Shining a Light on Lighthouse Keepers at Hook Lighthouse Gathering

Shining a Light on Lighthouse Keepers at Hook Lighthouse Gathering

Hook Lighthouse has announced a flagship Gathering Ireland event ‘Calling all Lighthouse Keepers’ which will take place at the world’s oldest operational lighthouse this September 13 to 15 on the Hook Peninsula in county Wexford, Ireland.

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A small gathering of some of the past Lighthouse keepers took place at Hook Lighthouse recently to discuss plans for the upcoming occasion and to invite lighthouse keepers and enthusiasts from across the globe to this unique event.

The 800-year-old lighthouse has a great history, it was built by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke in the early 13th Century to guide ships safely around Hook Peninsula and has been attended by over 100 lighthouse keepers since around 1810 with the last keeper Tweedy, T.P. (Tux) keeping watch from 1990 to 1996 and currently attending the lighthouse which is automated with its’ beacon rotating 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

Commenting on the plans for the gathering event. Hook Lighthouse Manager Ann Waters said, “We are really excited about this event, it is something we have been working on for sometime with the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Hook Lighthouse is described as “the grand-daddy of all lighthouses” so where else could you hold a gathering for lighthouse keepers, their families, enthusiasts and societies from all over the world, there has been huge interest in the event so far with people coming from far and wide, in particular from the U.S. It will be wonderful to have everyone here and we are very excited by the stories that will be told over the weekend. The event is for everyone, we will have family fun activities as well as talks from lighthouse keepers from here and across the globe and of course lots of music, great food and entertainment.”

The social weekend will commence on Friday September 13 with talks, entertainment and activities on offer until Sunday, September 15. The organiser’s expect that the majority of the visiting lighthouse keepers will come from other ‘Celtic ring countries and those along the Atlantic rim’. The festival will get under way with a welcoming reception at the lighthouse.

The last principle lighthouse keeper and current attendant at Hook Head, Tux Tweedy will be in attendance, as will other local former lighthouse keepers.

Commenting on the Gathering, Tux said, “Personally I’m delighted that this event is taking place, we all know that for many lighthouse keepers particularly in the past it was a somewhat ‘lonely’ job, it will be wonderful to meet other Lighthouse keepers from across the world and share our tales.”

A symposium will also be hosted for those who want to learn a little more about the history of lighthouse keeping. Keynote speakers for this afternoon discussing Life at a Lighthouse include Professor Kevin Whelan, Hook Head Lighthouse Keeper and attendant Tux Tweedy, Lighthouse Keepers wife Eileen Wickham as well as some international speakers.

The highlight of the weekend will be a gala dinner dance with lighthouse keepers gathered as the guests of honor with entertainment provided by the Kennedy Sisters Traditional Carolan aris with harp and violin.

“During the event a ‘Scrapbook’ of lighthouse keeping Memories sharing Lighthouse keeping stories, including the many talents and skills of lighthouse keepers, art, crafts, photography, pictures and poetry will be compiled.” Ann concluded.

For further details on the Gathering of Lighthouse Keepers see www.hookheritage.ie

ENDS – July 4, 2013.

FREE TO USE IMAGES – Patrick Browne – 086 251 5700

Image caption:

Former lighthouse keepers of Hook Lighthouse Tux Tweedy, Nicholas Tweedy and Martin Murphy announce the ‘Calling all Lighthouse Keepers’ Gathering at the world’s oldest intact operational lighthouse, Hook Lighthouse in county Wexford to take place this September.

For further details, to arrange and visit or an interview contact Ann Power 086 3065588 or email ann@powerhousepr.ie

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