The scaffold is up inside and outside the building and the asbestos is largely disposed of. So the first stages of the scheme are complete and, for the first time since the 1970’s, we take our first look at the gantry and the top of the water tank.
The close inspection results in a mixture of awe and trepidation!
The Brine Pumps site is in worse condition than anticipated. It looks as though the emergency repairs, supported by Historic England, are happening just in time to save the site. Another year and we could have lost the last intact brine pumps site in the UK. The project will be more complicated than anticipated but the rewards of saving the site outweigh the amount of work involved.
The Engineers report points out that
“The timbers and steel to parts of the gantry and quite badly decayed with imminent failure likely of some timbers”
“We were originally intending to protect the tank to prevent further decay but in reality there is not much left to protect and some components need to be dismantled for safety”.
Losing the water tank is disappointing, but the metal has corroded up to 20mm in places, so it is already too late to save it. However the components can be used as a template to make a new tank as part of a revised project.
The priority now is to stabilise the gantry and the engineers are putting plans in place to repair the wooden elements where possible, working from the top down and cutting and replacing some of the metal work.
This project is being carried by the project's contractors Bullen Conservation, Appleyard and Trew, Ramboll, and with project management from Buttress who have done a fantastic job so far with such a challenging site.
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