From July 10 to 26, the U.S. Lighthouse Society is touring
Scotland and England, focusing on lighthouses, of course! Society Executive Director Jeff Gales has been sending daily updates of their travels.
[Click on the images to enlarge and read his captions.]
Tod Head Lighthouse, visited on July 8th on the way to Fraserburgh and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. Photo by Jeff Gales
Visited the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses on July 9th – http://lighthousemuseum.org.uk/ While there we toured the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, the first lighthouse built by the Northern Lighthouse Board
The museum features amazing lighthouse artifacts and lenses
Original reflector built by Thomas Smith – used at Kinnaird Head. Smith was the first lighthouse engineer in the Stevenson chain: http://www.bellrock.org.uk/stevensons/stevenson_smith.htm
The next day started with a trip to the Edinburgh headquarters of the Northern Lighthouse Board. We entered their “new” headquarters which they moved into in the 1800s.
In the entrance hall was the NLB emblem and a bust of lighthouse engineer Robert Stevenson, which used to be displayed at the famous Bell Rock Lighthouse, which he designed.
The group enjoyed a short presentation about Scottish lighthouses by NLB Chief Executive Mike Bullock.
On the way out, a few people from the group had their photo taken: left to right – Skip Sherwood (USLHS tour organizer), Elinor DeWire (USLHS Board of Directors), Ian Duff (former NLB Lighthouse Keeper and USLHS guest) and Mike Bullock (NLB Chief Executive).
After the group visited the Northern Lighthouse Board headquarters, we proceeded to the beautiful village of Anstruther. After walking around and lunch, we hopped onto a vessel which took us on a 1 hour journey to the Isle of May.
The Isle of May Lighthouse was built in 1816 by Stevenson: https://www.nlb.org.uk/LighthouseLibrary/Lighthouse/Isle-of-May/
Our group received permission to tour the lighthouse, and here is a small portion of us waiting patiently at the front door!
Ruins of the oldest lighthouse built in Scotland next to the Isle of May (or “Stevenson” Lighthouse), dating back to the 1600s which was lit using coal fire.
The island is now home to, in addition to the lighthouse, an important bird sanctuary. The former keeper’s residences (set low in a protected valley) are used for park staff, while the lighthouse itself has been meticulously restored by the Northern Lighthouse Board – and is now used for interpretation of lighthouse history.
Note this image of the spiral stair case – the entire lighthouse was exceptionally restored.
It was hard not to take a photo of a puffin – or many while on the Isle of May. There are over 40,000 nesting there now along with other sea birds – and timing was everything because all the babies are now just popping from their nests.
Submitted by Jeff Gales, U.S. Lighthouse Society Executive Director, July 10 & 11, 2017
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