Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gary

Another landmark building set to bite the dust

Recommended Posts

Disgraceful and the owners should be ashamed of themselves.  Not that they will be of course as they wanted to knock it all down years ago anyway.

I've already made comments under the two news stories and as I posted under today's I still can't get my head around HOW the Tower has stood there for over 100 years and yet it has suddenly deteriorated to that awful state in just over a year.

Compare today's news story photo's with one of the photo's I took of it in September 2014

garnets%20tower%20%20for%20Warrington%20

 

 

garnets%20tower%20%20for%20Warrington%20

 

and one I took on 13 September 2014, just over a year ago !!

garnets%20tower%2013%20Sept%202014%20for

garnets%20tower%2013%20Sept%202014%20for

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting the photos Diz. Clear evidence that something 'iffy' has been going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly the people who have been "living" in the building have been somehow getting up on the roof and hurling slates and bricks off it. Complete lack of security.

I can think of another iconic building we lost last year due to lack of proper security :roll: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly Gary so why have the owners never been forced to make it secure?

In April 2009 this notice was issued and put up by the council re security and still it seems the problem has continued and the owners have done very little to secure it.  They should be heavily fined for their utter incompetence and lack of care.

garnetts%20wbc%20capa%20order%20%20April

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not incompetence. They may know full well what they are doing, especially when it comes to WBC.

 

I see that notice is signed by Andy Farrall. Say no more. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly why is it dangerous, why can the damage not be repaired? The photos show loose tiles and bricks|

 

I recall a neighbours house becoming unstable and the well cracking, some builders come along, underpinned the foundations, rebuilt the damaged walls and a few months later it was safe again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a neighbour with failed house foundations. The whole side of the house was removed, foundations relaid, and house rebuilt within months. Not a modern house either, late 19th century. Where there's a will there's a way. Perhaps the owner didn't leave a will? 8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The notice states that if the owner does not secure the site WBC will;......

" ...on or after the 14 April 2009 undertake the following works in connection with the said building for the purpose of preventing unauthorised entry to it.

1 Board up /make secure the site".

 

 

So in 2009 did the owner board the windows or did WBC?  and was this enough to ensure it was "effectively secured against unauthorised entry" which is what WBC had stated needed to be done? 

Whatever, WBC (Andy Farrell) having established the danger and gone so far as to serve the above notice should have made sure that the building was effectively secured. Which it wasn't.

 

The owner could now say that he had accepted that WBC would secure the site if he didn't - and that his responsibility would be to just pay the bill for the works done,  - which leaves WBC (Andy Farrell)  responsible for it's present state.   

 

Spot on Grey-man!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been impossible to stop "free runners" getting in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hM9tNyNE4M  Someone willing to jump a ten foot gap fifty feet up and then break through a roof isn't bothered about boarding up. Over one weekend last September they demolished the tower parapet.

 

From earlier incidents (debris dropped on cars in the street) I have a police report which basically says we had the place surrounded but they got away.

 

But other bits of the building have simply deteriorated (wooden window frames at high level rotting but holding up brickwork, the steel stanchions holding the tank in the tower have corroded distorting the masonry).

 

The police won't go in, the fire service won't go in, structural engineers won't go in, safe access for any repair is very difficult. Urban explorers (who generally only take photos) have given up on it as a deathtrap.

 

Whether there was a time when saving it was technically possible I know not, but it was never commercially viable to redevelop the buildings (or redevelop the site but leave the tower).

 

However fascinating (early sprinkler system, suction machines to take wood shavings to the boiler, gas engine to generate electricity), none of it is important enough to be listed (not even the 1845 industrial school). If the council tried to get a court order to enforce repairs, the court would have decided what's "reasonable" and spending millions more than the value of the site to repair a redundant water tower with no prospect of alternative use would almost certainly be judged unreasonable (and safety trumps all).

 

If it does go, then the town clock resumes its place as the main feature of the town centre skyline, and (judging by Mr Garnett's comments at the opening of the new works) I guess there were people in 1906 who thought it not exactly the best thing for the skyline then: “Alluding to the tower which surmounted the works, Mr G said he considered it an ornament for the town. Although the building was for purely commercial purposes, they regretted if in its creation they had done anything that was not exactly in accord with their neighbours’ feelings. At the same time he thought they had not been unmindful of the possibilities of beauty”.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All that may be true Steve and yet the fact remains that the council allows developers to do as they please. With the exception of the Town Hall, it seems unlikely that there is a single building in Warrington that a developer wouldn't be allowed to demolish or allow to rot without consequence. Has the council even referred the demolition of the Ship Inn to the HSE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With being in such a parlous state after years of disrepair, is it really wise to expect anyone to go near the place except with a wrecking ball ?

 

 

Perhaps years of neglect ,intentional or otherwise, have groomed the building for demolition.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it would have been nice to find a use for the whole building no one is arguing to save all of it I do not think, but the tower should be saved and I still fail to see why the coast will be that big, as for use, well does it need a use, what are the point of the skittles for example?

