REPAIRS TO PLOVER SCAR LIGHTHOUSE
26 September 2016
Following the damage caused by a vessel collision earlier this year, repairs are now underway. The contractors, MPM North West Ltd from Maryport, started on site on 5th September and have begun erecting scaffolding around the structure. They are working during low water periods, vacating the site as the flood tide rises.
Scaffolding is now partially erected, designed to withstand the tidal conditions and fixed to the lower, undamaged section of the lighthouse. Once complete,the scaffolding will be further braced with guy cables fixed to the seabed, and marked by buoys.
4 October 2016
Deconstruction of the lighthouse has now begun with the lifting off, yesterday morning (3 October) of the lantern; this has now been taken away to the contractor’s workshop for refurbishment. It certainly took a lot of effort to remove, after all it has been in situ for 169 years, but with the perseverance and dogged determination of the contractors, eventually it was gliding through the air to the waiting trailer.
The tower crane has also now been erected, and this will remain in place until the end of the works. It will be used to remove the stones, one by one, down to the bottom of the damaged area prior to rebuilding. Interestingly, this is the same crane that spent eight years up Blackpool Tower recently for renovations of the Tower, but has now been fully refurbished ready for the Plover Scar site.
We realise that these works will generate public interest, but we would urge visitors not to attempt to gain access to the small parking area near the lighthouse by car. It is a no through road, with no passing places, and no turning space at the end as the parking area is occupied by the contractors site compound. The coastal footpath along the seawall banking will remain open at all times however, and can be accessed from Glasson or Cockersands, but we would ask any walkers to remain on the footpath, and for the sake of your safety and to minimise disturbance to the birdlife, to keep away from the temporary access track and the lighthouse itself; this is after all a construction site.
We would also remind mariners, jet skiers and windsurfers that an exclusion zone is in place between the lighthouse and the eastern shore of the estuary, as well as around the lighthouse and crane. There will be tension cables attached to the crane and the scaffolding, which although marked, will be partially submerged when the tide is in, and there may be equipment and stones on the seabed, which will also be submerged under the tide; the exclusion zone is outlined on the aerial picture shown here. The navigable channel of the River Lune will remain open at all times, but the area must be approached with the utmost caution.
4 January 2017
The lighthouse has now been dismantled as far as is required and reconstruction is underway. 229 stones have been removed in total, each individually numbered before being lifted off; they have been laid out on the beach and dressed ready for re-use. The project is taking longer than originally anticipated for two reasons. Firstly, due to the length of time it took to obtain the necessary licences and permissions, the contractors lost a considerable length of time when they could have been working during two low-tide periods per day in daylight, rather than the one they are now restricted to. Secondly, our only view into the internal structure before work began, was through a hole created at the impact site. From this view, it had been assessed that the centre of the structure was loose stone rubble fill. This has turned out not to be the case, as the stone rubble was actually set in concrete, which has had to be jack-hammered loose before removal. All this fill material has had to be hand-shovelled into tote bags, which have then been lifted by crane onto the seabed, awaiting re-use as the structure is rebuilt.
2 May 2017
The contractors have finished and are vacating site this week. The Plover Scar Lighthouse has been disrobed of her scaffolding shroud and shines once more.