order) will be Concord Point in Havre de Grace, Hooper Strait in St. Michaels, Choptank River Lighthouse Replica in Cambridge, Cove and Drum Points in Solomons, Point Lookout At Point Lookout State Park, Piney Point in the village of Piney Point and Fort Washington Light in Fort Washington Park. Visit any number of these attractions during the official Challenge hours of 8:00 am-6:00 pm (either day), and receive a complimentary souvenir at each. Visit them all over the course of the two days allotted and receive a special souvenir proclaiming that “You’ve Seen the Lights!” The lighthouses can be visited in any order and you can complete your Challenge adventure and receive your completion souvenir at any of these locations.

Bonus Light - Millers Island Lighthouse
The Bonus Lights along the Challenge route include Blackistone Replica on St. Clements Island
(Maryland’s Birthplace), Millers Island Lighthouse, viewable from the Dock of the Bay Restaurant in Sparrows Point, and Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse, visible from one of the state’s most popular state parks.

Captain Dave Schauber of Sawyer Charters will again be offering a Bonus Cruise, to see some of the Bay’s more elusive lighthouses. The all-day excursion will be offered Thursday, September 14th, Friday September 15th, and Monday September 18th. The price is $125.00 per person and includes a stop for lunch on Smith Island where you will have the chance to partake in some legendary Maryland seafood and the official dessert of the state – a delectable slice of Smith Island Cake.

Please note that the cruise and/or visiting the Bonus attractions does not count toward event completion, but will earn Challengers extra souvenirs and bragging rights! All attractions along the route whether mandatory or bonus are well worth the visit, so plan to include as many into your Challenge itinerary as you are able.

Cruise Light - Hooper Island Lighthouse
The Challenge Rack Card is available to download at Use it to begin to chart your course. Detailed driving directions and instructions will be posted on the Chesapeake Chapter website in the very near future, where you will find the latest updates. No other event in Maryland’s history gives lighthouse enthusiasts the opportunity to explore so many of the state’s lighthouses. Perched at some of the most beautiful locations, we are proud to have every architectural style of Maryland lighthouse represented. It is the one time the lighthouses are all open simultaneously, wherever possible. There is so much to discover along the Challenge route, you will be enlightened in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

Fifteen years ago, as a new Chesapeake Chapter Board Member, I was asked to chair the inaugural run of the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.  I did a little research, met with some folks who were involved in the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge, the event we were fashioning our event after, and decided to give it a go.  In all but the Challenge’s second year, when coordination was more of a group effort, I chaired the event. This culminated in my being given a Chapter moniker, the Challenge Contessa, a name I wear proudly.  As coordinator of the event I am often asked what I enjoy most about the Challenge and what has been the most worthwhile aspect of the event to me, personally.  My reply is always the same.  I love that we are showcasing the Chesapeake’s distinct and varied “styles” of lighthouses. Who after all, doesn’t love a lighthouse?   People admire their architectural and aesthetic appeal.  The lighthouses sit at some of the state’s prettiest waterside locations and they are so photogenic. Pictures taken with them really are pretty as postcards! But what I love most is that, concomitantly, the Challenge gives people an opportunity to learn about the lighthouses’ historical significance and the stories of the brave men and women who faithfully kept watch over them. It is said that there is something romantic, almost mysterious, about the structures themselves and often the unsung heroes, the men and women of the Lighthouse Service and U.S. Coast Guard who worked diligently, often under tough and lonely circumstances to keep the lights lit. It was a hard-earned badge of honor.

Drum Point Lighthouse
There have been times throughout history when Keepers have truly been called into action. This year we are delighted to showcase one such keeper during the Challenge. Descendants of one of the most famous of all Maryland Keepers, Thomas J. Steinhise, will join us at Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse. Keeper Steinhise served at this lighthouse for 10 1/2 years of his “illuminating” career, from 1930 to 1941. During his time there, he is credited with what is regarded as the most miraculous save by a keeper in Maryland waters. For his truly heroic efforts in saving five crewmen from a foundering tugboat during a nor’easter that hit the state in 1933, he was awarded the Commerce Department's Silver Life Saving Medal.

Chesapeake Lightship
I would like to take the opportunity here to thank Maryland’s lighthouse organizations and our sponsors through which this event is made possible. Together, we are able to shine the light on such an important aspect of the state’s maritime history, and share it with lighthouse enthusiasts from near and far.

