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Unique Property Bulletin 25 May 2014


Changes At Unique Property Bulletin

Bulletin Bus Lesson One RSZALT

Unique Adventures: Future & Past (c) 2014 Russ McLean

The Unique Property Bulletin is, in essence, a hobby gone wrong – in a very good way. As internet dinosaurs we couldn’t have predicted going from our Have I Got News For You style obscure guest publication Unique Property Bulletin of 3,000 to over 32,000 readership in just two years. Especially as it took the best part of 20 years for the paper format to move from 420 to 3,000! So we are having to introduce some changes. These will be subtle, but ensure the continued viability of the Bulletin. One for example is a guest presenter element from the freelance journalist advertisement below.

Another change is the growth via mainstream media initiatives. The Bulletin Bus approaching on the near horizon.

Added to which is a favourite element from this end of the Bulletin. How do unique adventures move from the abstract – paper and discussions – to very real experiences? Read on. The example of the Ailsa Craig Island adventure was over ten years ago. But the Ailsa Craig Island experience went from a simple article within a Unique Property Bulletin and became a very real project with much enjoyment along the way. Can we replicate this? How might it affect you?

Ailsa GG MAIN Resized

Real Adventures: Ailsa Craig Island & Lighthouse Buildings (c) 2012 Kinght Frank

Well the Ailsa Craig Island Lighthouse purchase back in 2001 had similar Bulletin inspired adventures at Strathy Point Lighthouse, plus the Old Generator Station; the Coastguard Station; the Gas Station; the Winch House, plus a couple of small islands and several more unique properties. So we know that such adventures can be replicated. But how might all this help our readers?

Since series 4 of the Unique Property Bulletin was launched in November 2011 around 130 editions have been produced and uploaded for free access by readers. We have only lost a couple along the way. Last week was a partial loss. Apologies for that. Thanks to helpers for keeping last week’s edition in some useful shape. The reason for the hiccup can be found here in an offsite treatise:-

Gory, Gross or Educational !

Some folk might find the images a little unsettling which is why it is offsite and password protected. The password is the standard one all members have. If you have forgotten, please email by Clicking Here.

Readers, and especially visitors who have become friends might like to know more of how the Bulletin has progressed from behind the scenes. For others, especially those seeking a different style of life, and in particular significant numbers who have challenges along the path of life, it may prove helpful to know there can still be useful life to live beyond lifechanging problems.

Without wanting to be too trite, good things often come from bad. Last week was personally uncomfortable, but it has produced an opportunity for a reader or two somewhere out there. The undernoted advert for a freelance journalist helper is that opening. We have to take the Bulletin to a next level.

So our apologies for the slippage in last week’s Bulletin. We have kept most of it ready for this edition:

All Aboard.

There are three elements to this:-

1] You.

2] The Unique Property Bulletin Television Commissioning Process.

3] The Bulletin Bus.

All three of these aspects will be covered this week in a beginning, middle and end approach respectively.

1] You. To start, we would like to cordially invite ALL unique property readers, residents, buyers, restorers, sellers, and indeed anyone with an interest in unusual buildings to consider joining in. But what you might ask? Well the obvious is to help like minded folk to buy, sell and progress their unique property along with their ambitions in that direction. We have something more to add – something with wheels. Sorry for the pun. But the almost casual idea of our visiting with fellow unique property eccentrics in an homage to the double deck bus road trip film: Summer Holiday which has evolved in our case to the side blog Bulletin Bus. Inexorably the idea is moving forward. Especially in the past couple of months.

So we would invite readers to review this “1” along with “2” and “3” below, plus the Bulletin Bus adventure blog, and if they would like to look at joining in with a visitation from a bus and film crew, please Contact Us. In other words, we would like you to join in and if at all possible visit us on the Bulletin Bus in forthcoming travels.

We will return to the three items listed above further into this edition, but for now, onto the main listings for this week’s Bulletin


Martello Well Below

Martello Bartra MAIN

Bartra Martello Tower, Harbour Road, Dalkey, Dublin

Well below the last purchase price at €2,000,000



Tel – Ganly Walters: +353 1 662 3255


Churches & Favourite Auctions

Zion Street Church Auction

Zion Street Church, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0SQ

If this was nearer to ourselves we would definitely be putting in a bid. Ocer six thousand square feet in a fine, former church, all for a bargain ..

