What fun we had visiting Souter Lighthouse! It was so interesting finding out what life was like when lighthouse keepers and their families lived on site and about how the lighthouse worked to warn ships that the dangerous North East coast was so near. We were invited up to the very top of the lighthouse tower where our guides told us about the magnificent light that shone red and could be seen up to twenty miles away.The fog horn could be heard up to 10 miles away and operated a sound code so seamen could identify the lighthouse it came from. The light itself was made up of 1008 prisms and weighted as much as four and a half tonnes, as much as an elephant! The light was the first to be lit up with electricity long before any other in the country. We were very keen to find out that from the top of the lighthouse you can see thirty miles away. Next stop were the cottages where the lighthouse keepers and their families lived. We found out that children shared a bed ‘top to tail’ and the baby slept in the bottom drawer of the dresser! Life was actually good for the people who lived there in this small community – free coal, pigs to rear and a vegetable garden to tend all came as perks, not to mention the fresh air. We had lunches in the sunshine and then created electrical switches what would light up our model lighthouses. You should have heard the oohs and ahhs as we got our switches to work to complete our circuits.

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