William (Willie) Hill was a keeper of Scottish lighthouses for 26 years. He began his career as an assistant at the Toward Point Lighthouse on the River Clyde, on the west coast of Scotland. He also spent two separate stretches at Little Cumbrae Lighthouse, and seven years (1963-1970) at Cloch Point Lighthouse on the River Clyde.
Willie Hill finished his career as a radio operator on Great Cumbrae Island, retiring in 1980 when that facility was automated. He died in 2000. His son, John Hill, says his father would have enjoyed the interest people have in the lives of lighthouse keepers. “It certainly made us feel very special, being brought up in the lighthouses,” says John.
John Hill sent us the two photos shown here. Both were taken in 1963 at the Cloch Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1797, and its light is 79 feet above the water. The inset photo of the three keepers shows Donald Morrison on the left, Willie Hill at the center and an unknown keeper on the right. The same three men are seen in the other photo, at the top of the tower, cleaning the lantern glass. Notice the lack of safety harnesses!
This story appeared in the
October 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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