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Talking Pictures Week 19: Cape Clear and Fastnet

Cape Clear and Fastnet, (2002) Norman Ackroyd, etching.

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday.

About the artwork

Norman Ackroyd is an English artist who creates mostly black and white watercolours and etchings of landscapes. Here he has created an etching of Cape Clear island, on the left, and Fastnet lighthouse, on the right, in West Cork, on what looks like a dark and gloomy day.

What is an etching?

Etching is a method of print-making that uses chemicals to cut lines into a metal printing plate. The printing is done by rolling ink across the surface. The ink sinks into the cut areas and creates the image and the metal plate is then pressed onto paper to give you a print.

Fastnet Lighthouse

Fascinating Fastnet Facts

  • Fastnet lighthouse in West Cork is the tallest lighthouse in Ireland and is the most southerly point in Ireland.
  • It is known as the ‘Teardrop of Ireland’ because it was the last part of Ireland that nineteenth-century emigrants saw as they travelled to America.
  • The light in Fastnet flashes every five seconds and the light can be seen as far as 27 nautical miles away, warning boats that there are dangerous rocks nearby.
  • There was an old lighthouse on the rock completed in 1854 which was made of iron, but it was too weak to survive the bad weather that frequently comes to the rock, so a new lighthouse was built of granite stone in 1904. This new lighthouse is made of more than 2,000 interlocking blocks of granite. The lighthouse was first built in Cornwall to see if the blocks fit together and then taken apart and shipped in pieces to the rock to be rebuilt there.
  • This new lighthouse had four lighthouse keepers when it first opened.
  • In 1989, the lighthouse became automatic, meaning it did not need a lighthouse keeper anymore.
  • The Fastnet Race is a yacht (boat) race that happens every two years around the Fastnet Rock, starting in Cowes in England and ending in Plymouth in England. During the 1979 Fastnet Race, a big storm blew up and many of the yachtsmen drowned, as well as some of the people who went to rescue them. This tragedy shows us that we must always be very careful when playing or boating in the sea, lakes or rivers.
  • During Hurricane Ophelia in 2017, the strongest ever Irish wind was recorded at Fastnet Rock at a speed of 191 kilometres per hour. Woah, that’s fast!

Let's Sing!

Here is a cute song about living in a lighthouse. You can find a recording of the song online and sing along with the lyrics below.

I Wanna Marry a Lighthouse Keeper by Erika Eigen

I want to marry a lighthouse keeper
And keep him company.
I want to marry a lighthouse keeper
And live by the side of the sea.
I'll polish his lamp by the light of day,
So ships at night can find their way.
I want to marry a lighthouse keeper,
Won't that be okay?

We'll take walks along the moonlit bay,
Maybe find a treasure, too.
I'd love living in a lighthouse:
How about you?

I dream of living in a lighthouse, baby,
Every single day.
I dream of living in a lighthouse,
A white one by the bay.
So if you want to make my dreams come true,
Go be a lighthouse keeper, do!
We could live in a lighthouse,
A white one by the bay-ay-hay.

Won't that be okay?
Ya-da ta-da-da.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland

Great Lighthouses of Ireland

These are the Great Lighthouses of Ireland. There are even more lighthouses than this in Ireland, but these are ones that are good for visiting and you can even stay the night in some of them! Do you think you could visit all of these lighthouses? Which lighthouse is closest to your house? You could make a lighthouse part of this year’s staycation. Or perhaps someday when you are older, you could go to see them all.

Lighthouse keeper

Imagine…living in a lighthouse!

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you lived in a lighthouse?

How would you start your day?

Who would your friends be? A seagull? A dolphin? A seal?

What would you eat for dinner? Fish caught from the sea? Or would you get a takeaway of burgers and chips delivered on a boat?

What would you do for exercise? Run around in circles? Run up and down the spiral staircase?

What would you do for fun? Play cards? Do a jigsaw? Read a book?

Would you like to draw a picture or write a story about your life in a lighthouse? Go for it!

Young Storykeepers

Last month for Cruinniú na nÓg, children from around Ireland wrote stories and poems and drew pictures all about lighthouses as part of a project called Young Storykeepers. You can see their beautiful work at this link and maybe you will be inspired to create your own story or drawing about lighthouses.

Let’s make a lighthouse!

We can make our own lighthouse from items we would have at home.

You will need:

  • An empty Pringles tube
  • White paper
  • Pen or pencil or crayon
  • Plastic cup
  • Plastic lid
  • Tin foil
  • Newspaper
  • Glue or sticky tape
  • An LED flameless tealight candle/battery-powered fairy lights
LED Candle
Lighthouse steps

How to make a lighthouse

  • First cover an empty Pringles tube with white paper using glue or sticky tape.
  • Next, draw in windows and colour in the bottom to look like the Fastnet.
  • Place an LED flameless candle (not a real candle!) or some battery-powered fairy lights on the lid of the pringles tube and cover this with an upside plastic cup and place a plastic lid on top of this so it looks like the light part of a lighthouse. You can secure these in place with glue or sticky tape.
  • Now it’s time to make some rocks. Scrunch up newspaper and cover it with tinfoil and scrunch the whole thing around the tube to look like rocks.
  • You could add some shells or stones or make a whole scene by drawing seaside friends like seagulls, seals, dolphins, fish, whales, and even a little lighthouse keeper. You could make a blue sea out of wrappers or fabric and add some cotton wool to look like waves crashing on the rock. Have fun!
Finished lighthouse

We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

‘Fastnet Lighthouse’ web article:
‘Fastnet Yacht Race Tragedy, 1979’ web article & video:

Activities and illustrations by Hazel Hurley.

We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Please share:

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