The light works by introducing oxygen into the centre of an Argand burner. The unburned carbon in the oil flame burns incredibly brightly and an intense, white light is produced from the weak yellow flame of the oil lamp. They were first trialled to light the House of Commons in 1839, and stayed in use there for over 50 years.
In the small seaside resort town of Bude a commemorative installation, also referred to as the Bude Light, was erected to mark the millennium and remember Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. Designed by Carole Vincent and Anthony Fanshawe, it is lit internally with fibre-optics and has a small seating area positioned around the light.
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