Rattray Head

Notes and References

The lighthouse is fairly unique in the Commissioner's Service - it consists of a a tower standing upon a tower. The lower tower is formed of concrete faced with stone, is 15 m in diameter, 13 m in height and supports an upper tower of brickwork also 13 m in height.
The lower tower at high water is covered to a depth of 2 m but it is possible to walk ashore when the tide is out.

Climb thirty foot ladder to reach lower access door which was on receiver flat.

Lower base tower
Cooling water tank for diesel engines.
Three two cylinder(44hp.)diesels,one required to maintain pressure when blowing,small lister 240 volt. generator,primarily to charge starter-motor batteries,but also managed to give us electric lights,pump for pumping salt water to top up cooling water tank and water tank for toilet

On receiver flat,six Air Receivers,coding mechanism and main Air valve,toilet cubicle,shower cubicle and workshop bench.

Little tower.
Fresh water flat.water tank,and two paraffin fueled freezers and hand operated pump for fresh water to lounge tank,access to quarterdeck-roof of base tower.
Kitchen flat.gas cooker,paraffin fire,storage cupboards and table with built in seating,sink with two taps one from rainwater tanks,one from freshwater tank.
Lounge flat.gas fire,some shelves,some where to stand the television and three armchairs also contained in-use freshwater tank,water pumped from tank on freshwater flat as required.a job for the duty cook.
Bedroom flat.two bedrooms with three tier bunks,drawers under and a couple of small cupboards.
Lightroom.clockwork machinery,access to cleaning path and the lens,access to balcony where rain-water tanks were situated.

One of keepers Alfie Nicoll built a shower cubicle,never did get shower fitted but was ideal to take bucket of water and splash water around,best to use three buckets,one hot,one cold and one to mix them to get right temperature.

MF radio/transmitter for emergencies,test call to Peterhead coastguard on a sunday morning.
Telephone wires from top of tower to sand dunes,twice broke whilst I was on station,once when a lightning aeroplane did a low level pass,it didn't actually come that low it was the shockwave that it created.
Second time the wire was hit by lightning,I was standing on the bedroom landing when what appeared to a bright green ball flashed down the wall.Result one broken wire one burnt-out telephone.
It did get British Telecom out on the beach at 4 o'clock in the morning getting ready to work the low tide and get a new wire over.

1982 Automated
Sealed Beam array
Electric emmitter

NOTICE TO MARINERS (No 22 of 2001)
Latitude: 57 36. 648' N Datum:OSGB36
Longitude: 001 48'. 931'W Datum:OSGB36

Northern Lighthouse Board
Edinburgh, 24 August 2001

On or about 5 OCTOBER 2001 the Fog Signal service at the above lighthouse will be PERMANENTLY DISCONTINUED. The navigation light will continue to operate as advertised.

J B Taylor
Chief Executive

2012 LED Beacon replaces Sealed Beam array