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Apex Lighthouse.

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This lighthouse was erected on the Eastern extremity of the training wall at Trent Falls on the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Trent. It was constructed in 1933 and was owned by the Lower Ouse Improvement Trustees, but was within the jurisdiction of the Humber Conservancy Board. It was a steel structure, erected on sturdy wooden pile foundations. Its illuminant was electricity which was supplied from the Trustee's power house at Blacktoft.

The light was fourth order dioptric group triple flashing with the following characteristic;½ seconds light, 1 second eclipse, ½ second light, 1 second eclipse,½ second light, 6½ seconds eclipse. Total period, 10 seconds. The power of the light was 3,600 candles and its visibility 10.7 miles for the white light and 6 miles for the red light. It showed red for entering the River Ouse and white for entering the River Trent. The white and red sectors diverged from a line approximately set to mark the mid channel from Trent Falls to Whitton. This line could be adjusted to mark any variation of the channel.

The height of the lighthouse was 40 feet and the focal plane of the light was 30 feet above High Water. The lighthouse was painted red.

There was an acetylene gas stand by light which automatically came into action if at any time the electric current failed.

There was a powerful diaphone foghorn installed in the lighthouse operated by electrically compressed air. It gave a blast of 1¾ seconds duration every 12 seconds. There was also an electric siren with the same characteristic which could be brought into operation should the diaphone fail.

The whole installation, both lights and fog signals, were controlled by the Pier master at Blacktoft Jetty.

Today Blacktoft Sands is owned by Associated British Ports and has been leased to the RSPB for over three decades and covers 480 acres of reed bed, inter tidal mud and open water. It borders the River Ouse and the old training wall. When I visited in September 2003 and used binoculars I could find no trace of the old lighthouse. I viewed from inside the RSPB reserve and also from the opposite river bank at Faxfleet. The old Blacktoft Jetty is still there with a navigational light on it but access to it is not allowed.

In January 2009 I received an email from Ted who told me that the light is now preserved at the Waterways Museum at Goole. He had just painted it and sent me a large selection of photos which you can see some of them of the old Apex Lighthouse here.

The archive photo on the top right shows the SS Irwell who ran aground on the Apex in the early 1950s.


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