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Lighthouse Relief

Film of the most northerly lighthouse in the British Isles

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This film records people visiting Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, Britian's most northerly lighthouse situated on a jagged outcrop a mile from Unst, Shetland. Originally called 'North Unst' Lighthouse, it changed its name to 'Muckle Flugga' in 1964. Shots include: boat the "Grace Darling" going down the slipway, men getting into it, shots taken from boat of rocky coastline and of Muckle Flugga Lighthouse (at the time this film was made the Lighthouse was known as North Unst Lighthouse); boat landing at lighthouse pier, lighthouse keeper on pier, and another keeper gets off boat, the unloading of packages and shots of a man running up steps; men move boxes up the rock face on a railway system; shots of the lighthouse bean and flag (the Ensign of the Commissioners of the Northern Lights); shots of a woman going to down the steep steps to the boat and shots of the boat being untied and of shore; shots of the lighthouse as boat pulls away

Questions & Activities


  • Where do you think this lighthouse is located?
  • Why do we have lighthouses?
  • Do we still have Lighthouse Keepers?
  • How difficult would it be to build a lighthouse?
  • Who built the first lighthouse?
  • What did people use to warn ships before Lighthouses?
  • Why is the boat called "Grace Darling"?
  • How do Lighthouses work?
  • What skills do you need to be a Lighthouse keeper?
  • Are we still building lighthouses?
  • What modern technologies are used to warn ships of problems today?
  • What was the railway used for?


History: Using the Northern Lighthouse Board, website, try and establish which type of Lighthouse is featured in the film and where is it located?

English: Write a story of the day in the life of the lighthouse keeper. What do you do, what do you see?

History: Find out what other ways people sent messages out to sea.

History / English: Research the story behind Grace Darling. Create a piece of creative writing, write her account or act out a drama of her story.

English: Write a diary entry if you were a lighthouse keeper.

Technologies / Science: Investigate how the rail system works?

Art and Design: Examine the different the flash patterns of Lighthouses - how do they all differ?

Media Studies: Make an animation about the Lighthouse Keeper's lunch.

Geography: Plot all the Scottish Lighthouses.

Art and Design / Technologies: Create a simple lighthouse using a lamp and rotation system to flash it on and off.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-407-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 3571
Date 1937
Genre Amateur
School Subject Art and Design, Media Studies, English, Technologies, Science, History, Geography
Who H M Lauder (filmmaker)
Where Muckle Flugga
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 4:48
Film Length 04:48
References Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.