Lighthouse celebrates summer solstice

An unusual view of Souter Lighthouse by Keith Thompson.
An unusual view of Souter Lighthouse by Keith Thompson.
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A POPULAR landmark will be lighting up to celebrate midsummer.

Staff at Souter Lighthouse, in Whitburn, have organised a special Midsummer Saunter and Supper to mark the summer solstice.

In ancient times, many people believed that golden-flowered mid-summer plants had miraculous healing powers, so they picked them on this night.

Bonfires were also lit to protect against evil spirits, which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again.

Simon Colvine, visitor experience manager at the attraction, said: “Souter’s life-saving beacon went out in 1988 when the lighthouse was decommissioned and although we keep it in full working order we don’t light it very often.

“The light will provide a dramatic backdrop to what promises to be a special evening.

“As well as the light being turned on we’ve got live music, a barbecue and a stroll along the dramatic coast. To cap it all, we’re giving the foghorn a blast as well.”

Visitors to the event, which begins at 7pm, on Friday, June 22, will be entertained by Johnny Cash tribute band The Line as the 141–year–old lighthouse is turned on and its foghorn is blasted.

People will also have the chance to go on a walk to the nearby Whitburn Nature Reserve and visit the two new ponds which have been funded by the National Lottery and taken care of by the Coastal Conservation Group.

Tickets cost £15, which includes barbecue food and soft drinks.

However, people can bring their own drinks if they wish.

To book, call in to the lighthouse, or book online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/souter-lighthouse-and-the-leas.

For further information, call 529 0905.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho