To the left The Old Steam House, Herstmonceux, East Sussex in 1997 clad in corrugated iron from the 2nd World War. To the right Herstmonceux Museum finally relieved of iron cladding. No restoration, but conversion to a working museum was planned (2013) with open days to raise funds for further works to include sustainable energy harvesting. English Heritage confirmed they cannot assist with funds for typical 'conservation' works due to policies that only work to protect selected historic buildings. Look at the difference it makes when the corrugated iron is removed and all the nuisance trees have gone.
The original timber building is revealed for the fist time since 1943. Built between 1900-1909 this unique electricity generating station was clad in iron as a means to prevent fire damage from the Luftwaffe dumping bombs as they returned to Germany, from bombing raids over England. This complex was used as a makeshift hospital for wounded airmen during hostilities, mainly because Charles de Roemer was a major in the RAF. Charles also had a love of flying where he was the financier of the Eastbourne Aviation Company in 1911. As a working museum the Lime Park Heritage Trust can showcase old and new sustainable technology.
Herstmonceux Museum, is a relatively modern building built of timber between 1900 and 1909. Charles de Roemer constructed the buildings for the specific purpose of generating electricity for Lime Park and for the village. By 1913, Charles, an entrepreneur, was giving cooking demonstrations in the village. After 1936, generation ceased with supplies coming from the Weald Electricity Supply Company, leaving the buildings redundant. Then in 1939 came the second world war, when the generating rooms formed a makeshift hospital and communications outpost for the RAF.
After cessation of hostilities in 1945, the buildings were again redundant and became neglected, slowly rotting away. The cast iron gutters fell off and several parts of the buildings collapsed. It would not have been long before total subsidence. But a miracle came along in the form of Nelson Kruschandl. He had been enlisted by Nikolia (Nick) and Clare Askaroff to help them restore Lime House. Nelson spotted the dilapidated buildings, and a sucker for old industrial buildings, he bought the ruin from the Askaroffs in 1982 - so opened a new chapter.
During July of 2013, this superb timber roof and belfry was reconstructed on site using 30 year old 6"x6" timbers, hand carved with full reconditioning of the original well-bell dating from 1898. You can see the location of the well in the conceptual sketch below on the far right - as part of the planned conversion to a working technology in-action showcase.
It is planned to take full advantage of the local inventor's suggestions for an energy self-sufficient building formula, to include a solar conservatory, as a means to capture heat from the Sun, to store that heat in insulated tanks, and then to release that heat at night - as a reversal of the energy capture process. The cooled water is then fed back into the water storage tanks ready to be heated the next day by the Sun. These innovations will reduce the energy running costs to virtually zero. In fact, we may sell electricity back to the grid for a slight gain.
It turned out that Nelson was more than just a handy builder, he was also prolific inventor. Something that possibly persuaded the Askaroff's to selling the far corner of the Park to their (at the time) favoured decorator.
In 1982 Nelson was in the middle of building a giant robot ant. Even before the robot was completed, Nelson was already constructing a joystick controlled car. This car was completed in 1986, when many other sports car designs were coming off his drawing board. There followed a submarine patent application. Then came a couple of wind tunnels and in 1991 his first electric car with instant refueling. From 1993 several solar powered boats appeared, finding their way to boat shows from 1994. Then other electric car designs rolled off the board and in 1998 a city car was converted to take his battery cartridge recharging system. Several more solar boat designs were tested from 1999 until we arrived at an autonomous robot boat, that is also solar powered - his latest patent.
In amongst all of this, Nelson was sketching and drawing his concepts. He had a brief encounter with paints, which skill has not been developed, but clearly he has the ability to produce art in the form of oil paintings, which newly extends to book cover graphics - for which he's had no formal training.
So it is that the building which already had a history has now become associated with this multi-talented conceptual genius. The fact that many of his creations survive makes the building all the more interesting because it can be filled with original works. And the fact that the building itself is an ongoing project for another energy harvesting patent - is also an exciting development - which although such endeavourer might intrude slightly upon the fabric of the original generating structure. One should remember that if it was not for Nelson Kruschandl stepping in to repair the structure in the first place, there would be no building at all to argue over.
The old oak tree in Herstmonceux (Jubilee Walk) on a moonlit morning - view from Herstmonceux Museum to Hailsham. This tree is only 25 feet from a public footpath, with boughs overhanging and one branch dangling dangerously overhead. It should be protected by a TPO. Wealden have been asked to consider it, but so far ignored the suggestion. At the same time as refusing to protect this tree, Wealden in 2014, began
threatening to take direct action to remove a tree that is some 90 feet from the same public footpath and not overhanging into the field adjacent. Do you get the feeling that there is an alternative agenda? You are not alone. Such inequality in dealings is a potential Article 14 violation.
