Sunderland writer takes inspiration from Roker Pier & Lighthouse

29.06.16 09:30

Glenda tells us how she took inspiration for a short story from Roker Pier

Hello! I’m Glenda Young and I volunteer with the Roker Pier Heritage Group. Volunteering to help promote Roker Pier and Lighthouse is enormously rewarding and interesting - and I’m also learning a great deal too. 

As part of my volunteering role I’ve been involved in a variety of really interesting work. I spent a day at the Tyne and Wear archives, based in the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, helping to sort through old papers, charts and maps from the offices of the River Wear Commissioners (RWC). This archiving work continues weekly with some of our other volunteers cataloguing the RWC paperwork. With hundreds of boxes of papers, and shelves full of maps and charts in the archives, it’s no easy task to catalogue it all. The work of the volunteer team is invaluable. And once it is finished, the RWC archives will be searchable online.  

I’ve also helped to promote Roker Pier and Lighthouse by handing out leaflets and chatting to people on the pier about the work that has been going on in the tunnel and the lighthouse. It was great to see everyone so enthusiastic to hear the news that the lighthouse and tunnel would be opening to the public for the first time!

And earlier this year I was fortunate to be included on a tour inside the renovated lighthouse. I wrote about the experience, with photographs, which you can see on my own blog here.

So how did being a volunteer with Roker Pier and Lighthouse inspire a short story? Well, the Chair of the Roker Pier Heritage Group is Phil Tweddle, and when Phil was interviewed on the BBC’s Countryfile programme earlier this year, talking about Roker Lighthouse, he mentioned that his granddad worked in the lighthouse and as a boy, Phil was allowed inside.  The thought of this stuck with me and inspired me to write a short story.  The story is in no way based on Phil or the Roker lighthouse, but purely inspired by both. The story even includes a seal I once saw swimming in the sea as I cycled along the pier.

The short story, called The Sound Of The Foghorn, will be published in The People’s Friend magazine, which goes on sale on Wednesday 29 June 2016. The magazine costs £1.10, is available from all newsagents and supermarkets and has over 400,000 readers per week.

The artwork pictured above has been created by Jim Dewar, the in-house artist at The People’s Friend to illustrate The Sound Of The Foghorn​.  You can find out more about Jim Dewar at The People’s Friend ‘meet the team’ webpage.

Useful Links:

For information about volunteering with Roker Pier and Lighthouse, visit:

Glenda Young website:

Twitter: @flaming_nora and Blog:

People’s Friend magazine website:

Twitter: @TheFriendMag

Updated date: 20.04.18 15:57
Updated date: 18.05.18 15:39