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Crown Paints and Hempel support Beachy Head Lighthouse

This autumn, Crown Paints and Hempel made it possible for a community funded project to restore the vivid red and white stripes of Beachy Head Lighthouse. Joining efforts, Crown and Hempel donated the specialist marine and offshore coatings needed to redecorate and protect this well-known landmark, located just off the Eastbourne coastline in the south coast of England.


Beachy Head Lighthouse

Lighthouse owners Trinity House could not justify expenditure on restoring the ‘day marker’ stripes as they were no longer deemed necessary for navigation purposes. However, determined locals formed a campaigning group called ‘Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse Stripes’, which managed to raise over EUR 31,000 – sufficient to cover the cost of repainting the landmark from top to bottom.

C Brewers & Sons, one of Crown Paints’ biggest customers, is based in Eastbourne and was also keen to get involved. Knowing that Crown and Hempel had considerable experience in this type of work, they brought the matter to their supplier’s attention. As a result, Crown and Hempel agreed to donate the coatings needed to enable the project to go ahead, with Brewers providing logistical support.

The technical team from Hempel Paints UK drew up a detailed 19-page coating specification for the lighthouse, covering the Cornish granite elevations and all other areas of exposed substrate, selecting various HEMPADUR and HEMPATHANE coating systems on the basis of their adhesion, abrasion and corrosion resistance and colour stability properties. These aspects of performance are critical for the protection and redecoration of structures in marine environments exposed to exceptionally harsh and destructive environmental conditions.

MD of the contracting company, Martin Griffin, picked four men including two abseilers, to work alongside him on the project. A Trinity House official was also seconded to oversee the work and assist where needed.

The work started on 20 September. Exposure to harsh weather conditions and salt had taken their toll on the lighthouse leaving defective coatings that had to be removed. Three coats of tinted HEMPADUR MASTIC 45880 were applied to the granite walls and the contrasting bands were finished off with gleaming top coats of  HEMPATHANE HS 55610 in White and Carmine Red.

The lighthouse lantern, dome and gallery also needed to be redecorated. These areas, together with all other exposed pipework, railings and metalwork were prepped, touched up with HEMPADUR MASTIC where necessary before being painted and protected with several coats of  HEMPEL PRO ACRYLIC 55880.

As system of HEMPALIN PRIMER, UNDERCOAT and ENAMEL was used to protect the fog signal mounting brackets and its supporting frame whilst HEMPEL MARINE VARNISH was specified for the main lighthouse entrance and the crane room doors.

Beachy Head Lighthouse

In total over 700 litres of Hempel coatings were used across a total surface area of approximately 1100m2. Commenting on their application, Martin said: “We’d used all of these coatings before and they went on beautifully as always, giving fantastic results.”

The work was completed in just over three weeks. As expected, the repainting of Beachy Head Lighthouse drew lots of media attention and Martin and his men were filmed for regional TV news broadcasts, interviewed for BBC radio and featured in numerous newspapers.

Trinity House Lighthouse Manager, Warren Clarke commented: “The products so generously donated by Crown Paints and Hempel have been applied according to the manufacturer’s specification and we’re very satisfied with the final finish, which we hope will serve the lighthouse and the local community for many years to come.“

Nick Frowen, Managing Director of Hempel UK said: “Hempel supplies marine and protective coatings around the world, and here in the UK, Crown Paints has been protecting lighthouses with its own Sandtex Trade systems for over 50 years, so we really were ideally positioned to assist at Beachy Head. Brewers encouraged us to get involved as the lighthouse is right on their doorstep and important to their community. We decided to make the donation of these coatings not only to support a major customer in their hometown but also to mark the coming together of Hempel and Crown Paints in a lasting impactful way."


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