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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.

January 26, 2022 — 7:22 pm
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