TV star backs the lighthouse appeal

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COMEDIAN and television presenter Griff Rhys-Jones is the latest celebrity to throw his weight behind the campaign to save the stripes at Beachy Head Lighthouse.

The TV funnyman is backing the appeal to raise money to get the iconic red and white stripes repainted on the light tower.

He said this week, “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.”

The campaign was launched last October after lighthouse owners Trinity House said that with vessels relying on satellite navigation, it could no longer justify the cost of repainting it and it would have to revert to its natural granite grey colour.

The appeal is being run by the Save Our Stripes Facebook group, the Eastbourne Herald and Eastbourne Rotary AM and so far more than £18,000 has been raised by volunteers.

This month the Eastbourne Allotment Society, the Ancient Order of Foresters and Beauty Spot Designs have all made significant donations and there was also an anonymous donation of £300 and a £50 cheque sent from former Eastbourne College student Clive Robinson who now lives in Canada.

All money received in the coming few days will go into the pledge by comedian Eddie Izzard who is also supporting the campaign and has agreed to match pound for pound donations up to a maximum of £2,000.

Shirley Moth, campaign organiser, said, “We’ve had £1,470 in so far which means only £530 left and we will double that up to £4,000 which will be fantastic.”

In addition the Beachy Head Countryside Centre is also backing the campaign and is selling wooden replica lighthouses at £2.50 each with £1.50 from each sale going towards the campaign.

Helen McCauley, from the centre, said, “It’s a fun thing to raise awareness and a few pounds.”

Campaigners are confident they will reach their £26,000 target in time to get the lighthouse repainted next year.

Further information on the campaign and details on how to donate are available at www.keepthebeachyheadlighthousestripes.org.uk