30 September 2014
Scottish Canals has welcomed a couple back to newly refurbished Bona Lighthouse, where they spent their honeymoon forty years ago. ...
Scottish Canals has welcomed a couple back to newly refurbished Bona Lighthouse, where they spent their honeymoon forty years ago.
David and Suzanne Ball (pictured) first stayed at Bona Lighthouse, on the Caledonian Canal, during their honeymoon in 1974 when it was then occupied by Suzanne's father John Sharplin. The lighthouse was built in the 1820s and was once the smallest manned inland lighthouse in the UK. It has views of both the Caldeonian Canal and Loch Ness.
Scottish Canals' heritage advisor Chris O'Connell met David and Suzanne at the lighthouse to hear their stories about how the lighthouse looked forty years ago, and to show them how refurbishment work at the property is progressing. Suzanne recalled the couple's first visit to the lighthouse: 'We had no prior knowledge of the lighthouse or the area. My dad was renting the property and offered it to us to use for our honeymoon.When we arrived and first saw the lighthouse we immediately felt it was special and is somewhere we will never forget.'
The refurbishment of the property will bring back to life a historic property which has hosted every revolution in lighting technology. David said: 'Over the last forty years we have driven past and often wondered what the lighthouse was like. About five years ago, we walked around the lighthouse; it was in a very poor condition and fenced off with warning signs saying it was unsafe. This was very upsetting to see.
Last year we found a link on the internet saying it was to be renovated. We contacted Scottish Canals hoping to be allowed to go back to Bona lighthouse as this year is our fortieth wedding anniversary. Helena Huws and Chris O’Connell arranged for us to visit the lighthouse on 22 May. To see the start of its refurbishment and its intended development was emotional. I hope many people visit this area and enjoy it as we do.
'To see it being renovated and to be used by other people really makes us both happy.'
For more on the work of Scottish Canals, visit the website.