On This Day in Trinity House History – 2 April


Lightvessel No. 18 is launched

Lightvessel No. 18 is launched, from yard of Messrs. Philip & Son Ltd. of Dartmouth. The launch ceremony was performed by the wife of Elder Brother Captain Clifford St. George Glasson. The following account of the event was written up in Trinity House’s journal Flash:

“We assembled at the Shipyard at about 1630 and made our way to the platform which had been erected to accommodate the party. In accordance with time-honoured practice, the youngest apprentice presented Mrs. Glasson with a magnificent bouquet (I thought he looked somewhat self-conscious whilst performing this important part of the ceremony). Mrs. Glasson then “named” the vessel by declaiming “l name this ship Number 18 Light Vessel – may God protect her and all who serve in her.” She then pulled a lever and the traditional bottle of champagne smashed against the Light Vessel’s stern. The launching squad of Shipwrights knocked away the remaining supports (called “dog shores”) and the Light Vessel after a moment’s hesitation slid slowly and gracefully with gathering momentum down the slip, took the water and “bobbed” very nicely as a perfect lady should amid the cheers of all present. The Deputy Master was on board with the gang of riggers whose job it is to moor the Light Vessel after she has taken the water.

The party then returned to the Shipyard canteen where a presentation was made to Mrs. Glasson by the Shipbuilders to mark the occasion. A celebration dinner was held in the evening at the Grand Hotel Torquay.
By the time these notes are in print, No. 18 will probably have been completed and taken over by Trinity House and her sister ship No. 19 will have been launched. Their first stations will be St. Gowan and Seven Stones, two of the toughest Light Vessel Stations in the Service.”

The vessel and its sister, No. 19, were described thus:-

“Two new light vessels, Nos. 18 and 19, now being built by Philip & Son, Dartmouth, Devon, are 133′ 0″ long overall, 114′ 0″ long on waterline, 26′ 6″ beam and having a mean load draft of 11′ 0”. For comparison, they will be about 4′ 0″ shorter but have 1′ 6″ more beam, than light vessels Nos. 1/17, and have slightly more displacement.

These new vessels of mainly welded construction, differ very considerably from all previous vessels in that they are higher out of the water with the upper deck similar to the construction of a District Tender and having all accomrnodation, galley, mess-rooms, washplaces, recreation room, etc., on the lower deck, which is continuous and with watertight doors through bulkheads, so that the constant process of running up
and down ladders is eliminated.

The arrangement of the long and large deckhouse of earlier vessels has been overcome and there are two smaller deckhouses, one amidships forming an entrance and a radio beacon room, with a wheelhouse and bridge deck over, and one aft which forms a magazine and aft accommodation entrance. Upon this after deckhouse is fitted a diaphone turret. The lantern is supported by a circular tube passing through the midship house and abaft of this is a ship-like funnel and the engine room skylight.

Two 16′ 0″ fibreglass lifeboats are provided together with an electric boae hoist which can also be used in connection with the derricks which are provided in place of relief davits. Two cabins are provided for Mechanics and six single berth cabins for the crew. The cabins are entirely lined with plywood and insulated with slab cork to reduce the sound of the diaphone. The furniture is mahogany, upholstery red leather and the colour scheme cream.”

No. 18 Lightvessel was sold out of service in 1994, and can now be found along the Harwich waterfront as a tourist attraction open to the public.

18 LV launch 2 April 1958

18 LV launch 2 April 1958


Trinity House assumes responsibility for Point Lynas Lighthouse

As early as 1766 the need was felt for a station on Anglesey where ships making for Liverpool could pick up pilots. The Liverpool Pilotage Service, after examining several sites, eventually chose Point Lynas. At first the early pilots used a farmhouse as their lookout post. After 1779 they used two oil lamps with Hutchinson’s small metal reflectors set into a tower and showing in two directions. The new lighthouse was built in 1835 by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.

More information about Point Lynas can be found at the Trinity House website.

Point Lynas Lighthouse

Point Lynas Lighthouse

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