Lightship to illuminate Ipswich Waterfront

LightShip LV18 arrives in Ipswich

LightShip LV18 arrives in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The LV18 lightship, the last working light ship, will switch on its beacon and light up Ipswich Waterfront tonight.

LV18 Lightship, at night, from inside the Cult Cafe

LV18 Lightship, at night, from inside the Cult Cafe - Credit: Archant

The lightship, now owned and operated by a charitable trust, currently is moored at Orwell Quay, Ipswich for a residency while its usual berth at Harwich is being dredged.

This week, to coincide with graduation ceremonies for the University of Suffolk being held nearby, the skies will lit by the lamp - which can be seen 25 miles away. It is a powerful rotating beam.

The LV18 was the last working, manned lightship.

Colin Crawford, the trust chairman, said: “It is quite spectacular. When we do it in Harwich we have to warn shipping - you don’t want somebody driving into the pier. You can see it for miles.

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“It shouldn’t be a problem in Ipswich Waterfront. We are going to be putting it on for about 15 minutes, from 8.30pm to 8.45pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

“We have the agreement of Ipswich Port and the borough council.

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“We have done it before on special occasions, in Harwich. We need planning permission but the local council is very good.”

The LVI8 Lightship is planning to stay moored in Ipswich into November, and is open for visitors daily.

On board it is relatively unchanged from its days as a lightship protecting mariners. There are also displays linking to the pirate radio days when it was moored in the North Sea off Suffolk and Essex.

It was used in filming for the movie `The Boat That Rocked’ about pirate radio.

Tony O’Neil, trust founder added: “This really is a first for Ipswich. It will light up the Waterfront. It is unique.”

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