web analytics

Planned obsolescence

This is the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse tower, Eastbourne. There’s been a lighthouse near this spot since the 19th C anyway, but this one was built in 1971 with a planned life of 50 years.

It’s neat how they did it. They floated a big square concrete pad out and then sank it. They floated the big concrete cylinder out and fitted it into the pad. Then they floated the platform and tower out, attached them to the big cylinder. The little cylinder – which was inside the big cylinder and works a giant hydraulic lift – raised the whole thing above the water.

At least, I think that’s how they did it. I can’t find the diagram I saw explaining it.

It was manned until the Nineties. It looks comfortable inside. It’s been automated for twenty years, though.

If you counted, you’ve guessed it was supposed to be decommissioned by now. They’re going to take it apart all the way down to the sea floor and it was supposed to start in 2020. But. Well. You know.

It’s finally due to come down this year. You can still take a boat tour to go round and round it, for a limited time only.

I think the idea of a disposable, prefab lighthouse is neat. Trinity House, who built it, is a charity, not a government department. Like the lifeboat people. That’s a very British way of doing it.

By the way, the best picture I could find to show the undercarriage of the lighthouse is actually from Microsoft Flight Simulator.


Comment from Surly Ermine
Time: January 26, 2022, 8:00 pm

Wow, they didn’t even clean out their junk, just up and left. It’s a ‘94 time capsule now.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: January 27, 2022, 2:18 am

I thought the helicopter was a couple of pigeons and had a real hard time reconciling the apparent size with the details of its construction. “They’re British” was sufficient to explain why they built an 18″ square lighthouse, but it didn’t explain why they had to tow it out to sea.

Comment from Some Gertrude Stein
Time: January 27, 2022, 1:34 pm

Pigeons on the disposable lighthouse alas.

Pigeons on the disposable lighthouse alas.

Short life lighthouse short life longer life short concrete lighthouse.
Pigeons large pigeons on the short longer life concrete lighthouse alas
Pigeons on the lighthouse

If they were not pigeons what were they.

If they were not pigeons on the lighthouse alas what were they.
He had
 heard of a third and he asked about if it was a helicopter in the sky.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: January 27, 2022, 2:12 pm

As the great-great-great-great grandson of the Jupiter Lighthouse keeper, I find all things lighthouse fascinating. My storied ancestor also dabbled in slaves, piracy, and rum (allegedly, allegedly) but I see little of that going on here. Sad, really…

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny