Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Goodbye January!

There we go, first month of 2017 gone in the blink of an eye!  Tomorrow when I'm back at work I get to turn over on to the next page of my own calendar.  We get loads of free calendars at work from suppliers but none of them were what I wanted - too big, too small etc so I made my own with my own pictures, I chose 12 of my favourites, loaded them up into the Asda photo website and tah da...

January's picture is of Souter Lighthouse which was built in 1871.  I've visited a couple of times now and the view along the coastline is absolutely beautiful from the top and it's not a bad climb either...

The stretch of coast between the Tyne and the Tees has 43.8 shipwrecks per mile, confirming it as the most dangerous area around the British Isles and the rocks at Whitburn Steel were particularly dangerous, making a lighthouse essential.  Souter was revolutionary, being the world's first lighthouse to be purpose-built with electricity; due to technology it was decommissioned in 1988.

When the visibility dropped to less than 2 miles during daylight or the pier lights were not visible at night, the huge foghorn would sound (and wow, it's loud!) 

Home to the best coal in the whole of the North East, the area has links with author Lewis Carroll and the nephew of our local heroine Grace Darling was the lighthouse keeper for 24 years. 

I was lucky enough to be there on an open day and was up beside the huge lamp when it was switched on. The whole system looks brand new, it's so well kept and lovingly looked after by the National Trust volunteers. The lamp itself is sat in mercury and can be moved with one finger - I know as I've moved it!

The main lighthouse keepers cottage is kept as a museum and is a little a step back in time with furnishings from days gone by.  The other cottages at the Leas can be rented out - something I'd love to do during the long summer days.
The little garden is full of pretty flowers and attracts loads of birds and butterflies...

The perfect place to watch the sun go down with a g&t once all of the visitors have left for the day :)  roll on summer eh?!

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