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Year One visit Flamborough Lighthouse

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As part of their Safety at Sea topic, Year 1 extended their study of Grace Darling and the work of the RNLI with a blustery trip to Flamborough Lighthouse and Filey RNLI Lifeboat Station.

On the way to the current working light house which was built in 1806, the children were excited to sport the old lighthouse which had been built in 1669.

Arriving at Flamborough Lighthouse we learnt more about the work of Trinity House, the charity dedicated to the safety of shipping and seafarers, and looked at the location of some of the other 60 lighthouses maintained by the charity. The children located the Farne Islands and Longstone Lighthouse where William Darling, Grace’s father, had been lighthouse keeper. Flamborough lighthouse has a wide ranging light of 24 nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1.1508 land miles).

As we went into the bottom of the lighthouse tower we looked up and admired the beautiful curving spiral steps which got narrower the further up we climbed. We learnt there were 119 steps to take us up into the lantern room.

The bulbs that give out approximately as much power/intensity as 500,000 candles now have to come from America and cost £120 each. There are two bulbs in the top of the lighthouse. One is used and the second is a spare. The prisms constantly rotate around the bulb even when it is not lit. When lit, the Flamborough lamp rotates, it gives 4 white flashes 4 times every 15 seconds - 16 times a minute. We learnt that each lighthouse has a different pattern of flashes and this is how seafarers identify each lighthouse. Flamborough lighthouse stands 26.5 metres tall. Being a gloomy, wet day we couldn’t see very far from the top of the lighthouse, but the children managed to spot a fishing boat and an oil tanker.

After enjoying their school pack ups and mugs of tea at Mrs Stubb’s house, we set off for Filey. The rain had stopped and the sun had come out. We visited Filey RNLI Lifeboat Station where we learnt about the inshore and all-weather lifeboats and how they are launched with the assistance of tractors on caterpillar wheels. The children had lots of questions which were answered by Bob the guide.

Filey has had a lifeboat for nearly 200 years. At the moment they have nearly 30 crew who can be called upon to go out on the Lifeboat when needed. The children then enjoyed spending some pocket money in the RNLI shop to further the work of the lifeboats.

The children were a credit to school and we had a super day out.

Claire Stubbs


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