This Edition’s Feature…
Helping You Find
A Unique Home “Garden-Office”
This week we do our best to help you find a truly amazing garden office to work from. Possibly a structure with an exemplary previous career like this…
RAF SAR Sea King Rescue Helicopter Due For Retiral (c) Marcus Roos
Not Too Expensive To Buy In Airframe Form For Garden Office Use.
Just imagine a wonderful big yellow helicopter like this in your garden to convert and utilise as an office? Now that really is unique.
Don’t knock it. One person wrote books in a £15,000 style garden office that made an incredible £770,393,760. Garden offices can be impressively creative places.
We will even make an introduction to George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces production team if you would like to have a television record of your new garden space.
Feature details at the foot of this page.
============ Regular Bulletin Listings Now Follow ============
Tower Has New Plans
Coastguard Station, Mill Lane, Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 3YQ.
Plus lovely views…..
Views From The Old Cumbrian Coastguard Station.
We listed this tower earlier…
But no price guide was given at that time. Our guess back in June 2013 was somewhere between £1,000 and £250,000. So the actual price we have listed now is allmost bang in the middle of that range!
Fortunately for some lucky reader, this unusual structure is now back up for sale. It has also been granted planning permission to convert into a genuinely unique 4 bedroom home. As we like to remind readers – it is a good idea to keep an eye on old Bulletin issues to see what might come back up for sale. A big thank you to one of our readers who did just that and emailed in to share this update with fellow Bulletin friends.
Agency Narrative: The red brick former WW1 Military Observation Tower (latterly the Coastguard Tower) is five storeys with adjoining former boat store of approximately 235 square metres with planning permission for installation of a first floor over the boat store which will increase it by a further 70 square metres. The property is ready for you to decide which views you want on each floor – breathtaking sunsets over the sea or sun rise over the Lakeland fells.
On clear days the vistas are 90+ miles, one of very few places in England where you can see both Wales and Scotland simultaneously, yet is only 35 miles from Junction 36 of the M6 Motorway and Oxenholme Lake District Station (2hrs 50mins to Euston Station).
The property has undeveloped grounds with a Bunker (13 sq m), in original condition.
£135,000 Sorry Now Under Offer
Further information via the following link:-
Diminutive Pump Station
Former Water Pumping Station, Soothill Lane, Batley, WF12 7HX
This diminutive but curious little building comes with a similarly modest price. We have added it to this Bulletin edition given the loss by quick sale of the Walney Island Coastguard Station above, and to make up for property flying off the shelves just now!
Guide For Soothill Pumping Station: £10,000
Contact – Eddisons Auctions Tel: 0113 243 0101
Circle Back To The Future
Amlaird, Near Fenwick, East Ayrshire, KA3 6JG
Copyright Space Six Architects Ltd
This week we are having some wonderfully eccentric and unique properties resurface from past Bulletin issues.
This is an inspirational favourite of ours. From the very first point we spotted it. Earlier it was featured [ Click Here – 2/3 down the page]. Earlier there was no price indicator. Sadly for the owner it failed to sell at auction.
Now in a different auction there is a price guide, and seems good value for someone who would like a genuinely exciting project to develop.
Earlier narrative: A corner site with a large concrete water tank which occupies roughly a third of the property. The tank is circular and extends to 460 sq.m approx with a domed roof and internal volume of approximately 2.5 Million litres. The tank is largely below ground. The site is surrounded by a post and wire fence around two metres in height with pedestrian access gates. The ground that is not occupied by the tank is mostly down to grass. The planning permission granted is for an extremely interesting two storey house essentially built within the tank, it has been carefully designed for maximum day light. The design results in a spacious house over two floors. On the lower ground floor there are five double bedrooms all en-suite together with a lounge. The upper floor is largely open plan with a living room, kitchen, dining room and w.c.
We understand this is a “discounted” indication. Maybe a little more could be rounded off the price!
Contact – Future Property Auctions Tel: 0141 632 6599
The Angels’ Share
Erskine Church, 9 High Street, Langholm, DG13 0JH
The Angels’ Share is an old saying which refers to a volume of whisky that is lost through evaporation during many years of ageing in cooperage barrels.
In this instance we have a church with a measure of evaporation in the price! Originally we featured this property in an earlier Bulletin.
Then we featured it again – just a few months ago. The price may now have a little more evaporation available. Worth a look? It is coming up for auction for a third time, so if this style and location does it for you, and you like the style of this building, then maybe go and have a look.
Guide: Reduced From
£37,500 to £15,000.
As a twice “Failed To Sell At Auction” – FTSAA and a third time entry, there is possibly a little more spirited off of this guide.
Contact – Wilsons Auctions Tel: 01294 833444.
Syndicate 19 -What’s Happening?
A Unique Abode – Adventures Afloat
Proposed Purchase MV Saturn. Photo: The Ship Approaching The Isle of Arran
Update: First a big thank you for readers and website members who expressed an interest in buying one of the cabins on this ship as proposed a month ago [Click Here]. There was enough cumulative interest to put in a bid. Unfortunately after some due diligence, the MV Saturn turns out to have been left “cold” for “several years”. Unlike our previous purchase of the beloved MV Lochmor which was a wonderful experience – and turned a very decent surplus – the fact that the MV Saturn main engines and systems haveot been run-up for years is a significant problem. Back in 2001 with the MV Lochmor syndicate, the ship was “warm” and fully functional when we purchased her. With a decent chief engineer at the business end of the engine room all recommission issues were relatively straight forward to resolve.
As to the possibility of MV Saturn being our 19th Unique Property Syndicate, and the fact it is not just our immediate syndicate family that are putting faith and money in – but new members too – means we need to exercise very prudent judgement at this end. Some folk haven’t had the adventure – ups and downs – of one of these projects before. So we are being cautious and saying no thanks to the MV Saturn.
Even with unique buildings on dry land, you just have to look at either your own past projects, or the television stories to see that often a contingency fund gets eaten into big style if the sums are wrong. As soon as you put the two words merchant vessel in front of the quote request, the figures for operation and repairs can become eye watering.
So where does this leave things? We are not going to take the MV Saturn syndicate any further. If any individual syndicate member wants to bid on the ship, we have officers and crew more than willing to help you. In all likelihood after the start-up protocols are conducted, the MV Saturn’s engines can be brought back to life – possibly several days work though. Given the fact that a lot of money has been spent on the maintenance of this ship, it is likely someone would get a bargain and an interesting project. The path she is now destined to go is as cheap scrap. Sad but that is what happened to her two sister ships MV Jupiter and MV Juno.
This is extremely frustrating as the hull integrity and ultrasonics in these vessels is very good. The engineering standards are kept high throughout each vessel’s working life. We know this, because we saw first hand the ship we bought from this state owned company – MV Lochmor [Click Here]. But if you doubt the longevity of our 1979 built ship, just take a look at the much older fleetmate….
MV Columba: Built 1964. Now Luxury Cruise Vessel MV Hebridean Princess
Photo Courtesy of Mr Neil Kennedy
… the 1964 converted car ferry MV Columba which underwent conversion into a luxury cruise ship and renamed MV Hebridean Princess [Click Here] and [Click Here]. Such is the quality of this fine MV Hebridean Princess fleetmate to MV Lochmor, that HM Queen Elizabeth chartered the MV Hebridean Princess in person during 2006 and 2010. The Queen sailed on the chartered calMac ship in the stead of decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia. So these class of vessels have a first class build quality. You just have to be careful about the recommission/repair and running costs involved when considering a syndicate purchase, and we want Syndicate 19 to be a financially safe and successful one.
