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A WIDOW’S wish has been granted after a centuries-old beacon was lit for the first time in 30 years.
Former Hove mayor Audrey Buttimer badgered Brighton and Hove city councillor Robert Nemeth to rekindle the flame.
It was last lit by her husband Jim in 1988 to mark the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Now fundraising is under way to secure an LED light bulb – wired up to the city-wide street lamp network – that will keep the bracket on Hove seafront burning every night
Cllr Nemeth said: “We wanted to go a bit further than varnish and a bit of paint.
“The beacon is in a part of Hove that doesn’t necessarily have the same landmarks as the rest of Brighton, though it is next to a much improved Hove Lagoon.”
Professional lighting designer Eleni Shiarlis, who lives in Cllr Nemeth’s Wish ward, suggested using the LED.
Two other residents pitched in with a ladder and a generator to help test out her prototype.
Cllr Nemeth said: “It was quite an operation because we had to climb up into the beacon.
“It drew a crowd straight away.
“Everyone walking past seemed to realise something special was about to happen – but they may just have thought we wanted to get our ball back.”
Mrs Shiarlis watched Audrey’s husband, then mayor of Hove himself, light the beacon 30 years ago.
She said: “It’s an often overlooked local landmark but I have fond memories of it as a young girl growing up in the area.
“With a little imagination and some clever lighting effects we can bring this flickering seafront beacon back to life at night.
“The mock-up once again demonstrated the transformative power of light and how an intelligent lighting scheme can create a welcoming glow and warmth to the local area.”
Strategic beacons are a common feature of the Sussex coastline.
Most were designed as long-distance warning mechanisms against Napoleonic invasion. Although never put to use for this purpose, they were clearly visible for many miles inland.
Source: The Argus