Historic Scottish Lighthouse Gets Fresh Coat
For the last several weeks, painters in Scotland have been repainting the historic Covesea Lighthouse.
Located in Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth Coast, reports indicate that the roughly 90-foot-tall lighthouse hasn’t been painted in 25 years.
About Covesea Lighthouse
According to Covesea Lighthouse’s website, the structure was designed by Alan Stevenson, a member of the famous “Lighthouse Stevensons” family, who over a period of 150 years built most of the lighthouses around Scotland’s coast.
Completed in 1846, the lighthouse was built by James Smith, a building contractor from Inverness, at a cost of 11,514 pounds.
Manned for nearly 140 years, after the automation of lights, lighthouse keepers were no longer needed at the lighthouse, as they could switch the light off and on remotely from the Northern Lighthouse Board headquarters in Edinburgh.
Sometime in the late 1990s, Edinburgh Painting Contractors was brought on to repaint the lighthouse.
In 2012, the lamp was switched off after an addition of a North Cardinal Buoy next to the Halliman Skerries was completed. Afterwards, the Lossiemouth Business Association helped form the Covesea Lighthouse Community Company Ltd, which was established to buy the property, with the intention of getting it open to the public for the first time.
With the support of government funding, the lighthouse was bought in 2013. Some time later, officials had a center built for the lighthouse and worked to restore the steading and well. The environmentally friendly building was designed by Cullen firm NB Planning and Architecture to be modern, yet still sensitive to its historic and natural setting.
“The building is integrated into the landscape by making it appear as if it has risen up from the grass itself … almost as if to provide the adjacent plane with a take-off ramp,” said the Cullen firm in a statement.
“In further homage to the RAF, the building is inspired by the nearby grass-banked ammunition shelters at the Lossiemouth base.”
The contractors for this project were Grant and Anderson of Dufftown.
Over the course of other restoration projects, the project received a donation of 1,000 pounds to paint the lighthouse cottages and quarter deck. An undisclosed amount of funding was also received for the inside of the center and exterior groundwork, including the pond, landscaping and a carpark.
In addition, the Board of Trustees of The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation were reported to have contributed 25,000 pounds for various exteriors, the iconic sedum roof and landscaping.
Today, the lighthouse is a Category A Listed Building, deemed to be “of national importance.”
Repainting the Lighthouse
Over the last several weeks, painters from Edinburgh Painting Contractors could be seen more than 90 feet in the air, on a suspended platform cradle, recoating the tower.
According to the contractor’s website, the company has been providing specialist painting services for both onshore and offshore commercial clients for more than 40 years. The company is noted to offer a wide range of decorating services, but also performs surface preparation, such as grit blasting or other forms of cleaning to sandstone or granite properties, among others.
“Lossie lighthouse is quite a tall and challenging lighthouse to paint at between 90 and 100 feet high and it can initially be quite daunting, but we've been painting lighthouses for over 40 years so we're quite experienced and know what we're doing,” Darren Marshall, who owns the family business, told The Northern Scot.
“We've been really lucky that the weather has been fantastic, so we have managed to get the job done quickly, because the lighthouse is so tall, we can't get up there in the wind or the rain.”
The publication went on to report that painting work on the main tower began on April 18 and was completed in just under three weeks on May 1.
“The paint job is looking tremendous, looks really good and we're quite pleased with it ourselves and to keep the contract for over 40 years means we're definitely doing something right,” added Marshall. “We've also had a lot of fun doing it, the jets (from nearby RAF Lossie) flew past us a lot and we're sometimes level with them when we're painting, so we've been giving them a wee wave as they go past. Although sometimes they would give us a bit of a fright, we wouldn't hear them coming and then they'd whizz past us.”
The entire repainting is estimated to cost around 70,000 pounds. Painters from Edinburgh Painting Contractors are slated to continue work at the lighthouse over the next few weeks.