Lighthouse gets its stripes back

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Work to give Beachy Head Lighthouse its stripes back has begun after two years of campaigning to have the building repainted.

The Keep the Stripes Campaign Team raised £27,000 to give the lighthouse its stripes back after Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Authority, said it could not justify the costs.

The amount raised by the fundraisers will cover the costs of the specialist work required and the transportation of the decorating team and all materials and equipment to and from the lighthouse.

The lighthouse’s distinctive red and white stripes will be reinstated and all other exposed surfaces will be fully decorated and protected using a range of specially formulated marine and offshore coatings jointly donated by UK manufacturer Crown Paints and parent company Hempel AS in Denmark.

Shirley Moth, Co-ordinator of the Keep the Stripes Campaign Team said: “After two years of fundraising, the campaign team is delighted that the Beachy Head Lighthouse stripes will be repainted in the next few weeks.

“A big thank you to Crown Paints and Hempel for donating the paint for this project and to everyone who has supported us and donated to the campaign to help make our dream of a red and white future possible!”

Simon Millyard, Trinity House Engineering and Operations Manager added: “Everyone at Trinity House, the body responsible for providing Aids to Navigation for shipping is delighted that Crown Paints, Hempel UK and the Keep the Stripes team have joined forces and engaged with us to ensure that Beachy Head Lighthouse can be repainted and restored to its former glory.”

The work will be undertaken by Sussex Blast Cleaners, the Hailsham based restoration and coating experts who successfully tendered for the project.

A team of four specialist painters from Sussex Blast Cleaners will stay in the lighthouse until all the work is completed.

Part of the work will see them abseil down the lighthouse to repaint the red and white stripes.

Before coatings can be applied, they will erect a bespoke scaffold tower to allow the lantern area to be painted.

Then, using special anchor points around the balcony, , they will abseil down the lighthouse and get to work on the stripes.

The work is anticipated to take at least three weeks, but is dependent on weather conditions.

MD of Sussex Blast Cleaners, Martin Griffin said: “I’ve selected a team of local men, specially trained in abseiling, restoration work and the application of complex coating systems.

“It’s certainly going to be a very challenging job, and it won’t be easy living in such cramped quarters either, but it’s a once in lifetime opportunity to make our mark on a building we all know and love, so we’re all really keen to be involved.”

To celebrate the start of the re-painting of the Beachy Head Lighthouse, the Belle Tout Lighthouse opened it’s doors to people who wanted to see inside the lighthouse.

Visitors were able to see the themed bedrooms as well as the main living area, kitchen, dining room and tower rooms. It was hoped some visitors would get to see Sussex Blast Cleaning making a start on preparing the Beachy Head Lighthouse for its new stripes.

For more information about Beachy Head lighthouse visit http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/lighthouses/lighthouse_list/beachy_head.html