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A general history of the Heugh Lighthouse

Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday, January 18th, 1845:
“New Light House at Hartlepool.— The Shipping Gazette states that the Elder Brethren of the Trinity Board, in answer to the memorial of the owners and masters of vessels and other persons interested in the commerce of the port of Hartlepool, soliciting that light-house may be established on the Heugh at that place, concur with the memorialists in the opinion that a light-house may be advantageously placed upon Hartlepool Heugh; and that they are "ready to take the necessary measures for erecting such light-house, and maintaining a light thereon during the night season, provided the trade of the port shall consent to pay such toll on all vessels entering the port or departing therefrom as shall be requisite to defray the expense such light house and light." This the trade of the port are willing to do, as expressed in their memorial, but while willing to bear the whole burden, they are, of course, desirous to have it as light as possible. It will be trifling, considering the benefit that will be derived thereby. On this point alone there is a slight difference of opinion between the memorialists and the Trinity Board.”

Durham Chronicle, Friday, May 5th, 1846:
“TO MASONS. TO BE LET BY PROPOSAL, THE BUILDING of a TOWER for a lighthouse upon the Heugh, or Headland, at Hartlepool.
A Plan and Specification may be seen on application to Mr. ROBINSON, Engineer, Hartlepool, after the 18th inst. and sealed tenders addressed to the Commissioners of the Pier and Port of Hartlepool will be received until WEDNESDAY, the 27th May, inst.
N.B. The Commissioners not bind themselves to accept the lowest tender. Hartlepool, 14th May, 1846.”

Newcastle Journal, Saturday, August 15th, 1846:
“HARTLEPOOL NEW LIGHTHOUSE. On Wednesday last, Thomas Rowell, Esq. Mayor of Hartlepool, preceded by the macebearers, and followed several aldermen. Mr. Mackenzie, collector of her Majesty's Customs, Lieutenant Strover, of the Preventive Service, and a number of merchants, proceeded from the Town Hall to the site of the intended erection, the south-east corner of the Hartlepool Heugh, and there laid the foundation stone, after which his worship delivered a short and appropriate address to a large concourse of townsmen assembled to witness the interesting ceremony. The whole was concluded by a suitable prayer offered the Rev. Robert Hamilton, curate of St. Hilda’s Church.”

Newcastle Journal, Saturday, August 28th, 1847:
Latitude 54° 41’ 51” North
Longitude 1° 10’ 19” West of Greenwich
THE Commissioners of the Pier and Port of Hartlepool hereby give Notice, that, acting under the Sanction of the Corporation of Trinity House, London, they have erected, in Connection with the Purposes of the said Pier, and for the general Advantage of the Port, a Lighthouse on the Heugh or Headland at Hartlepool, in the County of  Durham, from which a FIXED WHITE LIGHT will be exhibited on the Evening of the 1st October, 1847, and continued every Night from Sunset to Sunrise.
The Light will bear by Compass from Souter Point, on the coast of Durham, S½W distant 17 Sea Miles, and from Staiths Old Nab on the Yorkshire Coast, N.W. by N. distant 16½ Sea Miles; and will be seen at any Place along the coast within these Points , and Seaward during Clear Weather at a Distance of 15 Miles, the Light being of the First Order, and at an Elevation of 84 Feet above the level of High Water Spring Tides.
There will also be exhibited from the same Tower at Night (underneath the principal Light), from Half-flood to Half-ebb, a TIDAL LIGHT of a RED Colour; and during the Day, at Half-flood, RED BALL will be hoisted to the Top of a Mast on the Tower, where it will remain until Half-ebb.
The Lights will be free of any Charge whatever to the Trade.
The Stationary Light on the Pier Head of the Old Harbour will be shown as heretofore; but the Tide Light in connection therewith, will, after the 30th September next, be discontinued.
The FIXED GREEN LIGHT which, under the like Sanction, has been shown on each Pier of the WEST HARBOUR from Sunset to Sunrise, and also the TWO RED LIGHTS which have been exhibited in one, bearing N.W. as Leading TIDE LIGHTS into the West Harbour, will be continued as before. – By Order, W. Davison, Clerk.
Hartlepool, August 2nd, 1847.”

Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, Saturday, October 16th, 1847:
“HARTLEPOOL HEUGH LIGHTHOUSE. This important and praiseworthy undertaking has been completed, and was lighted for the first time on the 1st inst. It is shown at an elevation of about 84 feet above the level of high water spring tides, from handsome tower of dressed freestone, the frame work of the lantern being of cast iron, darkened by plates of the same material from WSW to N¼W on the landward side. The power of the light is ascertained from the fact that it can be seen with great distinctness distance of 18 miles. We congratulate all connected with the shipping interest on the completion of this much needed structure, for it will, doubtless, prevent serious destruction of property, and save many a hardy tar from a watery grave.
We observe, from the columns of a contemporary, that the first exhibition of the new light was celebrated by a supper at the King's Head Hotel. The entertainment, we are told, was "sumptuous," and there appears to have been met a jovial and merry party, for they gave more toasts and delivered more speeches than the reporter is able to record, and did not go home till morning. Compliments were plentiful as blackberries. Each man toasted his neighbour, and the company exercised their lungs lustily with three times three and one cheer more; yet, amidst all this exuberance of praise, we regret to find strange and unaccountable omission. Of course the public boards in the town were duly honoured, and even the engineer and haven master were not forgotten; yet (will it be believed!) the little party at the King's Head, although they did not separate until long after the " witching hour," never found opportunity of drinking the health and recognizing the services of the man to whose indefatigable labours and incomparable zeal Hartlepool especially, and the shipping interest in general, are indebted for this useful lighthouse. Never was stronger illustration given of Hamlet being played, with the part of the Prince of Denmark omitted! Whether this was done from accident or by design, we have no means of judging. We are unwilling to conclude that the supper party were actuated by contemptible feelings of jealousy and envy, and studiously committed the injustice of suppressing all reference to the gentleman whose health ought to have formed the chief topic of the evening; and yet, how are we to believe that Messrs Denton, Rowell, Belk, and Vollum, forgot the debt of gratitude under which the town is laid to Mr. Lindsay for this great boon Why, the men who now take all the credit to themselves in this matter, were the very parties who were at the outset its strongest opponents. Mr. Belk and Mr. Rowell petitioned against it, Mr. Denton refused to sign the memorial in its favour, the Hartlepool Dock and Railway Company would not move in the business, and it was principally owing to the services rendered by Mr. Lindsay—to his strenuous and public spirited efforts both in Hartlepool and with the Trinity Board in London, that the result has been accomplished.
In reading the report to which we have referred, we observe that one speaker, Mr. Mackenzie, remarked that "although the brilliant object on the Heugh would from that night forth be favourably and emphatically known as the Hartlepool light, still there was one name which would ever be honorably associated with it, that of - it should have been Mr. W.S. Lindsay, but by an unaccountable erratum, Mr. Stephen Robinson is substituted. Mr. Robinson was the engineer, and no doubt did his work well. But he is not entitled to all this honor. His friends should have remembered that "praise undeserved is censure in disguise," and carefully avoided this mal-appropriation of credit which belongs to another, though absent, man.
We refrain from adverting to the services rendered by Mr. Lindsay to the port in other respects—to his unwearied and successful labours in favor of Hartlepool being made an independent port, and enjoying the privilege of a post office, and to what he has done the way of sending large-sized vessels to load there for the East Indies and elsewhere. We may recur to the subject, if any of our statements are controverted. At present, we are only anxious to strip certain parties of the plumage which does not belong to them. This is necessary, not for the sake of the inhabitants of Hartlepool who know well their true benefactors, but for the sake of the public at a distance who are liable to deception, and in order that honor may be given to whom honor is due.”

