Service honours men of the Bell Rock

Pictured at the service of dediction at the Signal Tower museum on Sunday are the Year of the Light committee and guests.
Pictured at the service of dediction at the Signal Tower museum on Sunday are the Year of the Light committee and guests.

THE MEN who worked in dangerous conditions to build the Bell Rock lighthouse were remembered in a special ceremony at the Signal Tower Museum on Sunday.

Churches from across Arbroath joined together to honour the men, some of whom died before seeing the lighthouse completed in 1811.

The Rev. John Cuthbert, of St Mary’s Episcopal Church, led the ceremony and in attendance were Angus Provost Ruth Leslie Melville and the Bell Rock’s last ever lighthouse keeper, John Boath.

The service, entitled ‘Light of the World’ saw a selection of hymns and music being played alongside readings.

Robert Stevenson, the engineer who built the Bell Rock also had a prayer that he would say every morning during the construction, and this too was read during the service.

A commemorative plaque which honours those involved with the construction of the lighthouse was also blessed, just weeks after it was officially unveiled by the Princess Royal.

One of the other guests attending the service was David Taylor, webmaster of the Bell Rock website and a member of the Year of the Light committee which has been organising events to celebration the lighthouse’s 200th anniversary.

He said: “As a descendant of one of the builders of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, who also lived at the Signal Tower as Master of the Tender from 1812 – 1821, I was definitely going to make the journey from Edinburgh to Arbroath on Sunday.”

During the service Rev. Cuthbert gave a sermon in which he paid tribute to Robert Stevenson and the faith he kept during the Bell Rock’s construction.

He said: “Robert Stevenson was, himself a man of deep faith. He, with his work gang, started each day’s work with a prayer, and his own Bible is heavily annotated with prayers – some of the words of which we used at the beginning of this service.

“And I have no doubt that he would approve of us marking this bicentennial anniversary with a religious service here in the courtyard of the Signal Tower.”