Leisure => Retail => Topic started by: smiffy on February 14, 2017, 01:01:19

Title: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 14, 2017, 01:01:19
There is a mention on the Hooker's Mill thread about Pier Chambers, but does anyone know what this building`s original purpose was?

This photo dates from 1968 and zooming in you can make out part of the name and the word "Wholesale" but the rest is too blurred to read. Greyuncle states that it used to be a wholesale tobacconist at one time, so this fits.


Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: bromptonboy on February 14, 2017, 12:00:01
All I can presently find is an 1898/99 reference to the building being occupied by George C Pepper a Chartered Accountant, and then in 1902 being the offices of Mr G E Bond the celebrated architect. To me the building looks to be late Victorian so maybe not many or possibly even no occupiers previous to George Pepper?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: grandarog on February 14, 2017, 14:05:23
Radio Kent were using the building about 10 years ago. Are they still there?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 14, 2017, 15:12:53
Radio Kent aren't there anymore - I think it's standing empty at the moment.

It definitely looks late Victorian but on the 1860's OS there is a building occupying the same footprint so possibly it's been there since then. This was before Medway Street was connected to the High Street.

Whatever it was originally it's now the only pre-twentieth century structure remaining.

Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: redge on February 14, 2017, 20:13:58
In the 1960s to the mid 1970 s it was Chaters, a wholesale tobacco company, they sold it to Theobalds in Luton (opposite Christ Church).
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 14, 2017, 20:25:24
Thanks for that redge, that must be the name that can nearly be made out - J T Chater.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: KeithJG on February 15, 2017, 18:12:02
The BBC were still there in September 2011
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Greyuncle on February 16, 2017, 11:36:45
To all the good people that found J T Chaters , I am very Grateful. It was there when I was a telegram boy and still there when we had the New Inn on Luton Road in the late sixties.

Thanks

Grey uncle
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 17, 2017, 00:20:32
I have a feeling that Gransden Marine occupied these premises at some time during the 80's. I may be wrong though.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: mikeb on February 17, 2017, 10:55:34
The Pier Chambers always fascinated me as a building, seemingly out of place in its location. When built, the area which later became Medway Street, was an industrial / warehouse / waterfront  area so why put the grand turreted bay window facing this way, when it could have looked out over the river? But then I suppose it was meant to impress passing, possible potential customers of the business. That lovely bay window must indicate where the "boss" had his office.
"Chambers" suggests a law firm / solicitors as the original occupants? Sun Pier was built in 1886 so perhaps the Chambers were built thereabouts too?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 17, 2017, 14:04:06
For some odd reason I used to think the Pier Chambers had originally been a Pub!

I think the Sun Pier has been there since well before 1886.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: mikeb on February 17, 2017, 14:56:03
You may well be right smiffy re Sun Pier. I was quoting from Presnail "The Story of Chatham" and I know he is not always reliable. Perhaps the current iron pier was built in 1886, replacing an older wooden pier?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 17, 2017, 17:46:40
The current pier was completed in 1886, replacing the older one which had been there since the 1830's. I think I have a picture somewhere that shows the old pier, if I can find it I'll post it in the Sun Pier topic.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Signals99 on February 17, 2017, 22:42:54
Smiffy, ref the pier chambers being a pub, there was a pub of some sort in that area, it was called the "Sun shades" I think, may have been part of a hotel? I remember they were very close together, almost next door.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 18, 2017, 01:33:55
I think that was the "Sun Tap", part of the old Sun Hotel.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Rochester-bred on February 18, 2017, 09:23:38
The current pier was completed in 1886, replacing the older one which had been there since the 1830's. I think I have a picture somewhere that shows the old pier, if I can find it I'll post it in the Sun Pier topic.

There was a pub that I remember just past Staples and on the corner of the entrance to the car park that is there now as back in the late 70/80s I used to use it, I think it was called the kings something although I may be wrong, I remember my Uncle trying to buy the pub.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiler on February 18, 2017, 10:35:46
Kings Arms I think Rochester-bred
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Bryn Clinch on February 18, 2017, 12:17:00
There`s a photo of the Kings Arms on the Closed pubs site. I think it`s the right one as the top of the Town Hall can be seen a short distance away in the correct place (I think).

http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/kent/chatham.html

Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Greyuncle on February 18, 2017, 17:00:47
Reference Kings Arms Holborn wharf Chatham, goes back to 1670.  John Allen was the landlord in 1851 was snitched on for serving out of hours. Holborn wharf was redeveloped in 1870's. Although marked for demolition the wooden building was destroyed by fire. Again by fire in 1873. The pub was owned by Watts Charity and insured for 900. John Cameron licences brother was trapped and burnt to death. In 1900 it was valued at 1700. It survived until being pulled down in 2002 after squatters had finished with it.

Greyuncle

The Late Roy Murrants Mate






Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: AlanH on February 19, 2017, 09:44:13
Not sure exactly where this Pier Chambers was but Signals reminded me of the pub which was immediately on the left as you turned from the High Street to go into Medway St.
A bar there was called the Shades Bar and many of those that drank there were queer. I'm sorry but being old (and ugly most say) I don't know how to put that bit politely and not upset someone.......
AlanH.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Mike S on February 19, 2017, 11:02:08
Was it The Sun Hotel?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Signals99 on February 20, 2017, 01:10:54
Mike S, yes the whole building was the Sun Hotel, but it had two separate bars, one inside for guests and the Sun Shades in Medway Street, well known for its attraction to "gentlemen of a certain persuasion "  I'm pretty certain the building was owned by Watts charities, as was the mill at one time. ln fact Watts owned a very large part of that area of Chatham, I once had a booklet published by Watts detailing some of their history, very interesting too, unfortunately lost in the mists of time (the book that is).
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Greyuncle on February 21, 2017, 10:36:52
Signals99, ref Watts Charity.  I gave Kyn a book on Watts Charity and if my memory serves me right, Watts Charity own all the triangle from The old Sun Hotel to Military Road, all of Holborn Wharf. I think they are still one of the biggest land owners in Chatham.
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: Signals99 on February 21, 2017, 10:59:57
Sorry, not certain if this is in the right place but we seem to be on the subject of land owner ship of property in the Medway st  area, my reasoning is, much of interest concerning this area has been published in recent blogs, pier chambers, the flour mill, the do it yourself stores,
To open up the field of knowledge, something we have always strived to do in the fourum. I think a broader foundation of the part Richard Watts Charities have played in forming the Medway towns area would be of interest to many of our members, any one interested ?
Title: Re: Pier Chambers, Medway Street
Post by: smiffy on February 21, 2017, 14:09:07
They have a website here:

http://www.richardwatts.org.uk

There is also a sizeable Wikipedia entry.