Lightships, or Light vessels, are ships with a lighthouse tower ontop. These magnificent ships were towed out to sea in treacherous waters, guiding ships to safety with the light of the beacon.
When we wanted to start a centre for complementary health care, we were not sure what this would look like. There are all sorts of complementary therapies centres around but they all seem to look and feel the same; we just wanted something different.
One day, during a deep meditation, images of a lightship kept flashing through my mind, although I did not understand that the concept of it related to our future centre. Using a technique called automatic writing, the whole concept became clear and the idea for the centre on a lightship was born!
A lightship is basically a light house stuck on top of a ship, designed to be in open sea close to sandbanks and other hazards to warn ships about the dangers ahead. The ship rides the waves and shines a light into the distance. This is where the symbolism comes in: the ship guides people home to their true selves, warns about dangers in life, and illuminates the path forward. It suddenly made sense to have a centre on a lightship!
They were built to position themselves near sand-
They typically had a crew of 7 who stayed on board for 14-
The lights were oil-
Our lightship is unique in many ways: she is the only one in the UK with this type of foghorn. In fact, there is just one "sister ship" with the same design in the world: in Indonesia! Also unique is the Fresnel lens system used for the main light: although very common for lighthouses, they were rarely used on lightships. Most of them were equipped with (parabolic) reflectors.
Lightships are not easy to find. Although there used to be plenty of them around
when they were still in active service, most were scrapped when they were decommissioned
due the massive amount of the high quality steel they were made from. So we looked
at one that was owned by Trinity House, but it was completely stripped of all historical
features including the light in the tower. But then we found LV14 that was owned
by the Humber Conservancy board from 1959 -
She wasn’t in good condition but her layout was perfect for us, separating the business
from our private quarters. It took a while to find and agree a mooring. But when
we visited Gloucester for the first time, we fell in love with the city and its energies.
So with the mooring agreed, we finally purchased LV14 and towed her back to the UK
where we spent 3 years on a shipyard to restore and convert her into what she is
now. Whilst in the dry-
Copyright © 2010-