Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Gull’s all lit up to shine its beacon on the Thames

THE renovated mast of the former Gull lightship lights up Thurrock Yacht Club again.

The ship – which was the club’s clubhouse for many years before failing into disrepair – has a long and distinguished history which can be seen on Thurrock Council’s website via the heritage pages.

Although the wreck became a Thames-side landmark on the Grays riverbank, it suffered from regular acts of vandalism as well as degradation through river action.

The mast was removed in 2009, renovated and stored until it was erected at the club in Thames Road.

On Thursday (22 November) Cllr Joy Redsell who had campaigned to save the mast, was on hand to see it at its new home with its solar-powered light shining.

She was joined by Thurrock Mayor, Cllr Yash Gupta and Sir Jeremy de Halpert from Trinity House, the independent corporation with nearly 500 years of expertise in maritime safety.

Cllr Redsell said: “I am delighted to see some heritage celebrated in Thurrock. This is an absolutely beautiful thing to behold following a lot of hard work.”

And Sir Jeremy added: “This is a magnificent icon for Thurrock and as far as I know is the first incident of recycling from a sunken light ship making it completely unique and a beacon for everybody.”

Speaking after the ceremony, Cllr Redsell said: “I would like to thank the many organisations like the Veolia Mardyke Trust, the Port of Tilbury, and npower as well as the many individuals – even one from the United States – who have contributed to saving this beacon.

“I would also like to thank Grays Yacht Club for their help and congratulate A P B Marine, Premier Piling and Small and Company and their teams of workers who made this project possible.

“Without all of us working together the Gull light would not have been erected.”

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