So we are saying goodbye to the MV Saturn as a candidate, and inviting you, our reader to nominate possible syndicate projects? Just email us your favourite projects where we might find common cause with sufficient website members to purchase…
We are keen to commission and co-ordinate a
19th Unique Property Syndicate
Here we have a visually fabulous Grade II listed former Windmill home conversion. Believed to have been built around 1823. Now a renovated home of character, including the attached engine house. Five floors plus a converted outbuilding providing 2 bedroom tourist accommodation, accessed by a separate driveway. The property enjoys a semi rural situation on the edge of the small fenland village of Wrangle. Accommodation comprises modern fitted Kitchen, Bathroom and circular Lounge to the ground floor with 3 Bedrooms and Sitting room within ‘The Cap’. Tourist accommodation: open plan Lounge/Dining/Kitchen, 2 Beds with En-Suite Bathroom and Wet Room Shower. Generous gardens and off road parking for several vehicles.
Location – Toft Mill is an attractive Grade II listed converted windmill, situated just 10 miles from the historic market town/port of Boston and 15 minutes drive from the seaside resort of Skegness via a quiet rural lane.
Guide: £299,950 or possibly £285,000.
Lower Price Quoted At £285,000…
Contact – Bruce Mather Ltd., Tel: 01205 365032
An Island Church & Sea Views
St Ninians Church Shore Road, Port Bannatyne, Isle Of Bute, PA20 0LQ
This is a curious one. The agency details indicate it has plans, but then goes on to mention “subject to planning” so we would suggest anyone looking at this magnificent and substantial former church to convert into a home, has a detailed chat and ensures proper due diligence on what exactly the plans are, and if they are still current.
We have been following our own advice to readers and reviewing the Unique Property Bulletin archives and past editions to see if there are interesting past properties with tasty price reductions. Bingo. This one appears to have a divine £75,000 shaved off of the earlier guide as per a previous Bulletin.
£275,000. Now £199,995 with possible haggle room on price!
Contact – New Agency – Scottish Property Centre Tel: 01369 238015
Mill Tower & House
Mill House & Tower, Mill Lane, Caunton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 6AJ
An impressive 19th Century mill house AND separate Grade II Listed mill tower with south facing gardens. Plus over half an acre of grounds
Contact – Savills Tel: 0115 934 8020 – Clare Bingham
Beith Trinity Church & Halls, Main Street, Beith, KA15 2BA
We have had quite a few emails asking to keep an eye open for former churches to convert into homes. In response we have put three in this edition of the Bulletin. Here we have a lovely church in Beith, consisting of a large detached structure straight from the church commissioners.
Not just the church, but a hall is also included. All in all: Accommodation comprises entrance, nave, chancel, vestry, cloakroom, organ house, south gallery, west gallery, hall, session room and basement. Here is some further information on the history:-
Contact – 0131 225 5722
Converted Water Tower & More
The Old Tower, Stede Hill, Harrietsham, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1NP
Here we have a relatively utilitarian – though with a slight architectural grandeur – for the water tower frontage. But there is so much more to this 1903 build edifice than we have pictured.
Simply put we recommend Bulletin readers click the weblink below and look at the lovely photographs which illustrate the time, love and care in this exquisite transformation.
The conversion and additions provide a reception room, master bedroom with delightful views, bathroom and further bedroom/study. The seller has created a fine single storey addition to the rear linked by a stunning full height entrance hall with spiral staircase. There is a large open plan kitchen/sitting/dining room with feature curved wall and feature glass corner wall. The units are from Germany. There are two further bedrooms and a bathroom. This really is a one off opportunity located on the highly sought-after Stede Hill.
£1,195,000 Now (1st Feb 2015): £1,075,000
Contact: Click Here – PLEASE remember to identify the property when emailing us.
Unique Property Competition
For January + February 2015, the Unique Property Bulletin competition prize is:-
A Nice Note From The Bulletin To One Of Our Readers
This Is Our Modest Prize. Unless Requested, Payment Will Be Made By Cheque.
“Anything In Common Founder”
Can You Name This Unique Property ?
The first correct entry for the name of unique property – out of the hat – wins the prize.
PLEASE NOTE: The prize is NOT the building, just the £50. Sorry we haven’t reached the level of prize value that enables real buildings to be awarded to winners. Yet!
