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Author Topic: Sheerness Water Tower Development  (Read 27484 times)

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Lofty

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2012, 14:57:03 »
The external Well was as seen by myself and all the other workers at the Tower  in Trinity Road, who can confirm that the Well was housed in a Building some forty feet from the flank wall in the picture, my own recollection was that the large pipes did not reach the top at ground level, they went through the well shaft wall some ten feet below the top, then passing up inside the building to the Head Tank.
If you are acquainted with pressure pipes, you will note that these are sealed with bolted sealing rings that will withstand the pressure of the Pump, up to the tank.

Water leaving the Tank are gravity only, that is the reason of the tanks being built so high.

The building over the Well was demolished long after we left and we transferred to Sittingbourne.
The Manhole in the picture is the same but in the wrong place, if in doubt you can ask to see the six inch concrete by twelve feet in diameter disc that the manhole sits on.

The Well is in line with Tower just after the two buildings join about thirty to forty foot out.

If I were more mobile I would show the exact spot.
Take a Diviner Stick over it.

Better still ask the older Staff.

Offline kyn

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2012, 10:57:26 »
There are three wells on this site, two large and one that was a later addition and is a borehole rather than a wide shaft.  I did initially think there was a well in the sinking corner and some very large pipes run straight down there.


Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2012, 10:22:55 »
The well is more probably beneath the engine room at the base of the tower. At St Augustin's Hosp at Chartham they had two wells, one beneath the engine room and another, still in use, remote. The second was converted to electrical pumping very early on, when motors became reliable, as the costs of running another boiler and pumping engine were huge. The remains of the original reciprocating pumps were in the engine room well right up to the day the place was demolished, they might even still be there. I find it interesting that the tank vanished at about the same time that steam loco's went and the third rail came into use on the railway. Another clue to me for this is the brick work of the tower. It is very similar to some, not all, existing ex-LCDR stations. In fact I have just been to here;  http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8662.0  It is called the Blue Town Railway. In reality it was the original terminus fo the Island, however please go and look at the photos Conan left. You will see the very same brick work, double arches, cornices and scale. I believe that the leaning tower was built by the railway, it then has some historical merit as the rest of the station went many years ago, however it is falling down. It would cost thousands to save and what could be done with it? Very difficult to convert to dwellings, modern insulation levels would be almost impossible to achieve. Most of you know me and my enthusiasm for railways, the LCDR in particular. That said I think we have to face facts here and let the tower go, before it lands on someone, save the Rennie part of the building by all means but the tower is a money pit.


I left some really provocotive posts here that have, thankfully, been deleted (good work Kyn and thanks). It was not my intention of provoking a war, just a healthy debate. I hold both Minsterboy and Sheppeybottles in high regard and hope that we can all meet one day at a KHF meeting.

Sentinel S4.
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Offline kyn

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2012, 08:37:55 »
Is this the well?


Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2012, 13:11:48 »
Sorry that I repeated something already stated. Call it brain fade. For 600.000 they could have turned this into some nice flate, underpinning the back of the building included..... S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2012, 10:38:47 »
 Sentinel S4 have a look back over this thread.... a developer 'already' owns the site and wants to develop it and because of a knock back is saying they may pull out, They invested 600,000.00 of there hard earned money into the site six years ago.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2012, 10:24:02 »
The problem is that a lot of local people just don't care. We do as we recognise what we are loosing. Yes I might have been a bit contrary about the dock yard here and the removal of old buildings. That said I believe that we do need to save a lot of what is being demolished to be replaced with junk build and junk architecture. Canterbury seem to have got their backsides into gear and most of the modern stuff is a huge improvement of the junk that it replaces, however Canterbury is a major tourist spot and Sheerness is not. Sorry if that is harsh but it is well meant, I do like the place a lot. Most people want to do their shopping in one hit under one roof in one go and fondly remember the days of traipsing along the High Street. Thing is in those days we did a lot of shopping on a daily basis, now it is once a week or once a month. I do aggree that these big chains have too much power and sway over local councils, they promise jobs (never as many as promised) they promise to help in the community (a veritable two edged sword). All the time old buildings such as this are left to drop. It was mentioned that a certain bar chain might be interested. So you would gain a soulless drinking place that would have a theme (anyone really want an Irish theme pub in Sheerness?) and no real input to or from the community it purpots to serve. A museum sounds good, in theory, but as Kyn said they need bucket loads of cash for little or no return. So why not sell this building to a developer to turn into low cost flats? I am sure that would benefit the community more than some pub. A community center sounds great but who would fund it? How about the KHF buy it and set it up as a meeting room/library? Again not much benefit to the community but at least it would be of some use. It could even be sold off and converted into a Mosque....................

I really don't have a solution, like many I don't want to see it torn down. I fear though that it will be and all we will have left are som pics. Sadly it's called 'progress'.

