Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Last Scottish lighthouse keeper dies

A Scottish ‘Last’, with news of the recent death of the last Scottish lighthouse keeper.

Angus Hutchison, MBE, was the last lighthouse keeper in Scotland, and when he left the last manned lighthouse on Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland) in 1998, his departure marked the end of a 200-year tradition.

Fair Isle was automated on 31 March, 1998.

Mr Hutchison was keeper there for 36 years. The last light to be automated, it is now controlled (as are some 200 lights around the Scottish coast) from Edinburgh, by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB). The light still operates on Fair Isle, and its character consists of 4 white flashes every 30 seconds. It can be seen from at least as far as Orkney, about 25 miles away. Fair Isle is also notable as being  the last to have its foghorn dismantled, in 2005, and all are now silent. So, this passing actually marks a number of Scottish ‘Lasts’.

Lighthouses were targets during World War II, despite being dark for the duration, they could still be activated for special purposes, such as providing navigation aids to convoys or aircraft:

The Fair Isle South lighthouse has endured some of Scotland’s fiercest weather and wartime bombing raids in its 100-year history. During an air attack in December 1941 the wife of an assistant keeper was killed and her baby daughter injured. Six weeks later the wife and daughter of the principal keeper were killed in a second attack.

Via Scotland’s last lighthouse keeper dies aged 75 – Heritage – Scotsman.com

See also Northern Lighthouse Board – Fair Isle South

Fair Isle south lighthouse

Fair Isle South Light by jejoenjeM via flickr by CC

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March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Maritime, Transport | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Nice article! Sad however

    Like

    Comment by Rucksack Foodie | March 21, 2013


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