Bell Rock firework to begin Year of the Light

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A GIANT eight-metre firework in the shape of the Bell Rock Lighthouse will make sure the Year of the Light celebrations in Arbroath go off with a bang.

Tuesday (February 1) marks exactly 200 years since the first beam of light was emitted from the lighthouse and a fireworks display set to music will help celebrate the bicentenary.

To kick off the display, which is the official start of the Year of the Light, fireworks company 21cc have created a special pyrotechnic version of the Bell Rock that will light up for one minute.

The eight-metre high by two-metre wide firework is scaled down version of the lighthouse and will feature fireworks coming out of it to symbolise the light that shines from the Bell Rock.

It is anticipated that around 2,000 people will gather at Inchcape Park to enjoy the fireworks and the message from organisers is get there early to make sure you don’t miss the grand opening of the display.

Howard Cargill, a member of the Year of the Light steering committee, said: “This special firework will mark the start of the fireworks display so people need to make sure they get to Inchcape Park early.

“We obviously want as many people as possible to enjoy it because Arbroath will not see a display like this again for a very long time so it is important people leave plenty of time to park and get down to Inchcape Park.

“The special Bell Rock firework can only burn for one minute and we want would like as many people as possible to be able to see it.”

The event will start at 7.30 p.m. and the Earl of Southesk will launch the display with a countdown to the official start of the Year of the Light.

It is hoped that the fireworks will be visible from the Bell Rock, which first became operation on February 1, 1811.

Many other events and celebrations are also taking place across the town to mark the bicentenary throughout the year.

And Arbroath and District Stamp and Postcard Club has produced commemorative covers that can be purchased from their website.

There are 50 available that not only feature Royal Mail’s 1998 Bell Rock postage stamp but the signature of John Boath, the last principal lightkeeper at the Bell Rock.

The limited edition covers cost £10 with £5 going towards the Arbroath RNLI. The other cover available, costing £4, features a Royal Mail post box stamp and a postage label from 2009.

Brian Cargill, treasurer of Arbroath and District Stamp and Postcard Club, said: “The Bell Rock has played an important part in the history of the town of Arbroath and it is wonderful that the club has been able to recognise this with these commemorative covers, especially those signed by John Boath, who is one of the few men to have experienced living and working on the Bell Rock.”

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