Sunday, 12 January 2014

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 26



I have just returned from spending two days with Simon aboard Cormorant / Lady Dixon / The Beast / The Lightship. I suppose the official name is ‘The Lightship’ as it is now registered with that name at National Historic Ships UK. A few days before I left home Simon reported that the kitchen ceiling was bugging him, as it had been rather badly plaster-boarded and bulged in waves down the length of the kitchen. So he took it all down again (Photo). 

He discovered large areas under there which had no insulating boards fitted.  I wonder if that graffiti is original!
By the time I arrived all was well again and the plasterer has been booked to finish the job (Photo).

Wearing my historical research hat (one way of avoiding too much labouring!), I went over the ship with arc-lights and camera. My first investigation was the mast and the light operating mechanism I reported in an earlier post. I wanted to confirm the positioning of the shaft through the mast and sure enough it all lined up (Photo). 

In addition, where that shaft emerged on the far side of  the bulkhead on the left, the blueprints showed a pulley wheel with two wires going aloft through the roof / ceiling / overhead and sure enough there are two holes in exactly the expected spot (Photo).

I was rather saddened to find the remains of the mizzen mast, but at least it was being put to good use – keeping the ship away from the causeway (Photo). A neighbouring boat owner remembers it being cut down years ago because it was becoming dangerously rotten.

At least the riding lamp (is that the right terminology?) which is about 3ft in diameter, used to fit around the mizzen and be hauled up and down, is still aboard and reasonably intact. That and the other artefacts deserve a blog of their own, so watch this space.
David