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Author Topic: Chattenden Barracks  (Read 21375 times)

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Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2016, 20:39:54 »
My dad worked for a few years at Chattenden Barracks for the Property Services Agency. This had been created from the Department of the Environment which amongst other things was responsible for the maintenance of Government-owned buildings. He was in charge of maintaining the heating and hot water systems at the barracks.

He told me that one of the reasons why Chattenden had been earmarked for closure was because the costs of maintaining the buildings there was rapidly escalating. The reason, I was told, was because the whole site had been built on the site of a large oak wood. A mature oak tree can consume up to 100 gallons of water a day and when hundreds of trees had been removed to make way for the barracks, all that ground water had nowhere to go, so the ground became saturated and caused a lot of problems with subsidence. Most of the large buildings at Chattenden Barracks had to be underpinned, more than once and that was an ongoing and increasingly expensive process. In addition, in line with the fashion in architecture at the time it was built, all the buildings had flat roofs. This in turn created more problems as after a few years, most of the roofs leaked and constantly needed to have the asphalt renewed. Eventually, all the married quarters blocks and houses had to have pitched roofs built over them.

The heating and hot water system for the barracks had been designed at a time before the Oil Crisis. It was all fed from a central boiler house which fed steam through pipes in culverts around the whole site. Dotted around the site were calorifier houses, where the steam heated water which was used for the hot water and heating systems for all the buildings. For those who don't know, a calorifier is like a larger version of the hot water tanks which used to be a feature of domestic central heating systems. The large boilers in the boiler house (from memory, there were 4) were oil fired and were fed from 25,000 gallon oil tanks in a tank farm outside the building. After the oil crisis, it became increasingly expensive to keep the place heated. Taken together, all these problems were the reason why the barracks were earmarked for closure.
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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2016, 17:46:46 »
Re: Maid of Kent's question. The Metropolitan Police were quartered in a row of terraced cottages further up Lodge Hill Lane close to the turning into Chattenden Farm. The cottages are still there but in a ruinous state. The barracks itself was demolished in the early 1960's to make way for a brand new Chattenden Barracks which was built to house the RSME departments being moved from Gordon Barracks in Gillingham. 12 RSME Regiment commenced operation at Chattenden Barracks in August 1966 and remained there until amalgamated with the Depot Regiment at Brompton Barracks in 1994 to form 1 RSME Regiment. This coincided with the removal of the Combat Engineer Wing to Minley and the subsequent demolition of the 'new' Chattenden Barracks. Strange how different sets of senior officers can come up with different policies. In the late 1980's/early 90's the Corps senior officer group determined that the most effective and economical way of delivering Royal Engineer training was to centralise it all on the Chatham location with better utilisation of the Chattenden, Lodge Hill and Upnor facilities. No sooner was this report accepted than it was thrown in the bin and the move of RE training away from Chatham commenced.

Offline ETA

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2016, 07:28:03 »
Often used to hear the sound of explosions coming from there to Southend. When I first came here 43 yrs ago thought I had moved into a war zone especially as have Shoebury on the other side of me as well!

I wonder whether the sounds of explosions you heard came from Chattenden or from Yantlet Demolition Range further along on the Isle of Grain?

Offline Maid of Kent

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2016, 18:17:09 »
I wonder if Kyn could possibly help answer this - I have been looking at the 1891 & 1901 Census returns for this area and I am interested in the whereabouts of the following; firstly Chattenden Farm (a Lt Colonel lives there) followed by 2 "ordinary families"; Next comes Police Quarters comprising of 1 Sergeant plus family and 11 Constables of Metropolitan Police plus their families. Then follows the  Ordnance Quarters, nos 1-18, where there are 'heads with families, followed immediately by Ordnance House where the Captain lives, next to him is the Magazine foreman, then 4 more families - all the heads of house are working in the Ordnance and then the rest are ordinary folk mainly agricultural workers living in Islington Rd.In the 1891 census no mention is made of 'Chattenden Barracks' but it is mentioned in 1901 and carries on from the Ordnance Quarters. Thomas Chapman & his wife lived at No 14 Ordnance Qs in both Census.

So are all these people actually living in those buildings that you have posted plans and photos of Chattenden Barracks?  Or is it something completely different.

Often used to hear the sound of explosions coming from there to Southend. When I first came here 43 yrs ago thought I had moved into a war zone especially as have Shoebury on the other side of me as well!






Offline Trikeman

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2016, 22:44:19 »
I've been taking a lot of aerial shots of Chattenden / Lodge Hill recently as clearly this area will change out of all recognition in the next few years. It really is a very large acreage - I bet the developers are salivating!
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merc

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2014, 12:00:26 »
Saturday, June 02, 1990

Mr Tom King, the Secretary of State for Defence, listening to a 50Kg Second World War German bomb yesterday when he visited the 33 Engineer Regiment (explosive Ordnance Dispersal) at Chattenden Barracks, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal engineers' involvement in bomb disposal operations. Corporal Archie Gall (left) and Lance Corporal Gary Abbott (right) look on. The regiment is a direct descendant of the wartime bomb disposal units formed in 1940. Mr King unveiled a commemorative plaque.

Offline Peterj

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2012, 16:42:52 »
Had a drive up to this area last weekend, all the ordnance that was on show at Lodge Hill has been removed although the plane is still there at the back of the site. Just a couple of security men present now.

Offline swiftone

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 22:03:29 »
I do hope so although I believe they are not very sure how structurally sound they are with all that earth behind them.

Here is a pillbox at the entrance to the magazine compound.


Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 20:58:57 »
I do believe at least one will be retained and used as community space!

Offline swiftone

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2012, 20:44:48 »
Magazine, photo taken late 2011. These buildings are in danger of demolition when MOD leaves this year.


Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2012, 19:29:40 »
The site of Chattenden Barracks and magazines

Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 16:48:43 »
April 1877

















Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 18:21:57 »













Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 20:26:35 »









Offline kyn

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Re: Chattenden Barracks
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 15:37:32 »
It is a shame, these buildings were really nice and probably the last ones like this left in the Medway area.  I have some photos to add at a later date and one looks very similar to the bird cages at Fort Amherst.

 

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