It was Fun While it Lasted

By Arthur J. Lane

Format: Multiple Formats

A first-hand account of a lighthouse keeper's life in the last traditional years before the introduction of helicopter reliefs and automation. It tells of the author and his colleagues' attempts to survive such episodes as the Motor Horn Call Sign, the Exploding Mortar and the Letter to the Times.

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Whittles Publishing

Whittles Publishing has been established for some years but recently has expanded significantly, becoming a well-known technical publisher on a global stage. They publish quality, well-produced and attractive books and specialise in the following subjects: geomatics, civil and structural engineering and applied science. They are also developing new lists in specific disciplines including architecture and landscape, manufacturing and materials technology, fuel and energy science and geotechnics. They also publish non-technical books within the following areas: maritime, pharology, military history, nature and exploration.

Product Description


A first-hand account of a lighthouse keeper's life in the last traditional years before the introduction of helicopter reliefs and automation. Arthur Lane entered the Service in 1953 as a fugitive from the Birmingham branch of a large insurance company, who seem to have made no attempt to get him back. He transferred his talents to the service of Trinity House, and they weren't always appreciated there either. The next seven years and 12 lighthouses were passed in a nightmare for a number of colleagues as they experienced and tried to survive the Motor Horn Call Sign, the Exploding Mortar, and the Letter to "The Times", as well as numerous other episodes. Arthur Lane admits lighthouse life could be pretty hectic, but he still manages to give as complete an account as we are likely to get of what it was like to keep a lighthouse in its last traditional years when, for every eight-week spell of isolation, you'd be likely to do another week and more in overdue.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Whittles Publishing
Publication Date 17 Nov 1998
SKU 9781870325677-grouped
Number of Pages 192

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Press Reviews

'... seventeen engaging chapters... ...Lane's original author entries, which transport the reader to tower-shaking storms at the Eddystone, and to hilarious episodes on various lights, including a side-splitting account of some creative electrical re-wiring... ...dryly witty and irreverent but he also writes with great sensitivity... His journals and remembrances of lightkeeping are at once comic and poignant, and he has captured the uniqueness of a service and way of life now gone forever'. The Northern Mariner 'A highly personal account of a keeper's life in the 1950s which no pharologist should neglect to read and absorb from cover to cover. This is what it was like'. Journal of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers 'A highly entertaining yarn... The author's sense of humour threads its way through the pages of the book, binding together many anecdotes of life as a keeper over seven years. will just have to read the book!' Leading Lights 'Thanks for publishing It Was Fun While it Lasted. If he'd been a 27-year-old coke-head from Camden it would have made the Booker prize shortlist. This is the best book I have read in ages. Is A J Lane still alive? I can't find anything about him anywhere' - an 18 March 2007 e-mail to the publisher from Dave Connor, London

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