Lighthouse Links

As part of our Chance Glassworks - Everybody's Story project MADE is running a programme called Lighthouse Links.  This will aim to connect groups locally with groups who live alongside lighthouses across the globe.

Chance Brothers and Lighthouses
Chances produced specialist glass at a scale unprecedented in the UK for clients of every type ranging from iconic structures like Crystal Palace and the Houses of Parliament, equipment used in WW1 through to arguably their most lasting legacy, innovative optical glass which is still used in lighthouses across the world to this day.

Arguably their greatest achievement was creating the first generation of modern lighthouses through the design and production of lanterns to consistent standards of clarity and luminescence. To this day there are ‘hundreds of lighthouses which stand on every continent, all of which emerged from Spon Lane when the West Midlands was an industrial powerhouse, and whose brass plates, polished and conserved by their modern day keepers bear the name “Chances Brothers, Smethwick, England”’ [Dr Malcolm Dick]. This made an immeasurable contribution to maritime safety at a global level and had far reaching consequences for trade, empire and the map of the world. 

Get involved
There are a few ways you can get involved with this project

  • We are looking for local groups to take part in this programme - young people, community groups, schools and more are all welcome 
  • We are looking for information about the lighthouses across the world which contain Chance Brothers glass. We have a research group who meet regularly at the Sandwell archives to research this, new members are always welcome - for more info see here 
  • If you are going on holiday or know someone who lives by a lighthouse let us know - we want photos, stories, contacts
  • Do you know anyone who worked at Chance Brothers - especially involved in making the lighthouse lenses?

Get in touch with sally@made.org.uk or call 0121 348 7980 to find out more

We will post updates of the groups and their lighthouse links activities on the MADE website and project blog https://chanceglassheritage.wordpress.com/