The Isle of May has probably more lighthouse heritage than anywhere else in Scotland so what better place to have a lighthouse weekend. Last Saturday and Sunday as part of the Fife Doors open festival, nearly 150 people made it across to the island to get a rare look inside some of the special lighthouse buildings on the island and hear from SNH staff and volunteers some of the stories tied up with the island. In some of the buildings it seems as if the lighthouse keepers just downed tools in 1989 and walked out when the lighthouse was automated. Here are some of the buildings enjoyed:
The engine room on the island is where the power for the lighthouse, the fog horns and the lighthouse keepers cottages came from when the island was manned with keepers. It is probably the best preserve lighthouse engine room in Scotland and is an monument to past engineering with huge engines and air compressors standing now silent in diesel impregnated atmosphere.
The Beacon is Scotland’s first lighthouse having stood on the top of the island for 378 years and there can’t be many buildings around with such an atmosphere and view.
We even allowed people into the Principal Keepers cottage where we live and work during the season. For us living on the island during the spring, summer and autumn only gives us a part of an insight into what a lighthouse keepers life was like for those who lived on the island all year round.
If you missed it this year but want to get a taste of a lighthouse keepers life, look out for the event next year.