Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 07:58 UK

Permanent 'ghost' for lighthouse

Plans submitted to Flintshire council
Detailed plans, with sketches of the figure, have been submitted

The owners of Point of Ayr lighthouse off the Flintshire coast have applied to erect a "human sculpture" inspired by sightings of a ghostly figure.

The idea for the 2m (6ft 5in) stainless steel statue came after repeated reports of a man wearing an old-fashioned keeper's coat.

The lighthouse has been locked and out of service for more than a century.

Flintshire-based owners, Talacre Beach Leisure Group, said it would be a "serious art installation".

In recent years, several people have reported seeing the figure at the lighthouse, which is known locally as Talacre Lighthouse.

One woman told BBC Wales: "My husband and I were on Talacre beach a couple of years ago and saw a lighthouse keeper at the top of the lighthouse, in front of the glass dome.

This will not just be something quirky and short-term, it's a serious art installation off the back of those sightings
David Middleton, planning agent

"He was wearing an old-fashioned dark worsted lighthouse keeper's coat and hat. The lighthouse was locked and chained."

She said the figure was "there for quite a while," on a "sunny day" with no mist.

She added: "My husband and I can't see how anyone could get there unless they were dropped by helicopter and we would have heard that.

"If the person was meant to be there surely they would have had a hard hat on and a fluorescent jacket.

"The chain round the door was very strong and the padlock was a large one."

The lighthouse's owners, Talacre Beach Caravan Sales Ltd, have submitted an application to Flintshire County Council for permission to erect a "2m stainless steel human sculpture affixed to the external balcony and railing of Talacre Lighthouse".

Anecdotal evidence

The company is seeking planning permission which would need to be renewed every five years.

David Middleton, agent for the owners, said: "Because the lighthouse is listed, we have had to make a planning application.

"The planning people seem very on board."

Mr Middleton said a local artist approached the lighthouse's owner, James McAllister, who agreed to commission a sculpture.

He said: "There's been anecdotal evidence over the years of people having seen some sort of figure.

"But this will not just be something quirky and short-term, it's a serious art installation off the back of those sightings."

He said the sculpture would have a "similar element" to Anthony Gormley's "Another Place" collection of figures on Crosby Beach.



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