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Unique Property Bulletin 29 June 2014

Unique Property Syndicates

Well over a quarter of a million pounds…

£250,000 Gross Profit

…in the first few syndicates in our first two phases 1998-199 and 2000-2001. This edition we have the narrative surrounding Unique Property Bulletin’s earlier Unique Property Syndicates to answer reader enquiries about these adventures and whether there might be any more.

AAA Strathy Lighthouse Buildings Sarah Charlesworth

Strathy Lighthouse Keepers’ Houses: (c) Sarah Charlesworth

One Of The First Unique Property Syndicates Our Bulletin Group Bought.

This is an actual example of a real Unique Property Syndicate by the Unique Property Bulletin friends & colleagues

Lots of Fun: Lots of Funds Inbound Too

The above lighthouse compound with 4 former lighthouse keepers dwellings plus an engine room produced an exciting and enjoyable unique property adventure made real by our earlier Unique Property Syndicates. Also unexpectedly lucrative – though that was not the prime mover.

We have had a steady flow of questions from Unique Property Bulletin readers since going online in November 2011 about things that went before – from the start of the Bulletin in 1987, through to the regular paper format of the 1990s and beyond. Especially questions about the what, why, when and how of Unique Property Syndicates. Several readers have even asked “how much” and “how many”. We shall give as transparent an answer as possible. For example the official returns we can give for:

Unique Property Syndicates Late 1998 to Early 2000

Income: £217,500

Outgoings: £84,000

Gross Profit £133,500

Profits Shared Amongst Syndicate Members By The Solicitor


Unique Property Syndicates 2000 to 2001

Income: £496,672

Outgoings: £371,500

Gross Profit £125,172

Profits Shared Amongst Syndicate Members By The Solicitor

Below in this week’s editorial we detail the official solicitors return for the first two years illustrated. The figures, and indeed the editorial this week may be of interest to the readers who have asked how these things have worked in the past. We also review how changes in the Financial Services legislation mean if we look at repeating a syndicate or two, then how that might be accomplished. More paperwork is now involved, but we have been very pleasantly surprised by the huge tax breaks that may apply. Plus the idea of enjoying more fun with this sort of thing really appeals. Further details in the editorial at the lower section of this webpage.


We Love Libraries

AAA Library Hindley

Former Hindley Library, Market Street, Hindley, Wigan, Greater Manchester, WN2 3AN

The idea of a dual conversion – part internet cafe and part library/bookshop, but with new added accommodation is something we would really like to do here. It may be a way to revive the decline of a genre of buildings that have been so important over the past century. Remember this would be subject to planning and listed building consent. Though anyone who has followed our similar adventures on the sister website to Unique Property Bulletin Real Dragons’ Den – will know this is definitely possible. In that case it was an old pub which became a coffee shop with an internet cafe. The thing was an overnight success. So this old library in Manchester might just have a new life and unique lifestyle for the lucky bidder.

Guide: £50,000. A huge property for little money.

Tel – Pugh Auctioneers: 0844 2 722444.


Big Ticket BT

AA BT Repeater Parsley Hay

Parsley Hay Telephone Repeater Station, Parsley Hay, Biggin, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 0DG

These BT Repeater Stations are very popular amongst our readers. But usually the guide is £10,000 to £15,000.

This one has an extra zero added to the guide price. Why? Simple – The planning consent. A very valuable item to have. Plus a bigger than usual former BT Repeater Station on a much bigger than usual building plot. Even with the iconic Red Telephone Box neighbouring this plot:-

Auctioneer’s description: A vacant former BT property approximately 161.39 sq m (1,737 sq ft) on a site of approximately 0.13 hectares (0.32 acres) situated in the Peak District National Park with planning consent for change of use to a holiday let.

Guide: £150,000.

Tel – Pugh Auctioneers: 0844 2 722444.


Lighthouse Keeper’s House For Sale


As of July 2014 Offers Are Now Coming In

Please Click Here for updates/news alerts. 

Scurdie Ness RSZ 2

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Buildings (c) 2014 Savills

Provisional Offers Are Now Coming In.

Please let us know if you want to find out what happens next at Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound! Will it be another Strathy Point Lighthouse Compound? Email us to be alerted to any news on Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound.


