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Lowestoft Probus Club

PUBLISHED: 11:56 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 06 July 2010

At their latest meeting in St Mark's Church Centre, chairman Clare Cakebread welcomed Len Butcher who gave an informative and entertaining talk on the work of Pakefield Coastwatch.

At their latest meeting in St Mark's Church Centre, chairman Clare Cakebread welcomed Len Butcher who gave an informative and entertaining talk on the work of Pakefield Coastwatch. Even some longstanding Lowestoft residents amongst his audience were unaware of the existence of Pakefield Lighthouse, perhaps not surprising when even the Trinity House organisation had mislaid the original 19th century records until alerted by the pioneers of the local Coastwatch in 1999. Owing to the shifting of sandbanks the lighthouse ceased to function in 1864 and remained unused for over 50 years. It then enjoyed a chequered history ranging from a bar serving the Pakefield Hall holiday camp to a headquarters for the second world war Royal Observer Corps and in the 1960s was used as a darkroom by the Pontin's photographer. Len also related the intriguing legend of the ghost of Crazy Mary reputed to haunt the neighbouring shoreline. The current band of lighthouse volunteers maintain a constant watch on coastal waters and are subject to stringent yearly assessments by the HM Coastguard Agency to ensure high operational standards. Janice Cluer thanked Len for encouraging members' interest in such a worthwhile local project. Raffle winners were Christine Shoobridge and Gwen Sagan. At their next meeting on June 2, members will be entertained by popular guitar player Jo Knights.

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