Countryfile picture to be auctioned off

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker with Margaret Turton
Countryfile presenter Matt Baker with Margaret Turton

A painting shown on last weekend’s Countryfile programme to highlight the campaign to repaint the iconic red and white stripes is to be auctioned off.

The show’s presenter Matt Baker asked Eastbourne artist Margaret Turton to paint two pictures of the world famous lighthouse – one with the stripes and one without - to show viewers how vital it is to see it repainted.

The one with the famous stripes is now to be auctioned off by Margaret with the money going to the appeal to raise £27,000 to pay for the lighthouse to be repainted in early spring next year.

The painting can currently be seen at the Francis-Perry Gallery in Susans Road and bids can be made either at the gallery or online until November 9 at

Margaret said, “The programme visited Beachy Head to highlight the campaign to keep the famous lighthouse painted in its traditional red and white stripes and I was approached by researchers from the programme with a brief to paint two identical paintings showing the lighthouse with its red and white stripes and how it could look in 20 years time if it is left to fade back to its original granite grey.”

Margaret was interviewed by presenter, Matt Baker, as she completed the painting of the grey lighthouse and members of the public were then asked which painting they preferred.

After the programme was aired on Sunday night, hundreds of people viewed the official save the stripes website and money was donated to the appeal through Paypal, the online donation service.

Shirley Moth from the campaign said the programme had been a welcome publicity boost for the campaign, which was launched last year when Trinity House which owns the lighthouse said that because so many vessels now use satellite navigation systems, it could no longer justify the cost of repainting the stripes.

Only £2,000 is now needed.