Police Stations For Old Bills

AAA Police Station Jessop Street

Castleford Police Station (c) 2014 Betty Longbottom

Castleford Police Station Jessop Street, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 1DQ

For some reason we have many, many Bulletin readers after former police stations. This substantial former plod palace is for sale for just a few old bills (sorry)!

Guide: £100,000

Tel – Pugh Auctioneers: 0844 2 722444.


Church With Charm

AA All Hallows Unique Property Bulletin

All Hallows Church Lane, High, High Hoyland, Barnsley S75 4BJ

Reduced From £750,000 to £680,000

This beautifully converted and renovated detached church is just waiting for a new owner to enjoy a unique property ready to move into.

Just check out the photographs of this church and such a stylish interior.

Contact: Via Our Message Page – Click Here



Summary Page – Click Here

To purchase a FULL copy of the EVERGREEN page, with narrative, telephone numbers, and weblinks, just pop a modest donation across. Thank you.

This should yield your password and reveal the address, weblink and contact telephone number for each property on this page. Please note these properties CHANGE as this is a dynamic webpage is regularly updated remember to use your “F5” Button to refresh what appears on your screen and flush your old cache! We don’t want you missing any of the good stuff.

Click Here – Evergreen FULL TEXT Page


Castles In The Sky

A Unique Film From A Unique Building

Out of respect for Sir Robert Watson-Watt who, this week was the subject of a new film launch of Castles In The Sky we highlight the British soil element birthplace of RADAR: RAF Bawdsey Manor. A unique place and centre of scientific excellence that can be fairly commended as a game changer for the war effort during WWII.

AAA Bawdsey Manor

Former RAF Bawdsey (c) 1992 Russ McLean

We had a love affair with this building – and the captivating former Robert Watson-Watt office and laboratory in the 1990s.


For More On RAF Bawdsey consider reading our online article:

National Assets – National Treasures

Also includes detail on how to find and buy things like this former MoD base for £19,000 Freehold…

Saxa Vord MoD MAIN Mike Pennington

Former MoD Base Saxa Vord: £19,000 (c) 2014 Mike Pennington

To purchase a copy of the Special Article Feature:

National Assets – National Treasures [£1.60] …

Special Article Feature For This Month: £1.60
Your Email Address:

It is important to note, the Donate/Paypal system doesn’t let you back into the National Assets – National Treasures webpage for a second look – or as many visits as you wish for the currency of the article. The good news is you can revisit this webpage by clicking here:

National Assets: Return Page Visits – Please Click Here

Please remember the PASSWORD that your Donation Reply gives you.


Architecturally Unique …

Diamond House Forever?

AA Perlroth Diamond House

Pearlroth House, also known as the Double Diamond House, desiged by Andrew Geller and built in Westhampton in 1963.


One For George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces Programme.

Andrew Geller Bio – Click Here

Diamond House Info – Click Here

Diamond House Photo Montage – Click Here

Pearlroth Diamond House Website – 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 this week is:

Clavell Charm

AA Clavell Tower Landmark Trust Unique Property Bulletin Feature

Clavell Tower, Grange Hill, Kimmeridge, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5PF.

A beautifuly located and designed four storey circular tower. Situated high on the cliff overlooking one of the most picturesque Dorset coast. Built in 1830 its location has captivated many including writers like Hardy and PD James

Sleeps 2 = 4 nights from £415.00

Equivalent to £51.88 per person per night


 Tel – The Landmark Trust: 01628 825925


Unique Property Bulletin Editorial

Unique Property Syndicates

Please would readers consider answering a brief “yes” or “no” to our syndicate “plc prospectus reading survey” at the end of this editorial. The plc prospectus reading survey responses will help Unique Property Bulletin decide on whether to spend several thousand pounds in professional fees on going the next step and creating/establishing a new Unique Property Syndicate. Your survey response would really be appreciated. Thankyou.

MV Southsea MAIN G RSZ

MV Southsea (c) 1999 Russ McLean/Evans Collection

The Ship Pictured Above Is An Early Unique Property Syndicate

Unusual, Even By Our Standards.

But Very, Very Successful.

As mentioned, we have been receiving a steady stream of emails from current Bulletin readers curious about Unique Property Syndicates. These adventures have been mentioned in the Unique Property Bulletin from time to time. Many friends and members who have been with us from as far back as the 1980s will know how these are run. However for newer readers we are covering these unusual adventures and clarifying what has gone before, and perhaps, if there is sufficient interest, we might run another one to see how things go.

 AAA Davaar Island Coastguard Station Right Hand of Photo Mary & Angus Hogg

Old Coastguard Station: Right Hand Side of Photo (c) M & A Hogg

In 1987 This Is Where The Unique Property Bulletin Started

Between 1999 and 2006 we ran 18 Unique Property Syndicates. First and foremost, they were all commenced as an interesting adventure born from the Bulletin – a paper format at that time. Of the 18 syndicates, 14 made a profit, 2 broke even and 2 made a loss. Over those 7 years we enjoyed the companionship of 17 core syndicate members stretching to over 50 at the peak. The overall result in total was a lot of interesting unique adventures and the final global tally was a significant surplus in funds distributed by our co-ordinating and conveyancing solicitors. This also did a lot of good with other projects – creating over 100 jobs

Syndicate Members’ Spin Off: Real Dragons’ Den

But that is a whole other story – if of interest to readers, we can review it another day. The Real Dragons’ Den project has given a great deal of pleasure in the outcome bringing old closed buildings back to life. This would not have happened without the original group of unusual property eccentrics joining together and there being a large surplus from the Unique Property Syndicates. However rather than digress to the more “ordinary” building regeneration that formed part of the separate and distinct Real Dragons’ Den initiative, we revert to the narrative covering these Unique Property Syndicates.

 Davaar Island 2

The Old Stables In The Foreground (c) Unique Property Bulletin

A Modest But Productive Syndicate – Marvellous View Too

For the sake of good form here are the formal letters evidencing some of the cumulative results of our Unique Property Syndicates:-

Period Ending 31 May 2000 – Turnover: £217,500

Gross Profit: £133,500

Source: Formal documentation available – (click here)  – please just ask.


Period Ending 14 August 2001 – Turnover: £496,672

Gross Profit: £125,172

Source: Formal documentation available – (click here)  – please just ask.

Profits shared amongst syndicate members directly by the solicitor


During these adventures which featured unique property – whether on land or afloat – there was a lot of enjoyment, and to be frank a modest amount of frustration at times. But the vast majority of these unique purchases turned out well.

The first syndicate was in 1998 and was handled by our solicitors holding funds and transacting property conveyances.

Old Keil Generator Station RSZ

The Old Generator Station, Mull of Kintyre (c) 1999 Unique Property Bulletin

A Small Part Of A Very Big Accidental Success At The Mull of Kintyre

Just 3 syndicate members were part of this one: But over £76,000 gross profit resulted, and it was a very welcome result.

Though The Old Generator Station was but one very small building within the whole complex purchased. Even so, it did it’s bit: a modest £6,000 surplus to this particular overall syndicate came from this diminutive structure.

However, shortly into the new millennium the rules governing these sorts of financial groups – essentially property clubs – were tightened up. We followed the new statutory protocols, which, on advice, was to establish a formal public limited company with a plc share issue. But this turned out to be very expensive in solicitor and accountancy fees when compared to the size of any given syndicate candidate property. Some properties could be bought for as little as £10,000. To form a fully fledged plc can cost the best part of £10,000 in the required fees. In some cases doubling the whole syndicate cost and becoming financially punitive. So this severely dented the ability to run various Unique Property Syndicates smoothly and efficiently. It also took quite a bit of time to create a plc and issue the prospectus and shares etc. This was important as for some property purchases, especially if a bank was in possession, it was a necessity to move promptly to an offer stage. In one memorable example, we only just managed one unique property purchase with less than 24 hours between our offer being contractually bound, and a subsequent offer coming in.

Strathy Lighthouse RSZ

Strathy Lighthouse Compound (c) 1999 Unique Property Bulletin

One Of Our All Time Favourite Unique Property Syndicates

In the early days of the Bulletin it was difficult “just” to list, detail and report on any given property without wanting to join in and have a go! Especially as many of the unusual properties being found were so amazing. After debate in the Bulletin back then, a few of us got together and bought one or two of these unusual buildings! It started with some friends pooling a modest amount of cash sent into the solicitors and a 100% equity purchase of something really unusual – but with the luxury of no mortgage or debt.

What wasn’t expected was a surplus. The main aim was to have some fun with a unique building. For example the idea with Strathy Point Lighthouse Compound was to have the solicitors redraw the Land Registry Title Plan distilling each of the four houses out and separate them from the whole compound title. Thereby leaving each of us with our own single house to stay at. Then some bright spark realised that we had negotiated such a bargain, it might be an idea to see what the resale market was like before all of us moved in. From this Plan A/Plan B was born. The reason Plan A [to see what a resale might achieve] became popular is clearly illustrated by the solicitors statements above.

Popping a modest cheque to the solicitors one week to competitively purchase a beautiful and unique dwelling, then to have a significantly larger cheque be sent back as a result of smart reselling became very interesting and almost as attractive as the buildings concerned! If Plan A [resale] didn’t follow timeously, or if we particularly liked a given property we went with Plan B, and lived there for the fun of it for a while.

Ailsa Craig Island 100th Edition

Ailsa Craig Island & Lighthouse Compound (c) 2011 Russ McLean

A Truly Unique & Memorable Adventure

Hopefully the above has illustrated a little of what Unique Property Syndicates were and are about. The Unique Property Bulletin readers and friends, joining together and with the help of a good solicitor purchasing an interesting property.

Ailsa Craig Beautiful

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Compound (c) 2011 Knight Frank

Lighthouse Compound In All It’s Glory. One Of The Best Syndicates.

To assuage the loss by resale of some of these amazing places, we can point to the current online Bulletin. You just need to read through a back issues and some of the 1,000 unique buildings that we have listed online over the past 30 months to see there will always be another unusual property to purchase and enjoy.

What Next?

So several years after the last Unique Property Syndicate we might ask: What Next? That is in fact the question being asked by some curious readers as well as some established and experienced Unique Property Syndicate members.

We have revisited the current legislation surrounding this sort of syndicate purchase and fair enough the Financial Services law has been tightened up. Our professional advice is if we wish to go on more Unique Property Syndicate adventures we will need to do it via a public share issue [plc]. Past syndicate members have joined on the basis of anywhere between £500 to £50,000, ith an average between £5,000 and £10,000 level depending upon comfort and advice from their own solicitors/professional financial advisers. Before any commitment at whatever level, any and all members MUST read the plc share issue prospectus if that stage is reached in a new syndicate. Ideally along with their own solicitor/adviser reading a copy too.

Given the initial cost of a plc prospectus plus share issue and related fees, we need to be looking at a larger project. Ideally from positive past experience along the lines of the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse buildings. Or perhaps something else such as looked at further on in this review.

Whilst the current option for the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound is to split it into a number of separate elements, a Unique Property Syndicate could – and in the past would – make an offer for the WHOLE compound at the £360,000 mark. Then split the four or five detached buildings within the compound to more manageable bite sized parts.

 Scurdie Ness Dona Robbins

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound (c) Dona Robbins

A Possible Unique Property Syndicate?

If not Scurdie Ness, then there are plenty other buildings, estates and compounds to consider. For example Drumblair which has the divisible element that has made previous Unique Property Syndicates work so well for all those concerned.

AAA Drumblair

Drumblair, Forgue, Huntley (c) 2014 Strutt & Parker

Unique Property Syndicate candidate?

Click Here For Drumblair Agency Details

Or Perhaps an Oast House Adventure in Tunbridge Wells…

AA Oast - One Of 100 Unique Property Syndicate Candidates

Clay Hill Road, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8LR (c) 2014 Savills

Four Roundells & Several Acres. A Truly Unique Adventure.

Click Here For Oast Agency Details


A major favourite of several Bulletin readers, can be revisited via the prism of a Unique Property Syndicate are the Tanera Mor Islands. For sure there are enough elements and individual buildings on this private island archipelago to go around several syndicate members – owning outright a little piece of Heaven each. Also remember the arithmetic. A hard nosed negotiation on the price for the whole island complex would most likely mean the smaller parts [several detached houses on the islands] being bought in – effectively at a substantial discount to what individual element resale might achieve. Well at least if past syndicates are anything to go by. So it becomes something worth studying in much more detail. Especially for those interested in having a unique adventure, and replicating the type of numbers on the above mentioned solicitors statements for past Unique Property Syndicates.

