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Dunsel
April 11, 2009, 7:47am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Secret
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I spoke to Clydeports' electricians at Toward a week or two ago.

It seems that the Toward Lighthouse was gas powered, not paraffin powered, for much of its life. This explains why the modern (plastic) gas main runs right down the lane to Foghorn Cottage beside the lighthouse. The gas supply would originally have come from the Innellan Gas Works in Cluniter Lane.

The site was put up for sale a couple of years ago with the stipulation that it could only be used for gas purposes. As far as I know there were no takers.

The paraffin story comes from a store in one of the buildings which has always been known as the Paraffin Store. Never make assumptions!

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Dunsel
December 7, 2010, 8:07pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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This gismo is attached to one of the cottages' walls.   Can anybody identify what it is?



close up

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jmb
December 7, 2010, 11:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Location: Fort William
It's hard to work out what material it is made of.

Insulator supporting power cable across to the building?

Base of some sort of VHF antenna that has snapped off. don't think so because the cable normally goes up through the bottom of the mounting.

Looked a bit like the shape of the GPS antenna you see on various places like mobile phone base stations, transmitter sites, Coastguard base station but would have expected it to be mounted for maximum clear view of the sky.

Just a few thoughts

Mb
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glenT
December 8, 2010, 11:49am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Mystery
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An interesting item indeed. The bottom outside is corroded but there's a fibrous material between the outside and what looks like a copper tube/bar inside. Perhaps it's a standard item for this type of building. The top is ill fitting so it could let air in or air out, some sort of old sounder perhaps but it does look very old and of valve technology days. G.T.
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Dunsel
December 10, 2010, 8:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I was deliberately vague about this as I didn't want to put words or ideas in peoples' heads.  

What I have been told is that it dates back to WWII and was some kind of siren.

Since there was a communication system based on bells in all the buildings for the duty keeper to sumon assistance if required in any area it doesn't seem likely that it would duplicate that sytem.

There was an air raid siren mounted on the lighthouse tower so that seems an unlikely use too.

There are no signs of any similar mounting on any of the other buildings although later additions to the Lighhtouse cottage could be masking it.

Thw gismo is on the wall outside what was the communal boiler room for central heating and hot water but the cable runs along a duct at the back of the boiler and disappears under the flagstone floor of the storeroom next door so it does not appear to have been associated with the boiler.  

Any further thoughts anyone?
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glenT
December 10, 2010, 10:31pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Mystery
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If it is a sounder then the wall chosen for its mounting would be done carefully as this would be the most effective in "sounding" in that direction. G.T.
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WM
December 21, 2010, 10:47am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Enigma
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I looked through my photo collection to see if I had anything including this, but unfortunately I don't. I did find something interesting, however. This is the Toward Foghorn in October 1994, around the time it was de-commissioned. I'm not sure if it was still in use when this photo was taken or not. It now seems to have an extra glassed in floor on top of the tower, but unfortunately I can't find a photo in my collection of this.

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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 11:10am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Lovely pic

It wouldn't have been in use, as you've caught it after the decommissioning - something attested to by the unfortunate absence of the horn from the top of the building.

Recent pic makes an interesting comparison - amusing to see the old horn connection moved on to the roof of the the extended and glazed tower, oh, and the extended bit:

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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 11:25am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Curiosity caught hold, and I wondered if there might be any pics floating around with the horn in place.

Unfortunately, all I can dig up online is the RCAHMS entry for the location, and while that goes back to 1979, the pic of the day shows the place had already been stripped even then.
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WM
December 21, 2010, 1:06pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Enigma
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I find the very ecclesiastical style of the building interesting, I wonder if it was deliberately designed to look like a church? It has now acquired a porch, which makes it look even more church-like.
And I see from the newer image that the lifting beam above the door and the vent, flue or whatever it is on the roof have now gone.
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glenT
December 21, 2010, 1:41pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Mystery
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Could the windows be covered with a security type grill to keep the nae're do well out. You know what the locals of Dunnon and it's environs are like.  
G.T.
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Dunsel
December 21, 2010, 3:36pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The glass is fitted to a metal lattice,  Since I have never painted that one I have no idea which metal.   There are perspex covers over the outside of the windows to prevent storm damage.  

If I had a £1 for everyone who has asked when the church opens or about the history of the church............................!

The buildings were sold off in the early to mid 70s.
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WM
December 21, 2010, 3:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Enigma
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More photos, these ones taken in October 2006. It looks as if this is the electrical sounder which replaced the steam powered foghorn. In the second photo you can see the mouths of the horns, different diameters which might mean different frequencies. On the full length photo you can see the shadow from the old foghorn building with its feeder tube for the horn.





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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 3:53pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Interesting.

It looks as if an electromagnetic sounder is mounted horizontally, with the output taken from the upper an lower surfaces of possibly a diaphragm.

Given the obvious visible difference between the two horns fitted to the upper and lower ports, I wonder if they are separately tuned to pick out two harmonics from the sounder, or if one is sized to act as a tuned port,

Those who play with speakers will know that that you don't any decent output power if the air from the front can directly reach the air from the rear of the cone - the two are 180° out of phase, and just about cancel one another out if they are allowed simply to meet.

However, if the sound from the rear is brought around to the front using a tuned port -or similar means - then it can be made to arrive in phase, and reinforce the sound from the front.

