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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Storms damage historic lighthouse
Storm damage at the Point of Ayr lighthouse
The gangway and its fixing bolts have broken away
Storms have ripped a hole in an historic former lighthouse at a popular tourist spot.

Winds and waves have torn away the metal steps to the disused Point of Ayr lighthouse at Talacre, Flintshire.

It has left a gaping hole at the base of the 60ft (18m) brick structure, owned by a nearby holiday caravan park.

Peter Angelides, of Talacre Beach Group, said repairs had already been ordered and would include a new gangway as well as building work at the base.

The lighthouse in the Dee estuary helped protect shipping along the coast from when it was built in 1776 until it was decommissioned in 1844. It was sold in 1922.

It has remained a feature of the coastline where it is known as the Talacre lighthouse, after a nearby resort, close to Prestatyn.

Adam Corkhill, 24, was visiting from Salford, Greater Manchester, with his girlfriend when he photographed the storm damage.

Point of Ayr lighthouse
The steps are lying on the beach in front of the lighthouse

He said: "It looks really bad up close. The stairs are just hanging. It looks like someone has laid them down on the ground but they must have been blown by the wind.

"It looks brilliant when it's done up, but when it's looking like that it might as well not be there."

Mr Angelides said the lighthouse had come into the group's ownership in recent years and underwent repairs and repainting routinely.

He said: "This is probably the most severe damage we've seen, it's purely storm damage. It only happened last week."

He said galvanised steps had already been ordered and the building would be repainted at the end of the summer.

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