For our previous competition in November/December 2014 we featured the MOST obscure unique building that we could find. The reckoning was that nobody would manage a correct answer. We even featured the pre-renovation photo. But still there were 4 correct entries!
Our conclusion? There is now a very substantial knowledge base amongst our readers that pretty much covers most of the UK. In a Feature Article soon to be published in the Bulletin we shall see if there is any way our philosophy of sharing details and news of unusual property between readers can be expanded in to help those who are actively on the hot trail of finding and securing their dream home. However, for now and this competition, we have had to halve our prize fund as it is looking a little dry with all of the very well informed readers winning each round. Even so, we hope it still appeals to those that enjoy this element of our publication.
Best wishes and good luck from the Unique Property Bulletin Team
Free to enter. Just let us know have your competition answer by 28th February 2015. Email free entries to:-
Please note, each week we feature the work of a unique architect. These properties are NOT currently for sale, but are included to help inspire readers as to the talent that abounds when a good architect’s mind meets the imagination of a unique property person, and something that little bit special is created by the synergy.
Almost Gravity Defying: The Auditorio de Tenerife (c) W Lady Slaw
This week the above truly unique building cought our eye. Yes of course it is a non-domestic building but the architect Santiago Calatrava gives an idea of what might evolve from a client and professional designer for a smaller domestic style. Inspiration is what this small section of the Bulletin is for.
So our featured architect this week is:-
Architect’s Website: http://www.calatrava.com/ [website might only work on PC size computers].
Architect’s Auditorio de Tenerife Page: Click Here [website might only work on PC size computers].
Further Background: Click Here
Photographic Montage: Click Here
Try Before You Buy
The property included within the try-before-you-buy section of the Unique Property Bulletin – is NOT for sale. Our endeavour is to provide a sample, and actual experience of what it would be like to live in any particular genre of unusual abode. This specific listing is for a short-stay break. Our offering for this edition is:-
Hop On A Holiday Wagon
Sundance Wagon, Near Watergate Bay, Cornwall.
This is a diminutive bolt hole inspired by the Wild West. A self-catering wagon with more luxuries than the versions from centuries gone by. Located near to Watergate Bay in Cornwall.
Location: Please Click Here
Online Brochure: Click Here
Holiday Prices: Click Here
Contact – Unique Home Stays Tel: 01637 881183
Unique Property Bulletin Main Article
This Edition’s Feature
Helping You Find Your
Unique Garden Office
This edition we do our best to help you find something unique, and close to your ideal for a big garden offices, or even just a diminutive space to go for quiet contemplation.
Just prior to writing this edition of Unique Property Bulletin we received a significant nest of emails seeking unique home garden-offices. Our favourite television presenter George Clarke must’ve been having a re-run of some Amazing Spaces television programmes to prompt such a surge of emails. Particularly the programme featuring the former personal jet converted into a luxury garden B&B type of arrangement.
The email that hit us front-and-centre, was asking about where to buy one of the former Search and Rescue Seaking helicopters to convert into a home-office as there has been a rumour these aircraft were being retired and sold off. The request was from a long term Bulletin reader and friend. So we know he is serious about taking on such a project.
In actual fact, from what we understand, these Search & Rescue helicopters are not due to be decommissioned for a while yet. Though you can buy other non-yellow Sea King for around £15,000 if you look around [ Click Here – 2009 sale]. It is worth noting that you should look to see if it is just the airframe, or whether you are getting ALL the kit and avionics that can sometimes come with these when the occasional complete aircraft is sold. If you play your cards right, you could end up with a free airframe – by disposing of the certificated and recyclable avionics through normal channels. Thereby recouping a lot, if not all of the outgoings from the aircraft purchase stage.
The outgoings, by the way, are not just the purchase of such an unusual home office, but transporting it to your garden, and if necessary having the planning permission and paperwork sorted out.
