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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

2nd Meeting of the 177th Session (1997-1998)

The Northern Lighthouse Board:
Keeping the Tradition and Building for the Future

Captain James Taylor
Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board

The sea is very close to everyone in Scotland and one of the major developments in Scotland is the lighthouse service. The Northern Lighthouse Board is one of the three boards responsible for running lighthouses around the coast of Great Britain and Ireland.

The RSSA has a very close association with the board and its senior officers going back very far. Robert Stevenson was one of the members when the Society was founded in 1821. Many of the Scottish lighthouses owe their existance to the Stevenson dynasty. Alan Stevenson was still a fellow in 1971. He had also done a great deal of work with the Royal Scottish Museum where he became an Honorary Curator.

The Society's Transactions for 27th March 1871 include a paper by Robert Louis Stevenson - his first publication. The same volume includes papers by two other members of the Stevenson family.

Although we owe so much to the Stevenson family, and we welcome a further two generations of the family as guests to this meeting, the environment of lighthouses has changed a great deal. We welcome James Taylor to tell us how the service is keeping up with modern developments. Lighthouses will be very different places after this year when the service becomes fully automated.

At the Royal Medical Society, Bristo Square, Edinburgh
Monday 24th November 1997

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