The Challenge is one weekend occurring every two years the Chesapeake Chapter sets aside to celebrate Maryland’s Bay area beacons. Don’t miss out on the fun; don’t miss out on the adventure. There is so much to see, so much to enjoy, and so much to learn!

The Maryland Lighthouse Challenge – Making Maryland Memories…one lighthouse at a time!

Note: All photos by Donna Suchomelly

Dutch Lighthouse Society Tours English South Coast

By Wim Andriesse
Dutch Lighthouse Society

From 18 through 21 May 2017, the Dutch Lighthouse Society visited some of the lighthouses on the English south coast, in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, in order to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Fifty men and women strong, we went by bus, crossing the Channel by ferry from Calais to Dover. We stayed three nights at the Hadleigh Hotel in Eastbourne.

South Foreland Lighthouse
South Foreland
Having landed at Dover, we started our endeavour by walking the beautiful coastal footpath above the White Cliffs to the South Foreland Lighthouse. Here, we were warmly received by members of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, our English sister organisation, who knowledgably informed us on the history, architecture and technical aspects of this lighthouse. It was designed by James Walker and completed in 1843, measuring 21m on top of cliffs that rise some 100m up from the sea. Reportedly it was the world’s first to be electrified, in 1859. South Foreland’s main purpose was to safeguard ships from running aground on the Goodwin Sands which stretch some 16 miles below the coastal cliffs. In one of the lighthouse keepers’ houses, Mrs Knotts, a descendent of the famed Knotts generation of lighthouse keepers, runs her tearoom with tasty home-made cakes. South Foreland is owned and maintained by the National Trust.

Hurst Castle and Hurst Point Lighthouse
Hurst Castle
On Friday 19 May, we drove through the New Forest and picturesque Lymington to Keyhaven to board the Solent Rose which brought us to Hurst Castle and Hurst Point Lighthouse. Again, we were enthusiastically welcomed by members/volunteers of the ALK, including current chairman Neil Hargreaves. We were treated to ‘personalised tours’ of the castle, and to an outstanding lunch of sandwiches and cakes in the Garrison Theatre in the castle grounds. The museum, which opened in 2009, with a second room being added in 2013, has a rich collection of models, lamps, plans and curiosa making a visit worthwhile. Hurst Castle was established in 1544 by King Henry VIII, to guard the western entrance to the harbours of Southampton and Portsmouth, the latter including the home base of the Royal Navy. Within the castle there are two low lights, from 1866 and 1911 respectively, which used to line up with the main high light, located outside the castle. As the Shingles Bank in the Solent kept shifting, the latter of the two low lights was built as a moveable steel construction. This, however, has never been put into practice. The metal tower, originally painted bright red, is now painted dull grey so as not to mislead seafarers’ eyes. The light, which is now owned by English Heritage, was discontinued in 1997. The older, brick low light is also the property of English Heritage, as is Hurst Castle itself.

The DLS/ALK group photo in Hurst Castle
Hurst Point Lighthouse
To us, Hurst Point Lighthouse was a photographic beauty, lying as it did under a superb blue and white cloudy sky. The white and green painted brick lighthouse dates from 1867, replacing an older high light from 1812. It stands at 26m, with a light character of Fl (4) WR 15s. The service floor below the main light supports a red, green and white sector light driven by a high-intensity projector. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but we all enjoyed seeing the old acetylene plant next to the lighthouse with its four impressive tanks, which provided gas to burn the light from 1922 to 1965.  Hurst Point Lighthouse is owned and managed by Trinity House.
St. Catherine’s Lighthouse
St Catherine’s Lighthouse
On our ‘Isle of Wight Day’ we were pleasantly surprised again to be so well-received by ALK colleagues. This time it was at St. Catherine’s Lighthouse near Niton Undercliffe. St. Catherine’s was designed by James Walker ─ whom we know from South Foreland ─ in 1838. The original lighthouse was built as a single 40m high stone tower. However, as its light was often obscured by orographic cloud, hence the height of the tower was reduced by 13m in 1875. The lighthouse consists of a bright white and green crenelated tower and is part of a small compound with a number of
The plum bob inside St. Catherine’s Lighthouse
light-keepers houses and offices. Some of these are rented out to the public; great for lighthouse buffs like us. The light character of St. Catherine’s is
Fl W 5s. The lighthouse is being threatened by subsidence, steadily pushing the structure seaward.  As an initial remedy, in 1932, another tower was built immediately alongside, and leant against, the main tower. This, however, was to little avail as evidenced by a plumb line hanging in the lighthouse (see photo).  St Catherine’s was constructed when it appeared that an earlier light ─ St. Catherine’s Oratory ─ positioned to the west and higher uphill, was too often hidden in orographic cloud. Unfortunately, our full travel schedule did not allow us to walk up to this so-called Pepperpot.

