SUSSEX EXPRESS Established 1837










Tin-roofed shack revealed as historic village building



It looks like a ramshackle and rundown office but it was once the most important building in the village of Herstmonceux.  Inventor, Kruschandl, perhaps more famous for his running battles with the local planning authority, has been using it to design and build his creations for the past 18 years.  But in 1998 he made a startling discovery.  Beneath its rusty corrugated tin exterior lies one of Britain's earliest and last remaining electric power houses.


Back in Victorian time the building was the heart of the village, powering street lighting and homes for miles around.  Since the amazing find Mr Kruschandl has fought to gain the recognition he feels the building deserves as an historic monument.  But the building is un-listable because of its current condition.  It is covered in metal cladding which was not part of its original structure.


But now he has had its status confirmed by English Heritage, which has added the building to its Monument Protection Programme.  This means that the building is recognised for its history and should be protected.


Mr Kruschandl, 44, siad he has also had it confirmed that the building was the only remaining generator that used to power a whole village.  And local councillors have decided to rethink their decision on converting the building, which has delighted Mr Kruschandl.







One man's fight for historic building is vindicated





'It's been a struggle to get recognition but that looks like that has now happened.'  The power station called the Old Steam House, was developed by a wealthy landowner Baron de Romer originally for his own use.  It was bought by a local electricity company during the Edwardian era and remained in use until the 1930's when the National Grid took over.

'Then the technology was so early and the lights used to flicker in time with the engine,' said Mr Kruschandl.  'I try to imagine what it must have been like for people then.'  In the New Year Wealden planning councillors are expected to make a decision on whether the building can be used for living in or for office use.  Yesterday (Thursday) councillors were urged by planning chiefs to delay a decision for further investigations to be carried out.



A NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR:  We accept it is difficult for reporters writing articles of such a complex nature to capture every detail.  In the above article the council concerned issued enforcement notices between 1982 and 1986, the latter appealed to the Secretary of StateThe present 'no mans land' planning blight situation, is preventing conservation works, to include removing the unsightly tin cladding from the original timbers.  The first planning application was made in 1988, the last in 1999 (not appealed).  On each of these occasions Wealden District Council ignored the history attaching to the building, despite the newspaper report above and umpteen letters and reports from archaeologists.  The last appeal to the Secretary of State in 1997 elicited a decision letter also denying the history, which decision was based on the council's expert witness Ms Chezel Bird's testimony.  The Secretary of State now know that she was wrong, but say they cannot correct their decision - worse still, it appears the council had the origins of the building on file as early as 1983, but that this information was not put before the Secretary of State, neither did the local authority or the Secretary of State consult English Heritage, despite PPG16 or Circular 22 of 1980.


Where a Council conducts what amounts to an institutionalised vendetta or the State by their inaction allows such vendetta to continue unabated, the Human Rights of their victim are violated in many ways. Ultimately, it is the head of stage who is responsible. In this case it was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, where there may be no effective remedy in the United Kingdom, the European Courts might step in save for their 6 month rule. The United Nations would be the ultimate Court should it transpire that despite the theoretical right of audience with the Queen or future King under the Bill of Rights 1689 turn out to be a damp squib.





Herstmonceux Electricity Generating Works Circa. 1900 - 1936



Introduction  |  Instructions  |  ISBN  |  Batteries  |  Boiler Room   |  Floor Plan  |  Ron Saunders


Industrial Revolution  |   Lime Park  |  Machinery  |  Map  |  Power House  |  Argus 1999


Public Supply  |  Roof Construction  |  Rural SupplySussex Express 1913  |  Conclusion


Archaeology South East   |   East Sussex CC  |  English HeritageSIAS  |  Sx Exp 1999


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