Arbroath Antiquary and History Club

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ARBROATH Antiquary and History Club saw a good turnout for their new time at the Library.

Secretary Mary Reid informed members of upcoming outside events which will cater to different interests before welcoming guest speaker Colin Easton, curator of the Signal Tower museum.

His talk was entitled ‘The Bell Rock Lighthouse, The Signal Tower and their people’ and is especially apt during this, the Year of the Light.

Colin concentrated on how the Bell Rock earned it’s name and on Robert Stevenson the designer and builder.

He included a few verses from ‘The Inchcape Rock’ by Robert Southey, before describing the important input of stonemason John Rennie who suggested the use of dovetail stones in the construction.

He described how the Bell Rock was occupied for the first time in December 1810 by lighthouse keepers, six in all on a three-man rota.

Slides were shown of The Signal Tower, built in 1813, and how it was divided up to serve as a shore base and family quarters for the lighthouse keepers.

Contact with the shore was also discussed in entertaining detail, with Colin explaining the pros and cons of methods such as bell-ringing and messenger pigeons before settling on Morse code.

After a very interesting and informative presentation, and before tea was served, the vote of thanks was given by George Laidlaw, who reminded members of their trip to The Signal Tower on October 7.