Thursday, 20 February 2014

Souter Lighthouse

I often wonder what happened to my Science teacher, Mr Goodwin. He did his best, poor man, but I must have driven him mad. To this day, I remain totally and shamefully clueless about all things scientific, electricity being the biggest mystery of all. My brain just isn't wired that way (it is good at puns though).

So I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like Souter Lighthouse near South Shields. Built in 1871 by those science loving Victorians, it was the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by electricity. I was concerned that there would be loads of machinery and people talking about watts, and my mind would start thinking about other things, like should I get my hair cut, or was it the same man that played Catweazle and the Crowman in Worzel Gummidge.

They have fantastic volunteers at Souter who explain everything, from the workings of the apparatus through to the day-to-day lives of the lighthouse keepers that looked after the place, from its opening through to its closure in 1988. And I will admit that some of the technicalities went over my head. But Souter has much to recommend it:

  • It's very pretty - it's like a picture postcard of a lighthouse.
  • It has a foghorn - the building on the right. They sound it on Sundays.
  • You can see an example of a cottage where the lighthouse keepers lived.
  • The lovely passionate volunteers don't appear to mind if you start thinking about hair-cuts.

Souter Lighthouse

There were a few things on the menu in the tea-room that I had never heard of (panackelty and stottie anyone?) but they had heard of scones so that's what we had. And they were lovely and warm and went down a treat on a chilly day.

Scones at Souter Lighthouse

Souter Lighthouse: 5 out of 5
Scones: 4.5 out of 5

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