Book celebrates lighthouses

A NEW book published this month provides a fascinating insight into the world of the Stevensons and the Bell Rock Lighthouse.

‘Dynasty of Engineers The Stevensons and the Bell Rock’ was written by Roland Paxton to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable family.

In the process of writing the book, Professor Paxton has unearthed new information about the Bell Rock Lighthouse which will be of great interest to any enthusiast.

The publication of this book coincides with the celebrations of the Bell Rocks’ bicentenary and it provides a detailed history of the family behind the lighthouse.

From little-known contemporary sources, Professor Roland Paxton provides an authoritative account that clarifies the key roles of the eminent John Rennie and the relatively inexperienced Robert Stevenson.

His painstaking investigation reveals that this sustainable marvel of lighthouse engineering was essentially a masterpiece of joint achievement by Rennie and Stevenson in the best tradition of the chief engineer/resident engineer relationship, finally laying to rest the well known and often bitter nineteenth century dispute between their respective families.

The book concludes with chapters on how the Stevenson inheritance lives on with an up-to-date list of the lighthouses the family were responsible for in Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Virtually all of these lighthouses are still operating and from their 18th, 19th and 20th century structures, now all unmanned, 21st century technologies ensure that the lights still shine.

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