Painting of the lighthouse gets underway soon

Beachy Head lighthouse taken from the air on August 19th 2004. E17118N
Beachy Head lighthouse taken from the air on August 19th 2004. E17118N

Repainting work at Beachy Head Lighthouse due to start today may have to be put off until Thursday because of inclement weather on its way.

Trinity House, which owns the landmark says as the weather forecast prediction is not good, the specialist team may not be able to start this morning.

More than £27,000 has been raised by the community for the refurbishment of the outside of the lighthouse, which is in desperate need of repainting.

All the complex technical specifications have been agreed and specialist marine coatings jointly donated by Crown Paints and its Danish owner Hempel AS have arrived at Brewers.

The lighthouse’s distinctive red and white stripes will be reinstated and all other exposed surfaces will be fully decorated and protected using a range of specially formulated marine and offshore coatings jointly donated by UK manufacturer Crown Paints and parent company Hempel AS in Denmark.

The companies became involved when one of Crown’s key customers, Eastbourne- based Brewers, brought the Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes campaign to their attention.

The campaign was established when Trinity House, announced that the red and white day marker stripes were no longer deemed essential for navigation purposes and that the redecorating expenditure could not be justified.

The money raised by the fundraisers will cover the costs of the specialist work required and the transportation of the decorating team and all materials and equipment to and from the lighthouse.

“Everyone at Trinity House is delighted that Crown Paints, Hempel UK and the Keep the Stripes team have joined forces and engaged with us to ensure that Beachy Head Lighthouse can be repainted and restored to its former glory,” said Simon Millyard, the Trinity House engineering and operations manager.

A four-strong handpicked team of specialist painters from Sussex Blast Cleaners will stay in the lighthouse until all the work is completed.

Before coatings can be applied, they will erect a bespoke scaffold tower to allow the lantern area to be painted. Then, using special anchor points around the balcony, they will abseil down the lighthouse to repaint the red and white stripes. The work is anticipated to take at least three weeks, but is dependent on weather conditions.

The firm’s Martin Griffin said, “I’ve selected a team of local men specially trained in abseiling, restoration work and the application of complex coating systems. It’s certainly going to be a very challenging job but it’s a once in lifetime opportunity to make our mark on a building we all know and love, so we’re all really keen to be involved.”

The campaign team’s Shirley Moth said, “A big thank you to everyone who has supported us and donated to the campaign to help make our dream of a red and white future possible.”