This Edition’s Unique Property Feature:-

Unique Transportation

The journey is often as much fun as the destination 


St Catherine’s Island – An Example of a Unique Journey

Photograph Courtesy of Sky Cam Wales and the Wales News Service

As with so many editions of Unique Property Bulletin we started from somewhere completely different to the eventual content that managed into the actual published copy. On this occasion, we were researching additions to the Bulletin sister website Grand Designs For Sale. We do have a brand new Grand Design property fresh to the sale listing later on in this Bulletin. But whilst looking for a topic for this month’s feature article, we revisited the Grand Designs Tenby Lifeboat Station project to see if there was any news of that converted lifeboat station coming up for sale. Then came a distraction with St Catherine’s island which is close by – just around the headland. This small island and fort is a visually impressive place. You can see by the picture how easy it is to wander over and take a look-see (here). That led to news about the new footbridge to the diminutive island, which is aimed at helping improve accessibility (here). The tidal nature and other factors have been a block in the past. This echoed our own experience living on a small tidal island. The various ways for getting on and off – especially when the tide is high. A reasonable number of properties in these Bulletins have interesting challenges surrounding their accessibility. This is how we have landed on the topic of unique transport and journeys for this Bulletin’s feature article.

Lorne Gyrocopter MAIN1

One of Several Exotic Ways To Travel To Your New Unique Home

Lifelong friend Lorne has offered the spare seat in his gyrocopter for a fun flight.

What do you reckon? Yes or no? 

Not that long ago the Hartland Point Lighthouse sale had buyers expressing concern about physical accessibility to the site. We proposed a modestly interesting way to get to and from the lighthouse along the access track. Our own view is that access issues should not be a problem on how a unique property is reached but an opportunity to innovate interesting solutions for such dilemmas.

In fact our experience has proven over the years there is a rich array of ways to reach such places. Many are almost as unique as the properties themselves. So this month we explore some exotic ways – almost excuses – for you to purchase or create an ingenious method of getting to your new home. A legitimate reason to acquire some fairly outlandish transport 🙂

The full feature appears later in this edition…


Regular Bulletin Listings Now Follow


Bargain Barn: £20,000

Kent relic needs heroic renovation

Green Hill Barn
In Better Days – The Barn, Green Hill Lane, Maidstone, Kent.

What can we say? You are going to need a big strimmer!

The past few weeks we’ve had a lot of requests for land in the £10,000 to £20,000 range. As you might gather, this, like the weeds here, is a tall order. If you read this after the auction date, it is well worth while to check whether the lot actually sold on the day. Post-auction purchases can present very competitively priced property bargains.

Location: The Barn (ruinous), Green Hill Lane, Off Lenham Road, Harrietsham, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1NF

Guide: £20,000 – Mid edition update: Barn now sold. Here is an ALTERNATE for sale. Higher price but still worth a look: Click Here.

Further Details: Click Here sorry now sold. Property does seem to be selling quicker and with a higher rate of successful sales

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers – Tel: 01622 608400 – Ben Snelling or John Stockey. Please can folk mention to the auctioneers that they found this bargain barn for sale in Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Haile Sands Fort For Sale



Contains semi-naked men.

Viewer discretion may be advised!!!

Click on the picture above to enjoy the video presentation.

Not too sure what our friends, the owner of Haile Sands Fort would say about the film above. It is certainly entertaining and interesting. More than that – for anyone contemplating the purchase of Haile Sands Fort, the Bulletin would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you watch the Conquering Haile Sands Fort video above. Though PLEASE do NOT climb up the sides of the fort, Please contact the owner (here) and we can arrange for you to have access through a ‘normal’ front door. 

By the way, Ben, I just loved what you did with that selfie-stick when diving from the fort back into the sea 🙂 I reckon there should be a Barmy Ben Award for this sort of extreme unique property investigating 🙂

Haile Sands Fort 4 38

Haile Sands Fort At Low Tide

Check out how shallow the water can get by looking at the sand-to-fort access ladder heights.

You can see how low the water can get towards ebb-tide. A very easy false sense of security that can happen on tidal islands. Hence the video clip at 4 minutes 38 seconds into NikkPow’s brilliant piece on Youtube, and the scary bit that Barmy Ben encountered: Click here.

Thanks guys – by far the best Youtube video adventure for a long time 🙂

An alternate film with a fly over by an aerial drone shows a different perspective of this Lincolnshire landmark…

Click on the picture above to enjoy the video presentation.

The approaches to the River Humber have been guarded by this fort with gun batteries and anti-submarine nets of steel mesh stretched between them across the mouth of the estuary since 1919. Though the building of the fort commenced exactly 101 years ago in May 1915. Originally Haile Sand Fort had full amenities for a garrison. It is believed that 40,000 tons of concrete and steel went into the construction, at a cost of around £1,500,000. Haile Sand Fort was constantly manned during both world wars, and often under attack from aircraft and submarine. The army left in 1956, but the fort was still manned until the early 1960’s.

Location: Haile Sand Fort, Gayton Le Marsh, Tetney, Lincolnshire, DN36 4EZ

Guide: £350,000 – MID EDITION UPDATE. AS OF 10 MAY 2016 PRICE NOW IN THE REGION OF £300,000.

