Tracey Fowler, Reporter
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A VICTORIAN lighthouse in Portishead has been preserved for the future after it was bought for just £1 and listed as a protected building.
Black Nore lighthouse, which helped keep mariners safe in the Bristol Channel for more than 100 years, was one of a number of navigational lights switched off in 2010 in favour of more advanced technology.
Residents vowed to protect the structure, which was built in 1894, for generations to come and led by Bill Shier and Tony May, who live close to the lighthouse, they formed the Black Nore Lighthouse trust.
The lighthouse is located on the beach close to Fedden Village, a former nautical school, and more than 80 residents living in the vicinity of Black Nore have already supported the trust.
Chairman Mr Shier said: “This Victorian structure which stands on six legs, is the only remaining lighthouse of its kind which faces the sea and Portishead residents were determined to preserve it as it reflects the town’s seafaring history.
“Our aim is to preserve it, there is no other agenda. The internal mechanisms and hazardous chemicals have already been removed, but we do not want to turn it in to a museum, a café, meditation centre or anything else, we just want to keep it as it is, a monument for people to enjoy on the landscape.”
The building was handed over to the trust for £1 in October, but an official ceremony to mark the occasion was held on Friday at Fedden Village, once members of the trust had received all the relevant documentation.
Fundraising to maintain the structure will be ongoing. The trust has already secured £1,500 from Portishead Town Council and funds from Waitrose Community Matters.
Mr Shier says the trust is now looking for more residents to join forces with them.
He added: “If residents join us and pay a £10 annual subscription it will help us meet the costs of maintaining this historical building.”
A programme of fundraising events will take place throughout the year and grant aid will also be sought.
To find out more about the Black Nore Lighthouse Trust visit www.blacknore.com and click on lighthouse, or call 01275 817017.