Girdle Ness Lighthouse



10th.September 1973
Reported to Girdle Ness Lighthouse,a shore station so I was back to catering for myself.

A paraffin light but with parabolic reflectors (mirrors) instead of a lens,still clockwork drive to turn it.It would run for two hours thirty minutes between winds but was usually wound every hour,the wire cable was double wound on the drum and if run for more than one hour would not always wind back onto the drum evenly,so you would have to wait for some of the cable to run off,before rewinding,and again Kelvin twin cylinder diesel engines powering the fog horn,a Racon and a Radio Beacon with the morse code for GD.

Racon---RAdar beaCON
A Radar transponder triggered by the ships radar shows as a point on the radar screen giving distance and bearing followed by dots and dashes depicting the morse code for that particular racon's position.It is a small self-contained piece of equipment that periodically does a self-test and goes beep-beeeep if satisfactory.

Radio Beacon
Every six minutes would transmit the morse code for GD several times followed by a continuous tone,allowing the radio operator aboard ship to rotate his aerial and obtain a bearing from the lighthouse.

If you go to St.Abbs and see the height of the tower,I never did go on the dome,I thought that's high?
Since then I've been on the dome and spun the windvane at every other lighthouse that I've been to and at Girdle Ness I was painting the dome and waving at people taking an open top bus tour of Aberdeen which included a drive past the lighthouse.

How things change in a short period?

8th October back on my travels.

Girdleness 2006

Copyright--Evan Michael