The Recent History and Ownership of the Old Lighthouse

After the lighthouse was built in the village in 1836, at a cost of £60,* it was occupied by a lighthouse keeper who was paid £50 a year, with an under-keeper earning £40 a year. After the lighthouse ended its active service, control was handed over by Trinity House to the Humber Conservancy Board in 1908. The Conservancy Board auctioned the lighthouse in 1947, so we assume that it was empty between those years although we could find nothing out for certain.

*At the same time as Paull lighthouse was being built, an identical lighthouse was built at Killingholme, on the south bank of the Humber estuary due south of Paull. For some reason this lighthouse cost £150!

The 1947 auction saw the lighthouse bought for £600 by a Mrs. W.J. Scales, who was described at the time by the Hull Daily Mail as "a handsome woman of 62." Mrs. Scales was quoted as being "tired of respectable retirement in St. Leonards" and wanted to do "something interesting." She then said she would not be moving in until the lighthouse had been completely cleaned and scubbed out - and then she would tell her husband! She had the interrior completely rebuilt and modernised, by 1947 standards at least, and then moved in.
Mrs. Scales was the daughter of a white hunter, ivory dealer and rubber trader called Alfred Aloysius Smith, familiarly known as "Trader Horn." Mrs. Scales told of how, whilst she was living in the lighthouse, an American journalist (complete with stetson hat) walked into the lighthouse without knocking or being invited in, shouting, "Show me Trader Horn!" Her reply is not recorded.

In 1950 Mrs. Scales (and presumably her husband) decided to go and spend some time in Africa and so put the lighthouse up for rent, and then in 1951 decided to sell it at auction. It was, however, withdrawn without being sold, but in 1954 it was eventually sold to Mrs. H. M. Lloyd, who used it to entertain visitors who could not be accomodated in her three-bedroomed house in Beverley. Mrs. Lloyd also held charity evenings at the lighthouse, which she called "At Homes" and raised a great deal of money. When, in 1957, the rent on her Beverley home was raised, Mrs. Lloyd decided to sell the lighthouse and use the money to buy the old school house in Keldgate, Beverley, where she continued with her charity evenings, and the ownership of the lighthouse passed to Mr. G. Lovell.

Mr. Lovell lived in the lighthouse for twelve years, until 1969 when ill-health prevented him from using the stairs (unavoidable if you live in a lighthouse!) and forced him to move into a bungalow in Hessle. The new owners were Mr Frank and Mrs. Margaret Scott, who like all the previous owners enjoyed the splendid river views : Mr. Scott was the proprietor of Scott Marine, a boat dealers and chandlers in Hull. Sadly, Mr. Scott died and although Mrs. Scott lived on in the lighthouse for a while on her own, in 1983 she decided to move into a bungalow and sold the lighthouse to Mr. Ian Loncaster.

His ownership was very brief and in 1985 Mr. James Deighton, the present owner, bought the lighthouse. Jim is a graphic designer by profession and a talented artist, and said that he was looking for something different and special to live in - the kind of house that didn't have a number, and the Old Lighthouse is certainly that!

Jim has spent a lot of time, energy, and money on the building, and has made the lighthouse a warm and welcoming place. "When there's a storm blowing, it's very cosy as it's designed to withstand the elements. It's just like any other well-built house - except that the radiators are curved!" One of the first things he did was to remove the old, battered rendering on the lighthouse cottages and tower and created the familiar gleaming white tower that we see today. He has also done a lot of interior improvements too, and the latest development is the extension of the main cottage on Town End Road, where additional bedrooms and bathrooms allow Jim to take in bed-and-breakfast visitors, so allowing other people the chance to live, even briefly, in this wonderful building.

The lighthouse with the brickwork
exposed, prior to re-rendering.

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