In my last post, before I was sidetracked, I spoke about the sinking of the Seahorse and the events of the 30th January 1816. So what happened next?
The Hook Lighthouse has stood at the end of the Hook Peninsula for 800 years, marking the entrance to the River Suir and the safe route up to Waterford City. For many years ships still mistook Tramore Bay for the mouth of the river. Following the Seahorse tragedy, it was agreed something else had to be done.
Lloyds of London funded the building of of the towers either side of Tramore bay, to try and stop the number of ships being lost in the area. They were completed in 1823, with the Metal Man standing at Westown, pointing out to sea. He is dressed in the uniform of an English sailor of the Nepolionic era.
Did it stop the loss of life? Well, no. Two local stonemasons fell while building the towers, and a painter also lost his life. What about the ships? Again,no. 24 ships were lost in Tramore Bay in the 10 years up to 1830.
What more could they do, give the Metal Man a story? Good idea. All sailors travelling through the are were told the tales, in the hope that they would be warned off. “Between two and three, no shelter be” was often repeated to try and hammer home to ships to keep away from Tramore Bay. My favourite story is if you get too close to the shore you can hear the wind howling around the towers, and the Metal Man cries out a warning:
Keep out, keep out, good ships from me, for I am the rock of misery