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Trustee steps down from lighthouse role
7:30am Tuesday 8th July 2014 in News
A TRUSTEE of one of Harwich’s most iconic landmarks has decided to step down after a battle with ill health.
Local musician and historian Tony O’Neil has called time on his occupancy of the High Lighthouse in West Street after suffering a heart attack last year.
The 90ft building originally built in 1818 was the home to the National Vintage Wireless and Television Museum from 1995 and Mr O’Neil headed a trust which totally restored the interior.
Thousands of pounds was spent on the four-year transformation of the lighthouse including new electrics, fire alarm systems, staircase and further health and safety improvements.
Mr O’Neil is saddened to have to hand back the keys to owners Tendring Council but believes he has to put his health first.
“After suffering a heart attack a year ago I am sad to give up the building but 100 steps to the top is now unrealistic for me,” he said.
Mr O’Neil is also the curator and trustee of the LV18 – the last manned Trinity House lightvessel -which was installed on Harwich Quay after a 12 year fight in 2011.
The incredibly vast collection of radio equipment from the lighthouse will be officially moved and unveiled on the ship in the coming weeks.