Tour of South Foreland Lighthouse


Monday 21st Julv 2009

Report for Club


Some 17 members and partners enjoyed an excellent informative visit in beautiful weather, if a bit breezy! The N.T. volunteer staff were very welcoming and our tour guide was excellent, and funny too, as he led us through the salient historical significance of this important feature on the landscape and the ingenuity of the engineering over the centuries. 

The 'lighthouse' developed from the first recorded light in 1367 to its current form    after Trinity House took over and remodelled it in 1843. Some of its "firsts" are 

1.    December 1858       1st lighthouse to show an electric light (Faraday)
2. December 1858 1st two-way ship-to-shore radio messages using morse code (Marconi)
3. March 1899 1stInternational wireless transmission from Wimereux to South Foreland Lighthouse
4. March 1899 1st use of radio in an emergency to alert lifeboats
5. 1922 1st lighthouse to be powered by mains electricity.

 There was so much more including insights into the keepers' working day, family and religious life.

 Decommissioned in 1988, this, the tallest lighthouse in England and Wales when measured from sea level is well worth a visit, not least for the stunning views.

 An excellent meal at the Coastguard Public House at the foot of the cliffs completed a very enjoyable experience with very nice company too!

 Many thanks to John Becket for organising it all. Smashing!


Mike Bridgeford


Thursday 1st January 1970

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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