Lundy Island's annual repairs

by Siân Scott

Sian Scott (Assistant Warden on Lundy) writes about the January repairs carried out during the island's annual 'shut down'.

We all know that January is a time for new beginnings, resolutions, and getting stuck into those fiddly little jobs that you’ve been putting off all year, and this self-improvement mindset is no different on Lundy. After the shenanigans of Christmas and New Year, we dedicate two and a half weeks at the start of every year to go into ‘shutdown’.

Whilst this sounds like a form of hibernation (which is tempting, given the wild weather and dark afternoons that we endure on Lundy in January!), it is, in actual fact, an extremely hardworking and productive period for us. As these are now the only few weeks in the entire year that we do not have visitors on the island, we have a short window of time in which to get as much as possible repaired, rejuvenated, and ready to welcome back guests from the 22nd January.

The maintenance team have been particularly busy, scurrying from property to property and making all kinds of improvements, from the minutest of details to the most all-encompassing of projects. Castle Cottage, the property most popular with honeymooners due to its commanding views over the Bristol Channel, has received particular attention.

Boasting a new roof and bedroom Velux window, a modernised kitchen, and refurbishment of the toilet and entranceway, it now sits prouder than ever in the glow of golden sunrises over the South Lighthouse. All the other properties and buildings around the village have been deep-cleaned and re-painted, and we hope you will notice the difference on your next visit to Lundy!

Our island lifeline, the trusty M.S. Oldenburg, has also undergone her winter renewal, having spent five weeks in the Drydock at Sharpness. 2017 was our busiest season for transporting passengers to and from the island, and after bearing the brunt of that responsibility she was feeling a little weary, but has now emerged bright, shiny and new from her Drydock detox. Amongst the many treatments that she enjoyed, the Oldenburg received a refurbishment of her starboard propeller, a complete check of all her shaft bearings, a new starboard generator with fully overhauled engine, and the annual service of her life rafts.


She and her crew are now impatiently waiting to set sail across the Bristol Channel with passengers once again, just as here on the island we are already daydreaming of busy spring and summer days when the island is abuzz with new faces, familiar friends and returning wildlife.