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact 1: Click Here

Contact 2: Tel: 01702 870878. Please can folk mention to estate agent that they found this island fort for sale in Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep the bulk of this publication free for all readers.


London Commutable

Canalside Mooring & Residential Boat

Wai Hale MAIN 3

Maypole Dock, Quaker Lane, Southall, Middlesex

At Unique Property Bulletin we genuinely do our best to list unusual property within the M25 London area. However, as many capital city dwellers will know, London property sells quickly. So many times we have featured a London property only to have the listing changed to ‘sold’ within hours of the Bulletin going online. We are working on how to remedy this problem. One way of course is to be proactive and buy a copy of the Unique Property Manual (here). This will give you ways to squirrel out some interesting London deals that are not yet in the High Street estate agency windows. For now, list a water abode close to the London Underground to inspire your inner uniqueness. 

The best of both worlds – a residential mooring and home for commuting to that job in London, and then at the weekends, up-anchor and enjoy a sedate and relaxing cruise around the canal network. This unusual home is set within a private gated community, situated on a small spur off the Grand Union Canal at it’s Southall section. Coming up for auction soon. Worth reiterating – if you read this after the auction date, it is well worth while to check whether the lot actually sold on the day. Mid-edition update: This failed to sell at auction: post-auction purchases can present very competitively priced property bargains.

Wai Hale MAIN 2

Maypole Dock, Quaker Lane, Southall, Middlesex

Modest but very pleasant. With the price of London residential property, life afloat might be a very interesting option to consider – both in style and budget.

Location: Wai Hale, Maypole Dock, Quaker Lane, Southall, Middlesex, UB2 4RG

Guide: £110,000 For This Canal Mooring & Canal Boat (new set price after FTSAA quoted £115,000)

Further Details: Click Here

London Commutable – on the right side of the M25: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers – Tel: 01273 504232 – Sam Kinloch or Emma Attrell. Please can folk mention to the auctioneers that they found this canal boat and mooring for sale in Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.



As well as this monthly Bulletin, we have the regular Facebook and Twitter updates every 2 or 3 days: here and here.

However we also revise, update and ADD to this monthly Bulletin during the course of the edition with relevant changes and new unique property that fits best at this online magazine website, rather than our social media newsfeeds.

Please check back to this spot during the month to ensure you are not missing anything 


Magnificent Masonry

Brynhyfryd Chapel, Bryn Terrace, Brynhyfryd, Swansea - Photo Jaggery

Brynhyfryd Chapel, Bryn Terrace, Brynhyfryd, Swansea

Photograph Courtesy of Jaggery

This wonderful looking old chapel has much character. The tower is eye catching in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way. This former chapel was originally constructed in the late 18th century. Timber floors, solid stone walls under a timber pitched roof, clad with slates. The chapel has stained glass windows in part and is Grade II listed. The original pulpit and organ are still in situ.

Location: Brynhyfryd Chapel, Bryn Terrace, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, SA1 2PR

Guide: Not disclosed – We wish they wouldn’t do that. Estate agency details/brochure with no price guide is very off putting.

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Rowland Jones Agencies – Tel: 01792 648809. Please can folk mention to the estate agent that they found this former chapel for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Introducing the new…

Unique Property Estate Agency

This Water Tower:


Water Tower Knockaird Lewis

For sale exclusively via Unique Property Agency

Click Here

Unique Property Bulletin is a NOT an estate agency, but a couple of our very good friends run one called…

Unique Property Agencies

Click Here

The new estate agency is sponsoring the Bulletin. By helping us, this in turn can help you.

A virtuous circle.


TT + No-Tail + BigWheel + Jeremy + Coins

Plus Living In Your Own Lighthouse

Douglas Head Lighthouse Photographers Resources

For Sale: Lighthouse Keeper’s House

Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, Douglas Head Lighthouse, Isle of Man

Photograph thank you to the excellent Photographers Resources

This former lighthouse keeper’s property is located on the Isle of Man. A recent price reduction makes it more attractive. Add to this the additional elements of island life: TT + No-Tail + BigWheel + Jeremy + Coins, plus much more…

Isle of Man TT – Click Here

TT Joey Dunlop By Lee Coward

Joey Dunlop ‘King of the Mountain’

Photo Courtesy of Lee Coward



Isle of Man Cat

Famous Manx Cats – No Tails

Photo Courtesy: Isle of Man Post Office (here)



Laxey Wheel Photo Dot Potter

The Iconic Isle of Man Laxley Wheel (here)

Photo Courtesy of Dot Potter



Jeremy Clarkson CREDIT Amazon Prime Video

Resident At Your Neighbouring Lighthouse (here)

Love him or dislike the man, it is difficult to ignore Jeremy Clarkson (here)

Photo Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video



Isle of Man Coins IOM Post Office

Manx-Money: The Isle of Man Currency

Photo Courtesy of the Royal Mint (here)


Douglas Head Lighthouse - Unique Property Bulletin

Douglas Head Lighthouse, Isle of Man – Could Be Your New Home

Copyright: Owner’s Photograph

All in all, Douglas Head Lighthouse on the Isle of Man is a genuinely unique style of life to consider.