 

What is the point of the clock?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly why is it dangerous, why can the damage not be repaired? The photos show loose tiles and bricks|

 

I recall a neighbours house becoming unstable and the well cracking, some builders come along, underpinned the foundations, rebuilt the damaged walls and a few months later it was safe again

 

The difference being your neighbour wanted to save his house and didn't stand to make a massive profit if it happened to fall down...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, You say,
"It's been impossible to stop "free runners" getting in. https://www.youtube....h?v=1hM9tNyNE4MSomeone willing to jump a ten foot gap fifty feet up and then break through a roof isn't bothered about boarding up".
Has anybody actually seen proof that "free runners" have been in?

You say, "Over one weekend last September they demolished the tower parapet".
Who exactly are 'they' and what is the proof?



"From earlier incidents (debris dropped on cars in the street) I have a police report which basically says we had the place surrounded but they got away".
Were 'they' actually seen?
Whatever,'they' could climb on any building in the town and throw slates etc off but would knocking the building down be considered as a solution?




But other bits of the building have simply deteriorated (wooden window frames at high level rotting but holding up brickwork, the steel stanchions holding the tank in the tower have corroded distorting the masonry).
Neglect by both the owner and WBC.


The police won't go in, the fire service won't go in, structural engineers won't go in, safe access for any repair is very difficult. Urban explorers (who generally only take photos) have given up on it as a deathtrap.
If no one is going in how can they have done a proper survey?


Whether there was a time when saving it was technically possible I know not, but it was never commercially viable to redevelop the buildings (or redevelop the site but leave the tower).
How do you know that? have you the facts and figures? Why would it have to be commercially viable? Don't you think that making sure it wasn't profitable to developers to neglect heritage buildings might act as a deterrent?



However fascinating (early sprinkler system, suction machines to take wood shavings to the boiler, gas engine to generate electricity), none of it is important enough to be listed (not even the 1845 industrial school). If the council tried to get a court order to enforce repairs, the court would have decided what's "reasonable" and spending millions more than the value of the site to repair a redundant water tower with no prospect of alternative use would almost certainly be judged unreasonable (and safety trumps all).
How do you know what the court may or may not do? The court might be as inclined to make sure the vandals that have neglected this building are taught a lesson as they would with the petty vandals that throw bricks from the roof. 

Just because you don't see an alternative use for the building doesn't mean there isn't one - I could think of many. Also, 'trumped up' safety issues count for nothing.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the gas engine genset? The Anson Engine Museum I'm sure would be interested in it.

 

Suggest you let them know about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been impossible to stop "free runners" getting in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hM9tNyNE4M  Someone willing to jump a ten foot gap fifty feet up and then break through a roof isn't bothered about boarding up. Over one weekend last September they demolished the tower parapet.

 

Sorry just playing catch-up so no doubt I'll reply to other bits of your whole post later once I've digested everything but I'm wondering, did you post the wrong youtube link there Steve as although it shows freerunners in action it's not Warrington or the Cabinet Works.

 

Also you mention that the tower parapet was demolished one weekend in September last year but I have just seen a photo showing bricks and one of two coping stones from the tower that had been hurled down into the Church grounds (somehow) and it was uploaded in July 2015.  It mentions that approaches were now covered by CCTV too so surely IF as you say the rest went 2 months later CCTV should have caught the vandals in action :(   Do you know if anyone was spotted and if it was checked.

 

Did you go to the council meeting last night by the way ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

CCTV should have caught the vandals in action

probably have a few pictures along the lines of most other cctv "wanted for (add petty crime of choice)" and the picture of the part of somebodies hair or or so pixelated that the person themselves would not recognise it.

 

lets face it the council want shut so that they can build some more carparks.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Dizzy, the youtube video just shows what free runners do. The CCTV just means they wear balaclavas. There's always a risk of damage to buildings from the jumps themselves but most free runners are doing it for fun and danger, not intent on criminal damage and life-threatening actions. Two coping stones (and many bricks) were thrown off in July, the rest in September.  I did go the meeting.

 

 

For Sha, I might not make a habit of this, but here we go.

 

"It's been impossible to stop "free runners" getting in. https://www.youtube....h?v=1hM9tNyNE4MSomeone willing to jump a ten foot gap fifty feet up and then break through a roof isn't bothered about boarding up".
Has anybody actually seen proof that "free runners" have been in?    Free runners have been seen leaping across roofs; if they can get on the roof they can get in. Someone has wrecked the tower and other bits.

You say, "Over one weekend last September they demolished the tower parapet".
Who exactly are 'they' and what is the proof?  I'm told people from the bar in Cairo Street watched as it happened.

"From earlier incidents (debris dropped on cars in the street) I have a police report which basically says we had the place surrounded but they got away".
Were 'they' actually seen?  I saw them. Throwing stuff into Barbauld Street, screaming like banshees, and tying up police resources for hours. On another occasion there were CCTV pics of two young men, published in the media, but as far as I know no-one identified them.

 

Whatever,'they' could climb on any building in the town and throw slates etc off but would knocking the building down be considered as a solution? Obviously buildings in use are less likely to be targeted and would be insured (and would be worth repairing) and there would be greater chance of capturing culprits. 

