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Unique Property Bulletin 31 August 2014

Home On The Sea?

AAA HMS Endurance Andrew Skudder

HMS Endurance. A Truly Unique Ship (c) Andrew Skudder

For part of this Bulletin we are totally left of field on the unique home front. Or should that be: all at sea – portside of the abode ye old seasalts.

After a chat with a friend about living on the water, the iconic polar exploration ship HMS Endurance came up in conversation. It is reported by the BBC as heading for the scrapyard. The main reason being after a very public “leak” to the hull’s integrity during a television series being filmed aboard. After a little sleuthing we understand that the:

HMS Endurance Is For Sale

So what’s the story?

Well that is the main feature of our article at the foot of this edition. Not Just the future of HMS Endurance, but the experiences of fellow Unique Property Bulletin members and readers who have actually lived some of their life on the ocean waves, along with the beloved vessels that were part of the journey narrated below.

AAA HMS Endurance Kelly Whybrow Unique Property Bulletin

HMS Endurance off the Antarctic Peninsula (c) 2007 Kelly Whybrow

What a sublime adventure exploring the polar ice with this beautiful ship. But what now for this remarkable vessel? With all due respect, surely something more edifying and useful than that which is currently proposed by the MoD.



AAA Limeworks Listed In The  Unique Property Bulletin

The Limeworks, Faversham Road, Kent, ME13 0SE 

We don’t often do this, but partly because the Unique Property Bulletin is currently on a fortnightly publication frequency, and mainly because this is one of our all time favourite iconic unique buildings – we are adding an extra lot mid-edition to the Bulletin [Tuesday 2nd September 2014].

The property pictured above is the Limeworks at Faversham. It has has recently appeared as a backdrop for the television programme The Gadget Man. We have featured this property a while back…

Previously it proved to be a firm favourite with many of our readers, so we are delighted to list it for sale with the revised price within the current Unique Property Bulletin for those who missed out last time around.

Current Guide has been reduced from the original figure to:-

Guide : £2,000,000

Please can you mention you saw this property in Unique Property Bulletin. Many Thanks.

Online Details….


Weekly To Fortnightly Edition

Firstly, a sincere thank you to all readers and friends who have emailed in to us during this past fortnight. As many will know we are moving from a weekly edition to a fortnightly edition for the remainder of the year until we look at reorganising a new Guest Presenter element. This should help us manage a return to the frequency of a weekly edition in January 2015.

In the meantime, the move from an edition once a week to once a fortnight is already having solid and constructive effect upon the volunteers who keep the website going. After 25 years on the journey and the last two and a half years at maximum revs., with the new online version, all the volunteers here are needing a bit of a slower pace. Fortnightly is helping a lot for the time being.

Much appreciation from this end of the website. Sincerely,

All At The Unique Property Bulletin


Engine House & Princely Property

 AAA Engine House Trewarmett Tintagel Unique Property Bulletin David Martin RSZ

Main Engine House Building, Trewarmett (c) 2014 David Martin 

Prince of Wales & Trewarmett Quarries, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HH

This prime piece of princely property would normally land on the top spot our headline page. But as we are currently publishing the Bulletin on a fortnightly frequency we did not wish to risk letting our readers down with too short a notice that this gem of a building is coming up for auction by leaving it to our next edition of 14th September 2014.

So if you love Cornwall and are into Royal Mines, click away:-

Guide: £40,000 to £50,000.

Contact – Clive Emson Auctions Tel: 01392 366555. Scott Gray or Katie Semmens.

AAA Engine House Trewarmett Tintagel Unique Property Bulletin Paul Loft

Main Engine House Building & Dartmoor In The Distance (c) Paul Loft


Waterside Mill

AAA Mill Bob Forrest

Barskimming Mill & Cottage, Mauchline, Ayrshire, KA5 5HQ (c) Bob Forrest 

This river mill is in a picturesque location and coming up for auction, but it is currently in a bit of a state. Any developer would need to have been good at Lego in their youth!

By the looks of some old picture postcards this was a very handsome building in it’s heyday:-

Barskimming Mill – Old Photographs

Check out the vintage car in this set of pictures – plus the old mill is looking pretty trim:-

Barskimming Mill – Background Information 

Guide: Contact SVA Auctions – SVA Auctions – Click Here

Online Property Details For This Old Mill:-

SVA Auctions – Barskimming Mill For Sale

Tel: SVA Auctions: 0131 624 6640

Always remember with any and auction property – if you come across any given auction listing after the auction date, please check if it has Failed To Sell At Auction – FTSAA. These can represent very good bargaining opportunities.


