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Beachy Head lighthouse finally gets a lick of paint
1:52pm Monday 16th September 2013 in News
A crack team of decorators will become the first people to live in an iconic lighthouse for 30 years as they carry out a complex operation to restore its famous stripes.
Up to five technical staff will spend the next few weeks living in the cramped surrounds of Beachy Head Lighthouse as it is given a new lick of paint.
They will restore the lighthouse’s red and white stripes after a public campaign raised £27,000 to fund the work, after owner Trinity House said in 2011 the cost of repainting the lighthouse could not be justified.
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On Tuesday a handpicked team of three staff from Hailsham-based Sussex Blast Cleaners and a Trinity House employee will be taken by boat to the lighthouse.
Four days later, two more specialist abseilers will join the team.
A scaffold tower will be constructed around the lighthouse to allow the lantern area to be painted before staff abseil down to repaint the red and white stripes.
The lighthouse, which was last inhabited in June 1983, will be coated with specialist marine coatings donated by Crown Paints and its Danish owner Hempel AS.
The companies became involved when one of Crown’s key customers, Eastbourne-based Brewers brought the Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes campaign to their attention.
The paint has been delivered to the Brewers’ HQ in Eastbourne and will be applied by Hailsham-based restoration and coating experts Sussex Blast Cleaners who successfully tendered for the project.
It is hoped the paint will last another ten years.
Martin Griffin, managing director of Sussex Blast Cleaners, said: “A lot of people say we are lucky but I am not sure that we are.
“There is a living room which has six chairs going round the wall and a really small telly which doesn’t get reception and just plays old-fashioned videos.
“In the bedroom there are five bunks which go around the wall so you wake up in a funny shape. We are all friends and worked together for a long time so it should be okay.
“Our main worry is the weather.
“We could get out there and the wind could blow up or it could rain and we can’t paint.”
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.”
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