East Anglia’s oldest working lighthouse and Great Britain’s only independent lighthouse, Happisburgh (pronounced ‘haysburgh’) Light was built in 1790, and was taken over by local residents in the late 1980s – and is still operating, operated by volunteers and supported by voluntary contributions. Well done them!
It was built following a severe winter storm in 1789, during which 70 sailing ships and 600 men were lost. An subsequent inquiry drew attention to the lack of lights between the fire beacon at Cromer and the candle-powered light at Winterton.
Today the lighthouse is painted white with three red bands, and has a light charcteristic of Fl (3) W 30s (three white flashes, repeated every 30secs) with a range of 18 miles.
Originally it was one of a pair that formed leading lights that marked safe route round Happisborough Sands. The second light is now long gone.
Saved as a working light by the local community, it is maintained and operated entirely by voluntary contributions.
With the preparations for the 75th anniversary of the 1940 rescue of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk in full flow, I was struck by this shot of the sailing barge Ethel Everard abandoned on the sand, and accompanied by two German military men.
Read the story of the Ethel Everard here.