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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Grace Darling

Summer is here at last – at least according to the calendar, if not the weather itself! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite holiday destinations with you.
Last year, I enjoyed a boat trip to Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland. As well as seeing the seal colony (featured recently on BBC’s ‘Autumnwatch,’) I visited the Longstone lighthouse, home of Grace Darling.
One stormy September night in 1838, the SS Forfarshire was wrecked on the rocks near the lighthouse. Twenty-two year old Grace and her father William, the lighthouse keeper, braved terrible conditions to rescue nine survivors who were clinging desperately to the rocks, lashed by the waves and wind. Grace’s gallantry was reported worldwide, and she became a worldwide celebrity; not all the attention she received was welcome. There’s a new museum dedicated to her, where you can see the ‘coble’ boat used in the rescue by the Darlings. The RNLI lifeboat based at Seahouses is also named after Grace. You can also find out more in my feature for the summer issue of children’s magazine Aquila.

Images: Engraving by unknown artist, World of Wonders, c.1870. Nigel Wilkes collection.
Longstone Lighthouse and Grace Darling lifeboat photos © Nigel Wilkes.


Jane Odiwe said...

A fascinating post!

Sue Wilkes said...

Hi Jane, glad you enjoyed it! The Grace Darling museum was closed when I last visited Northumberland, but I'm hoping to visit it later this year.

Anonymous said...

This is rather unrelated to your post... but what exactly is Regency Cheshire about? (besides the obvious... Cheshire during the Regency era!) It sounds really interesting and I was just hoping you could tell a bit more about it!

Sue Wilkes said...

Hi there, Anonymous. I'll be looking at all walks of life, from high society to silk and cotton workers. There'll be elegant balls and bear-baiting, highwaymen and hangings,even riots - and reform. To find out more, you'll have to buy the book when it comes out!

Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating! =) When is it coming out?

Sue Wilkes said...

Publication date has yet to be confirmed by Robert Hale, but assuming all goes well I hope 'Regency Cheshire' will be out some time in 2009.