The Needles Lighthouse
The Needles
A little disappointment awaited our group at the Needles as it appeared a wedding party had hired the small boat that normally takes visitors from Alum Bay coloured sands out to sea to circle the Needles and its iconic lighthouse. Therefore we had to revert to walking the cliffs and view the Needles from above, at the Old Battery. A spectacular sight indeed, particularly since a Naval helicopter was busy flying up and down the tower. The helipad on top of the lighthouse was constructed in 1987. The Needles Lighthouse, 31m high, stands at the end of a series of limestone teeth rising from the ocean waters. It was constructed from granite in 1858. The light is at 24m above MHW, and its character is Oc (2) WRG 20s.  The original light used paraffin oil which, in 1946, was replaced by electricity from two diesel generators on the ground floor. Since 1994 the lighthouse has been connected to the national grid.  Like South Foreland and St. Catherine’s, the Needles was designed by James Walker.  It is being operated by Trinity House.

Beachy Head Lighthouse
Beachy Head and Belle Tout Lighthouses
Beachy Head at sunset: boy, were we lucky! From the limestone cliffs, high above the sea, we were offered a marvellous view of the small, red and white lighthouse ─ 33m high, light at 31m, some 162m down from the South Downs. The tower stands some 165m seawards from the base of the cliffs beneath us. Beachy Head, designed by Sir Thomas Matthews, is from 1902, and built of granite and concrete. We learned that a cableway was constructed to transport materials from the cliffs down to the lighthouse base, including over 3660 tons of Cornish granite. The original light was a Matthews-designed incandescent oil burner. In 1920 it was electrified using diesel generators and in 1975 the tower was connected to the mains. The light character is Fl (2) 20s. For 80 years Beachy Head was manned by three lighthouse keepers, until in 1983 when the light was automated.

Belle Tout Lighthouse
Some 500m west of the Beachy Head viewpoint we saw Belle Tout Lighthouse, its predecessor, high on the South Downs. As a matter of fact, this location, some 150m above HSL, was too high for the light to be of use during the frequently occurring orographic cloud in the area. Therefore, Belle Tout, having been built in 1834, was decommissioned by Trinity House in 1902. Moreover, steady erosion of the cliffs undermined this national heritage monument and, in 1999, it was moved some 15m inland in its entirety. Belle Tout, a popular location in many films e.g. James Bond’s “The Living Daylights” and TV series, now houses a Bed & Breakfast facility. The stone tower is 14m high.

The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness
The Dungeness Lighthouses
On Sunday morning, having enjoyed our last English Breakfast of this trip, we embarked on a sunny ride through Sussex and Kent (Hastings, Rye and Romney Marsh) to the rather desolate surroundings of Dungeness. Here, amidst a landscape of gravelly shingle ridges, the Old Dungeness Lighthouse stood stark black and 46m high, against an immaculate blue sky. This Old Lighthouse is from 1904. In fact it is the fourth lighthouse at this location, the first light having been erected in 1615. Renewals were necessary because of the ever-expanding shingle ridge coastline. Lighthouse keepers’ premises are in the form of a roundhouse next to the Old Dungeness tower. 

The Sector light inside the Old Lighthouse

They were constructed in 1792 along with the third Dungeness Lighthouse (1792-1904). Inside the tower is a nice souvenir shop that, with this Sunday’s 50 extra visitors, quickly ran out of miniature Dungeness Lighthouses. On the third floor a set of beautiful sector lights is being displayed (see photo). The Dungeness Lighthouse is now privately owned, and open to the public.

The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness
The new Lighthouse at Dungeness

Due to the construction of a nuclear power station nearby, the Old Dungeness Lighthouse had to be abandoned in 1961. A new lighthouse was then opened some 500m eastward on the headland. This round black and white lighthouse stands 40m tall and has a character of Fl 10s. The new tower was constructed of precast concrete rings, each 1.5m high, fitted one above the other. The black and white bands were impregnated upon pouring the concrete. A fog signal that originally was installed directly beneath the lights at 38m was replaced in 2000 by a set of amplifiers on the lower floor. The new lighthouse was automated in 1991. The tower is floodlit at night, to enhance visibility for mariners in the Channel and for migrating birds. The new lighthouse is operated by Trinity House and not open to the public.