Unique Property Bulletin

Now On Facebook

Thanks to a very good friend of Unique Property Bulletin, is now LIVE on Facebook:-


A BIG thank you to Louise for all of her help and efforts.


Gothic Folly Renovation

 AAA Gothic Folly Unique Property Bulletin Strutt and Parker

Sham Castle, Acton Burnell, Shrewsbury, SY5 7PE (c) Strutt & Parker

A wonderful and unique place to live: Sham Castle is an enchanting Georgian Grade II* listed folly standing on a rocky pinnacle with awe-inspiring views encompassing the landmark hill, The Wrekin. Sham castle has been restored and renovated to create a compact but truly special property, it stands in beautiful gardens and grounds surrounded by former parkland, with a backdrop of wooded hills. Built in 1780 for Sir Edward Smythe Bt of Acton Burnell Hall, the folly became the venue for lavish musical soirees and entertaining his numerous house guests. It was designed by Joseph Bromfield, the fashionable Georgian architect, builder and plasterwork designer noted for his major works at Powis Castle and Attingham Park.

Guide: £750,000

Contact – Strutt & Parker Tel: 01743 284200


Taken Aback

AAA Church Park Avenue DD4

 Former Church Conversion: Flat 8, 18 Park Avenue, Dundee, DD4 6PP

This is a fine conversion in a former church property. Sadly it has been returned to the lender. The property is up for auction. As always, please remember FTSAA.

Guide: £30,000. 

Contact – Wilsons Auctions: 01294 833 444.


Former Jam Factory, London

AAA Jam Factory

Former Jam Factory, Lausanne Road, London, SE15 2HY

Planning Permission for Two Three Storey, Three Bedroom Houses. Two Existing Victorian Homes. Large Rear Garden . Original Period Features.

At the Unique Property Bulletin we do our best to cover the entire UK. However, the London property market is on another level altogether. Very competitive, complex and condensed. Fortunately we receive an occasional lot that piques the interest. This property has done that because one of our writers at the Bulletin lives in – of all things – a former Jam Factory. Not something that jumps off of page 34 of the Unique Property Manual. So we couldn’t resist listing this freshly listed former Jam Factory with plans, located in London. More than that, it has a significant floor area of approximately 8,0000 to play with.

AAA Jam Factory London

Jam Plans: Lots of Square Feet To Play With (c) Wooster & Stock. 

and more…

AAA Jam Factory London2

Plenty Of Rooms To Plan For (c) Wooster & Stock. 

 and more…

AAA Jam Factory London3 Spread Yourself Around This Jam Factory (c) Wooster & Stock.

A large canvas to get stuck into. In London terms this is a big deal – square foot wise, and with planning in place for a very interesting capital project.

Agency Narrative: Incorporating the workshop of a Victorian Jam Factory, the property and plot comes with full planning permission for two further spectacular three storey, three bed houses each with gardens. The existing property already offers flexible accommodation across two dwellings (with interconnecting door on 1st floor) with 12 rooms, plus 2 shower rooms and 2 bathrooms.The proposed development will gift the original dwellings their own private garden while the two new dwellings will have vehicular access through existing central front gates leading to off-street parking for three cars. Within easy reach of Peckham, East Dulwich, Nunhead, Telegraph Hill, New Cross and the maritime delights of Greenwich aren’t much further. London Bridge station journey times from Queen’s Road are an impressive 7 minutes. The London Overground line is proving a real hit. Canary Wharf (via Canada Water) is a mere 10 minutes and Shoreditch only 17 minutes away. Hipster’s ahoy!

Guide: £2,225,000.

Just click on this link to see the building and much more detail:-

Contact – Wooster & Stock: 020 7708 6700


Unique Property Competition

For this month, the Unique Property Bulletin competition prize reverts to one of our more regular type of notes:-

Twenty Pound Note Prize

August Unique Property Bulletin Prize

Competition Hint

Can You Name This Unique Property ?

Name This Unique Property Competition

This genuinely unique building is also on the cover of our forthcoming new and revised E-Book version of the Unique Property Manual. On 31st August 2014 the first correct entry for the name of this tower – out of the hat wins the prize.

