Unique Property Bulletin Evolution

& How You Can Get The Best From It

Part 2 of 2

In 1983, one of those lucky accidents of life came about. It is covered in more detail within the pages of our Manual. Suffice to say, when the offer of a long term lease to an old coastguard station located on a small island station at a nominal rent came about – in return for renovating same, it was difficult to resist. The thought of a sanctuary away from a job – and police station – which fellow police officer Denzil Meyrick has now written about (click here) was something not to be missed. Then it was a case of friend, local lifeboat coxswain Jim McPhee locating a suitable vehicle that could tackle the tidal causeway – The Dhorlin. This was in the form of a beloved Landrover from D&N MacKenzie of Islay. Then setting about what was to be a magical and memorable time…

Russ McLean Unique Property Bulletin

Russ McLean & Trusty Landrover For Coastguard Renovation

Apologies For The Grainy Photo: It Was 30 Years Ago!

The destination of this much loved Landrover? Well that was to feature in one of the early versions of this Bulletin

Unique Property Journal - The Early Unique Property Bulletin Years

 Unique Property Journal (A5 Format). Forerunner To The Unique Property Bulletin

Looking at the Old Coastguard Station on that front cover, you can perhaps see the attraction of this island sanctuary. There were seaviews from three of the four aspects. Plus it was on a small island. Back then it wasn’t called “off-grid”, but given the need for a generator, VHF radio, plus self sufficiency in water supply etc., that is pretty much what it was. An amazing wee building that gave many happy days. Plus inspired this Bulletin so that like minded people could be helped to find their own flavour of favourite dwelling genre. The actual picture featured above shows the ground floor windows fitted and new door installed. The upstairs windows were soon in place and the building was wind and watertight and ready for what were to be treasured times. Moving forward several years, the unique property publication had a refurbishment too…


Unique Property Bulletin Temporary Transmogrification

The new name of Alternative Househunter Magazine seemed like a good idea at the time. But the original nomenclature was more apt, and has stood the test of time. So in fairly short order we reverted to the original name. That became a long term A4 paper version known then – and now – as the Unique Property Bulletin

UPB 14 Paper Version

Unique Property Bulletin A4 Paper Format

It should of course be remembered that the primary aim of this Bulletin was, and is to help folk find that ideal home. Though for many years this involved a lot of envelope stuffing parties! To give current internet version readers an idea what it was like back then, here is how the old paper version was produced…

Printing Press 1568 Jost Amman RSZ

Only kidding! But it wasn’t that far removed from the old style lead print. As mentioned earlier, the originator of this website grew up with an actual Adana lead print press (plus the enduring Lego which is a whole other story – many of those in building and construction occupations started out with humble plastic blocks).

Adana Letterpress Printing

Adana Lead Type & Font Printing Press.

There is something incredibly tactile, honest and venerable about old school letterpress printing.

Even though we were immersed in print and the letterpress ethos, times and events brought changes. Earlier paper versions of Unique Property Bulletin were printed on an amazing machine known as a Risograph.

Riso 1

One of The Risograph Printing Machines Employed For Unique Property Bulletin

Riso 2

An Actual Bulletin Risograph Printing Machine: Main Ink Drum

A Risograph printing machine is basically a high speed duplicator that scans the proof copy and automatically cuts a stencil which it rolls onto the print drum. Then hey presto, 3,000 printed copies.

It is a little strange to think that the ink drum pictured above was vital in securing adventures on the likes of Ailsa Craig Island – life changing stuff. Not just for us, but for countless readers who have progressed from these pages to buy amazing places to live. These wee printing machines are still on the go by the way – they are regularly available for sale, and anyone looking to print say 5,000 pages at a time. Worth considering depending on what your future intentions are for life and working environment. The ink drums on many models are interchangeable. This spot colour ability lifts the vibrancy on each page. Up until recently, this was how the Unique Property Bulletin was produced.

In fact we did look at transferring to the internet in the late 1990s. However it was fairly early in technology uptake back then. Many in the building industry were still “old school” and preferred their printed information via the Royal Mail through an old fashioned letterbox. Many stamps expired for the cause back then. On the technology front we even got as far as one of our readers, a talented computer wizard by the name of John Clare – a doctor in his subject – offering to assist in moving us from dead tree media to an embryonic internet. His patience was awesome given the troglodytes at this end. Oh if only we had listened to the good doctor and gone online back then, several acres of trees would still be swaying in the breeze instead of becoming Riso fodder. But hey ho, we are here now. For in 2011 even our cave-dweller habits of lead print fonts and old ink drums were destined for the museums of life.

AAA Unique Property Bulletin For Sale

In 2011 This Was The Initial Online Version Of Unique Property Bulletin

A big thankyou to IT helper Darren MacLean for his work in 2011 getting our website up and running.

With the transfer of the Bulletin to the internet, what we didn’t anticipate, and this was a shock – in a very good way – was the amplification of our readership. From an average circulation of 1,500 with occasional peaks at 3,000 in paper format, we have the interesting situation where our current IT Bod advises the Unique Property Bulletin has over 40,000 unique IP users whilst our sister Lighthouses For Sale & Rent website is catching up quickly with 38,000 unique IP users. We wouldn’t really know what an IP was if it hit us on the head. What we do know is it can take four hours a day to reciprocate the courtesy of inbound emails and reply to them.

Hence the current position. We need to evolve to cope with the capacity and increase of readership that does justice to those who are good enough to stop by and visit.

We have been evolving the Unique Property Bulletin for over 25 years. It may now be a generational step-change, but as the thing evolves, the core purpose remains solid – to help you find a unique home.

So for this edition we reiterate that EXTRA UNIQUE PROPERTIES are being placed onto the radar of our readers. In ADDITION to the regular Unique Property Bulletin. So as not to miss anything, we recommend that readers dip into our newsfeeds on social media. For some who buy buildings discovered on these pages, it can end up being life changing in a very positive way…

Click Here For UniqueBulletin Twitter Newsfeed

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