S4.
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Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2012, 09:29:14 »
In the past there was a town centre manager I believe, who had a vision of what was required for the well being and prosperity for the town as a whole, I think this is lacking right now. Sheerness needs to know where it is heading before decisions are made as to what is removed or retained. With this vision developers can see how they fit in to the overall scheme of things and then step in with money to help fulfill the dreams and get a good return on their investment of course. With the likes of Tesco, Morrisons etc taking sales away from town centres a new vision is needed of what a town cwntre like ours should offer to keep it thriving, and I feel something could be in the offing if we play our cards right on this one. In our local the Sheerness Times Guardian this week an article states that a Town team is being set up to put forward a case for Sheernes to become a Portas pilot area. Mary Portas has turned round many an ailing company over the years and those who have seen her programmes on the telly cannot help but be amazed at what she avhieves, well done Mary. In a nutshell if this scheme is used in Sheerness it could help achieve the vision we need to get the town centre up and running vibrantly again and then we can decide how things like the water tower fit in to the grande scheme of things.  

PS...  We can then look at how we save the old tile works building at Queenborough ( Borough hall)....yet another one to think about saving maybe!

Minsterboy

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2012, 05:56:01 »
Kyn,
I guess you're right in what you say and when you add that to what Mr Bottles said, the newspaper headline takes on a more ominous tone, its here to stay, but does that mean we're now stuck with its in its current form for many more years. I still maintain that the Sheerness Society got it wrong in this case and the best option for Sheerness would of been to demolish this particular building and if they keep blocking all improvement projects Sheerness is going to end up looking really run down because the people that have the money will simply stop coming. They need to think out the financial probabilities before they run to SBC every time, as do SBC themselves before they allow them to be coerced by the Sheerness Society.

Offline colin haggart

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2012, 19:49:28 »
I've scanned this from this weeks Sheerness Times Gaurdian.


Offline kyn

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2012, 19:43:20 »
A conversion to a museum is often mentioned on the forum regarding historic buildings falling into disuse, but there is absolutely no money in museums.  All the ones I know struggle to attract visitors and generally struggle to get by.  The best option for a lot of these buildings at the moment would be community centres, these can be hired out for all sorts of different uses and seem to be quite popular at the moment.  This may not be viable in all areas but I really think something like this is the best use of any building at the moment.  I am more than happy to see this building converted into offices or housing, as at least it retains the shell of the building, but due to subsidence it is unlikely the rear part of this building would be saved, which then reduces the potential uses of the front building due to lack of space.

It is all very difficult to make work however you look at it!

Minsterboy

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2012, 19:32:26 »
Mr. Bottles, if money could be found, for me it would be better spent on the old Council offices next door before they fall into disrepair, rather than the wreck pf the Water Tower.
A rather fanciful dream I know, but wouldn't those old offices make a fantastic Museum of Sheppey, set in those gardens and with a car park at the rear. As well as plenty of room for a permanent display of all things historic Sheppey, there are other rooms for lectures and slideshows, etc.
Now that would be a project worth supporting.

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2012, 16:27:33 »
From what I have read the building could still be demolished if a good detailed planning application is put in to regenerate the site. The picture I took recently shows a big list to the building and I cannot see this being repairable, although the front part could well be incorporated into a future design and I hope it is. The trouble is where is the money coming from? The Victoria failed to sell at auction despite having permission for conversion to many flats and a defunct Steel site is looming as well, the three interested parties do not want it for steel production I hear. Let us not forget the docks as well, chances are they will change beyond all recognition in the near future. We just cannot support and keep them all and as we all say...where is the money coming from? Just where is the money coming from? Some good news though, I hear through the grapevine Shurland hall may be sold! Can anyone confirm that.

 

Lofty

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Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2012, 15:48:23 »
The Sheerness Water Tower, or as we knew it was a combination of several buildings, to the front the Pump Engine house then the  yellow brick Water Tower Block  The Boiler House and the tall Chimney.

We now have learned that the Water Tower Block is subsiding, it is in the direction of the sealed Well, could it be that the Well head was not protected enough?

Once a building is know to be subsiding, it will be declared unsafe.  Who would pay to have it underpinned, knowing how near it is to the Well? The owner now has a legitimate reason to apply to have it removed for safety sake.

It can only be assumed that the front building did in fact house a Beam Engine, judging by the height of the building, it only dates back to 1891, but is externally sound, but internally  there are false floors that were only intended to be for a short period.

Now we are thinking that there is just one building to be saved, it could be used as a Museum as it is much smaller  than the pair in previous applications.

I remember when we applied to have the scale models of the Dockyard Buildings on show  in the Library, several of the Societies combined to bring it about.

If once again they could combine a Museum or meeting place could be formed.

There is always the expense to do this, firstly the work to bring back to usable condition, the floors are unstable the electric is condemned, all this would have to be payed for, and there would be the running costs, electric  and it would have to be charged Rates.

I know that all the Societies have no funds, and membership and raffles are the only income.

Loyal members are always willing to give their time as attendants and helpers.

The main thing is would they get the support of the people of Sheppey?

If only one owner holds the Freehold of all of the places in Trinity Road he will no doubt apply for High Density Blocks of affordable housing.

 Nobody would want to pay  Rates if it was a shopping area.

It gives thought to the Park Area in front and beside the Ex Council Offices, when it was grassed over it had the gravestones  removed to stand against the end wall of the building, would this area be included in the development?


 

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