The Return of the Heritage Lighting Columns at Sandbanks

The Return of the Heritage Lighting Columns at Sandbanks

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After a long time away the 5 heritage lighting columns at the bottom of Evening Hill which disappeared 5 months ago have been fully refurbished and returned to their rightful place.

The columns were erected in 1895 along the sea wall at Whitley Bay, the bay between Evening Hill and Shore Road. 9 years ago 2 of the columns were damaged in a storm and it took until last year that they were both returned to their plinths. Unfortunately, one was returned cast in aluminium, unsuitable for its location and the battering it gets, and the other was an amalgam of the broken bits. This together with the poor state of all the columns prompted The Society for Poole to set a mission to restore and refurbish all 20 of the columns starting from Evening Hill, working along to Shore Road.

The Society for Poole undertook the work with CIL funding, the assistance and coordination of BCP Lighting unit and Ironwork of Distinction, a local company who undertook the restorative work to the cast iron. The project took 5 months as the columns were found to be in a poor state with many elements of the cast iron broken or cracked.

The columns have been extensively refurbished with the old paint being removed, the fish removed, restored and in some places recast, cracks being closed and repaired and the whole columns being zinc coated and repainted, many of the gold elements by hand. BCP Lighting have also been working hard to coordinate the restoration of the top lanterns and the rewiring of the units so that they should shine brightly and look as good as they did almost 130 years ago.

“We are only a quarter of the way through the renovation of all the 20 columns but this is a great start. With further CIL applications, good will from BCP, drive from the Society for Poole and the skill of Ironwork of Distinction I am confident we can work our way along the harbour wall and complete the project.” said Mike Pearce Chairman of the Society for Poole.

Mike Pearce

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