Wraps to come off Roker Pier lighthouse

The wraps are almost due to come off the top of a lighthouse on the North East coast which has been undergoing restoration

Roker Pier lighthouse has been wrapped in plastic while work took place
Roker Pier lighthouse has been wrapped in plastic while work took place

The wraps are almost due to come off the top of a lighthouse on the North East coast which has been undergoing restoration.

The lantern house of the Roker Pier lighthouse at Sunderland has been wrapped in heavy duty plastic since July to allow work to go ahead in safety, protected from the elements.

This week has seen the re-gilding of the 1.6 metre weather vane that sits at the very top of the lighthouse, and next month will see the wraps finally taken down.

The project has involved the refurbishment and redecoration of the steel and glazed structure, including an upgrade of the navigation beacon and fog warning signal.

Many of the intricate iron brackets supporting the platform that runs around the top of the lighthouse have also been recast in the style of the originals.

 

Work on the lantern house is the first phase of £1.35m rolling programme of restoration for the 110-year-old listed Roker Pier by Sunderland City Council.

Future plans include replacing the surface of the pier, and a comprehensive scheme to restore the lighthouse and tunnel that runs beneath the pier if the council is successful in its bid for £500,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Council cabinet secretary Mel Speding said: “The pier and lighthouse have played an important role protecting the entrance to Sunderland harbour for over a hundred years. But it’s taken a real pounding from the North Sea over that time so it’s essential that we’re doing this work now so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

“We’ve had one or two holds ups due to the weather, but following this work, the lantern house should be good for another 40 years or so.

“We’re hoping to crack on with resurfacing the pier next year. Then if we’re successful in bidding for additional funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we hope to use that to restore the rest of the lighthouse and to open the tunnel and lighthouse for public tours.”

The restoration of Roker Pier is part of the regeneration of Sunderland seafront which is set to see £5m of investment over the next few years.

Built between 1885 and 1903, the original lantern was gas powered, emitting a 45,000 candlepower reflected beam reputedly visible for over 15 miles out to sea.

Once complete, the pier extended 2,000 ft (609.60m)out to sea.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer