Monday, June 02, 2014

A lot of hot air and blowing your own trumpet on Pladda.

 As we walked round the silent lighthouse buildings we came across this sign.

 An old door opened to reveal... amazing clockwork mechanism which was...

...surprisingly delicate given its function to control....

 ....the blasts from the mighty foghorn which could be....

...rotated on a semicircular track to point to all quarters of the approaches to the Firth of Clyde.

It has been left at pointing at....

 ...Ailsa Craig some 19km away to the south where a...

...similar horn points north to Pladda.

Fortunately for us the fog horn has been long silent and the northerly air stream had brought not fog but great clarity of air with it.  In the distance to the SW lay the coast of Antrim in Northern Ireland. Little Sanda lay off the long Kintyre peninsula and the SW corner of Arran framed the view.

Thrift was also growing here in any available crack in the walls. Its pink flowers matched the faded... oxide painted tanks which once...

 ...contained the compressed air to operate the horns. The first fog horn was installed in 1876 and was an American siren design powered by a hot air engine. This was later replaced with the current fog horn which worked into the 1970's. It was driven by Kelvin diesel engines which required starting with petrol. It must have been quite good fun starting the beast but I would imagine the novelty wore off after no more than the first minute or two.

We felt rather pleased with ourselves for taking time out to explore Pladda it proved to be time well rewarded. Our little group seem to lack that headland to headland urge which would have missed this exploration out.

My next post will look at the abandoned keepers's cottages.


  1. I just loved this post. Pictures of old stuff - great! And great pictures all over! Thanks!

    1. Thank you Miamaria, They built it to last in those days. I wonder how much of our stuff will survive the odd century or two? :o)