Iconic Norfolk lighthouse marks 30 years since it was saved, with May Bank Holiday open days

It's 30 years since Happisburgh Lighthouse was saved by community action. Picture: Ian Burt

It's 30 years since Happisburgh Lighthouse was saved by community action. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

An iconic Norfolk lighthouse will be open to the public on both May Bank Holidays to mark 30 years since it was saved by community action.

The open days give the public a chance to climb the lighthouse's 112 steps for one of the best views in Norfolk.

It's also the 150th anniversary of the optic which intensifies the light at the UK's only independently run lighthouse.

May, June and July mark 30 years of action by the community to save the lighthouse from closure and maintain it.

Patrick Tubby has clocked up almost three decades with the lighthouse as supporter, committee member, volunteer, lighthouse steward, vice-chairman, newsletter editor, and trustee.

Now chairman of Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust, he said: 'Happisburgh Lighthouse was threatened with closure 30 years ago, only to be saved by the determined efforts of the community.

'Over the years hundreds of volunteers have given up their time to share the lighthouse with the public.

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'We are eternally grateful to all those who fought to save it and who continue to ensure that many more generations can visit and enjoy the lighthouse. Happisburgh Lighthouse is one of the most recognisable buildings in the county.'

June 13, 1988 was the proposed closure date for Happisburgh Lighthouse, but thanks to Kay Swann's lobbying, it was given a stay of execution, and a public meeting was held the following month.

Scheduled for the Church Rooms, so many people turned up that the only public building in Happisburgh large enough to house everyone was St Mary's Church, where everyone decamped to discuss a way forward.

From that meeting the Friends of Happisburgh Lighthouse was formed to lobby for the retention of a working light at Happisburgh.

After many discussions and proposals, a Private Members Bill through Parliament saw control of the lighthouse pass to the newly formed Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust in August 1990.

The lighthouse is open on Sunday, May 6, 10.30am-4pm, Monday, May 7 (May Bank Holiday), 10.30am-4pm, Sunday, May 27, 10.30am-4pm and Monday, May 28 (Bank Holiday), 10.30am-4pm. There will be a further nine open days from July 21 to September 2.