24th April 2019. For some considerable time, watch keepers at NCI Rame Head have been acutely aware of blind spots created by the fixed position of the main binoculars used in the lookout.

To overcome this problem, Rob Smith, one of Rame Head watch keepers, who was an engineer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, offered to manufacture a moving mount for the binoculars. After much debate and design consultations, he came up with a design which was felt to workable. He proceeded to manufacture his design from scratch, and presented it first to the station committee and, after their approval, to the membership. The design was enthusiastically received and the installation of the unit went ahead on 24th of April and the end result is better than anyone could have hoped.

This binocular mount has eliminated the problem of the blind spots, and the binoculars themselves can be ‘parked’ to one side when not in use. They are fully height adjustable to suit the extremes of watch keeper heights.

 Colin Scott, the Station Manager at NCI Rame Head said “ Our grateful thanks go to Rob, and his team of helpers, for all their hard work”. National Office Manager Mike Smith (who is also a Watch Keeper at Rame Head) commented “ Having seen the basic kit when Rob brought it up to the lookout, I had only the vaguest idea of what was being installed. Seeing it in use, it is an awesome piece of kit, for which everyone at NCI Rame Head should be immensely proud and grateful to Rob for all his hard work”.

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Currently 56 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 

NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies offering a variety of skills and experience, and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.








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