brianaw

01 Apr 2012 87 views
 
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photoblog image More From The Slide Scanner 14/21

More From The Slide Scanner 14/21

THE NEEDLES

A family holiday to the Isle of Wight saw us make a visit to Alum Bay and The Needles, surely the most famous tourist attraction on the island. This is taken from the cliff above the bay and the Dorset coast can be seen across the water in the distance.

 

The name 'Needles' is believed to have been derived from a slender tapering rock pinnacle which was formerly situated a little to the north (i.e. on the Alum Bay side) of the present central rock. This needle-shaped rock, about 120ft high and known as 'Lot's Wife' collapsed into the sea in 1764 with a crash which was said to have been heard many miles away! The stump of this pinnacle can still be seen at low water where it forms a dangerous reef.

 

The present lighthouse, 109ft high, clings to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It started working on 1st January 1859, taking over from the original lighthouse on the cliff top. The light, 80 feet above high water mark can be seen 14 miles away at sea level, either white, red or green accordingly to the position of the observing ship; it is easily identified by the double-occulating nature of the light, eclipse for two seconds, light for two seconds, eclipse for two seconds and then darkness for fourteen seconds. Many visitors, however, will be most familiar with the lighthouse foghorn which sounds every fifteen seconds during periods of poor visibility.

 

Originally this lighthouse had a keeper and three assistants. The men were on duty for two months and then on leave for one month. There were always three men on duty at the lighthouse at any one time. Sadly, the lighthouse was automated in 1994 and we said goodbye to the keeper and his assistants. In spite of the presence of the lighthouse, the Needles have always constituted a danger to shipping - over the years many ships have foundered on or near these rocks.

 

 

More From The Slide Scanner 14/21

THE NEEDLES

A family holiday to the Isle of Wight saw us make a visit to Alum Bay and The Needles, surely the most famous tourist attraction on the island. This is taken from the cliff above the bay and the Dorset coast can be seen across the water in the distance.

 

The name 'Needles' is believed to have been derived from a slender tapering rock pinnacle which was formerly situated a little to the north (i.e. on the Alum Bay side) of the present central rock. This needle-shaped rock, about 120ft high and known as 'Lot's Wife' collapsed into the sea in 1764 with a crash which was said to have been heard many miles away! The stump of this pinnacle can still be seen at low water where it forms a dangerous reef.

 

The present lighthouse, 109ft high, clings to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It started working on 1st January 1859, taking over from the original lighthouse on the cliff top. The light, 80 feet above high water mark can be seen 14 miles away at sea level, either white, red or green accordingly to the position of the observing ship; it is easily identified by the double-occulating nature of the light, eclipse for two seconds, light for two seconds, eclipse for two seconds and then darkness for fourteen seconds. Many visitors, however, will be most familiar with the lighthouse foghorn which sounds every fifteen seconds during periods of poor visibility.

 

Originally this lighthouse had a keeper and three assistants. The men were on duty for two months and then on leave for one month. There were always three men on duty at the lighthouse at any one time. Sadly, the lighthouse was automated in 1994 and we said goodbye to the keeper and his assistants. In spite of the presence of the lighthouse, the Needles have always constituted a danger to shipping - over the years many ships have foundered on or near these rocks.

 

 

comments (13)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 1 Apr 2012, 00:27
Well, Brian...I think you and Maureen should jump in your automobile, right away, and get over the The isle to get us an update on the state of the Needle and its cliffs.

This scan whets the appetite for a fresh, hi res view.
Brian Walbey: We have talked about going back to the Isle of Wight but haven't got round to it so far. We didn't want to arrange anything much until Maureen's operation is over and she is reasonably fit again so another year perhaps. Besides they have a very good preserved steam railway I have yet to visit!
nice shore
Brian Walbey: And a nice beach just below where I was standing as well.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 1 Apr 2012, 07:14
A nice place to be when the weather is not too windy Brian
Brian Walbey: Indeed Chris, we must go back again before we get much older.
A lovely perspective in this superb picture!
Thank you for the informative words Brian.
Brian Walbey: Thanks very much Richard.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 1 Apr 2012, 10:05
An impressive picture - the colours of the Channel are wonderful - I remember the Needles- but quite taller -thank you for your detailed information -and a lovely sunday for you and yours! - Palmsunday in the sun here!
Brian Walbey: Usually they are photographed from a boat and look much bigger Philine, this does give them a bit more of a perspective in size against the cliffs.
Stood in the same spot Brian fantastic views all along that coast.
Brian Walbey: You and thousands of others no doubt Peter, but it is a fine view isn't it.
A nice shot,well composed Brian,a bit more interesting than our bit of coastline, I have to say!smile
Brian Walbey: Yes indeed it is Frank, but your pictures show you do have some delights along there as well.
Has a painterly feel to it, Brian - nice one.
Brian Walbey: The painterly feel was more of an accident Tom, a tad too much Topaz again I think.
I love alum Bay and the needles. This takes me back as it has been a long time since we last went
Brian Walbey: This was a long time ago as well Bill, we keep talking about going over there again, Maureens brother lives in Poole, not to far to add on a visit to him as well.
Really nice bit of history Brian, I didn't know about the original 'needle', I assumed it was what's standing now - thank you. It's a fine shot too smile
Brian Walbey: Thanks Martin, I didn't know about the original needle either.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 Apr 2012, 22:20
One of my favourite views; I'm hoping to be over there myself during Easter if the weather is favourable. Thanks for the information on the lighthouse. I can remember seeing the usual delivery of Christmas gifts and food by lifeboat at some point in preceding Christmas; always looked very perilous. There's a helicopter pad on top of it now.
Brian Walbey: Yes it is a great view from the top isn't it. I always get the jitters when you see shots on T.V.of people being landed on the helicopter pad of the lighthouse off Lands End.
A beautiful shot Brian!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Elizabeth.
very nice, with great scale
Brian Walbey: Thanks Rob.

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