Light Hearted

Light Hearted 170 – English lighthouse keeper and artist Barry Hawkins

Barry Hawkins worked as a lighthouse keeper for England’s Trinity House from 1978 to 1996. His assignments included some of the most remote and rugged light stations in the UK. He took advantage of his spare time at the lighthouses painting pictures of seascapes, wildlife, and other subjects. His first 18 months of service were spent as a supernumerary keeper at various lighthouses on the west coast of England. For each of these temporary jobs Barry would load up his painting equipment, jump on his trusty motorcycle, and set off from his home to the lighthouse in question.

Self Portrait of Barry Hawkins at St. Annes Head Lighthouse (Oil on Card)
Pen and ink drawing of Wolf Rock Lighthouse by Barry Hawkins

The first station he was sent to was Strumble Head Lighthouse in Wales, where he arrived in a howling gale. He was later posted permanently to the notorious Wolf Rock Lighthouse, located eight miles southwest of Lands End in Cornwall, then to the Skerries Light off the northwestern tip of Wales. Barry spent a brief time at Europa Point Lighthouse in Gibraltar. His final posting was at St. Anne’s Head Lighthouse off the entrance to Milford Haven Sound.

“Clouds at Cape Byron, NSW” (Australia), watercolor by Barry Hawkins.

Over the years, Barry has created a variety of watercolors, as well as pen and ink and pencil drawings. His many awards include two first prizes from the Marine Society of London. He has exhibited and sold work across the UK including at Trinity House, the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries, King Georges Fund for Sailors Exhibitions, the General Trading Company, and Libertys of London. Barry is also a member of the Clifton Arts Club, and he continues to paint and illustrate from his home in Bristol where he lives with his wife and family.

You can see some of Barry Hawkins’ artwork on his website at

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