As an add-on, the Dutch lighthouse enthusiasts all enjoyed watching the Southern Maid, a narrow-gauged passenger steam train from 1927, plying its touristic trade along the 20km track between Hythe and Dungeness.

What did we learn?
In addition to the new lighthouses that we now can add to our bucket lists, members of the Dutch Lighthouse Society have learned with much interest about the way lighthouses in the UK are being maintained and operated by Trinity House, a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, with a statutory duty as the General Lighthouse Authority to deliver navigation services. Through port levies, Trinity House is being paid for by ships calling in at British ports.

Next, we observed that private initiatives abound in the UK to maintain lighthouses that have been disposed of by Trinity House. Both English Heritage and the National Trust are active in preserving lighthouses and keeping them open to the public. Moreover, a number of private persons and foundations are devoting financial and manpower resources to the upkeep of lighthouses, lightships and other aids to navigation. Renting out former lighthouse keepers’ premises appears to be successful.

Also, we are charmed by the Lighthouse Passport that, as we noticed, is being issued by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers. Passport holders may get it stamped upon visiting lighthouses and in that way, it serves to keep interest in lighthouses alive, not in the least among children and youth.

Lastly, we would like to thank all ALK members and other volunteers that led us around ‘their’ lighthouses, entertainingly providing us with invaluable insights and information. We are also indebted to the World Lighthouse Society to include this report in its Newsletter. 

Book Reviews

A History of Floating Aids to Navigation by Adrian Wilkins
Reviewed by Gerry Douglas-Sherwood

The title says it all. This is the story of the unsung heroes of the sea: ever present, always dutiful, seldom neglected, yet about which the average person has little knowledge or regard. Global seas and waterways are full of them, each performing their allotted task unquestioningly by day and by night, come wind, rain and high water. This evident gap in published information encompassing all classes of floating aids to navigation was spotted by the one man most suited to address that shortfall.

In 2002 an autobiographical account of Trinity House’s recently retired Principal Mechanical Engineer, Adrian Wilkins, appeared in that years’ Trinity House Newsletter. During Adrian’s twenty-seven-year career he witnessed at first-hand the many far-reaching changes to international buoyage and other floating aids prompted by the meteoric progress of new technology. In setting out his notes the kernel of a book was created.

To best gauge the breadth of the material included, one can do no better than to quote directly from Adrian’s own Conclusion that appears on page 65:

“Buoys have provided a visual to navigation for at least 700 years. They have marked dangers or the edge of fairways, where it is not practical to construct a fixed structure or where the danger, such as a sandbank, may move. While the first buoys simply provided a daymark, their function eventually developed as a platform to carry fog signals, lights and latterly various radio aids.

The first lightvessels, while being larger than buoys and providing better daymarks, were primarily conceived to be able to carry lights, thus required people living on the vessel to maintain them.

The construction of buoys and lightvessels followed boat and ship building practices progressing from wood to iron and then steel.

Modern paint systems will allow steels buoys to stay on station for at least five or six years and there are many examples of steel buoys that are over fifty years old and the majority of surviving lightvessels will be of this age. There are even a few examples of iron buoys that have been regularly overhauled during their working life and have been found to be over 100 years old.

The majority of new buoys are now made from some form of moulded plastic with a steel structure core and possibly an aluminium structure, rather than the riveted iron structure of 100 years ago.

In the past 300 years mooring methods have changed surprisingly little. We still generally use steel chains connected to simple sinkers that have been made from concrete or cast iron. Some mooring designs have been developed to reduce the swinging circle of the moored buoy and others for fast tidal conditions. Tensioned moorings may be used in environmentally sensitive areas to prevent the moorings damaging the sea bed and modern synthetic rope may be used for very deep water moorings where the buoy would be unable to support the weight of a chain mooring. Rubber chord has been successfully deployed where there is a sufficient tidal range and positional accuracy is still required. The quality and reliability of these moorings has achieved a greater importance as the on station life of buoys has increased.

Maintenance must be carried out on a regular, or less frequent, basis; cleaning is still required to remove salt deposits and bird fouling from the daymark, solar panels, lantern, racon and A/S equipment. Marine growth has to be removed from the buoy body and this becomes a more difficult problem as the time between servicing visits to the buoy increases.

