More light on Wyre mystery

Fleetwood Wreck Trek 2007'The crowds reach the first destination of the treck - the Wyre Light
Fleetwood Wreck Trek 2007'The crowds reach the first destination of the treck - the Wyre Light
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Fresh light has been shed on a mystery surrounding the ownership of an historic Fleetwood monument.

Pensioner Stan Randall used to maintain Wyre Light as a 20-year-old apprentice plater in 1963, and worked under the employment of The British Transport Docks Board (BTDB).

BTDB was responsible for its upkeep before its nationalisation in 1981 by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government and was later privatised by Associated British Ports.

The trail of its ownership has run cold as ABP has says it does not own the lighthouse. However, supporters of Wyre Light are encouraged by the links to BTDB.

Mr Randall, now 70, served a gruelling apprenticeship on Fleetwood’s first of three lighthouses, often in appalling conditions.

He was often part of weekly boat trips going out to the lighthouse to change the batteries and gas bottles which fuelled the light and fog horn.

Mr Randall, who now lives in Cheshire, said: “At that time the lighthouse support was nine, 12 inch diameter timber legs held together with steel tie rods and the top platform housed a small hut which was all the protection afforded if you were unfortunate enough to be assigned to be out there.

“I spent many an hour in that hut trying to stay warm with only a primus stove for help.

“Specifically in 1962 the lighthouse was hit by a deep sea trawler which badly damaged one of the timber supports.

“My job during late 1962, along with colleagues from the BTDB engineering workshop, was to replace the damaged leg with a steel replacement, a project which took several months to complete.”

Wyre Light is one of the town’s three lighthouses and is the subject of a battle to find its owner and restore it before the structure is lost forever.

It has stood in its position off Fleetwood since being built in 1840 but was ruined by a fire in 1948 and never fully restored.

Margaret Daniels, chairman of Fleetwood Civic Society, is part of a group of people trying to find its owner.

She said: “Somebody mentioned the BTDB had a link to the lighthouse through the railways. People used to come in to Fleetwood by train to transfer to a boat and go to the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland in those days, and the two may have been linked up.”

In a statement released previously by Associated British Ports, they told The Gazette it does not own the site.