Guide: £80,000

Telephone one of our FAVOURITE auctioneers:-

Pugh & Co: 0844 2 722444


To The Affordable Manor Born

Treborth Hall

Treborth Hall, Treborth Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2RX

An amazing grade II listed former manor house of approximately 20,622 square feet plus additional outbuildings on an overall site of 13.10 acres. All for a relatively econoomic…

Guide: £250,000

Sorry, but how much is a pokey one bed flat in London!

Telephone – Pugh & Co: 0844 2 722444

Just for curiosity, and to see what a wonderfully diverse selection, have a look at the latest Pugh Auctioneers listings. From start to finish are some very interesting entries:

Lots of Interesting Lots – Have A Look: From Start to Finish Bargains and Unique Property Abound – Click Here to Change Your Life!


Auction Searching – & Finding …

Seabreezes View

The Amazing View From Lot 107 Caught Our Attention – Click Here

£20,000 For a building plot with such a splendid view. A quarter of an acre and outline planning for a detached four bedroom house.

Sorry, but we still can’t help repeating our refrain – How much is a pokey one bed flat in London!



Special Article – 12 Churches List

Bridge Street Church RSZ

Bridge Street Church

Guide: £80,000

This is just one of over 12 churches for sale.

This week we have a Special Article Feature listing 12 churches for sale. This is an added extra for those readers who like this genre of unusual building. There is a modest £1.56 donation to access this extra list of 12 churches for sale. The modest donation significantly helps towards our fundraising, and pays for this website’s hosting and IT fees. These donations also keeps the main Sunday night, 9pm Unique Property Bulletin FREE to access for everyone. To access this spiritual abode list, please click the following Donate Button – with our thanks and appreciation ….

It is important to note, the Donate/Paypal system doesn’t let you back into the 12 Churches Special Article webpage for a second look. The good news is you can revisit this webpage as many times as you would like by clicking here:

Special Article Feature: Return Visit Page – Click Here

Please remember the PASSWORD that your Donation Reply gives you.


A Pretty Penny


Former Public Conveniences, Priory Road, Ulverston, LA12 9QE

Guide For Lake District Loo: £20,000.

Not often you can describe one of these bargain penny-spending excrumentum buildings as pretty. However, just look at what a decent architect can manage with an ex loo ….

Laura Clark managed a marvellous conversion of a London Loo. For this Bulletin we have a Lake District Loo. Has to be worth looking at in a little more detail – the building in case that sounded a bit wrong!

Tel – Pugh Auctions: 0844 2 722444


Unique Property Competition

For this month, the Unique Property Bulletin competition prize is a unique model...

Competition May 2014 Unique Property Bulletin Lifeboat Station

Lifeboat Station (c) 2010 Enesco Ltd

Model of an Old Lifeboat Station – Unique Property Bulletin Prize

This is a very modest prize – for fun. Here is the

Competition Hint

In the first edition from Series 2 of this publication we featured an old LIFEBOAT STATION building which we predicted would come up for sale. It did in fact come up for sale.

The competition question is: what was the name of the town where that old lifebboat station was located?

Free to enter. Just let us know your guess of who you think the above Competition Hint refers to? Please email your entry to us by 31st May 2014. Email free entries to:-

Unique Property Bulletin Competition Entry Contact Page


The Journey May Start Soon

2] The Unique Property Bulletin Television Commissioning Process. We can’t give too much away, other than there are three television companies/broadcasters that have approached us about formatting the online Unique Property Bulletin to something that would sit well on the television programming schedule.

Double Decker Driving Assessment 6 RSZ

A Bulletin Bus Example: Spacious Interior Potential (c) 2014 Russ McLean

After driving this wonderful vehicle around the training circuit several times, a modest love affair is developing with the machine. Enhanced by the tantalising possibility this vehicle, or one like it, may be transformed into a tour bus to meet and spend time chatting with fellow unique property people.


One reader, who surprised us by revealing his name – he is a reasonably well known television broadcaster – is now presenting a case for a Unique Property Bulletin format television series to his commissioning editor. Such was the dynamic of the conversations and enthusiasm by those phoning that even if the current commissioning editor declines there are a number of follow-up ways to progress this Unique Property Bulletin television initiative.

That is before we go proactive and approach the plethora of independent television companies from this end. A step that may well be worth considering. For sure, it takes us two hours each day to reply to Bulletin emails. This proves to us that there are a lot of fellow eccentric unique property people throughout the United Kingdom to visit with.

