Friday, 17 April 2015

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 92



Speaking of pianos …… it has been gently suggested that perhaps the wardroom might be a good home for the piano Simon has acquired.  However the Captain is normally excluded from the wardroom, except by invitation. (In the Army we called them anterooms and it would be a foolhardy officer who told the CO that he was not welcome!)  Even if the protocol could be ignored, there is the problem of practicality. The piano must weigh over 300lb and is not the handiest shape. Readers may remember the difficulties with the deck tiling (Photo 911). 

Getting the piano along that walkway would be quite a feat, even for the most experienced (and physically strong) removers. Then there is the gangway. Again readers may remember its size and inclination (Photo 912).  


    Twice a day it is horizontal but with a large step down onto the deck; at high tide that step is impossibly large; so low tide probably offers the best conditions – downhill slope and a small step. The temptation will be to remove and discard the heavy iron frame which houses the strings and make some sort of cupboard of the instrument!


Molly the dog seems to have taken to her new quarters without any persuasion or inducement (Photo 913). Its position at the foot of the gangway makes it ideal for a guard post, although Molly’s qualifications in this area are not proven. Not a good spot to be if pianos come tumbling down the gangway!
    What has all this got to do with the history or the renovation of the lightship? Not a lot. Progress has not been made on either front I regret to admit.  I have heard nothing about the Victoria Shipbuilding Company, West Passage, so either I do not have any readers in the Cork area, or the Company never existed – which I suspect is the truth. Where are the Irish historians when you need them?
David