Rachael and John's Lighthouse Stories

Rachael 5

In November 2021, the Light the North trail came to a close with the lighthouse auction taking place and many of the 6ft sculptures finding their forever homes.

Here, two of the sculpture’s proud owners share what the artwork means to them.

By Rachael Robinson/Hughson and John Anderson

Rachael’s story

Rachael and her husband are the proud owners of Light Stitch.

Rachael and Billy Hughson won the wonderful “Light Stitch” Lighthouse, after admiring it at Victoria Pier in Lerwick when the trail was live.

Rachael said: “My husband Billy is a fisherman, so he was away fishing when the auction took place. I was so nervous about bidding online, especially when the bidding escalated rapidly! We went totally over the price we thought that it might go for, but we both agreed it was worth every penny.

“We bought the lighthouse in memory of Billy’s mam, Ina Hughson, who died 37 years ago from cancer, and also my mam, Marina Hoseason who we lost 16 years ago to bowel cancer. Both these women were prolific fair isle knitters, so the lighthouse just seemed to be a very fitting tribute to them both.

“The lighthouse is now situated just beside the lighthouse buildings which was where the crew of the Muckle Flugga lighthouse and their families stayed when not on duty. We are lucky enough to own the Boatman’s House right next to these buildings and we can see the lighthouse from our sitting room window. Billy has put a small solar powered bulb in it which gives a beautiful soft glow at night – we say that our mam’s light shines on.”

  • Rachael 1
  • Rachael 2

John’s story

John and his partner are the proud owners of Puffin Playground

John was in hospital during an extended period in 2021 to have lifesaving treatment to remove cancerous growths. He was supported by his partner Sally, a former nurse, who turned to Clan for help for herself and John during what was a very unsettling time for them both.

John said: “We followed the lighthouse trail from hospital and managed to visit the Farewell Weekend to see the sculptures. We loved the designs with Puffins as the previous year we had travelled all round Shetland and I promised Sally she would see lots of Puffins. However, we were there for a month and didn’t see one!”

Sally and John's favourite design was "Puffin Playground" painted by Suzanne Scott of Whimsical Lush.  The lighthouse came up for auction and John secured the purchase within his budget. 

John added: “Suzanne Scott's interpretation of tough times being like a Helter Skelter resonated with us. Buying the lighthouse was my way of letting Sally finally see her Puffins and thanking Clan for supporting Sally throughout some very dark days during my illness.”

The lighthouse is now based at Sandend Camping and Caravan Park, a campsite outside Portsoy which is owned by John and his family. The couple installed a light within the structure and every night it shines its beacon across the campsite.

  • Sandend
  • Sandend 2

Do you want to know more?

Sign up now to receive emails keeping you informed about our services, events, and Clan news from across all of our areas.

I want to hear more about Clan