Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The First Flashing Buoy!

One of Greenock Esplanade's landmarks, the buoy, has had a new coat of paint and looks really smart.  It has a bit of a history. 

The plaque on it reads -

Clyde Lighthouses Trust
This buoy was laid down by the Trustees at Rosneath Patch in 1880.
It was the first flashing Buoy to be established to aid navigation.
D & T Stevenson
Engineers to the Trust

 The Trust engineers were David and Thomas Stevenson, from the famous engineering family.  Their father, Robert was the builder of the Bell Rock lighthouse and many more.    His son, Alan, famous as the builder of the Skerryvore lighthouse among others, wrote of his father -

"There is scarcely a harbour or  navigation  in Scotland about which at some time he did not give valuable advice." Biographical Sketch of the Late Robert Stevenson (1861).

David and Thomas designed and built lighthouses as well as inventing aids to navigation like the flashing buoy pictured, which used compressed gas to light the lamp.  They were an inventive and hard working family.  The next generation also produced engineers.

 The writer, Robert Louis Stevenson was the son of Thomas and you can read his account of the history of this remarkable family here.

The Greenockian


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