Illustrated London News, Saturday, November 6th, 1847:
“HARTLEPOOL LIGHTHOUSE. This new Light, at Hartlepool, Durham, was first exhibited about month since. It occupies a prominent position upon the eastern extremity of the peninsula, jutting out into the sea, a few miles from the Tees’ mouth, and upon which is built the town of Hartlepool.
The Lighthouse is a handsome structure of white freestone—the building itself being fifty feet in height; but, owing to the additional height of the cliff, the Light is exhibited at an elevation of nearly eighty-five feet above high-water mark. On the eastern side of the building is placed a balcony, supporting lantern, from which a small red light is exhibited, to indicate that state of the tide which will admit of the entrance of ships into the harbour; the corresponding signal in the day-time being a red ball hoisted to the top of the flag-staff. The Lighthouse is furnished with an anemometer and tidal gauge; and its appointments are altogether of the most complete description. It is chiefly, however, with regard to the system adopted in the lighting arrangements that novelty presents itself.
The main object in the instance of a light placed as a beacon to warn mariners of their proximity to a dangerous coast, is to obtain the greatest possible intensity and amount of penetrating power. A naked or simple light is, therefore, seldom, if ever, employed; but whether it proceed from the combustion of oil or gas, it is equally necessary that it should be combined with some arrangement of optical apparatus, in order that the rays emitted may be collected, and projected in such direction to render them available to the object in view. The apparatus employed in light-houses is of two descriptions, Catoptric and Dioptric. In the former, the rays are received upon a surface of highly polished metal, from which they are reflected; the parabolic curve is generally adopted for such reflectors; and, the light is placed at the focus of the parabola, the rays are projected in a parallel sense, and render the form of a cylinder of intense light, the diameter of the cylinder depending upon the size of the reflector employed. In the Dioptric system, the rays are transmitted through an arrangement of lenses and glass zones, by the refractive power of which they are projected parallel with respect to their vertical sense; but diverging horizontally, so that, instead of the luminous cylinder obtained by means of the parabolic reflector, an illuminated zone or belt of light is produced. In the Hartlepool Lighthouse, both these systems have, to a certain extent, been adopted, and the illuminative medium is gas. The optical apparatus embraces three-fourths of the circumference of the circle which encloses the light, and the whole of the rays emanating from that part of the light opposed to the optical arrangement are reflected or refracted (as the case may be), so that they are projected from the Lighthouse in such a direction as to be visible from the surface of the ocean.
The application of gas to the illumination of Lighthouses has always been regarded an important and desirable step. Mr. Stevenson, in evidence before Committee of the House of Commons, remarked that the great desideratum with respect to the lighting of Lighthouses, was a gas-burner of large size, and that it was in that direction that improvement was to be sought.” Hitherto, however, no gas-burner has been constructed, capable of furnishing the necessary amount of light, combined with the steadiness, intensity, and solidity of flame requisite render its application advantageous as a substitute for the oil lamp.
As a means of illumination, gas possesses numerous advantages over oil; and under no circumstances are those advantages more strongly displayed than in the case of a Lighthouse, where simplicity in the machinery, facility of management, and certainty of effect, are objects of the greatest importance.
The gas-burner employed in this present instance, appears to supply that which has so long been wanting: it is constructed on the most philosophical principle, its chief peculiarity lying in the method employed to supply the air necessary to the perfect combustion of the gas. This supply is not only regulated with great exactness, but all the parts by which the air passes are placed on such angles that the impinging air is reflected and forced directly into the flame at the precise point in which it will conduce most powerfully to support the combustion. At the same time, the requisite quantity only is admitted; and therefore the flame is perfectly steady, and not, it is technically termed, distressed and driven into spires by too powerful and rapid a current of air. The inverted cone placed in the centre, is hollow, and the air which is admitted by the tube which supports it, issues into the flame by a row of holes placed round the periphery of its base. By these contrivances, the burner is made to produce a rich opaque mass of flame, affording a powerful and steady light; and, when placed in the centre of the optical arrangement of lenses, lenticular zones, and mirrors, an immense amount of intense light is spread over the horizon.
In the instance now before us, the capability of gas to produce a light sufficiently powerful, was satisfactorily proved; for, in some cases, it was distinctly seen on board ships at least eighteen miles distant from the coast; the gas, on this occasion, was used in its ordinary condition; but, in future, it is proposed to napthalise the gas, and, in that case, the power of the light will be increased by at least twenty per cent.
The Lighthouse was built and the optical apparatus planned by Mr. Stephen Robinson, Civil Engineer, Hartlepool. The burner is that patented by Messrs. McNiell and Co., 60, St. Martin’s-lane, who fitted up those employed in the Lighthouse, and all the arrangements for lighting with gas.”

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