Bull Point Lighthouse Falls Down
In the early hours of the Sunday morning, earth subsidence caused serious damage to the Bull Point Lighthouse site, established in 1879 to help light the Bristol Channel. 50 ft. of the cliff face crashed into the sea and a further 50 ft. subsided steeply, causing deep fissures to open up inside the boundary wall. Walls cracked and the engine room/fog signal house partly collapsed, leaving it in a dangerous condition and putting the fog signal out of action.
Trinity House Engineers were quickly on the scene assessing the damage, and commenced work on salvaging equipment and restoring normal conditions to light and fog signal: standby batteries were connected to the main navigation light and shipping was warned that the light was being shown at reduced power and that the fog signal was inoperable.
It was decided, however, that additional aids to navigation would be required until normal conditions had been restored at the lighthouse. On Monday 25 September, a lighted buoy was established off the Point while No. 91 Lightvessel was quickly prepared at Swansea Depot. The lightvessel equipped with red light and fog signal was laid on the Bull Point station by THV Argus on Tuesday 26 September, and the buoy withdrawn.
Trinity House Engineers, in cooperation with the local Electricity Generating Board, managed to restore full power to the light using portable generators, and the mains supply was reconnected a few days later. Practically all the equipment from the engine room/fog signal house was eventually salvaged, and the building demolished in the interests of safety.
Flash magazine reported that:
“During the emergency, the three keepers, led by Mr. Leonard Hart, remained at their posts and gave valuable assistance to the engineers working at the station. They justifiably earned the commendation that they showed an exemplary sense of dedication in an extremely difficult situation. As for the future: a full geological survey is being undertaken. In the meantime, pending a decision on the siting of a new lighthouse, the present lighthouse has been given “Rock” status. The fog signal has been resited in a temporary position, and the “Bull Point” Light Vessel withdrawn. Plans are being made to erect a temporary lattice tower for the main and subsidiary lights, further landward. It is expected that this will be brought into operation early in 1973.”