Both of the lighthouses featured in this episode are celebrating their 150th anniversaries in 2021.
Souter Lighthouse is on the northeast coast of England, in South Shields, Tyne and Wear. A lighthouse was much needed here because of dangerous reefs offshore. When the light went into operation on January 11, 1871, it was one of the first lighthouses in the world to be built specifically to operate using AC electric current. The 77-foot-tall brick lighthouse was designed by James Douglass for Trinity House.
Souter Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1988. Today the light station property is owned by the National Trust, an organization that promotes heritage conservation in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The lighthouse was opened to the public in 1990, and two former keepers’ cottages offer overnight accommodations for the general public. Kate Devlin, interviewed in this episode, is the National Trust’s collections and house officer at Souter Lighthouse.
The Friends have completed extensive restoration of the exterior and interior of the lighthouse in the past 15 years. They have a variety of events planned this year for the light station’s 150th anniversary, and volunteer Judianne Point discusses the group’s plans in this episode.
The co-host of this episode with Jeremy D’Entremont is Jeff Gales, executive director of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org