A MONUMENT caretaker was presented with a Certificate of Recognition to thank him for his three decades of looking after an iconic local landmark. 

Ken Barratt was awarded the certificate by Ulverston Town Council for his 30 years volunteering at the Sir John Barrow Monument, many of which he spent as the senior lighthouse keeper.

He took the job in 1992 after the monument had been closed for three years while being renovated.

"When I took over, we had no electricity up there and it was only put in in 1995," said the 78-year-old.

"I had quite lonely days when I started, and my wife and son felt it.

"Where it is situated, it is not like being in the middle of the town with guaranteed hundreds of visitors - it is on a hill, and people have to access it up there."

In 2004, Mr Barratt began working with the Friends of the Sir John Barrow Monument group to apply for lottery funding to have the tower restored.

The lottery funding was granted, and a major restoration work was completed in 2010.

After 20 years serving on the building, standing 100ft (30m) above Hoad Hill, Mr Barratt decided to step back from his role.

However, he has since carried on providing his help by working in the monument as a volunteer. 

He said: "I had people from all over visiting over the years that I have met and it has been very interesting.

"We only open it one day a week, bank holidays, but there are other times you have to go up to check the electrical system, keep it clean, make sure everything is saved and there is no damage."

The man said that the moments that stood out across the decades were the 150-year celebration of the monument in 2000 and its re-opening in 2010 after the renovations.

He also recalls the downsides of the job.

"There is no water supply up there either, and sometimes the cows and the sheep had made a mess outside, so I had to clean it up to let people inside - one of the jobs you didn't really want to do," he laughed. 

Sir John Barrow Monument is open to the public on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 1pm to 5pm, from Easter to the end of October, when the flag on the hill is flying.