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  1. It has taken quite a time to complete the collection of blogs on Spurn Head and the record of my Great Grandfather's service there during the First World War. There is always plenty to say at the start but difficult to  maintain to a conclusion. Now one year later I am concluding the trip to the top of the Lighthouse.

    Before I finish with a flourish of photographs at the top of  Spurn Head. I want to include a piece about my Great Great Grandmother, Orpah Nicholls, who married a Lighthouse keeper and  became Orpah Hall.

    It was through the visit  to Spurn Head last year that brought about the amazing piece of information. We had Scilly Island ancestry, though my Lighthouse keeper line. Orpah was born on Tresco in 1846.

    Tresco is the lushest of Scilly Islands, with it's sub tropical island gardens and its famous custodian keeper living on there, Dorian Smith. My ancestor had lived in Dolphin Cottage, which is still there but is a time share cottage now. Her father was a pilot gig rower who went to the aid of distressed sailors and striken boats. It is interesting to note that the World Championship Gig races take place in Scilly every year and Orpah's father did it for real there in Tresco during the 19th century  He was called William Nicholls. His son was a Carpenter who went on to build parts of the Church on Tresco.

    Orpah had a very hard life. Her husband died at an early age possibly though his involvement in the Schiller shipwreck. He was the lighthouse keeper on St. Agnes, which was the nearest island  to the sinking vessel. A relation of mine has a theory that he could have been involved with the rescue mission and ended up being traumatised by it.  He died in 1876 leaving his widow and four young children, one of them my great grandfather , Robert James Hall.

    I am in awe of Orpah. I believe she was a brave, bold woman who had to respond to tragedy. She did it by raising her children and surviving by becomeing a housekeeper and also storeskeeper in the Parade on St. Mary's. I have only the bare bones of her life, eeking out her way on Scilly but there are whispers of her found in censuses and various certificates. She was married on the Isle of Wight, another island, she lived on  the Lighthouses of Nash Point and  Trevose Head and then went on sole breadwinner mode in Scilly  until she died in June 1891. I have yet to see her Gravestone, which I believe is on St. Mary. She is my Victorian Great Great grandmother of whom I am very proud.

    The Scilly Island connection is a delight and the reason why my grandparents spent so much time holidaying on the various Scilly Islands through out their lives is  simple. It was the ancestral home of my grandmother and pefectly natural for her to want to return as much as she could.   

     

    Here now are the photographs of the flight to the top.

     

    Green rail

     Wonderful old dusty steps

     

    steps up

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     The view from the top of Spurn Head Lighthouse looking West

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     Lighthouse Keepers  Greatgrandaughter  at the top of the Lighthouse

  2. It is over six months ago that my husband and myself travelled up to Yorkshire and visited Spurn Head and the Lighthouse. The opportunity to visit the inside of a spectacular part of what was Trinity House  property was made possible on the weekend we visited. This was because an artist in residence had used the Lighhouse as a base for working on her project. We had instant access in a place which is normally locked away from the public on every other weekend of the year.

     My Great Grand Father was Lighthouse Keeper during  the First World War on Spurn. When we were able to go inside, rather like a door opening on an allotted time in a beautiful arrangement, we walked up the steps and went  within.

    Inside 1

     Looking up the  spiral staircase, which my Great Grand Father must have run up and down in sedate mode and in an Emergency. His hand must have sought out the rail swiftly and probably became very adept at running and reacting to whatever was required of him, especially during the War conditions of 1914 to 1918.

    Inside 2

    Looking back at the open door, we have now entered.

     

    Inside 3

    This is the first window seen from below

    Inside 4

     And the view, which is timeless


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