TV series puts Grace Darling and Longstone lighthouse in the spotlight

The spiritual home of lifesaving – the Longstone lighthouse off the coast of Northumberland – is to feature in a Channel 5 series.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 1:54 pm

Presenter Rob Bell explores the scene of the legendary rescue attempt by the Victorian lighthouse keeper’s daughter, Grace Darling, in Friday night’s episode of Lighthouses: Building The Impossible.

Rob sees why the lonely beauty of the Farne Islands is not only a refuge for wildlife, but also a deadly trap for mariners seeking refuge from the tempestuous North Sea.

At the lighthouse, he has the chance to explore what must have been one of the most isolated family homes in Britain.

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Rob Bell outside the Longstone Lighthouse.

The keepers who last served here reveal what made this unusual outpost so dear to them – with tales of games of cricket and lobster dinners!

At the scene of the dramatic 1838 shipwreck that made Grace a national celebrity, Rob sees for himself how her rescue attempt could so easily have become an act of tragic self-sacrifice.

And at the Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh, Rob gets hands on with the boat that literally shows the staggering weight of the challenge that this young woman took on in successfully saving nine lives.

Taking up a special invitation from the Seahouses RNLI crew, Rob has the privilege of casting his engineer’s eye over their state of the art lifeboat.

This incredible vessel seems capable of taking on everything that Mother Nature can throw at it, but on a lifesaving drill in the shadow of Grace Darling’s lighthouse home, Rob tries his hand at the unpredictable challenges that can face the crew in the North Sea.

Finally, Rob demonstrates the kind of momentous scientific discoveries and inventions that have not only helped lighthouses save countless lives, but have pioneered technologies that have become part of our everyday lives, too.

But the last word goes to the brave men whose duty it was to live and work inside these incredible structures, to keep the lights burning for the safety of all.

Lighthouses: Building The Impossible concludes on Channel 5 on Friday, May 13 at 9pm. Also stream on My5.