Tuesday, 6 September 2011

There is a light that never goes out

Tonight the Science Festival includes a talk titled Around Scotland's Lighthouses by Virginia Mayes-Wright, Director of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. Orkney has many fine lighthouses which we're sure will feature.

This very lovely photograph of Hoy High Lighthouse was taken by Wilfred Marr. Don't be fooled by the name, it's not on Hoy but on the island of Graemsay. Together with its neighbour Hoy Low Lighthouse, also on Graemsay, they act as "leading" lights; when a ship entering Hoy Sound lines up the two lights they are on the correct bearing to stay in deep water. The two lights were designed by Alan Stevenson and were lit up for the first time in April 1851.

Hoy High lighthouse is the grander looking structure of the two lights on Graemsay. Its tall white tower, rising to 108 feet (32.9 metres) is still a much-loved landmark for travellers to and from Orkney. Hoy Low was automated in 1966 and Hoy High in 1978.

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