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Light On The Forelands

The white cliffs of Dover are extremely well known to travellers crossing and passing through the English Channel, but the lighthouses that serve shipping in this, the worlds busiest seaway, are rather less famous yet have amazing stories to tell. Whilst guarding against tragedy on the Goodwin Sands, the North and South Forelands have played important roles in the history of technology as well as providing vital navigational aids. This unique collaboration between brothers, pharologist Ken and genealogist Cliff Trethewey, presents not only the detailed history of the lighthouses but also embraces the remarkable personal stories of the many families who lived and worked there, in particular, the Knotts, one of the most significant families of keepers in history.

Too often books have been written about lighthouses and not paid due regard to those who kept them working so reliably and efficiently. We might forgive those authors for simply not having sufficient information to build a good story. That is not the case in this book.


Ken and Cliff Trethewey were fortunate to belong to a family with the longest serving record in the history of light keeping. From around 1730 to 1911 the Knott family kept lights shining for the safety of mariners at some of the best known lighthouses in England and Wales. Finally, after two lifetimes of research, the authors have brought together their engineering and genealogical expertise to write this book that celebrates not just our wonderful heritage of lighthouses, but also the lives of the men and women who made them work. This book will become an important part of British sociological history.

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