Remote British Lighthouse Postcards, Vintage Postcards From the Edge

Christopher Nicholson’s superb pictorial account of fascinating remote British Lighthouse postcards is a treasure for those who enjoy a nostalgic reflection on our past historical icons.

With the arrival of the internet and e cards we can easily forget the pleasure to be had from holding in our hands a postcard from family or friends with a picture of their location and a short message.

A hundred years ago the postcard was an important means of announcing news such as the birth of a child, a marriage or death, until of course the arrival of the telephone.

Postcards from the Edge offers the reader a snapshot of some of our historic lighthouses around UK coastal waters, those pillars of security and stability, reliable and ready to warn passing ships of imminent danger from treacherous rocks or sands below.

Whether it is a solitary lighthouse fixed to an isolated rock offshore and buffeted by a mighty sea or the steady, reassuring light beam shinning through driving rain and gathering storm clouds along the coasts of Wales, England and Scotland, the atmosphere and period are captured with full character in these postcards.

Following on from his highly acclaimed Rock Lighthouses of Britain, this latest book by Christopher Nicholson focuses on vintage postcards of remote lighthouses.

While some of the cards are artists’ impressions, others are black and white or sepia, but what comes across to the reader is a sense of what life was like in these extremities off the British coastline.

The photos of lighthouse keepers meeting up with their families after a long period on watch convey a sense of the social life in those times.

It is also possible to get an impression of how these buildings have changed in appearance over time, as well as of the harsh conditions the keepers endured.

By drawing on information gathered from private collections and lighthouse authorities, the author presents us with an amazing and nostalgic compendium of our maritime history.

The evocative photographs in this book help engender an appreciation for those far off days, including sections on “relief days”, “island lights”, “wild winds” and “pillar lights”.

Around the coast of Anglesey there are some iconic lighthouses which feature in this excellent book of British Lighthouse postcards, including the Skerries, South Stack, Trwyn Du off Penmon Point, and Point Lynas.

This richly illustrated, engaging work will appeal both to lighthouse enthusiasts as well as to readers interested in maritime engineering, social history and early photography.

Postcards from the Edge: Remote British Lighthouses in Vintage Postcards is published by Whittles Publishing in January 2010.

More about the book here.

Return to Anglesey Today from British Lighthouse Postcards

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