The need to provide lights on buoys saw eminent scientists and engineers develop lighting systems at the cutting edge of technology in oil lamps, gas lights and then electric lighting. In more recent times solar power systems and low-powered aids to navigation technology have enabled longer range lights, racons and A/S to be carried on buoys operating in temperate latitudes and simplified the modernisation of the few remaining lightvessels.

It will be interesting to see which material achieves dominance in the construction of buoys and what part buoys and lightvessels eventually play as an aid to navigation by the end of this century.”

Adrian was to go on to complete nearly forty years in his profession. His book was published and marketed solely through IALA in 2014 (see the IALA website) which is a great pity and a major drawback as such an important and authoritative work demands the widest access.

Sadly, Adrian passed away recently. His widow, Jeanne, though, clearly recognised the potential of the book’s wider appeal and is now actively engaged in its world-wide promotion.

A History of Floating Aids to Navigation by Adrian H Wilkins. Published by IALA/AISM Paperback, illustrated, A4, 84pp.  ISBN 978-2-910312-01-5 RRP €18

Note: This article was previously published in Issue 112 of the Association of Light Keeper's Lamp.

Scottish Lighthouse Pioneers – Travels with the Stevensons in Orkney and Shetland by Paul A. Lynn
Reviewed by Gerry Douglas-Sherwood

Uh - oh, I thought, as I slit open the brown box from Whittles Publishing and spotted the mention of “Stevensons” included on the dust sleeve of the book within. Another book on the Stevensons? It seems like only a short while ago we were gasping with wonder at Alison  Morrison-Low’s exhaustive and deeply erudite work “Northern Lights” (2010), preceded by that evergreen “must have” volume by Bella Bathurst “The Lighthouse Stevensons” (1999) : essential reading for all pharologists and still to be found at better car boot sales and charity shops, witnessed by the fact I was offered a free copy only the other day; and most recently  “Scottish Lighthouses” by Michael A. W. Strachan (2016).

So why re-tread old and well established paths, especially when the undoubted eminence of such a famous and talented family as the Stevensons has been proved beyond doubt time and time again? I tend to think the question has already partly been answered: time rolls on unnervingly; books are read once with enthusiasm then parked away on a dusty shelf; publishing methods change; interests need freshening for each new generation of reader. Even maritime aids to navigation are in a constant state of evolution. Whatever would the Stevensons make of lighthouse automation; and the concept of flight where routine lighthouse access can be accomplished in minutes rather than hours, or even days? Paul Lynn has simply brought things up to date.

The  gist of this book is neatly summed up by its title and first chapter “From John o’ Groats to Muckle Flugga”, delineating the lighthouses of Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland, plus a run-down of the most famous and notorious lights to be erected on the Northern Isles. So much information could well have blossomed into yet another unwieldly, hefty tome, only readable when supported on the most substantial kitchen table. But no, Paul has avoided such Sirenic lures by maintaining a course encompassed by the remarkable eye-witness accounts so carefully noted (how lucky for us!) by those two great men of letters, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Liberally supported by familiar and newly published illustrations, together with a set of clear, useful maps and drawings, the reader soon embarks on this glorious, strongly empathetic adventure. To maintain some sense of proportion with regard to the fearfully complicated Stevenson family, each chapter deals with different aspects of their lives, their history and the socio-political pressures of the late 18th and 19th centuries they had to overcome. This is not just about re-tracing the Stevenson voyages, it is also a keenly observed guide to one of the most dramatic, rough-hewn areas of the British Isles that, beautifully packaged by Whittles, will appeal to historians, armchair naturalists and holiday makers alike.

Scottish Lighthouse Pioneers: Travels With the Stevensons
Whittles Publishing 2017

ISBN 978 1 84995 265 1

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

National Lighthouse Museum of Korea

By Jaedong Jang

Lighthouses have greatly contributed to maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment in Korea since the moment that the first modern lighthouse was built at Palmi-do Island in Incheon in June 1903, in the period of the Korean Empire (1897-1910).

However, as historic lighthouses and related equipment have been disappearing due to the industrial modernization and technical development, the National Lighthouse Museum was opened, which is located nearby Homigot Lighthouse designated as Gyeongsangbuk-do Regional Monument NO.39 (lit on Dec, 1908), to preserve these important assets and exhibit them as a lighthouse heritage for future generations.

The National Lighthouse Museum has about 1 million visitors every year, and the Museum utilizes its spaces for the study and preservation of the historical records and exhibits.

