Monday, June 24, 2013

News update about the 1902 Yard Office

On Saturday I emailed Nicky Costin (Southwark Council's Road Network, Parking, Street Markets and Marina Business Manager) regarding the deteriorating appearance of the 1902 Yard Office on the corner of Sweden Gate and Rope Street.  I expressed the concern that once a building begins to deteriorate in appearance due to damage and neglect it ceases to be valued by the neighbouring community and can quickly become the target of vandalism.  Mr Costin replied to me on Sunday to say that he would investigate, and this evening he has emailed with the following promising udpate, with my thanks.  I will keep readers posted.

The harbour master has looked at it. It is a brick build structure 5.1 by 3.6 metres and was probably a pump house originally.
Currently it is a substation according to the big yellow sign on the door (and the ones warning of danger of death on all sides). Ref no 93657. He has spoken to UK power networks who also agree it's a substation but they were not sure if it is disused or not. Regardless they were going to contact their estates department to send someone out to survey it and do any maintenance required. As soon as they come back to the harbour master he will contact you.

Stuart Rankin, who has researched the local history of the area, thinks that it was an office for collecting tolls from vessels passing through the Grand Surrey Canal,  but whatever its purpose it is a splendid little building and it needs to be preserved.

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