As the foghorn only operates at one frequency, and presumably want to be as loud as possible, tuning the horns seems like one method.

Oh...

Want to bet that lifting beam is still there - holding up the ridge of the porch
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Dunsel
December 21, 2010, 5:16pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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If you want an oldphotograph.......................

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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 5:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Geez!!!

What a difference.

Is the foghorn in the building at the time of the pic - or was it installed there later, with the building being used for another purpose initially?

That looks like a chimney stack running up the wall that rises from the middle of the lower part of the building, so there was presumably a fireplace - and resident? - at the bottom.

It looks like some kind of sheltered platform under the top roof, extending towards the sea.
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Dunsel
December 21, 2010, 5:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I am sure I should refer you to the page in the Wiki.

No the building was not built for anything other than a foghorn.

The chimney was for the coke fire that ran the Stirling engine that powered the compressor for the foghorn which is on the front of the building under the small roof.

The tripod structure was for a Breeches Buoy to bring  stores and personnel ashore.   The steel pegs it was bolted to still exist.

I imagine the extra shed beside the foghorn building was probably the fuel store.

The roof vent in WM's pic must be a relic of the later pair of Gardner diesel engines.
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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 6:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I can piece the bits together now.

I keep getting thrown off because I have a mental picture of the huge foghorn that existed up at Kinnaird - Fraserburgh.

And forget about little ones

The kids in Fraserburgh loved it when the fog rolled in and the horn was activated - they could get themselves time off school by heading down to the shore next to the light and horn, The horn there was so loud it made them temporarily deaf, and the nurse would send them home until their hearing came back!

The storyteller couldn't tell us whether or not this 'perk' of living up there had any lasting effect in later life - but if it left them deaf for days as kids, and they did it a few times, I think they might have lived to prefer going to school.

But just think of how loud the thing must have been, as the shore area that was pointed at during the tale was at least 30 metres away from the foghorn - and to the side, not on axis, as it was pointing out to sea.
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Apollo
December 21, 2010, 6:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ah, but they'll be floating one, since all the lighthouse have been silent since the 1990s, so we can't hear a 'real' one any longer - except as a recording

I'm not surprised they're sounding, and can say that the freezing fog closed down around this end of Glasgow about 4 pm, when visibility on the road dropped down to 60 metres.

(Oh... Just chanced a look outside - it's all gone now, and perfectly clear.)
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Dunsel
December 21, 2010, 7:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Here is a more recent but out of print PC



The rectangular artefact on the righthand side of the tower below the windows wass the air intake for the gas powered lamp.  The fumes exited at the top of the dome through a moveable vent whose direction was controlled by the wind as far as I know.
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Dunsel
January 13, 2011, 10:31pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I thought some of you might like to see what it looks  like when in operation.  The modern lights are quite feeble compared to what went before.



This one shows the back or spare set of lights.

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Apollo
January 14, 2011, 12:37am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The number of fish suppers I must have eaten along the Clyde coast while watching that and counting the seconds to make sure I was looking at the right one.

Although they are 'feeble', surely it's true to say they are run to ensure longevity, and the important part - the beam - is tightly defined and focused, and much brighter than an off-axis view suggests.

Provided I have my mental list of 'characters' refreshed - and it's sadly defunct at the moment - even a landlubber like me can work out where his is, and what direction he is looking in even when it's pitch dark.

After all these years, they still work.
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Dunsel
June 2, 2011, 5:50pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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This has come as a surprise to everyone - THE LIGHTHOUSE HAS BEEN REPAINTED!   Did you notice that they have also painted the boundary wall as well?

I was speaking to a Clydeport manager the other day.   Apparently when the mains go off the battery backup kicks in and turns on a different set of lights, i.e. one set run on AC and the other set on DC.   The motor which rotates the lights runs on either.
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Dunsel
February 6, 2012, 4:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Lest we forget, 2012 is the 200th anniversary of the building of Toward Lighthouse.    As far as I am aware there are no special events planned to mark the occasion.
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Admin
April 7, 2017, 11:31am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Secret
Posts: 13222
Location: Scotland-ish
Not Toward Lighthouse itself, but one of the cottages adjacent...

Toward Lighthouse Cottage For Rent | Lighthouses For Sale Or Rent

It always surprises me to see basic or fundamental errors in web sites, especially if they relate to something that I would consider essential, but...

I see no date for this item, so it is impossible to tell if this is a current offering, and therefore likely to be valid, or an old item, which might have archive value, but is likely to be out of date, and the cottage has been bought or leased since the item was placed.

For me, it was the first piece of info I could not see up front, and went to look for to work out if the article (or let's be honest - advert) was worth considering.

Sorry, but including a date is just fundamental, and should not even need to be thought about.

There's an interesting aside to this one.

You'll see a smallish pic near the bottom of the article (second from last pic, above Tam Nugent's geograph).

There's no acknowledgement to the source, and it's from a time when I didn't make ANY notes about pics I was gifted and given free use of, but...

It is exactly the same size (to the pixel) as out pic in the SeSco Wiki showing the light and the cottages as seen from sea.

Secret Scotland - Toward Lighthouse

It was some years ago, so depends on my memory, but I am reasonably sure that pic is from a slide (you can see the borders) taken by a resident of the area some years ago, and was given to us with permission to use as our own.

SeSco pics without a copyright shown are offered for reuse (without even asking) provided a simple acknowledgement to source is given - it would be nice, and polite.
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