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Book launch and signing at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

The fascinating history of Scotland’s lighthouses is revealed through the stories and voices of keepers in a new book which is to be launched at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse on Sunday 8 August.

Donald Murray at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse with his new book


Members of the public are invited to join award-winning Shetland author, Donald S Murray, for an afternoon of music and readings, celebrating the launch of his latest book For the Safety of All, at the spectacular lighthouse setting.

For the Safety of All reveals the fascinating history of Scotland’s lighthouses through the stories of their keepers, archive photography and illustrations of historic plans and drawings from the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), which have been published for the first time. The book has been published by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) in partnership with NLB.

Described as a ‘love-letter to lighthouses’ the book chronicles the lives of Scotland’s historic lighthouse keepers and delves into the history of the beacons that mark Scotland’s dramatic coastlines.

Among the stories brought to life is one tale told by a retired fisherman from Shetland who recounted the story of when his aunt, Mary Anderson, became the only local casualty of the Second World War after a German bomb was dropped in the vicinity of the Out Skerries Lighthouse on Shetland.

The book also pays tribute to the important role that the Scottish lighthouses played during the Second World War. This includes the radar team at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse helping to prevent the destruction of the British Home Fleet in Scapa Flow.

Donald Murray said: “I am delighted to launch my book at Sumburgh Lighthouse. It is one of the highlights of the Shetland landscape – in every sense of the word – from the seabirds that haunt its cliffs to the structures and buildings found in its vicinity. It is a way too of celebrating the role of the Shetland Amenity Trust and all their hard work and endeavour during the last few years restoring the lighthouse. I cannot imagine a more fitting and suitable place to mark the role of the Northern Lighthouse Board in protecting the fishing community, sailors and the people of these coasts.”

The book launch will take place on Sunday 8 August at 3.00pm in the Engine Room at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.

For the Safety of All


Donald Murray will give a talk and there will be music by Donnie Munro, Iain “Costello” Maciver, Donald Anderson and Claire White.  There will be a chance to meet the author for a book signing at the end of the event with books available to purchase from the gift shop.

This is a socially distanced event. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

To book your ticket visit the SAT Box Office