On top of all of this, an IT firm have already indicated they would like to kit out a Bulletin Bus and produce a Youtube series. So whichever way this goes, the adventure is gaining momentum. It looks like the passengers [you] need to be consulted with regard to a visit by the Bulletin Bus and cameras. The next stage of this project narrated at “3” below”.


Freelance Journalist Invited

Freelance Journalist Eileen Warren

Starting Small In Print. Who Knows How Far You Can Go? (c) 1963 Eileen Warren

Due to continued expansion in readership levels here at Unique Property Bulletin online, we have a very modest role available for a part-time freelance journalist. Someone with appropriate media skills, and IT knowledge: WordPress website ability a definite asset.

The position will require the regular research and assembly of one in every four in our Unique Property Bulletin online series. This will include all the regular elements to be put together, copy-edited and uploaded online:

6 x Unique Properties & Photograph.

1 x Unique Architectural Building & Photograph.

1 x Unique Try Before You Buy & Photograph.

1 x Topical Article Per Edition.

Initially the requirement will be for about 25% of current main upload content to be fully prepared and progressed to online publication. The frequency of the Unique Property Bulletin is one edition each week.

Publication is 9pm Sunday night.

Guidance can be given for any and all areas until the freelancer is comfortable – especially IT and website protocol.

Depending upon how the Bulletin evolves, there is potential to make this a more significant appointment for between 50% and 75% of the website content with increased remuneration as appropriate. In other words, a modest part time freelance relationship has the potential to grow to something much more substantial over time.

This growth path cannot be guaranteed. However, if the past 120 issues are anything to go by, the future holds a reasonable chance of a modest freelance start becoming quite fulfilling and with a useful income. Also the possibility of ending up living in a unique genre of home. Indeed, enthusiasm in this direction is an important attribute.

Please apply in confidence to:-

Mr C. McLean, Unique Property Bulletin Ltd., Harbour Cottage, Shore Street, Helmsdale, Sutherland, KW8 6JZ.

Alternatively fill in our online form …

Unique Property Bulletin Email Address Request Form

… and we will provide a private destination email to respect the confidentiality of any personal information etc. Please do NOT email a CV using our generic contact page.

Please Note: You do NOT need to physically commute in any way. As long as you have Broadband and basic wordprocessing/IT skills the required assistance can be undertaken purely online.

This is a very modest freelance income. Initially 4 hours at the recognised “Living Wage” at a four week frequency. Payment gross, on a self-employed basis. Mainly to cover for shortfalls such as has happened this week.

Whilst this is a very modest offering for a freelance journalist there is a proven path of growth here at Unique Property Bulletin, and the probable opportunity of such a position becoming more substantial in nature over time.


Evergreen Headlines

Evergreen 1

A new section has been added to the Unique Property Bulletin.

Accessible via the horizontal top bar menu – second item from left hand side.



Architecturally Unique …

This week we feature a simple and beautiful piece of design by renowned Japanese architect Kotaro Ide. This dwelling is known, amongst other things, as the Shell House:

Shell House RSZ

Shell House (c) Nacasa & Partners Inc., Image Courtesy of Kotaro Ide / ARTechnic

If you have some spare building land and like this genre, please consider making contact:-


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:

Alton Railway Station TBYB Holiday

Alton Railway Station Ben Brooksbank Alton Railway Station (c) 2014 Ben Brooksbank

Alton Railway Station Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB

Whilst no trains call at this holiday destination – note the lack of track – it is relatively near to the famous holiday destination, Alton Towers. So at the equivalent of £13.19 [or thereabouts] per person per night, it may represent very good value for money as well as a thumping good place to try out if railway stations and roller-coasters do it for you and the family.

Guide £422 per week – Sleeps 8

Equivalent to £13.19 per person per night. 

Booking Enquiries: 01628 825925. railway station-holiday/




Bulletin Bus MAIN UPB

Volvo Olympian Double Deck Training Bus (c) 2014 Russ McLean

3] The Bulletin Bus. I think there may be a few readers who, like me, have a Bucket List – a list of things to do before we reach “the end of retirement” as the shadow chancellor euphemistically puts it. On that list may appear the driving of a double decker bus. Go on, admit it, ever since you were a kid, you fancied a go driving one of these amazing machines. For us, the combination of a large mobile space to visit with fellow unique property dwellers, and also capacity for a small office to run this Unique Property Bulletin whilst on the road is a vital ingredient, and a much desired object.

