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200-year-old lighthouse gets facelift by painters with head for heights

The 85-ft Happisburgh lighthouse has stood on the Norfolk coast since 1791. Credit: Sean Cockrell / ITV News Anglia

A landmark lighthouse on the Norfolk coast at Happisburgh is being re-decorated for the first time in nearly a decade.

It is going to take two weeks to give the 85-foot tower three coats of Brilliant White and Rowan Berry Red paint.

Happisburgh is Britain's only independently-run lighthouse and the oldest working light in East Anglia. It was opened in 1791.

It is the first time the iconic red and white bands have been repainted since 2009.

The lighthouse was saved from closure in 1988 by being taken over by an independent charitable trust which continues to run the light.

It will take 300 litres of paint to complete the job. It has been donated by paint company Sandtex.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

Ian Hairsine is painting the roof of Happisburgh Lighthouse. And he is just as happy 25 metres in the air as he is with his feet on the ground.

"Beautiful views nice and peaceful , no one to bother you up here and I'm fine as long as I'm clipped on with this harness so even if I fall I'm not going to fall that far."

– Ian Hairsine, Painter and decorator
You need a head for heights to be a decorator on this job. Credit: Sean Cockrell / ITV News Anglia

The lighthouse is open to the public on 15 days during 2018.

The next open day is on Saturday 21 July which will celebrate the completion of paint job.

It will take a fortnight to paint the iconic Happisburgh lighthouse in Norfolk. Credit: Sean Cockrell / ITV News Anglia