PLEASE NOTE: The prize is NOT the building, just the £20 note. Sorry we haven’t reached that level of prize value yet!

Free to enter. Just let us know have your competition answer by 31st August 2014. Email free entries to:-

Unique Property Bulletin Competition Entry Contact Page


Architecturally Unique

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.

Cosgriff House

AAA Cosgriff

Cosgriff House (c) 2014 Christopher Polly Architect

A feast for the eyes from a fine firm of architects.

For a selection of photographs, please click on the next link and scroll down so you see the whole page:-


Unique Property Bulletin Commended Architect

Christopher Polly

17 Harold Street
Newtown NSW 2042

Tel: +61 2 9516 5994

More Details & Contact Email:-


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:-

Astley Castle

After & Before

AAA Astley Castle Landmark Trust Unique Property Bulletin

Astley Castle, Church Lane, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 7QN

Groundbreaking modern accommodation has been inserted within the ruined walls of this ancient moated site to combine the thrill of modern architecture with the atmosphere of an ancient place. Large glass walls now frame views of medieval stonework and the adjacent church and surrounding countryside.

Thanks to a photograph by Graham Burnett we can see what this castle looked like in the “before” renovation state:-

AAA Astley Castle Before Renovation Graham Burnett Lady Jane Grey RSZ

Astley Castle “Before” Renovation (c) Graham Burnett

The before and after photographs may give prospective castle ruin buyers some interesting experience and ideas. Especially if you manage to visit the restored Astley Castle and speak to some of those involved in this real life restoration.

Sleeps 8 = 4 nights from £871.00

Equivalent to £27.22 per person per night.

Tel – The Landmark Trust: 01628 825925


Unique Property Bulletin Main Article

A Home On The Sea ?

 Plus A Way To Save An Iconic Ship From The Scrapyard

AAA HMS Endurance L Harris

HMS Endurance A Possible Unique Home Plus Much More (c) L Harris

Many long term readers will know, here at the Bulletin we have had a deep affinity with the sea. What with readers, friends and colleagues living on islands, lighthouses, coastguard stations, harbourmaster buildings and/or having a professional worklife away from the Bulletin in maritime professions. It has been a matter of natural course that one world has gently connected with the other here at times. Things that happen offsite sometimes having a bearing or impact upon the Bulletin and those who read it, and certainly those who contribute to the content.

One mantra we have is that if we dinosaurs can manage this sort of thing, then the vast majority of our readers should be able to have a good go too. So feast your eyes on the following if you have an abiding love of the sea. Normally we feature ever popular coastal properties, but this edition we are showing some examples of life lived on the sea rather than by it. Send us an email if we can help you along the way with this type of unusual project.

As for our own recreational digressions on the high seas – away from the more routine matters, there are few more delightful starts to a day than waking up aboard a ship, and going taking a hot cup of coffee from the cabin to the flying bridge and having fabulous seaviews that changes from one day to the next. Just compare the two photographs at the top of this page. One is the fine maritime heritage of the United Kingdom’s merchant marine and a premier naval port on the South Coast. The other? Well the only word we have is as written – sublime. Everyone – every reader – should have the opportunity of this at some point in life – to visit the purity of the polar lands and the planet’s ice caps. Plus to live on the sea can hold as much enjoyment as living by the sea. Though possibly you are thinking more Mediterranean than Polar – sun and sand rather than snow. Even so, both are beautiful in their unique ways.

As for life aboard a ship as your home or sanctuary? We cover some of the logistics of large ship acquisition elsewhere such as the Unique Property Manual. Suffice to say, it is easier than you might imagine to acquire a large ship. This very Bulletin accidentally came across one around 1998 – the MV Southsea.

 MV Southsea MAIN G RSZ

Former Isle of Wight Ferry MV Southsea (c) McLean/Jones Collection

We sent off a modest £500 for a block of shares to Brasspatch plc – a group intent upon raising many thousands of pounds to buy and restore the MV Southsea in a similar fashion to the paddle steamer paddle steamer, PS Waverley.

 Waverley Russ McLean RSZ

Paddle Steamer Waverley (c) 2003 Russ McLean

Next thing we knew, the preservation company for MV Southsea sank into administration as the directors couldn’t manage to raise the target sum of the share issue. As a consequence, the MV Southsea needed rescuing from the scrap dealer’s torch. Long story short, we ended up buying the old girl. That was a wonderful experience and is indelibly part of the Bulletin’s history. We managed to get the MV Southsea away from the scrap dealer and bought the preservation society several more years of life for the old girl in order to put their own rescue and restoration proposals together. Meantime rather than have “security” costs waste valuable resources which we needed to effect repairs on the ship, some of us decamped and stayed aboard for a while immediately after the purchase had gone through. Happy Days.

