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  1. Beautiful Turpin

    The year 2014 has been tinged with loss as in July my beautiful cat Turpin was put to sleep. He was still fairly young at 6 years old. He was my companion and great friend. Over the four years that he lived with us, I appreciated him and loved him, even if he was prickly at times. He seemed so tough and sure that he could escort any unwelcome guest off the territory. Sometimes he would be scary when he would pounce suddenly or grab someone by the ankles. He was a great cat and will take huge shoes to fill.Beautiful turpin 

  2. It has taken quite a time to complete the collection of blogs on Spurn Head and the record of my Great Grandfather's service there during the First World War. There is always plenty to say at the start but difficult to  maintain to a conclusion. Now one year later I am concluding the trip to the top of the Lighthouse.

    Before I finish with a flourish of photographs at the top of  Spurn Head. I want to include a piece about my Great Great Grandmother, Orpah Nicholls, who married a Lighthouse keeper and  became Orpah Hall.

    It was through the visit  to Spurn Head last year that brought about the amazing piece of information. We had Scilly Island ancestry, though my Lighthouse keeper line. Orpah was born on Tresco in 1846.

    Tresco is the lushest of Scilly Islands, with it's sub tropical island gardens and its famous custodian keeper living on there, Dorian Smith. My ancestor had lived in Dolphin Cottage, which is still there but is a time share cottage now. Her father was a pilot gig rower who went to the aid of distressed sailors and striken boats. It is interesting to note that the World Championship Gig races take place in Scilly every year and Orpah's father did it for real there in Tresco during the 19th century  He was called William Nicholls. His son was a Carpenter who went on to build parts of the Church on Tresco.

    Orpah had a very hard life. Her husband died at an early age possibly though his involvement in the Schiller shipwreck. He was the lighthouse keeper on St. Agnes, which was the nearest island  to the sinking vessel. A relation of mine has a theory that he could have been involved with the rescue mission and ended up being traumatised by it.  He died in 1876 leaving his widow and four young children, one of them my great grandfather , Robert James Hall.

    I am in awe of Orpah. I believe she was a brave, bold woman who had to respond to tragedy. She did it by raising her children and surviving by becomeing a housekeeper and also storeskeeper in the Parade on St. Mary's. I have only the bare bones of her life, eeking out her way on Scilly but there are whispers of her found in censuses and various certificates. She was married on the Isle of Wight, another island, she lived on  the Lighthouses of Nash Point and  Trevose Head and then went on sole breadwinner mode in Scilly  until she died in June 1891. I have yet to see her Gravestone, which I believe is on St. Mary. She is my Victorian Great Great grandmother of whom I am very proud.

    The Scilly Island connection is a delight and the reason why my grandparents spent so much time holidaying on the various Scilly Islands through out their lives is  simple. It was the ancestral home of my grandmother and pefectly natural for her to want to return as much as she could.   

     

    Here now are the photographs of the flight to the top.

     

    Green rail

     Wonderful old dusty steps

     

    steps up

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     The view from the top of Spurn Head Lighthouse looking West

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     Lighthouse Keepers  Greatgrandaughter  at the top of the Lighthouse


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