Historic lighthouse to light up again

SUPPORTERS of a disused lighthouse in Portishead will switch its light back on this weekend.

A trust set up to preserve Black Nore Lighthouse is celebrating the return of the historical building’s optics.

The lighthouse, which helped keep mariners safe in the Bristol Channel for more than 100 years, was switched off in 2010 in favour of more advanced technology.

Residents, determined to protect the building as part of the town’s heritage, formed the Black Nore Lighthouse Trust and purchased the Victorian structure for �1.

Now, after months of negotiation, the trust has been loaned the original optics for safekeeping from General Lighthouse Authority, Trinity House.

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Trust chairman Bill Shier said: “This is a great achievement for the trust. Although we cannot keep the optics operational for a variety of reasons, they are in the lighthouse as they appeared during its working life and will be switched on momentarily in celebration.”

The reinstallation of the optics will feature in the BBC documentary, Inside Out West, to be screened in the autumn.

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As part of the celebration, the trust is holding a garden party on the lawn behind St Nicholas Church, in Nore Road, on Saturday from 2pm. It will include drinks, a barbeque and music with a nautical theme. Paintings, photos and printed note cards featuring the lighthouse will be on sale to help raise funds for the restoration work and trustees will be inviting membership of The Friends of Black Nore Lighthouse, which costs �10 per year and is a main fundraising source.

At 5pm the celebrations will move into the church for a nautical-themed concert by the Pill Whalers and at 7pm there will be a special ceremony of temporarily turning the light back on at Black Nore Point. Access will be by the public footpath at Glenwood Rise or along the coastal footpath.

Entrance to the garden party is free and all are welcome.

Tickets for the concert cost �5 for members and �7.50 for non members and can be booked by calling 01275 817017 or purchased at Morgan Westley in High Street. To find out more about the Black Nore Lighthouse Trust visit www.blacknore.com

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