Humber Conservancy Board

Lightvessel No. 14

- lightvessel active from 1959 until 1985 -



Technical data

Length: 114 feet (ca. 34.75 m)

Beam: 26 feet (ca. 7.92 m)
Draught: 12 feet (ca. 3.65 m)
Displacement: 342 tons

Authority: Humber Conservancy Board

Year of construction: 1959

Shipyard: Cook, Welton and Gemmell, Beverley, Yorkshire, England

Yard-No.: 937

Contract price: 98.843 £
Material: steel
Populsion: 4 Gardener 2 LW Diesels
Anchor: Mushroom anchor
Crew: 7 men changing every two weeks


June 2nd, 1959

blest by priest and launched

June 28th, 1959

commissioned SPURN station

May 29th, 1961

collision with the Hull trawler Loch Seaforth

July 5th, 1961

collision with the Ostend trawler Sea Lady

October 17th, 1966

collision with the Hull trawler Steed Fame

December 24th, 1982

no light on the lightship for 5 hours because of a mistake of the crew

December 19th, 1984

visit by the Archbishop of York

December 11th, 1985

decommissioned SPURN station


sold to Mr. Roger Smith and restoration for 1.500.000 GBP

May 1988

the ship became the club home of the Beaucette Yacht Club in Guernsey, Canal Islands and tourist attraction, renamed to "Beaucette Lightship"

September 12th, 1988

tourist attraction in Conwy, North Wales

October 12th, 1990 purchased for the Milford Haven Port Authority
October 20th, 1990
tourist attraction in Milford Haven Marina
March 14th, 1991
renamed to "Haven lightship"
July 1997 sold to Irish tourism investors
December 2001 laid up in Bear Iceland, Bantry Bay, of Co. Cork in Ireland and later in Waterford and offered for sale

June 1st, 2007

Good news - from today the lightship has new owners, who are planning to live on it and to start an alternative healing center on it (such as Reiki, Crystal Healing, Sound Healing, Aromatherapy, etc.). For more details please see:


August 2007

The Sharpness Shipyard & Docks was selected to do the work on the lightship. But first the lightship has to be towed from Ireland to the UK and this means - paperwork! The problem with lightships is, that they are not a ship as such and so they are not registered and classified - but they need to to be towed. Stressful times!

November 14th-16th, 2007

The lightship was picked-up by the tug Sea Trojan in Waterford (Ireland) and towed to the Sharpness Shipyard in Gloucester (UK).


January 6th, 2008

Here in Sharpness the lightship will stay for the next 5-6 month for restoration and conservation work. Any volunteers? :-)


October 2nd, 2010

After 3 years of restoration and fitting out at Sharpness the lightship (now called Sula) was towed up the 16 miles from Sharpness to its new home in Gloucester today. With the help of a pair of tug boats the journey on the relatively narrow canal took 10 hours!


December 2nd, 2010

Grand Opening event. The shipyard has done a superb job turning the ship into a modern therapy centre whilst retaining the character of the era the lightship was build.



Today the lightship is proudly owned by Jan and Agnes van der Elsen, a couple originally from Eindhoven in Holland. They have renamed the lightship SULA, meaning peace, and they offer high quality complementary health care and training, trading under the name Lightship Therapies. Both are qualified practitioners who can help you find the best treatment to achieve a balanced life. A long-list of healing treatments and complementary therapies are available including Reiki, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Life-coaching, Sound Therapy and Yoga. The ship is open to the public.

Visitor address:
SULA Lightship
Llanthony Wharf
Llanthony Road
Hempsted, Gloucester GL2 5HH



July 15th, 2014

The historic SULA Lightship is for sale through 'Euro Ship Brokers' and can be contacted by calling John on 0044 (0) 1436 645 045

PRESS RELEASE: The Sula lightship, home of the well-known holistic centre 'Lightship Therapies' and the only Buddhist Centre in Gloucester, is up for sale. The officially registered historic lightship, a tourist attraction in the Quays area, has been a real icon for the city and has featured in many travel guides.She is moored for almost 4 years now, making a difference for the City. The current owners, Jan and Agnes van der Elsen, also known by their Buddhist name Yozen and Kakua, offer the ship for sale to move on to the next exciting phase in their life. They were both ordained in March of this year in one of the biggest Shingon Buddhist temple in Japan.With a plan to open the first traditional Shingon temple in the UK, they were offered an intern-ship in Japan to enable their dream to come true. "Although there is no hurry, we need to part with the lightship to pave the path for a totally unique adventure, both for ourselves and the County" said Jan. The plan is to build a Japanese temple in Gloucestershire when they return, providing a totally unique form of Buddhism to the UK, resonating well with our Western way of life. The SULA lightship has been completely refitted and restored 4 years ago, bringing it up to modern standards. Her luxurious treatment rooms, very large room for groups and authentic but modernised living accommodation, provides a perfect canvas for any new business or education centre to flourish.The deck space, overlooking the Gloucester to Sharpness Canalis popular for teas and coffees during the spring, summer and autumn time. The lightship has a permanent mooring, planning permission and permits, and is connected to electrical power, water and telecoms supplies. Ideal for any entrepreneur who wants to start a business straight away. "Although we would love the ship to stay in our beloved Gloucester, it could be sold to any buyer around the globe" explained Agnes. Within hours of listing the ship for sale, interest was already noted by potential buyers in Amsterdam and Cyprus. "In an ideal world, the SULA would stay in Gloucester, housing a similar holistic centre" said Jan. "There clearly is a need for some peace in the city, with meditation classes being high on the agenda for all people and businesses in the area. "Lightship Therapies and the Gloucester Buddhist Centre will remain open until the ship has been sold. The historic SULA Lightship is for sale through 'Euro Ship Brokers' and can be contacted by calling John on 01436 645 045

*_ADDITIONAL INFORMATION_* The lightship was build in 1958 in Beverley near Hull for the Humber Conservancy Board. 35m long, 8.5m wide, 3m draft. She was located at the shipping-lane entrance to the river Humber and was in service until 1985. Became a museum ship at several locations around the UK and Ireland. She was also used as a club-house of a yacht-club in Guernsey. Converted and restored over 3 years and brought to Gloucester late 2010. She is a registered historic vessel and recognised as one of the best restored and preserved lightships in the UK. SULA is unique since:
* One of the very rare lightships with a Fresnel lens system in the light-tower. (very common for light-houses, not for light-ships)
* The foghorn design is only used on 2 ships worldwide
* The life-boat: one of the first fibre-glass life-boats ever built SULA is currently housing a Centre for Complimentary Healthcare and offers various treatments. It also houses the Gloucester Buddhist Centre and offers accommodation for the owners. Partially open as tourist attraction and serving coffee & teas on deck. For additional information, call Jan on 01452-527566 (closed on Mon-Tue)

If someone has news, I would be grateful for an e-mail.