Speaker for 10th March 2015

Photo: President John Graham greets Gordon Millington, with Press Officer John Dobson (L) and Club Member John McHenry (R)
Talk by Mr. Gordon Millington OBE, telling us about ‘Lighthouses’


The Club President, John Graham, welcomed members to the meeting. He then introduced our speaker for the morning, Mr. Gordon Millington OBE, who gave a fascinating talk and slide show on the subject of "Lighthouses". Before his retirement Mr. Millington was a Senior Partner in Kirk, McClure and Morton, one of the most prestigious Civil Engineering Consultants in N. Ireland. During Gordon's career, he had worked in many fields of civil engineering including construction, highways, feasibility studies and contract management, but he NEVER had anything to do with lighthouses!

So why the topic for today? Gordon was (and still is) a keen sailor. Some years ago while talking with friends who were aiming to put together a book about the sea and sailing, they divided the book into chapters covering different topics, and each took a section to research. Gordon hadn't given any preference, and so was 'sort of left with Lighthouses' - but why an interesting topic it turned out to be, for his study and for the Club talk.

For the last 500 years 'Trinity House' has been responsible for the lighthouses around the UK and Ireland waters. These structures need to withstand terrific wave pressure and storm forces, as by there very presence, they have to be built in some of the most inhospitable places. And what's more, there are more lighthouses then people often believe.

QUESTION: How many Lighthouses do you think are around the coast of Ireland?
Just 'click' the Trinity House logo below to see a map of the their locations.

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Gordon then treated the members to a splendid slide show of light houses, their history and their construction.
(To see a sample of the type of images Gordon displayed, but sourced from the Internet - just 'click' the Trinity500 button below)

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The talk was concluded with some information about a few local(ish) Lighthouses, especially Rathlin Ireland (that has 3), and a look at the changes in the technology that powers the light themselves.

There was just time for a short Q and A session before John McHenry proposed the vote of thanks for the enormous amount of work Gordon had put into the preparation of the excellent and absolutely fascinating talk, which John found particularly interesting when showing the changes in Lighthouse design. The President passed on the thanks and the members showed their appreciation.

Mike Turner - Club Admin

For more information about Trinity House, just ’click' this link:

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