For this reason, The Old Steam House, is now being converted by the Lime Park Heritage Trust, to become Herstmonceux's one and only working museum, in honour of one of the most creative people alive today. The building is possibly also, one of the smallest museums in the world.
The generating building in included on a Monument Protection Program (MPP) since it had fallen into a state of disrepair, much as the windmill at Windmill Hill, had been allowed to deteriorate to the stage where that almost fell down. The windmill was saved with the help of a £500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery fund. English Heritage (South East Area) confirmed in March of 2013, that no funding was available for restoration works to Herstmonceux Museum.
Other buildings of note in the locality include Lime House and Lime Cottage. Lime Cottage is a grade 2 listed building. Lime House is the manor house previously owned by the Baron de Roemer. It was his son who built the generating building and supply network which gave electricity to Herstmonceux in advance of other towns.
For more information on this interesting building, see: ARCHAEOLOGY
The reconstructed well head 2013 adds something to this view across the adjoining field toward Herstmonceux from Lime Park. This is a well known Ramblers walk, who often remark on the Generating building, as a landmark feature. The Trust is looking forward to removing the remaining iron cladding as soon as practicable, so restoring harmony to the rural scene. This open countryside, a view much enjoyed by villagers, and hikers for hundreds of years has been under threat since 2014, where it is suggested that 70 houses could be crammed onto the hillside. There are serious doubts as to safety and access, not too mention loss of privacy and the potential for vandalism if this becomes a housing estate.
Scientific experiment in Sussex. Still without any recognized beneficial use, in 2014 the Trust are making use of the building to collect data for eventual sustainable timber housing as flatpacks. This is a solar conservatory. It will collect heat from the sun using water filled radiators, that will then be pumped into an underground chamber (formerly a condensation tank) to the rear of the building. The experiment is to find out how much glass area is needed to heat a home. Other structures may be added to concentrate the heat. The aim is to eliminate the need for gas or oil fired, wood burning, or other heating methods. This is another step towards cleaner air for a healthier world.
Lime House, Lime Park, Herstmonceux - drawing by Augustus Hare
LOCAL COUNCILS & ENGLISH HERITAGE
Since 1999 the Museum has been on a Monument Protection Programme - as you can see from the official entries below. Unfortunately, two local authorities, including Wealden District Council and Herstmonceux Parish Council consistently fail to recognize the monument status of this unique site, not even taking the trouble to compile a Local List, whereas with Eastbourne, Hastings and Brighton councils, protecting the historic built environment is a high priority. Take a look at the letter below in answer to a request for help from council leader Robert Standley. Before our Trust was formed, Herstmonceux Museum was previously known as the Old Steam House, presumably, a name taken from the generating machinery. A more correct name would be Herstmonceux Power Station.
CONSERVATION AND DESIGNATED AREAS
Where there is extreme pressures on local councils to build the houses that they have not been building, the hypocrites are simply ignoring all of their existing policies and scooping up windfall opportunities, without a care in the world for areas that should have been conserved long ago. you may consider that to be gross negligence, or abandonment of duty, but then councillors and council officers are a law unto themselves. The fact that there are so many heritage assets in the Wealden District, and that they could not give a fig about them, not even producing a Local List, is proof of their high-handed attitude. There is thus no chance of locals seeing a conservation or designated area - at least not coming from the Parish or the District Council.
This is a photograph of the Inspector for the Secretary of State who was duped by council officers in 1987 into believing that the generating buildings were constructed during the Second World War of corrugated iron. Raymond Portal Dannreuther was led to believe that the original wooden construction from the turn of the century had been demolished during hostilities to build a hospital for wounded airmen. R. P. Dannreuther served in the Royal Navy and is the author of "Somerville's Force H" a record of the Navy's Gibraltar based fleet from June 1940 to March of 1942. We cannot help wondering if when serving in the Navy, if RP was so easily fooled by an enemy action. We say this because there was substantial evidence internally that did tally with Wealden's argument. It must have been that the site visit was relatively short and he had to listen to arguments at the same time as taking notes - rather than taking the time to observe archaeological features for himself. We are told that the appellant took a shine to Raymond, and that given that he was being battered by several council officers all working together to pull off the deception, he did what he could to give time for the then occupier to make alternative arrangements.