Last year, pen on paper started this idea. Many emails and phone calls later resulted in a great day out. Last month, a very kind gentleman who keeps around 9,000 buses in service on UK roads made a particular wish come true. There was a meeting arranged at the Arbroath Bus Depot. Ostensibly to discuss the disability practicality issues surrounding the safe and efficient driving of a double deck leviathan. Plus logistic debate with bus company professionals to review the approach by a triumvirate of media production companies/broadcasters that had contacted us about this idea for conversion of the Unique Property Bulletin to a format suitable for the television – but on the buses. So what happened at this day out? Alistair from Stagecoach deserves a considerable thank you. He has a busy job keeping so many of these buses on the road to a regular timetable. But he was decent enough to take time out from his job so as to go through the technical side of such a project. From regulations, licencing, logistics, competency etc. A great level of assistance was given. Thank you Alistair.


Bulletin Bus All Aboard UPB

Not Just Trainee Drivers: Future Unique Visitors? (c) 2014 Russ McLean

Then almost unexpectedly – but kind of secretly hoped for – came the personally memorable question – paraphrased as excitement blurred the memory. Alistair says: I’ve brought our training bus up from Dundee. Are you feeling alright for a test drive on our off-road test circuit?

Alright, some of our readers may not be on this wavelength, but I bet a fair few are. Seriously, who could say no to such an offer of driving one of these lovely modes of transport ….


Bulletin Bus Driving Console UPB

Driving Console: Double Deck Training Bus (c) 2014 Russ McLean

After giving the careful and precise explanation of the driving protocols, Alistair very gently directed the writer of this how to start, proceed and manoeuvre this bus for several circuits around the test roadway. The driving was sheer pleasure.

One of the main concerns was a potential problem with physical disability. For reference, more can be found about this personal issue around disability. The password is to save readers or internet SEO robots accidentally stumbling upon some of the more medically graphic images. The password is the same as all members have for many offsite pages. Please contact us if you need a password reminder.

Disability and physical ability is why the test drive was important. Oddly, and this was genuinely unexpected, this large vehicle was easier to drive than an ordinary motor car. A big surprise.

The reason is, anyone – and several readers will have this affliction – with a bad back who drives a gearshift vehicle requires left leg pressure on the driving clutch. On bad back days this can prove painful.

With this bus, there were three simple buttons: Neutral, Forward and Reverse. Everything else was automatic. Not using the left leg meant less pain. Privately too the problem with such a disability as described here is that on bad days after 20 to 40 miles it can get significantly painful. Hence the personal use of a small van rather than an ordinary car. So a lay down can be had for half an hour for the pain to dissipate. It may sound poor, but needs must when this rotten prolapsed disc thing goes on. Many folk have much worse to contend with on the health front. Though all I could think of was – is – liberation. A small bedroom upstairs in a purpose fitted out double deck bus would mean the current disability restricted radius of 40 miles could be extended greatly. One of the most frustrating things in the past few months was a generous invitation of the owners at Tarbat Ness to come visit …

Tarbat Ness Tain Holiday Cottages

 Tarbat Ness Lighthouse Buildings (c) 2013 Tain Holiday Cottages

Sadly that did not happen. We have now sold the lighthouse buildings for our friends and they have returned to America. The Tarbat Ness Lighthouse visit was not to be.

Unsure how they would have reacted to a big bus arriving at their front door, but driving around the Stagecoach training road and without the usual sciatic pain in this wonderful mode of eccentric transport was a delight. Plus the knowledge that with the correct test pass ticket, I could visit with friends made through Unique Property Bulletin.

So where does all this leave us?

We have progress in the disability issue as it affects bus driving being addressed.

We have progress with media formatting this online Bulletin to something that may be considered useful for television [we do need a presenter please – I have a face for radio].

We have progress with property owners already getting in touch with invitations to visit them.

So here’s the thing:-

Would you like a visit? If and when we get the wheels on the bus going round and round? The idea is to come see and have a chat about your plans and your unique property. Please contact us by clicking here for more details.

Next: if you have a disability, keep going. You may be able to do more than you reckon. Though always take proper medical advice. This end the next stop is my local doctor to make sure a provisional bus licence is safe and appropriate.

Finally, if this bus adventure interests you in any way, feel free to get in touch: click here. Also keep a regular eye on our:

Bulletin Bus Blog

Bulletin Bus Top Deck UPB

Wide Open Spaces – Inside & Outside (c) 2014 Russ McLean

Hope to hear from you soon.

Very best wishes.




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