But other bits of the building have simply deteriorated (wooden window frames at high level rotting but holding up brickwork, the steel stanchions holding the tank in the tower have corroded distorting the masonry).
Neglect by both the owner and WBC. No doubt the tank could have been removed as soon as it ceased to be used (though carting cutting equipment up the tower would have been interesting), but I'm not sure how easy it would have been to extract the stanchions from the masonry without damage to the fabric of the building. Even simple repairs may need access from others' property.

 

The police won't go in, the fire service won't go in, structural engineers won't go in, safe access for any repair is very difficult. Urban explorers (who generally only take photos) have given up on it as a deathtrap.
If no one is going in how can they have done a proper survey? They can't. The last engineering report was done as part of an application to demolish, but, unless the urban explorers are also engineers, no qualified engineer has been up the tower for years. That's why the Council sent up the drone.

Whether there was a time when saving it was technically possible I know not, but it was never commercially viable to redevelop the buildings (or redevelop the site but leave the tower).
How do you know that? have you the facts and figures? You can't easily complain about the perfectly sound empty buildings in Bridge Street, and not realise why it's not commercially viable to redevelop the Garnett buildings.

 

Why would it have to be commercially viable? Don't you think that making sure it wasn't profitable to developers to neglect heritage buildings might act as a deterrent? It's a bit two-edged - most developers take on a building knowing what they want to do with it. There was always the possibility of demolishing all buildings except the tower, but the cost of retaining, repairing, structural strengthening and future maintenance of the tower has added a million or two to the cost of development. PTS may have just hoped the market would pick up.

 

However fascinating (early sprinkler system, suction machines to take wood shavings to the boiler, gas engine to generate electricity), none of it is important enough to be listed (not even the 1845 industrial school). If the council tried to get a court order to enforce repairs, the court would have decided what's "reasonable" and spending millions more than the value of the site to repair a redundant water tower with no prospect of alternative use would almost certainly be judged unreasonable (and safety trumps all).
How do you know what the court may or may not do? The court might be as inclined to make sure the vandals that have neglected this building are taught a lesson as they would with the petty vandals that throw bricks from the roof. I did say "almost certainly". The court would be looking at the "is" not "what might have been". Feel free to seek your own legal advice or search out precedents.

 

Just because you don't see an alternative use for the building doesn't mean there isn't one - I could think of many. Also, 'trumped up' safety issues count for nothing. I suspect none of your alternative uses would be remotely viable. What would bring in revenue to recoup two million pounds repair costs? Nothing is "trumped up". We're talking life-threatening issues.

 

 

As a water tower aficionado, I'd be sorry to see it go, but it may be a victim of its own design. I conjecture, but they wanted a header tank, it needed a space 16 feet wide, the architect Mr Eccles told Mr Garnett that they didn't need a 16 foot wide tower, just nine feet and corbel out to take the tank, and while we're at it we can make it look a bit like the old palace tower in Florence (Torre d'Arnolfo). The Guardian says it's based on a tower in Sienna (Torre del Mangia) but that's not quite as old and even more ornate, so unless they have evidence of that, I'm sticking to Florence as the model. But let's not pretend it's as interesting as a medieval Italian tower. The trouble is that it might conceivably have been easier to find an alternative use for a tower full width throughout.

 

I've not seen any of the urban explorers' pictures that look like the original gas engine might have been left in the building once they got mains electricity.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Warrington Council have installed state of the art CCTV cameras and have managed to catch the free-runners on film

 

189574_2.jpg

 

e008c4.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an application to turn the Cabinet Works into a night club, but the council objected because of the priory next door, but the council neglected the priory so badly it fell down in high winds, it also neglected the tower.

 

I wonder what happens to this plan http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/11599084.Cabinet_Works_set_to_become__cosmopolitan__homes_likes_Manchester_s_Northern_Quarter/http:/www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/11599084.Cabinet_Works_set_to_become__cosmopolitan__homes_likes_Manchester_s_Northern_Quarter/

 

Note from Steve Parishes vague responses is that no real thought has gone into retaining the tower, would it really cost millions to retain the it, why so much, he does not really know?

 

Is it really dangerous or is it because vandals are getting in, I suggest it is possible to stop people getting in using never drying paint and barbed wire on areas the vandals climb up Where there is a will...

 

It stood empty for so long and it is only now that problems with vandals have started

 

This is a photo from 2009 http://www.urbandegeneration.com/wp-content/uploads/garnetts/IMG_2566.jpgnice space would make nice apartments

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are photos of inside the tower here right up to the top roof of it (July 2014)

I'm sure access to the tower could have easily be stopped years ago by boarding the lower access level up with steel plates and/or perhaps simply making the ladders that go up through the water pipes etc totally inaccessible to those attempting to go in.

Pretty scarey that one of the urban lot actually managed to get up there though...they either have nerves of steel or a death wish :shock:

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/garnetts-cabinet-works-warrington-the-water-tower-july-2014.t91267

Why don't the council issue their actual survey report and drone footage for us all to see rather than us having to rely on older photo's by urban exploration groups to get an understanding of what it's all like :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×