It Was Fun While it Lasted

Paperback
A first-hand account of a lighthouse keeper's life in the last traditional years before the introduction of helicopter reliefs and automation. Arthur Lane entered the Service in 1953 as a fugitive from the Birmingham branch of a large insurance company, who seem to have made no attempt to get him back. He transferred his talents to the service of Trinity House, and they weren't always appreciated there either. The next seven years and 12 lighthouses were passed in a nightmare for a number of colleagues as they experienced and tried to survive the Motor Horn Call Sign, the Exploding Mortar, and the Letter to The Times , as well as numerous other episodes. Arthur Lane admits lighthouse life could be pretty hectic, but he still manages to give as complete an account as we are likely to get of what it was like to keep a lighthouse in its last traditional years when, for every eight-week spell of isolation, you'd be likely to do another week and more in overdue.