Iconic Burgh Island sea tractor celebrates 50th birthday

The sea tractor at Burgh Island is 50 years old

The sea tractor at Burgh Island is 50 years old - Credit: Archant

South Devon’s Burgh Island hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary this year – and the 50th anniversary of its unique sea tractor

The sea tractor is the main point of access to the island at high tide, serving almost as a time-machine for passengers from the mainland to travel back into the 1920s art deco style luxury retreat.

Originally built in 1969, by engineering pioneer Robert Jackson CBE in exchange for a case of champagne, the current sea tractor is the third generation to serve Burgh Island.

All have been built on the same principles and the present-day sea tractor is also consistent with modern safety standards. Maintaining the sea tractor, has many challenges as it operates in a tough environment given its age, with spare parts often needing to be custom made.

To mark its 90th anniversary the hotel is undergoing a multi-million-pound major refurbishment. The renovation will include upgrading of all the public areas, as well as the gardens.

Addition of further bedrooms and a spa is planned for 2020.

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