The major repair and restoration work of the external walls and installation of replacement windows at the East Lighthouse are nearing completion and Doug Hilton, the owner, was hoping that the plastic wrapping and the scaffolding would have been ready to come down by the middle of November. However, another setback has meant this may be delayed for a little longer.
After carefully researching and obtaining the best available rendering (Roman cement) and state-of-the–art external paint, a number of sills show that the paint (silicone based) has not adhered as it should have done.
When we visited the lighthouse Doug was waiting for a Representative from the paint company to visit and advise on what to do next. In the meantime, Doug was pleased to show us what has been achieved in the months it has taken to complete this work.
The new windows are in place and provide all round clear visibility and because they all open either up and down or inwards, Doug will have easier access to carry out any minor work that might be necessary following any potential severe weather conditions.
Following visitor feedback from recent Open Days, Doug is currently installing a ‘magic eye’ that will give all-round views from the top of the lighthouse enabling those visitors who cannot climb to the top to see out into the Wash, as well as seals on the sandbanks and views over the surrounding countryside.
The ‘magic eye’ has been placed inside a stainless steel cage that will be inserted into the chimney. The cage has a ‘roof’ (cap) that will be placed over the chimney and can be raised and lowered electronically by remote control. Visitors will be able to experience the views on a monitor in the downstairs room of the lighthouse.
Other work to be completed externally is the installation of a new lightening conductor.
Once the outside work has been finished and the scaffolding removed, Doug will be able to complete the inside work around the windows and carry out further rendering to make the window casements completely airtight and weatherproof.
One of the unexpected discoveries has been that the wall paintings of flying geese that Peter Scott painted on the first floor bedroom, and thought lost, may have been covered over. Evidence of the green paintwork that was originally used on the internal wall inside has been revealed where the windows have been installed and underneath the current emulsion paint. Doug is now looking to find ways of removing this paintwork to see if the original paintings are still there. If not, he hopes to replicate the work with the help of the previous owner Cmdr David Joel, who bought the lighthouse in a derelict state in 1984.