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Comedian supports campaign to save Beachy Head lighthouse stripes
9:30am Sunday 2nd September 2012 in News
Comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones has backed a campaign to save a lighthouse’s red and white stripes.
The Save Beachy Head Lighthouse stripes campaign was started in October after its owner, Trinity House, announced it could no longer afford to repaint the distinctive red and white stripes.
Trinity House has said that because boats now have high-tech navigational systems the day marker stripes are no longer essential so the lighthouse, which is situated about 165 metres seawards from the base of the cliffs at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, and stands at 40 metres high, would be left to return to its natural granite grey colour.
Other celebrities who have thrown their support behind the campaign include Bexhill-born comedian Eddie Izzard, author Bill Bryson and journalist and TV presenter John Craven.
Mr Rhys Jones encouraged people to donate to the campaign, which has raised more than £18,500 of the £27,000 it needs to repaint and maintain the lighthouse.
He said: “This is a significant part of our heritage – a monument to our seafaring history and most of all a pretty thing.
“It is the seaside. They’re nearly there so go on, do it. Be a beacon.”
The campaign has also received a donation of £10,000 from Eastbourne Borough Council and money through other fundraising events, while the paint for the job will be donated.
From the end of July comedian Eddie Izzard pledged to match donations pound for pound up to the sum of £2,000.
The lighthouse was brought into service in 1902. It took two years to complete and involved building a coffer-dam and a cableway from the top of the cliffs to carry materials down to the site.