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Report - Sunday Service: The United Reform Church, Dover. April 2011

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by DarkDog, May 13, 2011.

  1. DarkDog

    DarkDog Too old to give a f*ck...
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    One of several small excursions recently, a recent topic of conversation prompted us to take a look in the hope that some original features may have survived the development and ensuing fire. In this we were disappointed, apart from the stained glass you wouldn't know you were in a church - Developer's promises eh?

    History

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    Erected in Dover's High Street at the junction with Priory Road, the new Congregationalist church was opened on 7th September 1904.
    In 1971, the Congregationalists amalgamated with the Presbyterians to form the United Reform Church and the High Street Church was renamed as St. Columba in 2001. It closed its doors on 31st August 2003 when, with the Tower Hamlets Methodist Chapel, it united with the Buckland Methodist Church to form a new entity, known as the Beacon Centre, from its location at the corner of Beaconsfield Road.

    The site was sold to a developer in 2007, who then started to convert the building into apartments with promises of retaining 'original features'. A week before the Show Flat was due to open, the upper floor and the roof were completely destroyed by fire following an accident involving a blowtorch and a forgetful labourer. The same developer owned Westmount House, which went up in flames the next day - draw your own conclusions there!

    Subsequently the developer went bust, and the Church has remained a charred wreck since - 'For Sale' boards show that Connells have it on their books but a search through their website doesn't reveal any details. Link to newspaper report of the sale is here.

    Having decided to take a look all that remained was to pick a good time to slip in. Being right on a busy junction faced with restaurants and newsagents there was only one logical answer - Easter Sunday at stupid o'clock!

    The water is still on, downstairs a pipe has a pinhole leak that is spraying water everywhere though on entry it sounds more like gas escaping than a water leak!

    We had hoped to climb into the Bell Tower, but with the only ladder in the place being 5 feet too short (as well as rusted to buggery), we'll leave that discovery to souls that value their lives a little less.

    Ground Floor

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    Mezzanine Floor

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    The Stairwell

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    Crispy Top Floor

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    Thanks for taking the time to look.
     
    #1 DarkDog, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

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