Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Tony Beddard

Lighthouse Stories

Pages: 132 Ratings:
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Lighthouses remain a fascination to most people. The light beam still flashes a warning to all shipping and acts as a guide to safe harbour in rough weather, but unfortunately the lighthouse keepers are now a thing of the past. Modern technology has meant that satellite navigation where signals can be bounced off satellites to turn engines on and off and fog signals can be operated from ashore without the trusty keepers. The lights still twinkle and backup systems ensure ships still have guidance to safety. No keepers, alas: they have all been made redundant. The way of life of the lighthouse keeper is now well past.
The reader of my stories should gain an insight into what being a keeper was all about. The working details provide a fair look at what makes a lighthouse function. The short stories cover a wide variety of different locations including the Channel Islands. Characters within the service are as varied as the lighthouse but there is always a story to tell given the nature of the work and the importance of safety at sea for shipping. As always, it’s the sea that is the master in everything that happens but humour keeps rearing its head to remind us of the simple things in life; it constantly raises a smile.
Although lighthouses are now unmanned, the public is still curious about their history and what a keeper's life was all about. This book and its stories perhaps can give an insight into a time when keepers were essential to safe passage.

Tony left secondary modern school at 16 and started working in the local F W Woolworth store where he met and subsequently married his wife. Promotion within this organisation had the family moving to different locations, and he eventually ended up at St Ives with his own store management. His four children grew up and attended grammar school, and he was immensely proud of their achievements. When he was asked to move again, it was an easy decision to make, and having settled happily, he left Woolworth and joined Trinity House. The best move he ever made as he really enjoyed the life, and a month on duty and a month at home was sheer bliss. When redundancy happened through the automation of Lighthouses, Tony was devastated but he picked himself up and joined Torbay Hospital as a technician in the sterilisation department, autoclaving surgical instruments. This took him up to retirement age at 65, and he has enjoyed his retirement immensely. Green bowling now occupies most of his time. He still misses the excitement of lighthouses, but that time is now well past.

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