Car Park Works

One of the reasons for the delay in putting up the rest of the scaffolding on Capstan House has been because of the underground car park.

They have to put supports in the car park that correspond to supports above ground. A few people have had to give up their parking spaces for the duration and move to either the open air carpark attached to 7 Anchor Street or to a car park in “Greenwich” which I understand is the one just up Patteson Road beyond Anchor Street. This has caused a lot of inconvenience and some rancour but seems to be a necessary part of the work.

Here are a series of images of the current state of play in the car park so you can see the level of work required.

I like the little warning flashers.

Up on the Podium things are moving on apace with the scaffolding on 7 Anchor Street rising up with the wrap on the Waterfront side complete.

Our side of the Podium is also wrapped as far as they can go.

The rest of the block is waiting for the Car Park situation to be sorted. I did notice how careful the scaffolders have to be as can be seen around the Podium door where they have had to cut into the paving stones to get to a stable floor.

Lastly, I can finally show you what it looks like to be wrapped as they have now covered us in. Our balcony surround was taken away a week or so ago and now we are fully wrapped. This is the view from your living room window.

It is liveable, I suppose but I am glad that it is winter.

I had a long conversation with Steve, the site manager for Carters. It seems that they are pretty much on schedule so that’s good news. Most of the delays that he tells me about were all factored into the plan. They are still waiting on ORSA to come and sign off on the West, or Waterfront side of the building and, until that happens, they can’t get on with the work there, which is the placing of the new insulation.

One small glitch that I picked up on, courtesy of my weekly e-mail from Liz, our local councillor, is that the east side of Capstan House had to have planning approval for the replacement of the wood. It seems that approval had been given for “brown” cedar to be used as a replacement for the non-fire resistant covering currently there. However, this would look wrong because the existing cedar has weathered to a silvery finish. To replace the wood with a “new” finish needs planning approval, evidently. The wood has been obtained and we are now waiting for the approval and the scaffolding.

News and a crane

I was approached today by a resident on the 3rd floor south side asking if I knew why all work appears to have stopped on their side of the building. I said that I would ask Carters and report. Well, I spoke to them and it appears that all the existing coverings and insulation has been stripped off but they are unable to get on with the next stage until ORSA have made a report on the state of the work so far. ORSA are one of the signing off authorities and without their say so no further work can be carried out. It also seemed that work had stopped on our side of the building (north) but suddenly there is action up on the highest point.

They are beginning to wrap our side so it will only be a couple of days before our living room matches our two bedrooms and has its view curtailed. I also asked why the scaffolding has stopped just beyond our apartment. It seems that any further scaffolding would start to rely on the roof of the underground car park and, currently, they are waiting for engineers reports on how they have to support the scaffolding from underneath. I guess that this could take some time.

OK, so let us move on to what IS happening. It’s my wife’s birthday today and, due to her mother’s incapacity, she hasn’t left the apartment for over 6 weeks so we took the opportunity to call upon a friend to cover for her and we went out to the Bella Napoli on Pownall Road for their exceptional pizzas. On the way out, I saw a rather splendid crane parked up along the Waterfront.

This was a bit strange because it was, obviously, a new vehicle, had German number plates but was decked out for Eastern Cranes from Malden! My intrigue had to wait until I got back when I did a little tour around to see what was going on. It turns out that it is a very special crane in that it can have a very great stretch whilst lifting and only the Germans make this capability. You might have guessed!

They are trying to take down a large girder from across the front of 7 Anchor Street and the crane can only get as far as the front edge of the Aurora Restaurant.

It seems that the crane only arrived on Monday so they haven’t had the opportunity to re-register it yet! Anyway, here as some closer shots of what is going on.

Nice to see Steve checking activity close up whilst Andy and Tom stand and watch. Safety inspectors are needed nowadays at every juncture.

Lastly, it seems that they do have all of the chrome supports for the balcony glass as well as the glass all safely stored. I did mention that we have stickers on our widows telling us not to try and climb out! It seems that they thought that they would have to lock the windows but the stickers remove this requirement!

It’s been quiet for a few days so I hope that you enjoyed this update.

A dark day on the Waterfront

I had to go up to Tesco to post some letters so took the round trip. The University accommodation is getting on with its wrap. They now have a lift as we do on Patteson Road.

Suntis is in for the first time this year and they are still using the berth on Eagle Wharf. I thought that they would go back to their old wharf once they had fixed their subsidence but no. This show shows how busy it is along the waterfront nowadays.

The boat was loaded with what look like wooden piles rather than the usual wrapped material. It turned out that this was just the top but it is unusual.

I then rolled up to the Podium and got this shot which shows that they are stalled on the scaffolding and wrapping of our block. Nothing seems to have moved forward since Christmas.

They have started taking our balconies down. They cut off the nice chrome rail around the top and we are currently just left with the glass standing upright. They have marked each pane as to its position so I expect to get the same glass back but what they will do about the rail is anyones guess.

As you can see, it is a cold rainy day around here.

News of Song of the Whale

Those who have been with me for a long while will be familiar with “Song of the Whale”. It is a marine survey ship owned by the Marine Conservation Research organisation. Details of the boat can be seen on their web site. My last photo of the boat was last year when it was included in a black and white study of the Wet Dock.

It has been static since coming back from the Falkland islands back in 2017/2018. Well, yesterday, I got an update e-mail from the

Yesterday, Song of the Whale was at Freeport in the Bahamas and is currently on its way to Fernandina Beach in Florida. Here is the current report:

As and when I get some updates, I will report them here. I can’t find any blogs etc. that can tell me why they are off to Florida but I will keep checking.