Though garden offices are becoming very fashionable nowadays. A couple of years ago we featured J K Rowling’s office in the garden at her house [JK Rowling – Bulletin Coverage: Click Here]. Amazing to think that a £10 printer ink cartridge and a ream of paper [500 sheets] at a cost of 0.5p per page to buy, can then be turned into 8 film manuscripts that will earn £770,393,760. Plus the books that the lady – JK Rowling – wrote. Almost single handedly encouraging a whole generation to get into reading books again in the process. Truly amazing. Sorry a slight digression, but there is something mesmerising about seeing the actual place and desk where the Harry Potter phenomenon was made real. Anyways, back to our unique garden office candidate search.
The good news: you probably have a year or two to save up for your BIG YELLOW Sea King helicopter office. The primary source – MoD Disposals.
In ADDITION, here is the style of other MoD things that are sold off:-
In Your Garden? Maybe! De Havilland Vampire T11 (c) Adrian Pingstone
As far as garden office conversions go, the De Haviland Vampire might possibly be a bit tight for space. Whilst the Sea King has a lot of area within the airframe as it is a big chopper.
Don’t worry too much about missing the above if it becomes sold. There is a steady stream of interesting disposals from the MoD. Maybe worth you taking a note of the MoD and contractor sale company contact details to keep an eye on what comes up for sale. Diarise it on at least a monthly basis. Some spectacular items come up, and you might kick yourself if you just miss out.
Some of the candidate home office from this source are a little bigger, and kind of qualify for an entire residential home plus office, such is the size. But what a place to live and work. From experience we can thoroughly recommend this sort of place. Not least the views from your new home and place of work can be inspiring.
One of a Class/Series for Sale HMS Walney (M104) (c) M Hogan / MoD
Now this is what we reckon is a hull that has the potential for conversion to a duly MCA recognised mega-yacht [ Click Here ]. Further details of this class – and possible further ships like this one that may be decommissioned and placed on the sale list. Also we can muster up a master mariner, chief engineer and crew if needed.
Back To The Helicopter Candidates For A Garden Office..
Five U.S. Navy Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King (c) US Department of Defense
Though out of 30,000 Bulletin readers we know of only 5 that have somewhere to park a Minesweeper ship! Maybe there are more – let us know if you are on the lookout for a home afloat. If you like the thought of ship life, but don’t have a place to put a Minesweeper, please let us know [ Click Here ] and we shall do our best to find you a berth for the ship.
Alas we are straying afar from our designated request. Big Yellow Helicopter for garden office use and similar size of structure. To be precise we have been sked for “something like” what appeared in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces episode …
George Clarke & Amazing Space Airplane Conversion
Plus a video clip of this aviation style garden building conversion made real via this link:-
In this search for a unique garden office for our readers, you may note a theme developing. Ex Ministry of Defence Kit. If this sort of apparatus is of interest, we would recommend you click on the following and consider adding it to your favourites page…
Over time, there are all sorts of interesting things that come up for sale.
That isn’t to say the MoD is the only place to find unusual structures to park in your back garden and convert to a home office. After all, some can be a little on the big side….
Ex MoD Portable Hangar For Sale.
Good for politicians as it needs quite a lot of hot air.
Other sources of a potential garden office for our [UK] readers include:-
Some inspiration on projects and logistics…
Also remember what we mentioned about avionics and recovering some of your outlay if you do bite the bullet and by an aircraft to convert. Here is a guide to avionic values…
Last but not least, this more modest Lynx helicopter style airframe has lots of potential….
Former Lynx Helicopter Airframe Awaiting Restoration
Tails section folds back out and into place: this hinge arrangement was for aircraft carrier storage.
At £3,333 it isn’t that much more than your average garden shed, let alone a bespoke garden office. This one has been sold…
But FOR SURE there will always be aircraft that have reached the end of their aviation days and be placed for sale. Then it is a matter of either scrapping, or up-cycling as the new phrase goes. What an interesting way of up-cycling a unique structure – restoring one of these iconic aircraft and to make it your writing/recreational sanctuary in the back garden?
Perhaps let us know how you get on!
Previously on Unique Property Bulletin
Have A Quick Look Back
You Might Have Missed Something Useful.