Thanks for making Belle Tout lighthouse revamp a success

On behalf of David Shaw, Ian Noall, the manager at Belle Tout Lighthouse, and myself, I’d just like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who was able to visit the lighthouse on its first ever open day.

Thank-you also to the local papers for helping get the word out in such a short space of time.

The weather held off and despite us losing count, we estimate over a hundred people were able to visit.

It was so nice to hear such wonderful and glowing feedback from locals. Amazingly, some had waited decades for this opportunity to see inside the historic Belle Tout.

They remarked on the incredibly high standard of renovation and attention to detail carried out with the love, care and vision of David and Barbara Shaw.

It was fantastic to meet so many interesting people who had their own fascinating stories to tell, such as the man who worked on the crew for the filming of ‘The Life and Loves of a She Devil’ to those that witnessed first hand when they moved the lighthouse back in 1999.

It was great to see Shirley Moth and some of the Save the Stripes team and Margaret Turton the artist who paints such lovely pictures of the local landscape.

Thank you also to Sussex Blast Cleaning who were able to pop in. They had previously worked on the renovation of the Belle Tout Lighthouse and this is the first time they have been able to see it since completion. They also gave us an update on the repainting of the Beachy Head Lighthouse. Weather permitting they will finish unloading all of the equipment and provisions on Friday, September 20, enough for a three week stay at the lighthouse, just in case they can’t get off and back on the lighthouse again due to weather conditions.

On Saturday they will begin the construction of the scaffold from which the crew will abseil down the tower. They will use a high pressure jet hose to clean the tower, treat any rust and then begin painting. The work will take the best part of three weeks.

I am in the process of writing my new book, the Lighthouses of Beachy Head, which gives a much more detailed account of the history and events of both lighthouses from the beginning of time right through to the modern day, with personal experiences and many rare and unseen photos.

The stripes were saved by the involvement of people who wanted to make a difference and I would like to ask for help in spreading the word for people to send me their photos of the re-painting of the Beachy Head Lighthouse.

I will dedicate an entire chapter of the book to what we achieved and I want as many people to be as part of this as possible. All photos will be credited to the photographer and all rights will remain with the copyright holder. I would like this to be very much a collaborative effort just as the campaign has been. www.beachyheadlighthouse.co.uk/pictures/

Finally, Belle Tout would like to announce a competition coming at the end of September. The competition involves coming up with a name for Ian’s new breakfast and the winner will receive one night free stay for two adults at the Belle Tout Lighthouse. Details will be available on the Belle Tout website soon, www.belletout.co.uk

There will be another open day at the Belle Tout Lighthouse and details will be announced next year.

Thank you for your help, we really appreciate it.

Rob Wassell