Port supports restoration of historic lighthouse

The Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) will be playing a major role in the restoration of the historic East Point Lighthouse, also known as Ragged Point Lighthouse, in St Philip.

It will not only oversee the restoration project, which is being carried out by Hinds Transport Services Ltd., but will maintain the restored lighthouse.

The project began last month with an official ceremony and the initial removal of tree branches that have penetrated the building over time.

BPI Assistant Manager, Property, Management and Maintenance Maurice Gaskin said while his department is not directly involved in the restoration works, it will be responsible for maintaining the lighthouse itself, as well as the navigation light and any other electrical components once the project is finished.

BPI Divisional Manager, Corporate Development and Strategy Captain Karl Branch (centre) hands over the keys to the East Point Lighthouse to Finance Director of Hinds Transport Services Ltd Dave Hinds (third from right).

Once restored, he said, the lighthouse will serve a dual purpose.

“Despite advances in shipping technology, we firmly believe traditional lighthouses maintain a level of functionality, for which the Port is responsible. These structures continue to assist the navigational charting of incoming and passing ships, as well as serve as markers for the numerous boat races that occur throughout the year around the island,” Gaskin said.

Not only that, he said, but given the historical significance of the East Point Lighthouse, preservation of the site is a high priority of the BPI.

“We are seeking to maintain this as one of Barbados’ premier tourist attractions and add to the cultural landscape of the island. Even now, this particular lighthouse continues to draw sightseeing tourists as well as travelling historians, so you can imagine the response once it is fully restored to its former glory,” the BPI official said.

East Point Lighthouse is one of four lighthouses in Barbados. It is the third oldest, having been constructed in 1875.

A notable landmark for both locals and visitors to the island, the coral stone structure sits at 97 feet high (29.5 metres) on top a cliff at the most easterly point in Barbados, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

10 Responses to Port supports restoration of historic lighthouse

  1. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes May 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome. More business should get together and adopt the historical landmarks to restore them.

    Reply
  2. Sheron Inniss May 13, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I am all for this project. I remember Colin Hudson talking about such on hikes. I always wanted to go to the top but of course it was not possible. Thumbs up. Can’t wait to see the view from up there.

    Reply
  3. E Jerome Davis
    E Jerome Davis May 13, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Great but have the opinions of the people of St. Philip been invited? Have you entertained suggestions? I hope that when it is finished visitors can climb to the top and take in the breath-taking view of the east coast. That would surely bring visitors to the area.

    Reply
  4. Zena May 13, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Will it work then ? The light ?

    Reply
  5. Tony Webster May 14, 2017 at 4:03 am

    @E.Jerome Davis: on target. I can remember walking up to the top of South Point lighthouse, c. 1950, with my late dad..a bit scared six-year-old…absolutely thrilled!
    Today, it’s a rusting adjunct to a roadworks depot; with TV and other antennas “decorating” a once proud heritage. One of very few in the world constructed of cast-iron “hoops”.

    Reply
  6. Jimwebster May 14, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Excellent initiative. I look forward to visiting the light house.

    Reply
  7. Trevor Retsof May 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    But……but the Port is responsible for all light houses already. Long time.

    Reply
  8. Barney Gibbs May 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    This is a great initiative and Hinds Transport should be commended. Hopefully the advice of heritage professionals or input from the Barbados Museum will be sought to assist in acheiving a sensitive restoration. There have been many well-intentioned restorations in the past of churches etc that went awry with incorrect choice of materials (eg using grey cement when white cement is the correct match). The recent Synagogue block project is a good example of staying true to materials and era. Hinds Transport are on the ball so they will probably get it right.

    Reply
  9. Barney Gibbs May 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This is a great initiative and Hinds Transport should be commended. The antennae are ugly but apparently a necessary evil. Hopefully the advice of heritage professionals or input from the Barbados Museum will be sought to assist in acheiving a sensitive restoration. There have been many well-intentioned restorations in the past of churches etc that went awry with incorrect choice of materials (eg using grey cement when white cement is the correct match). The recent Synagogue block project is a good example of staying true to materials and era. Hinds Transport are on the ball so they will probably get it right.

    Reply
  10. Michael Carter May 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I am so glad for this news, it’s disrepair and it’s potential as a tourist site has been one of my pet peeves for years.

    Reply

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