Raymond Portal Dannreuther was the grandson of Edward George Dannreuther (1844-1905), pianist and writer and the son of the famous Hubert Edward Dannreuther. Hubert was born on 12 December 1880. Following in his older brother Tristan's footsteps, he joined HMS BRITTANIA as a naval cadet in 1895. He was appointed Chief Naval cadet in 1896 and in 1897 he went to the Australia Station as midshipman on HMS FLORA, and, whilst in Australia, served on HMS ORRLANDO and HMS ROYAL ARTHUR. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1902. From 1911-1912 he was a Gunnery Lieutenant on HMS EXMOUTH, flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. Whilst in this post, he commanded a guard of honour for the official landing of the King in Malta in January 1912. During the First World War he saw action whilst Gunnery Lieutenant of HMS INVINCIBLE, then the flagship of Admiral Sturdee, at Heligoland Blight on 28 August 1914 and also, at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914. In relation to the latter, he was mentioned in despatches and promoted to Commander in Jan 1915. Hubert Edward Dannreuther was the most senior of the survivors from HMS INVINCIBLE, then the flagship of Admiral Hood, when she was blown up at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 with the loss of 1025 men. After 20 minutes in the freezing waters, he was picked up by HMS BADGER. Mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DSO and the Russian Order of St Anne, he was granted a special audience with the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace on 4 June 1916 to give an account of the action. From 1916-1918 Dannreuther served as Commander of HMS RENOWN and, from 1919-20, on HMS EXCELLENT. In 1917 he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palms. Made a Captain in 1920, he served as the Vice-President of the Chemical warfare Committee from 1920-1923 and served on HMS DAUNTLESS from 1924-1926. He was Captain - Superintendent of Training, HM Australian Navy and in command of the Flinders Naval Depot in Australia from 1927-1929. He was Captain of HMS EAGLE 1929-1930. From 1931-1932 he served as the Commodore of the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth and was appointed Naval Aide-de Camp to the King from 23 Sep 1932 before being promoted to Rear-Admiral in the same year, whereupon he was put on the retired list. He married Janie Hay Thorborn in 1916 and they had 3 children, Hubert Harold (1917), Ion Alexander (1920) and Raymond Portal (1923).
This is the book cover of RP's account of Force H. Between June 1940 and March 1942, the legendary Force H, based in Gibraltar under the command of Admiral Sir James Somerville, was almost constantly in action. Formed in haste after the fall of France, Force H began its history with the unpleasant but necessary task of disabling the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. The Force had two vital missions: to maintain a flow of supplies to Malta and carry the war to the Italian fleet, and to protect British shipping in the Atlantic. Its dual role was vividly demonstrated when its most famous ship, Ark Royal, flew off 48 Hurricanes to Malta from well inside the Mediterranean on 21 May 1941 and then, just six days later, played a critical part in the destruction of the Bismarck 450 miles out in the Atlantic. This fascinating and thoroughly researched history is the first book to be devoted to Force H. It is also a tribute to Somerville, one of the Royal Navy's most remarkable officers, who welded a hastily assembled collection of ships into a formidable fighting force.
EH also have the ability to react to adhoc applications - sometimes known as applications to ‘spot-list’ - and this allows them to address singular areas of concern.
CURRENT PROJECTS 2015
BATTERSEA POWER STATION - ENGLISH HERITAGE MMP
Battersea power station has for years been in a dilapidated state of disrepair, simply because there was no financial incentive for the owners to repair the building. Lime Park Heritage Trust are in exactly the same position with Herstmonceux Museum. There is no financial mechanism that would secure funding for the trustees to be able to effect repairs. The fact that Battersea power station is on the same MMP as Hx Museum, seems to have escaped the powers that be.
The reason that Batemans has survived and is included on the same MMP as Herstmonceux Museum, is not because of the electricity generating facility, but because of the famous author who lived there and was in any case wealthy from publishing the Jungle Book, and other wonderful stories.
Classic and Modern designs - design is design
OTHER DESIGN MUSEUMS
DESIGN MUSEUM - LONDON
Design Museum is in London at the Shad Wharf. They believe that without better design, better use of scarce resources, and more innovation, the future
will be bleak. Design is an integral part of every aspect of life: a way to understand the world around us, and to make it a better place to live.
was chosen by Puma to show the world Yves Behar’s ground breaking packaging for its shoes that cut carbon emissions by half,
it gave Zaha Hadid her first solo show in Britain and showed what Jonathan Ive could do before he went to
T 020 79408783
London SE1 2YD
Tel: 020 7403 6933
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7940 8790
Amberley: Electricity hall and Battery Vehicle Society event
AMBERLEY MUSEUM - ARUNDEL
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre is a 36 acre site set in the South Downs National Park. The Museum is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the South East. Exhibits include a narrow-gauge railway and bus service (both provide free nostalgic travel around the site), Connected Earth telecommunications hall, energy electricity hall, printing workshop and much more. The Museum is also home to traditional crafts people, such as the blacksmith and potter, plus a fabulous restaurant, gift shop and numerous picnic areas where stunning surroundings can be enjoyed.
