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The Association of Lighthouse Keepers are delighted to have the following patrons:
  • Captain Richard Woodman
  • Neil Oliver
  • Lord Hector MacKenzie of Culkein

Captain Woodman

Captain Richard Woodman

Richard Woodman went to sea aged 16, serving in cargo liners and ocean weather ships before joining the Trinity House Service as Second Officer in 1967. He enjoyed a varied career in Trinity House vessels, taking part in salvage work, wreck-marking, surveying and the routine work of maintaining aids to navigation, from buoys to lighthouses. He obtained his first command in 1980 and later served on secondment as Guard Commodore, in charge of a squadron of guardships in the Dover Strait during extensive sub-sea operations. He retired as Superintendent i 1998.

Two years later Richard was sworn in as a Young Brother of Trinity House, being elected as an Elder Brother in 2006 and serving on the Corporate Board until 2012. A keen yachtsman and award-winning author, he has over fifty published books to his credit. For thirteen years he wrote a monthly column for Lloyds List, the shipping newspaper. He has written three books dealing with aspect of the history of Trinity House, including co-authoring both The Lighthouses of Trinity House and the Corporation's Quincentennial history, Light Upon The Waters. Among his varied duties as an Elder Brother, Richard has served as Nautical Assessor in the Admiralty Court and continues to take an active part in the maritime life of the nation.

A Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Richard was appointed a Lieutenant in the Royal Victorian Order by HM The Queen in the New Year Honours 2014.


Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver
Archaeologist, historian, author and presenter

Watch Neil's visit to Eddystone Lighthouse on "Coast"

Neil qualified as an archaeologist in 1988. His fieldwork experience has covered everything from the early Stone Age in Scotland to the examination of World War II coastal fortifications of Kent and Northern France.

Neil trained as a journalist working on The Scotsman, The Herald, The Guardian, The Edinburgh Evening News and The Daily Record, but it was in 2002 that his television career really started. BBC 2’s Two men in a Trench saw Neil and his friend Tony Pollard visit historic British battlefields and recreate the battle situation using state-of-the-art technology. Neil co-wrote two books to accompany the series. Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology (Michael Joseph) and Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields (Michael Joseph).

Following this Neil became the lead presenter on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series Coast in 2005. The programme, looks at both the natural and social history of the British coastline. In 2006, as well as working on Coast Neil made two documentaries, one for Channel 4, The Face of Britain and another for BBC 2, Scotland’s History: The Top Ten.

He also took part in Channel 4's Time Team: Big Royal Dig digging up the gardens at the Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh. Following this Neil was one of the presenters on The History Detectives for BBC 2 (2007) and he also contributed to The One Show, BBC1. In 2008 Neil’s passion for his native Scotland really emerged in the landmark documentary series A History of Scotland, BBC Scotland. And his next book, Amazing Tales For Making Men Out Of Boys, (Michael Joseph) was published in the same year.

Neil lives in Scotland with his wife and three children.

Lord Hector MacKenzie of Culkein

We are delighted that Lord Hector MacKenzie of Culkein has accepted (November 2018) our invitation to become a third Patron of the Association.

Lord Hector has a strong lighthouse heritage, being the son of a former keeper of the Northern Lighthouse Board.