From our archives: Such a reassuring presence for so many generations



Lighthouses, coastguard stations and those who operate them have been a constant and reassuring presence in our region for generations.

More than mere backdrops to many a tourist's photo, they have provided a much-needed service to seafarers through the years. Here are a few photos from the EDP archives.

1 Cley beach was the venue for a two-day course in 1960 on life-saving apparatus undertaken by coastguard station officers of the Eastern Division based in Great Yarmouth.

2 The Cromer lighthouse was being modernised in 1958 when our photo was taken. The 120-year-old lantern house with gas and electric lantern was demolished and a new single-powered, all-electric and non-revolving light was soon to be fitted. The last lighthouse keepers left in December 1989 when the service was automated.

3 Two new women auxiliary coastguards, Mrs Joan Torne (right) and Miss Heather Kinnear, are pictured in the Gorleston look-out in late 1973.

4 Down on the quayside, the Gorleston lighthouse presides over the assembled anglers.

5 A candy-striped landmark by day, a warning beacon by night, Happisburgh lighthouse 'rises like a ringed giant on the North Norfolk coast', as our EDP photo caption from 1961 describes it.

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6 This family goes searching for mussels at Old Hunstanton beside a beached fishing vessel, with the coastguard station and former lighthouse in the background. Our photo dates from 1985.

7 As the double-decker to Pakefield trundles by in 1957, Lowestoft lighthouse looms behind these houses off the High Street.

8 Winterton lighthouse had not functioned for many years when our photo was taken in 1950. During the interwar period, the bungalows beside the lighthouse – then occupied by Lord Elmley, a former East Norfolk MP – were the scene of many busy meetings at election time.

9 It was farewell to the Coastguard HQ on Marine Parade at Yarmouth in February 1963. The site went up for auction, after more than a century of service. Its site, right in the centre of the Golden Mile, attracted unofficial estimates of £40,000 to £100,000; the building was demolished in 1964.

10 Still at Yarmouth, buoys at Trinity House depot provided our photographer in 1968 with a fine picture overlooking the docks.