On This Day in Trinity House History – 29 June


The new Dungeness Lighthouse is opened

Dungeness Lighthouse (Artists Impression)

Dungeness Lighthouse (Artists Impression)

The opening ceremony of the new Dungeness Lighthouse building is performed by the Master HRH The Duke of Gloucester, when a plaque commemorating the occasion and one taken from the old lighthouse were unveiled.

On the previous day, HRH The Master had inspected Harwich Depot and Service personnel before sailing in THV Patricia to Dover.



Sir Richard Branson’s powerboat Virgin Atlantic Challenger II passes Bishop Rock to win world record

From Trinity House’s Flash magazine:

“Sir Richard Branson’s VIRGIN ATLANTIC CHALLENGER II passes the finishing line at Bishop Rock Lighthouse 3 days, 8 hours and 31 minutes after leaving the Ambrose Light Tower in New York Bay, beating the eastbound transatlantic record set in 1952.

Principal Keeper E J Dobbin with Assistant Keepers D Price and T Elvers had been avidly watching the television news and weather forecasts for news of the speedboat’s arrival, and eventually they heard the following over the marine radio: “Bishop Rock Lighthouse this is V.A.C.II we’ll be with you in about half an hour.” V.A.C.ll passed Bishop at 1934 BST with a time of 3 days, 8 hours, 31 minutes. The crew on Bishop Rock responded to this success with three blasts from its Supertyfon Fog Signal giving the “little boat people” a bit of a fright! BBC TV news was informed and a caption was superimposed over the World Cup Final. Sir Richard and his crew were presented with a handsome model of Bishop Rock Lighthouse mounted inside a 1500 watt lamp on behalf of the people of the Isles of Scilly.

V.A.C.II‘s navigator was Dag Pike, a former Chief Officer in the Trinity House Support Vessel Service.”

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