A TARTAN designed to honour the life-saving legacy of the Bell Rock Lighthouse was officially unveiled at a special ceremony at the weekend.
The Bell Rock 200th Anniversary tartan was launched in the apt surroundings of the Signal Tower Museum on Saturday morning with a host of invited guests with ties to the lighthouse.
It was created by Arbroath graphic designer Steven Patrick Sim, who was also responsible for the Red Lichtie tartan which has enjoyed a very positive reception.
For Steven the design is supposed to honour the good work of the lighthouse and its keepers and also to commemorate the lives lost at sea before the Bell Rock’s construction.
He said: “I wanted to devise a tartan that reflected the lighthouse’s flashing beam of light, a feat which was achieved through careful positioning of the white and grey lines running through the tartan.
“The muted dark blue and black shades are for the treacherous North Sea at night while the solid black commemorates the thousands of seafarers who lost their lives on the Inchape Reef’s deadly rocks before the Bell Rock Lighthouse was built, as well as the men who lost their lives during the construction of the lighthouse.
“In addition, there are 90 threads between the black and the white, representing the 90 courses of granite blocks that make up the lighthouse tower.”
Steven’s inspiration came from the bicentennial celebrations held in the town for the Bell Rock in 2011.
He said: “This year of celebration highlighted the fondness the people of the east coast of Scotland have for the lighthouse that shines across their horizon every night, as well as the important part the people of Arbroath played in building Robert Stevenson’s iconic structure two centuries ago.”
The Bell Rock 200th Anniversary Tartan has also been accepted by the Scottish Register of Tartans.
Roger Lockwood, chief executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, attended the ceremony wearing a bow tie in the new tartan. He said: “This striking tartan commemorates the oldest, continuously operating rock lighthouse in the world which, over 200 years since it was built, is still doing its job perfectly, warning passing shipping of the dangers of the Inchcape Reef. “
Arbroath businessman Harry Simpson, who chaired Arbroath’s Year of the Light Committee, was also one of the guests.
He said: “The Bell Rock Lighthouse Tartan will ensure the Bell Rock Lighthouse and its many connections to Arbroath and the people of Arbroath remains in the spotlight. I am incredibly proud to be looking out to the Bell Rock Lighthouse wearing my new Bell Rock Lighthouse kilt.”
To see more of Steven’s work visit www.thetartanartisan.com