‘Shaming’ tactics in bid to save crane

By Richard Wright

Saturday, February 25, 2012

 

‘Shaming’ tactics in bid to save crane

The Hammerhead Crane at Cowes.

AN URGENT new appeal has been issued to save the rusting Hammerhead Crane at Cowes.

Cowes Hammerhead Crane Trust, which wants to preserve the iconic Grade II Listed crane in its centenary year, is increasingly desperate for urgent repairs to be carried out.

It wants to shame businessman Peter Harrison — who wanted to develop the waterfront land near the crane — and the Isle of Wight Council into taking action.

English Heritage has pledged up to £90,000 — but that has to be 'unlocked’ with an £18,000 contribution from elsewhere.

Alarmed by the deteriorating condition of the crane, English Heritage too tried to name and shame the council and the businessman into taking action by listing the crane in its top ten of threatened industrial structures.

Trust chairman Jon Fisher said: "We are hoping to be able to shame the Isle of Wight Council or Peter Harrison into pledging the money so at least urgent repairs can be carried out.

"The money really is only a drop in the ocean to both the council and to Mr Harrison but it will help make a real difference to the crane while a long-term restoration, that could cost £700,000, is worked out. We will be launching an appeal ourselves in an attempt to raise the cash — although we realise in these times it will probably be a very difficult task."

But this week IW Council cabinet member for the economy and the environment, Cllr George Brown, said: "The council does not have financial resources to contribute to a structure it does not own and is part of a privately owned business estate.

"We believe it is the duty of the landowner — and not Island council taxpayers — to finance and oversee the required work on this structure."

No comment could be obtained from Mr Harrison’s organisation.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by Angela Brown

28th February 2012, at 11:32:43

George Brown is not correct when he says the council does not have financial resources to contribute to a structure it does not OWN and is part of a privately owned business estate'. The council are currently looking at Northwood House and are considering giving them £5,000 towards Nunnery Steps having a clean up. Well that is a PRIVATE TRUST and council does not own it. At least the crane trust are fundraising ! Sarah - we don't need any more waterside development in Cowes. I suspect Harrison thinks if he haggles long enough the crane will fall down - end of story. The council needs to do more to look after our history.

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by Paul Magee

27th February 2012, at 13:08:33

Keeping that crane is such a waste of taxpayers money. If only theres a way to change it from a Grade-II listed building...

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by Barry Lewis

25th February 2012, at 21:56:37

How about the rich boys and girls that flaunt their cash during Cowes Week chuck some dosh in?

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by Mike Crowe

25th February 2012, at 19:23:46

""Never mind, maybe the darn thing will fall down of its own accord next time there's a high wind and that will put and end to the issue.""

Sorry Sarah. As a Grade II Listed Building, Mr Harrison will have to reinstate it.

Your earlier comment ""It's ugly and no longer useful. I'd love to see the back of it."" Do you suggest that all bits of history are 'got rid of'? How about Stonehenge? What use is that? H.M.S.Victory? Buckingham Palace? (Rather a large building just for a couple of old age pensioners what?)
And ugly buildings? Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth and that dreadful Dinasour building at Sandown. Now NO ONE can say they are beautiful and they are new!!!!

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by Sarah Smith

25th February 2012, at 18:47:06

Mr Harrison wants to develop the waterfront and breathe new life into Cowes, give it a future. The people who are insisting on keeping hold of the rusty old crane appear intent on keeping the place back. I would love to see Cowes being reinvigorated, given a future that is not wholly about boats..Trying to force a businessman to throw that sort of money away on a useless relic is a great way of making him thing again about whether it's worth investing in our increasingly crummy town. Never mind, maybe the darn thing will fall down of its own accord next time there's a high wind and that will put and end to the issue.

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by david walker

25th February 2012, at 11:07:51

Its an eyesore it serves no purpose. enter the real world and melt it down and turn it in to something useful. Or perhaps take a vote across the island of the taxpayers and see what they think! Maybe you can waste a few hundred thousand doing that.

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by Mike Crowe

25th February 2012, at 10:33:30

It would appear that Mr Harrison is one of those who knows the cost and profit of everything and the value of nothing.

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by Sarah Smith

25th February 2012, at 10:31:27

This thing is a blot on the landscape. It's ugly and no longer useful. I'd love to see the back of it.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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