BEFORE: The rusting Gordon’s Lighthouse at Atlantic Shores (left) and NOW: The spruce-up Gordon’s Lighthouse, after Innotech completed work there. (Picture by Alex Downes.)
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The south and east coasts of the island will soon have two historic beacons fully restored and open to the public.
Chief executive officer of the Barbados Port Inc., David Jean-Marie, told the MIDWEEK NATION yesterday that both the Ragged Point in St Philip and Gordon’s (better known as South Point) lighthouses were expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year.
The port has been responsible for the restoration of the 1852-built Atlantic Shores, Christ Church structure, while Hinds Transport took on the responsibility of bringing the 97-foot coral limestone lighthouse which was built in 1875 on the East Coast, back into operation.
The distinctive red and white stripes of Gordon’s Lighthouse, which is the oldest of all four lighthouses on the island, are now fully distinguishable as Innotech wrapped up work there.
A trip up the 114 flight of stairs also revealed the majority of work was completed. Yesterday, workers were continuing painting the interior and said they were set to complete a few more repairs.
However, the spectacular view at the top of the 89-foot lighthouse, which has been featured on the 25 cent coin since 1975, was a sight to behold.
Jean-Marie however said the abandoned Maycock’s Lighthouse in St Lucy (also known as the North Point or Harrison Point Lighthouse) was still on the radar, but no work had yet been planned for there as yet.
Meanwhile, finance director of Hinds Transport, Dave Hinds, explained that work at Ragged Point was 95 per cent completed and that he did not foresee it going past monthend.
“The floors have been replaced, the roof has been replaced on the lighthouse keeper’s building, the walls have been restored, the plumbing has been redone, the windows have been replaced. It’s just the electrical work on that building to be done.
“The exterior of the lighthouse tower itself is about 90 per cent complete in terms of painting and so on,” he added.
Hinds said the company had also restored all five of the lighthouse’s worm-eaten landings.
He explained the glass for the panels were brought in from overseas, as they were too thick to be cut in Barbados.
He again raised the idea of a Pharology Society, which would be focused on the lighthouses which, with the possible inclusion of Maycock’s Lighthouse, had the potential to be tourist attractions.
“If we can restore the North Point Lighthouse, we can have a tour with the three lighthouses. Certainly, a tour from North Point to the East Point, then back via the South Point lighthouse, would be a good tour for people interested in that,” he added.
Maycock’s is the youngest of the island’s lighthouses, being erected in 1925.
The remaining lighthouse at Needham’s Point stands on the south-west coast just behind Hilton Barbados, having been built in 1855. (AD)