In addition, it has a role as a cultural complex to offer maritime experiences and educations satisfying visitor′s various demands. It has three main permanent exhibition halls (Heritage Hall, Lighthouse History Hall and Experience Hall) and four Annexes, Theme Park and Outdoor Exhibition Field. It possesses 3,913 maritime items, 416 of which are on display.

1. History of the Museum

The History of Aids to Navigation in Korea

From old days, torch, signal fires, and gongs were used as Aids to Navigation for ships’ safe sailing to their destinations. In late 1800's, as the sailing became more frequent due to the advance of the western ships to the east and the opening of Busan, Incheon and Wonsan ports, our country also realized the need to install the systematic Aids to Navigation.

In 1894, Gongmuamun Dungchoonguk (Communication Department) began to take charge of and made a master plan for the investigation of locations for lighthouses’ construction and established Haekwan Dungdaeguki (Maritime Lighthouse Center) on March, 1902. From May of the same year, they started to build Palmi-do, Sowolmi-do lighthouse and Bukjangjaseo, Baekam dungpyo at the entrance of the Incheon port.

The History of National Lighthouse Museum

Aids to Navigation played a great role in the industrialization of Korea. But old facilities and equipment related to it have been disappearing gradually in accordance with the change of the time. Considering this, we opened the nation-only lighthouse museum to preserve all the artifacts and inform the importance of Aids to Navigation to the public by instilling love of the ocean. The museum was opened on 7 February 1985 at Homigot where Homigot Lighthouse (Gyeongangbuk-do Monument, No.39), having high historic value, is located.

The History of the Museum

1985. 02.07.
Opened the Janggigap Lighthouse Museum
(Gyeongsangbuk-do Youngil-gun)
1986. 04.18.
Designated as the Class 2 Museum
(Ministry of Culture and Public Information No. 13.)
1993. 03.25
Registered as the Class 1 Museum
(Ministry of Culture and Tourism No.42.)
1995. 07.01.
Transferred the management of Museum
(Pohang-Si to Pohang Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office)
1995. 10.25.
Re-named to the Janggigot Lighthouse Museum
1996 - 2001. 08.24.
Finished the extension of the Museum
2002. 04.19.
Re-opened as the National Lighthouse Museum
2005. 01.01.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Pohang Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2011. 01.01.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2011. 12.24.
Re-modeled the display facilities in the Heritage Hall
2013. 03.23.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2013. 08.23.
Constructed the Experience Hall
2016. 03.02.
Inaugurated the fifth Director JANG, Jae-dong for the National Lighthouse Museum
2016. 07.07.
Re-modeled the display facilities in the Lighthouse History Hall

2. Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall consists of three main sections, Navigational Aids Relics displays historically valuable Fresnel Lenses, Lamps and Aids to Navigation items with no further use today, Lighthouse Archives exhibits documents and references such as books, drawings, nameplates etc, Lighthouse Keeper′s Life shows the past, present and future of the Lighthouse Keeper’s daily life through a uniform, virtual reality diorama, lighthouse diaries, photos and items necessary for daily life.

3. History Hall

Beginning of Voyage explains how people opened up waterways and developed civilization from ancient times to the age of exploration by panel, Lighthouse History explains the evolution process of lighthouse engineering and changes to the system for Aids to Navigation both in Korea and around the world and Lighthouse Architecture shows structural features and the beauty of lighthouses through interactive multimedia, panels and lighthouse miniatures in three dimensions. Additionally, its second floor has a gallery where visitors can take a rest and enjoy the open sea view.

4. Experience Hall

An Analog Experience Section (1st Floor) and a Digital Experience Section (2nd Floor) help visitors to understand the concept of Aids to Navigation and the Scientific Principles applied into diverse miniatures and IT devices.

5. Outdoor Exhibition Field & Theme Park
Various kinds of Aids to Navigation facilities such as famous lighthouse miniatures, lantern rooms, buoys, antennas for the radio beacon and the IALA symbolic statue are put on display coordinately with East Sea.

6. Tour Information
Closed only
Every Monday, The Lunar New Year's Day, The Korean Thanksgiving Day.
Admission Fee
20, Haemaji-ro 150 bean-gil, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si,
Gyeongsangbuk-do, 37928, Republic of Korea
+82- 54-284-4857/ +82-54-284-4859

Note. Please contact us if you visit with this newsletter, which will entitle you to various benefits such as a free guide, souvenirs and a stay at our quarters according to your advance reservation. Send us a message if you are interested.

The location of the Museum: