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LOOK INSIDE: Jersey's Corbière lighthouse turns 150!

We've been to Corbière lighthouse as Jersey celebrates 150 years since the iconic landmark was first lit.

Since April 1874, the navigation aid perched on a rocky outcrop on the island's southwest coast has been guiding seafarers to safely negotiate our treacherous waters. 

The beacon, one of the most photographed spots in the Channel Islands, was the first lighthouse in the British Isles to be built from concrete instead of stone.

Now, to celebrate its 150th birthday, Ports of Jersey has arranged a limited number of tours, giving islanders a glimpse inside.

The tourist hotspot is also being illuminated gold every night this week. 

Corbière lighthouse at night, Credit: Ports of Jersey

A plaque has been unveiled commemorating the lighthouse's years of service to the people of Jersey.

Captain Brian Nibbs (left) and Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd (right) unveiling a plaque celebrating the lighthouse's 150th birthday

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd was the first one to enter the lighthouse for a special tour this week. He gives us his thoughts: 

"It's lovely, around 36 metres up, in fact it's higher than that. You can see for at least 25 - 30 miles, all the way to France.

"It's wonderful and will make a nice house for somebody one day - but let's hope it stays as a lighthouse for now!"

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd opening the door of the lighthouse

Mr Kyd emphasised that, despite how technology has changed since the lighthouse first opened, it still serves an important purpose: 

"When your GPS, your satellite fails or your modern electronic aids have a wobble, it's good old lighthouses like this where you can be completely assured. 

"It's safe, it works and you can't stop lights."

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd at the top of the lighthouse

To commemorate the anniversary, Jersey Post is releasing a series of stamps inspired by the blueprints of its construction. 

Ranging from 60p to £2.95, the stamps will be issued from 24 April. 

The stamps feature a scaffolding rig, the engineer who wrote the document 'La Corbière Lighthouse Jersey Specifications' in 1873, and of course an image of the landscape and lighthouse itself. 

The most expensive stamp in the package glows in the dark and features the lighthouse at high tide.

Jersey Post's stamp team, with the new stamp series

Commercial ships have been invited by Jersey Coastguard to sound a Bravo Zulu' 'Well done' tribute on their horns as they pass. That is two long and two short blasts.

Those involved in keeping the lighthouse going over the years have been visiting this week. 

Captain Brian Nibbs

Among those, is Captain Brian Nibbs who says the building itself hasn't changed much.

"The actual structure has changed very little, its the inside that has changed a lot. We used to have a very large bulb about 3ft high going on the circular tour in a bath of mercury. 

"Now we've got a small LED bulb much as you might have at home."

 Dave Turner with one of the old Lighthouse bulbs

Former Lighthouse Keeper Dave Turner has fond memories of his 25 years working in the building. 

The 89-year-old tells us the job certainly kept him on his toes:

"There's 99 steps from the bottom and another 48 inside so after a while I was quite fit. When I'd go down after finishing the job, people would start talking to me and asking if they could go up to the light - so if I had time, I'd take them up and go up the stairs again!"

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