This is where things get a bit interesting. The bike is currently Deep Claret which is a standard Ariel colour for the domestic market in 1956.
The English ownership papers for the bike show the original colour as being blue. Ariel used Wedgewood Blue as a coronation special in 1953 only. Black was also available as an option for export bikes. I have no idea why this bike would have been blue nor can I find any sign of blue under the current paint layers or any nooks or crannies. If anybody can shed any light on why this bike was originally blue, please do let me know.
I am leaning towards finishing the bike in black. While I am not a big fan of black bikes, there is enough chrome and alloy on the bike to break up the blackness and I am less of a fan of claret so black wins day!