Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bardsey Lighthouse Optic

For over a hundred years Bardsey Lighthouse has projected a beam of white light 22 miles out to sea; warning ships and in bad weather attracting birds. On one night alone 40,000 birds are said to have landed on the island and each year many die when they crash into the lighthouse.

Andy Godber, Llŷn Operations Manager for the 
National Trust, and the pilot with the 
lens of the optic protruding from the case
But not any more. The old optic has been decommissioned, lowered down the side of the lighthouse and flown to the mainland where it will take on a new life as the centrepiece in the National Trusts’s new visitor centre, Porth y Swnt, ‘Gateway to the Sound’.

The new light on Bardsey will be an intermittent red which will play less havoc on the navigational systems of birds.

The optic weighs a massive 2 tonnes and all 31 sections of it will be reinstalled by a Trinity House engineer, without the float of mercury, in early June.

Today (20th May 2014) is the 500th anniversary of Trinity House being established. The first official record is the grant of a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1514 to a fraternity of mariners called the Guild of the Holy Trinity ... "so that they might regulate the pilotage of ships in the King's streams".

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