BBC TV star Matt supports town lighthouse campaign

Cheryl Kassebi, Shirley Moth, Annemarie Field, Matt Baker and Rob Wassell
Cheryl Kassebi, Shirley Moth, Annemarie Field, Matt Baker and Rob Wassell

The campaign to raise enough money to re-paint the red and white stripes on the Beachy Head Lighthouse will be featured on next week’s Countryfile programnme on BBC1.

Television presenter Matt Baker visited Eastbourne last Thursday and Friday to film a segment for the programme which goes out on Sunday at 7pm.

He met with campaigners who have so far raised two thirds of the total needed to repaint the iconic lighthouse with its world famous red and white stripes.

The appeal was launched a year ago after Trinity House, which owns the building, said that because most boat owners now use satellite navigation systems, it could not justify the cost of repainting the red and white stripes and instead the lighthouse should be allowed to return to its natural granite grey colour.

Since then more than £22,000 has been raised for the appeal, set up by the Save the Stripes Facebook group, the Eastbourne Herald and Eastbourne Rotary AM, and campaigners say they are confident they will have raised the remaining £5,000 needed by next spring so the repaint job cam go ahead.

On Friday morning Matt Baker and the television film crew met with campaigners Shirley Moth and Cheryl Kassebi, Rob Wassell, who has written a book on the history of the lighthouse, and Annemarie Field, the Herald’s chief reporter who is also involved with the campaign.

He spoke to them about their childhood memories of Beachy Head and the famous lighthouse and how the campaign was born and how it has progressed over the last year.

The presenter and film crew spent a day filming in the area and also visited the Beachy Head Countryside Centre where they met Eastbourne artist Margaret Turton who paints pictures of the lighthouse and the Downs and donates a percentage of items she sells to the campaign.

Shirley Moth from the campaign group said, “It was great to meet Matt Baker and we are delighted the appeal to keep the lighthouse stripes will be featured on Countryfile.

“We are now on our final push to raise the last £5,000. We are confident we will reach that target and our lovely lighthouse will be painted next spring.”