AAA Tanera Mor

Tanera Mor Summer Isles Achiltibuie Ullapool Wester Ross IV26 2YN

Island Paradise: If you do nothing else from this edition of the Unique Property Bulletin, just check out all the elements on this wonderful island, and at numbers we know are possible financially via Unique Property Syndicate:

Just work out what the relatively low purchase price for each of the 9 detached cottages would come in at? There are lots more elements to this particular possible syndicate to make it a very interesting treatise to examine.


All in all, there are dozens of Unique Property Syndicate candidate properties form the past 30 months of Unique Property Bulletin online. Entry level at £500 to £50,000, and to suit all tastes.

Please take another look at the previous Unique Property Syndicate results as documented by the syndicate solicitors in the formal statements reproduced above. Those are very real numbers. We are keen to see if there is an appetite for a new syndicate: hence asking for a little bit of feedback from site members, readers and visitors. Our mailbag seems to indicate an interest. The next step is to find out how many readers would consider reading a share issue prospectus? This will give us a decent idea of how many folk would then look at taking a decision on the information within the Unique Property Syndicate Prospectus to progress to a more formal and active stage.

IMPORTANT: The rules require us to state that this article is NOT an invitation to subscribe for public shares in issue. The reason for looking at this is to establish whether our readers and ourselves have an appetite for another Unique Property Syndicate.


To be clear – commencing a plc share issue, and do it properly requires several thousand pounds in legal fees; accountancy fees; company formation costs etc. Before we even look at the Bulletin paying for this, we would ask each of our site members and every reader to email us in answer to one simple question.

“plc prospectus reading survey”

If after reading this week’s editorial on Unique Property Syndicates would you consider asking for a copy of a Public Share Issue Prospectus to read? Not necessarily to take any further action than a read-through, but the simple exercise of considering a plc prospectus read of a Unique Property Syndicate Share Issue Prospectus?

Please Click Here To Give Your View: “Yes” or “No” To Reading – Just Reading A Unique Property Syndicate Prospectus

A simple “YES” or “NO” to a prospectus reading request will be more than adequate. Thank you.

The thing is, before we commit the Unique Property Bulletin to several thousand pounds of legal/accountancy/share issue costs in issuing a plc Unique Property Syndicate prospectus, we need to establish whether a general interest exists first. You don’t need to subscribe or buy shares. We just need to get a handle on how many of our site visitors would READ a Unique Property Syndicate Prospectus?

This would give us a very general number of how many folk might be interested.

This review of past elements that made up Unique Property Syndicates hopefully illustrates what has happened over past years. The question we are looking to study is whether there is any interest in commencing another Unique Property Syndicate? It doesn’t need to be Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound. In fact it is unlikely to be this lighthouse property given the time constraints.

Logically there WILL be many more unique properties to come. It is a reasonable idea to consider whether we should restart the Unique Property Syndicate adventures. Albeit on a more formalised public share issue basis.


AAA Ingleborough Windmill

Ingleborough Windmill: Three Properties In The One Purchase

An Ideal Unique Property Syndicate

Click Here To Study Three Unique Properties

Perhaps new adventures await above and beyond just reading the Bulletin each week, and reading “what might have been”. For sure, from this end of this publication, having a unique adventure via a syndicate every now and then has been one of the best, most enjoyable elements of this whole thing.

We hope you can advise whether a Unique Property Syndicate Share Issue Prospectus would be of interest for you to request and read? This will give us a decent indication of the level of interest amongst our site members and visitors.

Please Click Here For Contact Page With “Yes” or “No”

Again, in deference to the rules, we must emphasise this is NOT a public share issue NOR an invitation to buy shares. We just need to gauge whether readers of our Unique Property Bulletin would be sufficiently interested as to request a share issue prospectus. The level of interest and response will give us a decent indication on whether it is a good idea to commit many thousands of pounds of precious resources into preparing a public share issue, and plc prospectus etc., for a new Unique Property Syndicate?

Your help in advising us whether you would be interested in just reading a Unique Property Syndicate Share issue prospectus would help us greatly in deciding what to do next.



Previously on Unique Property Bulletin …

Click Here For The Previous Bulletin

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