Lighthouse weather vane refurbished

0
1963

The Boulder Bank’s iconic lighthouse is to have its weather vane reattached this week, after it was blown off and damaged in March’s 65-knot winds.

The weather vane has been refurbished by Port Nelson staff, and Goleman Industrial Rigging have the difficult task of scaling the balcony and attaching the heavy weather vane to the top of the lighthouse.

Bruce Robertson, one of the lighthouse caretakers who runs The Ferry to Haulashore Island, says the weather vane was due to be refurbished but the wind had got to it before plans were put in place to take it down properly.

“I went out a couple of days after the storms and the wind had blown it off. The drama was that we couldn’t find it again.”

A member of the public later found the weather vane as he was walking along the boulder bank.

“When it blew off, it was broken and battered and bent. We took it back to the port and one of the machinists in there has rebuilt the whole thing,” Bruce says.

The weather vane also smashed a small gas unit that fits on the top of the lighthouse.

The unit is designed to control the asthetaline that once fuelled the lamp inside by contracting and expanding in the sun’s warmth.

“Apparently, when the sun came up it would heat up the unit and shut the gas off to shut off the lamp.”

Bruce says he wasn’t sure how they would go about fixing it, but to his astonishment the workers at Port Nelson came across a brand new gas unit in its original packaging at a Port Nelson store room.

“It was a spare. It’s bloody brilliant, when they made things in those days they made them to last.”

Check out www.nelsonive.co.nz later this week for a video of the weather vane being reattached.