Mr. John Strike. “The Lantern Man”

Storms and tempest hit the St. Agnes Photographic Club on the 8th January 2019 by way of a unique projected image presentation by Mr. John Strike that showcased shipwrecks and the heroic actions of lifeboat crews around the South Cornish Coast in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The amazing stories were brought to life with images taken at the time and preserved in a format of double sided glass slides for use on John’s period projector that had been handed down to him by his father. John’s family line was steeped in life at sea and this showed through in his free flowing and well informed commentary of the subject matter.
Given that the photographic images were taken using the heavy camera equipment of the day, sometimes in very extreme conditions, the composition, clarity and overall quality was superb.

The perilous sea conditions around Porthleven, The Lizard and Mount Bay proved to be the downfall of many a good sailing ship navigating the coasts of Cornwall, some of the events sadly resulting in high casualty rates which in itself initiated new ways of improving the rescue services of the day. Getting a line on board was a hit and miss affair and John was able to talk us through the developments that had taken place with both “on shore” and “on board” launching devices as well as improving the launching of man powered open life boats.

The presentation is unique and of the highest order that leaves you feeling rather humble at the way our forefathers responded to those in peril on the sea.

It was a pleasure to have listened to your presentation John.

By Philip Gott