Moving onwards a few years. Away from the Bulletin some of us were involved in a project to restore a lifeline ferry service. As part of that we came across what has to be one of the finest ships on the high seas. Our beloved MV Lochmor. This was bought mainly to illustrate to a negative journalist that one of our companies had the deck/engineering officers, crew and a shoreside compliance team capable of running a ferry route. Again a long story. But the relevance here is that the writer of this Bulletin article spent a wonderful summer living life aboard in the cabin immediately aft of the ship’s bridge making sure the vessel was secure and keeping her “warm” as the merchant marine phrase goes. Twice a week what the locals called “Dad’s Navy” took this marvellous ship out for a run as part of our maintenance protocol.

AAA MV Lochmor Russ McLean

MV Lochmor (c) 2001 Russ McLean

[Ship Renamed As A Sale Condition By Original Owner CalMac]

The key to big ship ownership is to have a little red book of numbers. Seems odd. But the merchant navy in the UK isn’t that big. The circle of former and/or retired merchant navy crew and officers are even closer in community spirit and camaraderie. Most importantly retired master mariners and chief engineers are often keen to return to sea in many very helpful ways. If you buy a big ship, you should find that there are many good folk from the navy willing, qualified, experienced and able to help you in such an endeavour. Why do we mention this? Knowing who to phone from the little red book can be very helpful. Alternatively you could spend a fortune buying an all too common plastic mega-yacht and join the endless lines of these things moored almost without soul in any given harbour. Marinas are full of these generic gin palaces! But to be a little left of field – a little on the unique side why not look at a big ship to purchase? A proper ship. Because of the perceived onerous regulations regarding UK flagged Merchant Marine and/or Royal Navy ships, the effect is to reduce the price. Certainly the MV Lochmor required significant MCA/MSN and a plethora of statutory regulations. But that is what “Dad’s Navy” is for! The paperwork can be dealt with. The ship can be kept to a high specification. All these ingrediants had the bonus of a brilliant bargain when the DETR Merchant Shipping Act 1995 Bill of Sale was signed off and the ship collected from Tobermory – with much excitement and anticipation. That day in 2001 when we collected the MV Lochmor is as fresh in the memory today as it always has been and always will be. The journey home in this fabulous former ferry was brilliant and a highly recommendable thing. We would heartily encourage readers of the Bulletin to consider such a project for themselves.  

MV Lochmor At Tobermory Russ McLean G RSZ

MV Lochmor At Tobermory (c) 2001 Russ McLean

She certainly kept a group of officers and crew happy for a glorious summer of 2001. So with a decent selection of retired but very experienced merchant marine friends aboard, there is a great deal of pleasure in these large ships.

Moving further on. Part of this Bulletin is created aboard one of the most iconic ships in the United Kingdom. Particularly in winter months, the main contributor pops across to ….

RSS Discovery Copyright Tayport Group

RSS Discovery Floating Polar History (c) 2012 Russ McLean

The RRS Discovery is an exceptional ship of great provenance. As an ancillary benefit – due to rare occasions when low numbers visit the RSS Discovery on a very few winter days – you often end up with the ship entirely to yourself. There is something extraordinarily special about this ship. Not least but it is incredibly inspirational. No writers block aboard this arctic exploration vessel. Many a Unique Property Bulletin article was written aboard the RSS Discovery. Further information:-

Indeed it was at the RRS Discovery museum that the writer of this brought together a group of friends and a constitution for the inaugural Charity Formation, Registration and Trustee Meeting of

AAA TS Queen Mary Captain Calum Bryce

TS Queen Mary (c) Captain Calum Bryce

Health issues meant the writer of this Bulletin article has had to relinquish a part trusteeship of the TS Queen Mary effort for the time being. However, if you are favourably minded, please consider a modest donation to the cause. This would be very welcome. The current trustees comprise a very competent crew. Even the new patron of the charity is a keen big ship engineering type:-

