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Whitby West Pier Extension - Whitby, North Yorkshire

Lighthouse category:  harbour

Position:  54° 29' 39.2" N : 0° 36' 47.8" W

Status: active

Date:  1914

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  23 feet

Construction: round wooden lantern on wooden square skeletal tower

Colour scheme: lantern green, supporting tower unpainted

Focal plane height:  46 feet

Characteristics: continuous green light

Foghorn:  none

Google map view:  google map link

This is another of those lights at which my attempts at photography have either been lazy and slapdash or just plain incompetent.  For some bizarre reason when I first visited Whitby with the intention of photographing the local lighthouses, I didn't even realise that these small wooden structures at the ends of the pier extensions were lighthouses, so I was a little casual when it came to photographing them.  On a later visit I managed to take only one image of the West Pier Extension light and in doing so broke my own "first law of photography" which briefly stated goes something like "take as many shots as you reasonably can because, that way, you are statistically bound to get something right".  Having transgressed that simple law the result was inevitable and the one shot that I did take was total crap.  I've managed to unearth the photo above which is a cropped version in which the light appeared totally accidentally.  Of course, my intention is to return soon to remedy all these earlier mistakes and, when I do, a new image will be posted.  This light, and its twin on the East Pier, date from 1914 when the entrance channel to Whitby Harbour was improved by the expedient of constructing lengthy extensions to the existing piers.  The extensions consisted of a stone base (that appears to be rendered with concrete) on top of which was built a raised wooden catwalk.  Interestingly, the colour of the lanterns is coordinated with the lights they display - green for the West Pier and red for the East Pier.  Access to the light is possible without any particular restrictions.  But Whitby, especially at the height of the tourist season, can be a difficult place in which to find a parking spot.  There are many viewpoints on the high ground on either side of Whitby Harbour from which photos of this light can be obtained with the use of a reasonably long telephoto and the light should be friendly enough for most of the day.  Incidentally, the "old sailing ship" in this photo isn't old and it isn't a sailing ship.  It's a converted fishing vessel intended, I think, to represent Cook's ship Endeavour - a full sized, genuinely sail powered replica of which, occasionally visits Whitby.

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