COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard has thrown his support behind the Save the Beachy Head Lighthouse Stripes campaign and is matching pound for pound the donations to keep the iconic red and white.
Eddie, a former St Bede’s School and Eastbourne College student, joined the campaign group and has promised to match all donations made from the end of July pound for pound up to the sum of £2,000.
He told the Herald, “The Beachy Head lighthouse must keep it’s red and white stripes. It is essential as it is an icon for Britain.
“Without it’s distinctive stripes, the Spitfires and Lancasters would not have had such a great visual landmark to guide themselves back home in World War II and we owe it to them to keep their memory alive and the spirit of fighting injustice everywhere.”
Shirley Moth from the campaign group, which is run by a Facebook page, the Eastbourne Herald and Eastbourne Rotary AM, said, “What an incentive for everyone. This is such a big boost to the campaign and I feel sure it will set us on the path to raising the final £11,000 needed to keep the stripes.
“Eddie is a star.”
The fundraising appeal for £25,000 to pay for the repainting of the stripes now stands at more than £16,000.
The campaign was started last year after lighthouse owner Trinity House said it could no longer afford to repaint the distinctive red and white stripes and that it would have to be left to return to its natural granite grey.
Trinity House said because boats now have high tech navigational systems the day marker stripes are no longer essential.
Since October various fundraising events have been held including a Lighthouse Challenge when almost 250 people walked round the lighthouse and back from Beachy Head.
Eastbourne Borough Council has donated £10,000, the Duke of Devonshire sent £1,000 and Hempel/Crown Paints is donating the paint needed.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at any branch of Natwest and further information is available at www.keepthebeachyheadlighthousestripes.org.uk