Thursday, 28 July 2011

Pitt Place - Chelmsford - July 2011

Once owned by Essex MP John Archer Houblon from 1810 to 1820 and a descendant of the first governor of the Bank of England this has been on the buildings at risk register for several years.

The following was taken from The Essex Chronicle.

Despite the roof missing a quarter of its tiles and the attic windows being broken and open to the elements, locals say Mrs Jill Rigler still lives there.
The Riglers bought the house from agents Cheale in 1995.
On several occasions when the Chronicle called, only the growling of a guard dog through a cat flap indicated residency, and the stable block was in use.
A neighbour said: "We get a lot of people knocking here to see if the place is for sale. We long to see it reinstated. Mrs Rigler is a very private person."
Allen Buckroyd, Baddow's village historian, surveyed the property in 2004 and was shocked this week to see how it has deteriorated since then.
Sad place "Compared to the photograph taken in 1925 it is a sad place," he said.
"It used to be vibrant then with garden parties around the lake.
"Now I can only conclude someone is biding their time to have the whole place covered with houses because there is a plan to so develop a field on the other side of the road."

The this from a later edition of The Essex Chronicle

THE former mansion home of a 19th century Chelmsford MP has been saved by a property developer. Neglected Pitt Place in Great Baddow - top of the county's at risk register two years ago - has been rescued by Douglas Carroll, who runs property developer Newells in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford.
For years the mansion was owned by teacher Jill Rigler until Newells bought it with plans to return to its "regency glory".
Baddow historian Allen Buckroyd, who watched the building deteriorate rapidly since 2004, said: "It's a house worthy of a lord of the manor and now it seems it can start looking like it again.
"It is the most wonderful piece of heritage, with stately rooms and panelled ceilings.
Mrs Rigler's son, John, said: "My mother had owned the property since 1990 but has never been in the position to take care of it in the manner it deserves.
"My mother is a very private person who sadly chose to batten down the hatches and hoped the problem would go away.
"We would have sorely loved to approach a body for a grant of some sort but would not have known where to start."

In the garden near the lake was a thatched single roomed summer house


Monday, 25 July 2011

The Marconi Radio Factory, Chelmsford

This was a return visit after getting busted by plod in March after only 20 minutes.
Back then we only touched the out buildings but had seen enough for it to be put on the back burner.
With my new baby daughter expected within the week then I was under orders to stay near to home so I could hot foot it back if the "head appeared".
Little did I know that I would be spending ten hours in a police cell and wouldn't walk through the front door until the early hours of the next morning

Explored with the brilliant Skeleton Key and a non member called Ben

The History

Marconi's New Street factory was built in 1912 next to the Great Eastern Railway. A railway siding ran across New Street into the factory yard and brought materials in one end of the works and took finished radio equipment out of the other.

At the South end of the building two huge aerial masts once stood, the 450ft (137m) high "Marconi Poles" formed Chelmsfords most prominent landmark.

During the Second World War the Marconi Company employed more than 6,000 people in Chelmsford. Producing vital military communications equipment, the New St factory became a target for bombing and was hit in May 1941 with a loss of 17 lives.

In 1920, two years before the BBC was established, the New Street factory made history as the site of the first official British sound broadcasts including the famous concert by Dame Nellie Melba which was heard all over the world.