Tuesday, 14 September 2010

ABC Wednesday - Immaculate

Last November this is the view of Hoad hill, bracken golden brown and a strange structure on the top. Were we heading for the moon or some other interplanetary journey?  No, but there was a mystery inside for this was a repair to the 160 year old monument underneath, so what would the result be.
Nobody had ever seen the Hoad Monument looking so white
it was immaculate. The first part to appear above the scaffolding was the copper roof cap glinting in the sunlight.  Eventually, a couple of months ago the full lighthouse was revealed and on August 22 there was the official reopening, celebrated with incendiary devices, commonly called fireworks, and, nobody wanting to resist a pun, a Hoad down. 
 For the first time in over a decade the inside was open as well. Ever since it was in existence there has been a custodian in charge of opening, starting in 1850 when it was open 6 days a week and shut on Sundays. Now it is open once a week on a Sunday afternoon and on Bank Holidays from Easter to September.  There has been quite a rush for the curious wanting to see what has happened inside.

 There are placards and plasterwork at the bottom, all looking immaculate,  but really what we all want to do is to go to the top. I remember as a child the custodian used to sell sweets, but not today.  So after a wait, todays health and safety demands that only a certain number are allowed up at a time, we go up to the next level
Where we look at the rest of the 112 steps round the side we are going to climb. There is also a display about the history of Hoad whose official name is the John Barrow memorial.  This is a son of Ulverston who lived from 1764-1848,  leaving school to start work at 13, went on a whaling expedition to Greenland at 16, and was attached to the first British Embassy in China from 1792-94, where he learnt Mandarin Chinese and throughout his life had a fascination with China. However 1797 saw him land at the Cape of Good Hope, which had been occupied by the British because revolutionary France had occupied the Netherlands and the British did not want them landing on this strategic location at the tip of Africa.  Barrow married and decided to settle in South Africa but under the Peace of Amiens, the British handed the Cape back (only temporarily as it turned out) so he returned to England in 1804.  He was appointed 2nd Secretary of the Navy, a post he would hold for 40 years, where he sent expeditions into West Africa and also exploration of the Arctic by Ross, Parry and Franklin,who also tried to find the elusive north west passage. Barrow Point and Cape Barrow were named after him. He wrote a history of modern Arctic Voyages of Discovery which was published in 1846.

On his death a public subscription was started in Ulverston and a monument was erected on the hill he loved to walk on as a child. This was in the shape of the Eddystone Lighthouse standing 100 feet tall and inaugurated in 1850 to immortalize his achievements.

History over now, are you impatient to get to the top
Last steps now
And able to look out of the windows, in-between gasps for breath, I like to set a good pace when for some inconceivable reason the entrance gate was opened to me to lead out the half dozen intrepid stair climbers.  This is looking over Ulverston, and Glaxo's pharmaceutical plant to Chapel Island and Morecambe Bay. The view the other way to the Lakeland Hills was hazy and the sun reflected on the windows in the photos.
But not to disappoint here is one of the other directions with kite flyers at the bottom of the monument
The immaculate monument, now like an Ivory Tower, a structure that generations of Ulverstonians see on the horizon when returning from away and know they will soon be home. It has never had a light at the top but it is lit up from the bottom at night and it glows in the night sky.

What a incredible difference to how it was, cracked with water leaking, the structure deteriorating inside and out.
Picture taken February 2009.

Custodians car with 19th Century Photo.

Interested in more words starting with the letter I?  Visit the participants of ABC Wednesday

16 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic post for the I Day! What a gorgeous place and what wonderful history! Thanks for sharing it all with us, Joy! Your photos are superb! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

EG Wow said...

Thank you for the guided tour, Joy. It was such a pleasure to see the INSIDES of the monument as well as the outside.

Cheryl said...

This is fabulous. I love the ending photo showing how it looked before all the after images. Great I post. Thanks so much for this historical and photographic tour.

Jingle said...

so many i words.
love it!

photowannabe said...

How wonderful that this monument and lighthouse was renovated and again opened to the public. I'm so glad history is still standing.

Carol said...

Great post and photos! I love lighthouses but just can't get myself to go up those stairs anymore, so I loved that you took me along in your pocket.

Gramma Ann said...

Enjoyed the tour of the Lighthouse. Very interesting information also.

Tumblewords: said...

Totally interesting. What a restoration that was! It's a gorgeous place and the view from the top is breathtaking. Beautiful photos!

Hildred and Charles said...

A really great and interesting post, - so much information and history and I am very impressed with the improvements. What a wonderful view, - great photos.

Kay L. Davies said...

Isn't it wonderful how beautifully it was restored?
I was puzzling over the location of Hoad, and thought Ulverston sounded a trifle familiar, and then I saw "Morecambe" and now I know. My parents, brothers, sisters-in-law and I met some friends for a meal and a chat in Morecambe in 1996.
Now I've been able to put it all into some sort of perspective in my mind without resorting to Google Maps, always a triumph when I can do that!!

Kay
Alberta, Canada

Carolyn Ford said...

I LOVE lighthouses! I love your point of view on these photos! Wow!

Paula Scott said...

Most defintely an incredible difference! Wow. It looks incredible indeed after the rejuvenation!

Roger Owen Green said...

LOVE lighthouses, and it's great how INTERESTING you gave the story INTRIGUE.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

jabblog said...

How very interesting! The views from the top are superb.

ChrisJ said...

So glad they decided to restore it. I'd hate to see that bit of history waste away. If it is near Morecambe I must have been within striking distance of it, but I do not remember it. Lighthouses are as historical as churches now.

Beverley Baird said...

Wow! What a beautiful spot! The view from the top is incredible!
Great shots for the week!