27 November 2009

Laura Day - The Editor of 'What's Happening' magazine took a climb to the top of the Kingston Buci Lighthouse to meet Shoreham Port's Senior Electrician, 'the man that keeps the light shining'.

The 163 year-old Lighthouse, which was gas powered from the 1880s until as recently as the 1950s, has been brought into the 21st Century with highly efficient modern day electrical equipment.

Gary explained that back in the time when the Lighthouse was gas powered it involved the keeper climbing 54 stairs each evening on long cold winter nights, then winding a 28lb weight up the full height of the tower. The light needed to rotate and was powered in the same way as a long case clock! From the 50's, the lantern became fixed and electricity was installed in place. The Lighthouse light flashes its signature sequence of 1 second flash every ten seconds identyfying itself as far out as 15 miles away.

The Lighthouse comes under the remit of Shoreham Port and still continues to have a valid role to play in shipping. Tony Parker - Port Engineer explained "Although every large ship has radar these days and we have pilots that go out to ships that don't know the Port, the Lighthouse acts as a 'lead in mark' to guide ships in and is essential for smaller vessels that don't have radar".

To read the full article, please see December's edition of the 'What's Happening' magazine.

26th November 2009