An interested article from the Bell Rock Lighthouse website:
There is one exhibit above all others in the Signal Tower Museum in Arbroath (one-time home of the lightkeepers) which I have always pondered over - what's more even greatly admired -and that is an old cast-iron hand grip, . . . a relic from the early days of the Bell Rock. It was one of number which once adorned the outside of the old-style pre-1902 lantern. They were there to steady keepers when cleaning the outside glass or effecting any repairs required on the lantern. Although much painted over decades of use, the shape is unmistakeably that of a mythical sea serpent!
In Newfoundland, over 2000 miles away, work had begun in the early 1830s on their own lighthouse building programme.
When visiting Bonavista in 2007 and being shown round the tower by Don Johnson the curator, there much to my surprise was the same serpent-shaped hand-grip adorning the lantern astragals . . this one even more heavy painted than its Arbroath counterpart! In fact there were 16 of them (one on each vertical astragal) - a full complement no less. I don't think I ever heard tale of a lantern also going out with the light mechanism from Scotland. We do know that the Bell still had theirs in 1902 when it was replaced by the standard diagonal variety. So where did the one at Bonavista originate? There are a few possibility - but in all probability it must have come from Scotland - most likely from Stevenson's engineering works in Edinburgh. It obviously requires more research, so any comments would be appreciated.