Andy Mitchell watches abseilers brighten up the town

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I’ve never been much good at DIY. I’ll give it a go in the vain effort of showing an interest, but I’ve always been of the opinion things are best left to the experts.

Norbreck Castle

Norbreck Castle

I’ve tried painting things before around the house only for the paint to run, or a tin of the stuff accidentally get kicked over.

So when I glance around the town at the fabulous paint jobs being applied ahead of the new season, I can only wonder at the expertise being deployed, and at great speed.

A fine example of this is the facelift being applied to the Norbreck Castle Hotel. This vast landmark has been a part of the North Shore for a century, and has appeared in several different colours since it was built.

The cream colour has been looking a bit tired for a while now, so a refurb was due. Just how you paint a structure so big became clear one morning, when commuters on their way to work were treated to a display of bravery not seen since I was shoved through a trap door at the top of the Tower and told to abseil down the side.

It seems the best way to paint the Norbreck Castle (pictured), is, of course, to send a team of abseilers off the roof armed with tins of paint and a roller. It really is breathtaking watching them from the ground, and these decorating dare devils have become a tourist attraction in their own right in the last couple of weeks.

They’ve covered quite an area in a short space of time. As for the colour scheme, it’s a contemporary black and grey, when set against the new white window frames, will certainly give the landmark a new lease of life as it enters its second century.

It’s heartening to see so much repainting going on. As noted in this column recently, and after years of campaigning by local councillors, the Clifton Hotel is finally starting to look like its part of the town’s smart civic square after some much needed investment.

As for the idea of abseiling down the walls at home to complete a similar job, I’ve already been looking online for a suitable harness and bucket for the current Mrs M to make a start.