Longships Lighthouse- Malcolm’s Memories

Posted on: 7th February 2021 9 Comments

Longships Lighthouse- Malcolm's Memories

We sure have missed sitting down with people to record their memories, but what a delight it was to spend time listening to Malcolm’s childhood spent living on various lighthouses and his fathers stint on the Longships Lighthouse off Lands End. Combining some of this conversation with some of Malcolm’s photos we’ve put together this digital story to share this fascinating insight into a very different way of life.

Digital stories are short, accessible films that feature a first-hand story, accompanied by images or video.

9 Responses

  1. Peter Smith says:

    Hi Malcolm, Your father must have taken over from my father, Ron Smith. We left Sennen in April 1948 when I was 2 to go to Lynmouth Foreland. Dad had been on the Longships since September 1944. We returned to the Longships in 1953 and were there for another 4 years. Yes, James Howard was a fantastic boatman and a lovely man, do you remember his father, James? He named the boat “Boy James” after his new son James Howard when it was new. The family were called Nicholas and JH’s brother was called Nicholas Nicholas he was known as “Nicky Nick” and often crewed on the relief after their father got too old.
    I’m sure we have many stories we could swap about living at Sennen.
    Peter Smith

    • Sarah Storylines says:

      Hi Peter, Thanks so much for sharing this- how wonderful. I have forwarded your message onto Malcolm’s son as I’m sure it’ll be of interest. I expect you’d have lots of stories to swap with each other- wouldn’t it be amazing to get you together! Very Best Wishes, Sarah

  2. Malcolm says:

    Hello Peter
    It is good to be making contact with another Trinity House person.
    It was interesting to learn that your father was the lighthouse keeper before mine at Sennen… did you live in No 3 Trinity Buildings.
    We arrived in Sennen from Flamborough where we had spent the war years which was really interesting with all the planes going over!
    We moved to Whitby after Sennen and then Holyhead and then back to Flamborough where dad retired.
    Prior to all this dad spent time on the lighthouse at Bishop Rock and also one of the South Wales lighthouses – Mumbles.
    In total dad did 47 years on a lighthouse.
    I live in Bradford and have done since 1960.
    Prior to this I was a telegram boy in Whitby and ended up in the Royal Mail for over 40 years.
    Going back to your message I only remember JH who did the relief and used to let me go out with him – if the weather was ok!!
    Did you know Maurice Hutchens – I knocked around with him… he became the lifeboat coxswain.
    I also remember Edwin Bradley who started a Scout group up in Sennen.
    Hope to keep in contact as like you I am sure we have plenty of tales to share.
    Regards Malcolm

  3. Peter Smith says:

    Hi Malcolm sorry I missed your reply. Yes, we lived in cottage 3 when I was born in 1946 and we then lived in number 4.
    I remember Maurice Hutchings, he was one of my grans 90 cousins who lived in Sennen, St Buryan and St Leven. He was the coxswain when we lived in Sennen the 2nd time, and I remember him sitting outside the lifeboat house in the summer with all the ‘retired’ fishermen drinking tea and smoking roll-ups.
    I have written a book “Living at the end of the road”, it’s about my childhood, living in lighthouses. I wrote it for my grandchildren, there are 30/40 pages on Sennen – would you like a copy? most of my memories are in there.
    I have been giving talks about my childhood since the mid 1980’s raising money for Sennen Cove Lifeboat and in 1996 we scattered my Dads ashes off the longships from the lifeboat. Terry George the last coxswain was my 2nd cousin and his son Ollie is now Coxswain. I don’t sell my book, as I wrote it for my family, but if you would like a copy a donation to Sennen RNLI would be appreciated, as my fund raising has been curtailed through Lockdown and latterly a painful back problem. I have asked Sarah to send on my email address to you. Take care Peter

    • Dave Wilkinson says:

      Hello Peter, I worked at East Cowes Depot from 1980 – 1987 and had two periods off detached duty at Penzance Depot in 1986 & 1987. I have found the correspondence between yourself and Malcolm of great interest. I note that you have written a book entitled ‘Living at the end of the Road’ I would very much like to have a copy of this please. Perhaps Sarah will forward my email address to you and we can sort something. During my time with TH, I had many dealings with Eileen Sara at Penzance Depot, someone who I am sure you knew very well?
      Best Wishes,


      • Sarah Storylines says:

        Hi Dave,
        I’m glad you’ve found this film and correspondence interesting. I will pass your email on to Peter and hope that you find further connections.
        Very Best Wishes,

  4. Adam says:

    Hi there my father lived in 4 trinity cottages and my grandad worked in the lighthouse in the 50s/60s I was just wondering if any of you where still there around this sort of time? Would be great to give my dad some more information as he is going back there in September

    Cheers Adam

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