– Since 2012 Sunderland City Council has been working to conserve, restore and open Roker Pier, tunnel and lighthouse to the public for the first time in its history

– The £2.5m restoration work has been funded by the National Heritage Lottery through a £545,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Sunderland City Council

– This has included conservation of the lantern house, resurfacing the pier deck, restoring the lighthouse interior, repairing the tunnel floor and drains and work to improve access

– Built between 1885 and 1903 by Henry Hay Wake, chief engineer of the River Wear Commissioners, the Grade II Listed Roker Pier and lighthouse was hailed a ‘triumph of engineering’ when it first opened

– The original gas powered lantern emitted a 45,000 candlepower beam reputedly visible over 15 miles out to sea. Once complete, the pier extended 2000ft (609.60m)out to sea

– It was built using granite faced blocks, each weighing up to 45 tons, constructed on shore in an area known to this day as the blockyard. Concrete was poured into huge wooden moulds, which were then manoeuvred into place by a vast crane called the Goliath

– This was driven by gas engines, supplied by gas pipes running along a specially designed tunnel which ran the entire length of the pier. This was later used by the keeper to reach the lighthouse in bad weather, when the waves would have been crashing over the deck

For more information visit www.rokerpier.co.uk and @RokerPier

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