ENERGY ELECTRICITY HALL
Normal opening will be Wednesday to Sunday (10am to 5pm – last entry 3.30pm) inclusive with seven day opening for school holidays. The Museum will also open on Bank Holiday Mondays between 12 March and 2 November. Santa Fun Days will run in December as usual (the three weekends before Christmas).
DESIGN MUSEUM LINKS
The Royal Observatory was founded by King Charles II in 1675. Its purpose was a practical one: to reduce shipwrecks. At that time mariners had no accurate way of working out their position when out of sight of land. They could find their latitude (north-south position) by observing the sun or stars, but not their
longitude (east-west position). As a result many sailors' lives were lost when their ships struck rocks unexpectedly. By the 1770s the problem of longitude had been solved. One answer was for a ship's captain to carry a reliable clock to keep ‘Greenwich Time' throughout the voyage. Alternatively he could use the Moon as a clock by measuring its position in the sky, relative to nearby stars, and referring to a detailed set of tables prepared annually at Greenwich. Armed with either of these timekeepers, or preferably both, mariners could make their own astronomical observations on board ship, and use them to work out their position anywhere on Earth.
100 years old - the Detroit electric car from 1914
HISTORIC ELECTRIC VEHICLE FOUNDATION
With more than 100,000 electric cars on U.S. roads--and thousands more added each month--advocates and historians are turning their attention to the last time cars with plugs rolled out of U.S. factories, almost 100 years ago.
"I came back from Croatia in February to restore one of my electric micro cars, a circa 1960 Electric Shopper, for an exhibit at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The title of the show is: Fins, Form without Function. It is a yearlong exhibition. My car will be the only electric and only one of two cars presented on a raised platform. Well I figured I would just slap a paint job on it but when we went to replace a rotten piece of plywood in the trunk we discovered major body damage that had been improperly repaired. Now a few months after opening that can of worms and doing a ground up restoration, including powder coating the frame to match the paint color, I am finally leaving for Los Angeles in the morning. My wife has been quite upset with the time this has taken but she is also very understanding to a point. I miss her a great deal and can't wait to head home after I return from this trip.
We take electricity for granted, but without these pioneers we would not have lighting or computers. Published by Lime Park Heritage Trust (all proceeds go toward the restoration of this monument and conversion to a museum)
As you can see from this picture taken one sunny Sunday morning in March 2014, much work is needed to bring this unique wooden building back to life. Hedges need trimming, the grass needs cutting and the building needs a new roof and rainwater goods. It is a seemingly hopeless situation for a conservationist. You cannot operate without the funds to purchase materials or employ builders. With the proposal to build houses on the adjacent field, the view that makes this building so special in the context of the village and the windmill that produced the flour for the bakery - will be lost - in one stroke consigning the building to obscurity. And that is that. There will never be a reason to protect the building, because nobody will ever be able to see it.
SUSSEX INDEX A - Z
CUCKMERE VALLEY - EXCEAT
BAKING BREAD - An amazing archaeological find. This picture confirms that the old Bakery that was operated by the Honeysett Brothers between 1900 - 1914, baked their loaves using electricity that could only have come from Herstmonceux Museum at the time. Wow! The carriage may not have survived, but the building is seen in the winter scene below.
PUBLIC FOOTPATH - And here is the building that generated all that electricity for Herstmonceux village, seen in the distance on the left. The tree in the middle of this field, just to the right of the footpath, is a landmark that everyone in the village knows and loves. This is an historic view that could soon disappear forever if the current planning gold rush grips the councils members and officers hard enough in the wallet. There's enough money in the kitty to grease a few palms. Declarations of interest please!
COUNCIL OFFICERS HAVING CONDUCT OF PLANNING MATTERS RELATING TO HERSTMONCEUX MUSEUM
COUNCIL MEMBERS SITTING ON - AREA PLANS SOUTH
Andrew Long - (no email address)
David White - email@example.com
Diane Dear - firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Peck - email@example.com
Chris Hardy - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Triandafyllou - email@example.com
Daniel Shing - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dick Angel - email@example.com
Barby Dashwood-Morris - firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Marlowe - email@example.com
Bill Bentley - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Jarman (deceased)
Brian West - (retired)
John Blake - email@example.com
Lin Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigel Coltman - email@example.com
Nigel McKeeman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Cade - email@example.com
Ron Cussons - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Harms - email@example.com
Stephen Shing - firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Stedman - email@example.com
LOCAL NEWSPAPERS CONTACTED
Express - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastbourne Herald - email@example.com
The Argus - firstname.lastname@example.org
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