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South Gare - Redcar, Cleveland

Lighthouse category:  harbour

Position:  54° 39' 0.0" N : 1° 7' 60.0" W

Status:  active

Date:  1884

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  43 feet

Construction: round, cast iron tower with lantern and gallery

Colour scheme: white

Focal plane height:  53 feet

Characteristics: 1.5 second flash every 12 seconds.  Flash shows white or red depending on direction

Foghorn:  two blasts every 30 seconds

Google map view:  google map link

It was a visit to Redcar in March 2003 specifically to photograph this light that bump started my interest in ship photography.  Until my first visit to the South Gare I don't think I had even realised that it was possible to photograph ships without being at sea oneself.  This sudden discovery led directly to my ship photography interest rapidly overtaking my lighthouse interest, although the two are by no means mutually exclusive.  But the ship photography itself led, in turn, to a serious addiction to cruising and that then opened up new horizons for lighthouse photography so, in a sense, what goes around comes around.  The breakwater on which the lighthouse stands is known as the South Gare and dates from 1888 although the light itself is older than that by four years.  The light was originally constructed on the Salt Scar Rocks in 1884 but was incorporated into the South Gare when it was constructed.  At one time there were also keepers' cottages on the Gare but these were demolished in the 1960s when the light was automated.    The light is visible for 10 miles and displays a white flash over the Tees approach channel with red sectors to either side.  Access to the South Gare is generally no problem.  However, the access road is actually private property and is closed once per year for legal reasons.  There is public parking at the boundary fence at the end of the Gare.  Access to the breakwater is possible and the seaward end is popular with sea anglers.  The light is generally friendly but there is a huge amount of clutter around the light with ancilliary buildings a radar mast and large piles of concrete blocks used to reinforce the breakwater.

The photograph below gives a general overview of the end of the South Gare

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