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Iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse undergoes a paint job

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk has today started it’s massive paint transformation, expected to take two weeks.

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009 by Mark Hairsine and Frank Windass.
Picture: Nick ButcherHappisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009 by Mark Hairsine and Frank Windass. Picture: Nick Butcher

It is famous for its iconic red and white stripes, which not only attract tourists but also play a crucial role in keeping the coast visible to sailors.

And now Happisburgh Lighthouse is to have a make-over – to keep its striped appearance looking in tip-top condition for another 10 years.

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009 by Mark Hairsine and Frank Windass.
Picture: Nick ButcherHappisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009 by Mark Hairsine and Frank Windass. Picture: Nick Butcher

The independent trust which runs the lighthouse in north Norfolk will be repainting the 85ft tower over the course of the next few weeks.

Patrick Tubby, chairman of the Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust – which has been in charge of operating the lighthouse since it was taken over by the community in 1990 – said: “The thing people don’t realise about the stripes is that we’re under obligation to make sure the lighthouse is conspicuous in the day.

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009.
Picture: Nick ButcherHappisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours for the first time since 2009. Picture: Nick Butcher

“When everyone thinks about a lighthouse they think about it flashing at night, but it also has to help sailors during the day.”

The lighthouse is repainted every eight to 10 years and was last redecorated in 2009.

Mr Tubby, who lives in Acle, has been campaigning for the lighthouse’s future since he was 19, when the building was due to be closed in 1980.

He continued: “It should take about three weeks for the actual painting, and about a week in preparation.

“All of the paint, about 300 litres of it, has been donated by Sandtex, who we’ve worked with before. We’re very grateful to them.”

Mr Tubby added: “Happisburgh is one of the few remaining lighthouses that is actually painted with red and white stripes. Most of them are just painted plain white, and a few are black and white.”

The renovation will cost around £20,000, a sum which has been raised by the trust’s funding arm, Friends of the Happisburgh Lighthouse.

“What’s also interesting about this lighthouse is that our optic is 150 years old,” he said.

“A 500 watt bulb sits behind the optic, flashing on and off, but the optic is what beams the light so far out to sea.

“It can be seen as far out as 18 miles, and has been sighted from the Vanguard wind farm which is about 15 miles out.”

The lighthouse is holding a series of open days this year for people to visit the building.

Details can be found at www.happisburgh.org.uk/lighthouse.



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