The Great Light
PP Gordon Millington kindly spoke Monday 30 April to the Club about the Great Light recently installed as the latest tourist attraction in the Titanic Quarter.
One of the largest optics of its kind ever built in the world weighing 10 tonnes and measuring 7 metres tall the lenses gave the Mew Island lighthouse on the Copeland Islands its traditional revolving light and guided mariners along Belfast Lough until 2014 when it was removed and replaced with cheaper to run LED lights. The lens is now the only one left of its type and as such is totally irreplaceable and exceptionally rare so a new home was sought. PP Gordon advised that he was contacted and it was subsequently taken to Dublin to be refurbished by the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Given its unique history it was offered to the Titanic Foundation who will now display it in a landmark curved glass structure made to resemble a lighthouse lantern room and situated on the new Titanic Walkway, the 500 metres of maritime walkway connecting the Titanic and Olympic Slipways and the Alexandra Dock, linking Titanic Belfast, HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock.
PP Gordon concluded this very interesting display will be open to the public, the building providing the opportunity to see the workings of a lighthouse up close and to learn about their history and importance as a navigational aid and a warning to shipping.