When Bruce Buckley was tasked with the massive job of repairing the aging foundation of the New London Ledge Lighthouse, he knew he needed the right product for the job – and a lot of it. Luckily, he saw a commercial for Flex Paste MAX and had a feeling that it would be perfect for his huge lighthouse restoration project…and he was right!
“I saw an advertisement with Phil Swift, taking Flex Paste and splatting that on the wall, and I knew that was what we needed!” Bruce said. “Flex Paste helped my crew and I complete our big lighthouse repair quickly and easily…it was a home run.”
The New London Ledge Lighthouse before and after Flex Paste MAX. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
Read on to learn more about the storied Ledge Lighthouse and how Flex Paste MAX helped Bruce make smooth sailing out of a super-sized repair project.
Located in Groton, Connecticut, the New London Ledge Lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Thames River and has been helping ships find safe harbor since 1909.
Bruce Buckley grew up in the area, spending many years sailing, fishing, and enjoying the sea. It was his combined passion for history and maritime heritage that prompted him to join the Ledge Lighthouse Foundation nearly 10 years ago, an organization where he now sits on the board of directors.
Bruce saluting a passing US Coast Guard vessel from the lighthouse deck. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
“This lighthouse has been a pillar of my community for over 100 years and it’s a great honor to be able to give back by maintaining its condition and teaching the younger generation about the history and importance of the lighthouse,” said Bruce. “We have a museum inside of the lighthouse and visitors from around the world come to tour it and learn all about its history and that of the surrounding communities.”
The Ledge Lighthouse has become quite a popular tourist attraction over the years. Many paranormal enthusiasts visit it due to the infamous legend of a man named Ernie, the former keeper whose ghost allegedly haunts the lighthouse to this day.
A reenactment of Ernie staring out of the lighthouse window. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
“People hear it’s a haunted lighthouse and come visit in hopes that they will see something,” said Bruce. “Actually, one of the reasons I joined the Ledge Lighthouse Foundation was because I was fascinated by the concept that it may be haunted.
Besides sharing its history, Bruce is also in charge of the restoration and maintenance of the 100+-year-old structure. When the board of directors decided their next project would be to repair the deteriorating foundation of their historic lighthouse, Bruce was excited about the challenge.
“I’ve lived in an old 1880s farmhouse for over 50 years and have been doing repairs on the house for most of my life,” he said. “When I had the opportunity to use some of those skills to help preserve this amazing lighthouse, I jumped at the chance.”
Bruce applying Flex Paste MAX to the lighthouse foundation. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
Bruce had tried other products on the lighthouse before, but they were either too complicated, time-consuming, or didn’t work.
“All of our maintenance and restoration is done by volunteers, so we need products that are effective, easy to use, and affordable, which can be tough to come by. My crew and I are always looking for products we can use at the lighthouse that will make work a little easier but also last a long time, so we were eager to try out Flex Paste.”
Before applying the product to the entire foundation of the lighthouse, Bruce wanted to test it out on a smaller area first.
“My crew and I decided to apply the Flex Paste to one side of the foundation to see how it would fare through the harsh winter conditions before taking on the entire project,” he said.
Waves crashing into the Ledge Lighthouse during Winter. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
When Bruce and his crew returned in Spring to check on their work, they were surprised by the results.
“We came back in the spring and the Flex Paste looked perfect – exactly as it did the day we put it on,” he said. “All the elements that mother nature threw at it; snow, wind, and crashing waves, were no match for Flex Paste. It had survived, and there was no shrinkage or discoloration. All of us agreed that we had a winner and that it was time to finish the job.”
A portion of the repaired foundation. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
Bruce and his small crew of volunteers did just that, using the super thick rubberized paste to patch and seal the gaps and cracks that spread along the lighthouse’s foundation. Around 120 pounds of Flex Paste MAX and a few coats of paint later, the foundation looked as good as new.
“I’m so pleased with what Flex Paste MAX has allowed us to do in such a short amount of time,” Bruce said. “I stand here today as a very satisfied customer and look forward to using Flex Seal Products to make many more repairs around the New London Ledge Lighthouse in the future.”
Ledge Lighthouse during sunset. Photos Courtesy of Bruce Buckley.
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By Paula Falcon
Paula is an Editor at The Flex Seal Family of Products, where she focuses on writing and editing articles for the company’s blog.