Books by Glenda Young - click on the picture below to find out more

Friday, February 19, 2016

A visit inside Roker Lighthouse

Exterior of the lighthouse
As a volunteer with the Roker Pier Heritage Group, I was one of a small group allowed inside the lighthouse at the end of Roker Pier today.  It's the first time I've ever been inside this Sunderland landmark.  The lighthouse will be open to the public later this year. 

To get to the lighthouse at the end of the pier, visitors will be able to walk along the tunnel that runs underneath the pier.  This rules me out as I have a fear of confined spaces.  Fear is a word you may hear a lot in this blog post, so bear with.

The other way you can get to the lighthouse is by walking along the pier itself.  This I can do, no fear. I cycle along its length regularly and recently spotted a seal swimming alongside the pier.

Inside the renovated lighthouse (as recently featured on BBC Countryfile) there is space for small groups of visitors, lead by a tour guide.

Stairs from ground floor to first floor
There are various floors to visit, each one narrower than the last as the winding staircase takes you to the very top.  I'm afraid I couldn't manage the final floor which was to the room that housed the light itself. You guessed it, it's the fear.
My hands started sweating when I saw the open-tread stairs of the very narrow, steep, winding staircase leading to the final floor.  And so I stayed where I was, like a lighthouse Billy-no-mates.

Speaking of which, I couldn't go down into the basement either.  Again, the sweating hands, the palpitations. The fear.
Ditto the tunnel.

Oh, but the views... the views were outstanding.

What I loved most about the visit was the enthusiasm for the project from Sunderland Council and from the group of volunteers who will be leading the tours.  With my fear of small spaces, heights, tunnels, winding steps I fear (there's that word again) that I may not be much use a tour guide but I'll find my way into this volunteering opportunity as best as I can in some other way.

There's a lot of pictures from today's visit to the Lighthouse at my flickr account here.

If you'd like to be involved, there is a new website  and they're on twitter @rokerpier

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

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