Robbie Coltrane Becomes Friends of TS Queen Mary Charity Patron

A narative in the Bulletin of friends’ efforts to restore the TS Queen Mary are for another day. This Unique Property Bulletin is interested in a different ship. So where are we now? Well for the edification and possible interest of readers the focus this Bulletin is upon another wonderful vessel, the HMS Endurance :-

AAA HMS Endurance Laurie Padman ESR

HMS Endurance (c) Laurie Padman ESR

As an example of how readers can sort out the next necessary enquiry themselves we narrate the actual self-explanatory request sent to the Ministry of Defence about the HMS Endurance polar exploration vessel:-


Email To:

MOD Information Rights Team
1st Floor, Zone N
Main Building
London SW1A 2HB

Dear Sir/Madam,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Freedom of Information ( Scotland) Act 2002 – HMS Endurance

Further to recent press reports surrounding the future of HMS Endurance (A171, 1990 Build), I would be grateful, in terms of the above legislation, if you, or your colleagues at the Royal Navy Resources Secretariat, Main Building, Level 3, Zone C, Whitehall SW1A 2HB., could supply the following information:-

1. Is the MoD going to scrap HMS Endurance?

2. Will the MoD place HMS Endurance on the open market for sale in order to obtain the maximum price possible for the public purse – whether for scrapping or preservation trust use?

3. Please can you confirm that the BBC News report is correct…

… that HMS Endurance “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Portsmouth-based ship, which was replaced by HMS Protector in 2011, would go out of service in 2015” To be clear, I am asking for confirmation that HMS Endurance will NOT be scrapped before 2015?

4. If “2” above is a positive reply, please can you advise me of the MoD protocol for disposing of this particular ship, and if possible, a Tender Pack to study in order to give consideration for the purchase of HMS Endurance.

5. A copy of the Royal Navy equivalent of an MAIB report on the flooding incident that occurred aboard HMS Endurance during September 2008, and which, I understand has led to the ship being out of commission for an extended period of time?

6. A copy of the General Arrangement plan of HMS Endurance?

Thank you for your help in this matter.


From experience at the Unique Property Bulletin, and alongside actual professional and recreational ship projects we have taken part in, with regard to HMS Endurance, given the current condition of the ship it is likely any project for the vessel’s future would require to be as a static, shoreside exhibit, and exhibition centre. Possibly combined with private dwelling quarters should the ship end up in private ownership. Whatever ownership, most paths are likely to be far, far better than the scrapyard.

HMS Endurance James Caird Society

HMS Endurance (c) James Caird Society

We shall, of course let readers know what the result is.

But here’s the thing.

Just a glimpse of what HMS Endurance has been and where she has travelled – especially why she has done so – plus the life of the ship, and the work of the crew and science officers, should the fate of this fine vessel be such an ignominious end as the scrap yard?

At the Unique Property Bulletin we think not.

Having managed to at least directly intervene in one nearby beloved vessel preservation from the Isle of Wight run, we believe that there must be some practical use that HMS Endurance could, and indeed should be saved for.

An example is a floating museum – not dissimilar to the highly successful RSS Discovery. Ironically the RSS Discovery is, or was, a similar arctic exploration vessel, and now a hugely important centrepiece for a multi million pound city regeneration effort. But where or how might all of this be of interest to a reader of the Unique Property Bulletin? Well one possibility is for a like minded individual, or group to purchase the hull and utilise a part as a floating museum illustrating the arctic exploration undertaken by the ship, whilst utilising the crew quarters as home. A fine balance. But again – with some irony – this too has been managed for over two decades with the Arctic Penguin being a privately owned and managed shoreside favourite of a local community and big attraction to visitors.

You may be pleasantly surprised at the cost logistics of all of this. Compared to an ordinary house in any UK city a home afloat plus a unique lifestyle might just be something worth considering? This is just one of many possible ways to save the HMS Endurance from being scrapped. But in the view of the writer of this week’s Bulletin, the impressive HMS Endurance deserves better than to be cut up to make razor blades!

Please feel free to email us with your views [ Click Here ]. Or if you would like to consider taking on this project – or joining a group to do this – we have master mariners, chief engineers, crew, compliance officers etc., that can be called on in regard to logistics of this size of ship and we would be delighted to help in any way possible to find a pragmatic and real world way of saving this ship. Plus we have more than a little experience in these sizes of vessel.

Very best from the Unique Property Bulletin.

Russ McLean – To Contact: Click Here


Previously on Unique Property Bulletin

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