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Lee’s Landmarks – Skerryvore Lighthouse, Headingley Stadium, Thames Barrier

If you find that organising electrical jobs at your workplace can be hard work at times, imagine the challenges that those running major landmarks have to face. Here, we look at some of the awe-inspiring stats of three familiar landmarks.

Skerryvore Lighthouse

The tallest lighthouse in Scotland, Skerryvore was built on a reef of the same name, located off the west coast of Scotland. Construction started in 1838, but transporting the granite and builders to the reef by boat in dangerous seas proved challenging. The lamp was lit for the first time on 1 February 1844.

The builder was Alan Stevenson, a member of the famous lighthouse-building family and uncle of Robert Louis Stephenson, author of Treasure Island. Skerryvore was badly damaged by fire in 1954 but repairs were completed in 1959. A helipad was built in 1972 and it was automated in 1994; the shore station is now a museum.

Essential stats:

•    Height of tower: 48m (157ft).
•    Diameter of base: 12.8m (42ft)
•    Thickness of walls at base: 2.9m (9.5ft)
•    Cost of building the lighthouse and shore station: approx. £87,000

Electric facts:

•    Number of lenses: eight
•    Date light made electric: 1959
•    Number of diesel generators: 3

Headingley Stadium, Leeds

Comprising a cricket ground and a rugby stadium, Headingley is home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the Leeds Rhinos (rugby league) and Yorkshire Carnegie (rugby union) teams. Dating back to 1891, the cricket ground was the site for the 2009 Ashes.

Since 2014, the stadia have embarked on a major redevelopment entitled the Headingley Masterplan. Around £50m will be spent over 20 years, to include a new combined stand with around 4,200 seats facing the cricket pitch and space for around 3,800 standing for the rugby side of the ground. There will also be seating introduced for the first time in the rugby ground’s south stand, while the cricket ground will get additional seating, state-of-the-art dressing rooms and other facilities, and a new cantilever roof for the White Rose Stand.

Essential stats:

•    Cricket ground capacity: 17,000, increasing to 20,000 during the redevelopment
•    Rugby ground capacity: 21,000
•    In 2005, Yorkshire CCC bought the ground for £12m, with the help of a £9m loan from Leeds City Council
•    Number of test matches hosted: 73

Electrical facts:

•    Date undersoil heating installed at rugby ground: 1963, with 30 miles of cable
•    Date floodlights installed at rugby ground: 1966
•    Details of new cricket ground floodlights: installed 2015, the 11m (36ft) high floodlights are set on four 45m (147ft 8”) masts, with 180 floodlights on each head frame, each weighing 20kg
•    The new pavilion on the north side of the cricket ground has a ground source heat pump and solar hot water heating

Thames Barrier

Constructed between 1974 and 1982 at a cost of around £535m, the Thames Barrier is the second largest flood defence barrier in the world. It comprises a series of 10 steel gates designed to protect 125 sq km (48 sq miles) of central London from flooding. When the Barrier is open, the six rising sector gates lie flat on the riverbed so that river traffic can pass through and the tide can flow naturally.

Today run by the Environment Agency at a cost of around £6m a year, the Thames Barrier is raised every month for maintenance and testing. The Thames Barrier Information Centre at Woolwich, south-east London, is open to the public Thursday to Sunday.

Essential stats:

•    Span of Barrier: 520m (1,700ft)
•    Number of steel gates: 10; the four main gates weigh over 3,300 tonnes each
•    Number of times the Thames Barrier has been closed (1982 – April 2016): 176
•    Time required to close the whole Barrier: 1 hour 30 minutes

Electric facts:

•    Cost of electricity when closing the Barrier: approx. £16,000
•    Goodlight™ LED floodlights have been installed to light the Barrier, with LED tubes in the underground tunnels and LED high bays for the offices and workshops
•    New barriers proposed to replace the Thames Barrier at the end of its working life include a hydropower barrier that could generate up to 525GWh of clean energy annually

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