Location: Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, Douglas Head Lighthouse, Douglas Head, Isle of Man, IM1 5BP.

Guide: £399,950 – REDUCED FOR PROMPT SALE: £349,000.

Further Details: Click Here

Floor Plans etc: Click Here

Contact Unique Property Agencies – Tel: 0845 862 1 268. Please can folk mention to the estate agent that they found this lighthouse building for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Unique – Tanera Mòr Island

From £162,777

Tanera Mor - CREDIT MGJ Holland

A detached house plus 4 acres and communal access to over 300 acres of the glorious island pictured above. Curious…

Click Here For Tanera Mòr Island Details


Thinking of Selling Your Unique Property?

Ailsa Craig Resized 2

We need to emphasise, Unique Property Bulletin is a NOT an estate agency, but a not-for-profit company. However our very good friends can help to sell your property on a specialised basis…

Unique Property Agencies

Click Here

To visit the estate agency

By placing your property for sale with Unique Property Agencies, you can ensure a dedicated team will make best efforts to sell your unique property and attend to your needs.

In addition our friend’s estate agency is sponsoring the Bulletin – helping us help you.



AAA UKWMO-ROC-Ashwell-1RSZ-Unique-Property-Bulletin-1


It looks like the UKWMO Bunker at Brundall (here) is soon to have the ‘sold’ sign placed upon it. Since events have moved to a conclusion on that one, we have a gentle flow of enquiries from reader seeking to buy one of these bunkers. In particular, yesterday (30th April 2016) a buyer who has just missed out on Brundall indicated they have…

£18,000 to £22,000 Cash

… ready and waiting for the right UKWMO Bunker. 

Do you have a UKWMO Bunker to sell?

UKWMO Going Down 3 RSZ

Vertical tunnel into the earth leading to…


An Underground Room, Shower & WC

The Unique Property Bulletin has been fortunate enough to find buyers for earlier UKWMO Bunkers listed with us…

UKWMO Ashwell SOLDClick Here For Archived Details

UKWMO Machynlleth SOLDClick Here For Archived Details

UKWMO Brundall UNDER OFFERClick Here For Archived Details

If you do have one of these UKWMO Bunkers to sell, please feel free to get in touch and we shall do our best to introduce you to one of the cash buyers waiting.

If You Have An UKWMO Bunker To Sell: Click Here

We will do our best to secure a sale for you.


Extra Article

Hundreds of additional unique properties available…

In the geographic area and of the genre that you choose

Old Fire Station, Hales St, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 1JA.

This Old Station In Coventry Is One of 100s Extra Unique Properties Now For Sale

Horses not included

In the spirit of reciprocity, if you do donate £3.65 (or more if you would like 🙂 ) we have something that will help you locate…

Hundreds of additional unique properties

Click Here For The “Extra” Unique Properties Article

You will need a password: Click Here.

The passwords are good for several other special pages as well.


Unique Lifestyle

Station Home & Rolling Income

Skipwith Station 5

The Old Skipworth Station, North Duffield, Selby, North Yorkshire

This former railway station has been converted to form a home, plus lifestyle income in the form of three railway carriages that serve as holiday accommodation.

The owner’s internet page contains a host of interesting information to assist potential buyers of this interesting real life train set…

Click Here For Dedicated Skipworth Station Website

Skipwith Station 1
Railway Rolling Stock – Now Holiday Accommodation: Skipworth Station

Estate agency narrative: Skipwith Station provides an opportunity to purchase an established and improving holiday letting business based on quirky accommodation created from historic railway carriages which have been carefully developed and ideally suited to the former railway station location, providing appeal to families and railway enthusiasts seeking self catering accommodation with a difference. Situated on the edge of Skipwith Common the property is ideally located for access to the City of York as well as the wider tourist attractions found across Yorkshire.

Skipwith Station 6
Inside The Former Railway Carriage – Now Unique Holiday Accommodation

The property includes a four bedroom family home which incorporates the original ticket office and waiting room which have been sympathetically extended and updated to provide comfortable owners accommodation. In addition the property provides four letting units, three of which have been created from former railway carriages together with more recent redevelopment of a former goods building. Skipwith Station is situated on the former Derwent Valley Light Railway which was constructed from 1912 and stretched 16 miles linking Cliffe to York as a method of transport for the agricultural community.

Despite being heavily used during WWII to service Government depots and airfields, demand from agricultural traffic reduced resulting in the line eventually closing in 1985. The holiday enterprise at Skipwith Station has been carefully developed utilising the history of the site to provide holiday accommodation with a real difference.

Location: The Old Skipworth Station, North Duffield, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 5DE

Guide: £795,000 – for the home and business.

Further Details: Click Here

Owner’s Own Website: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Savills – Tel: 01904 617 819. Please can folk mention to the estate agent that they found this old railway station for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Two-Summers-No-Winters: Challenge

Loth Station 1 MAIN

Station Masters House, Loth, Helmsdale

This week in amongst the inbound emails was this missive…

Dear Bulletin,

I lost two and a half hours getting stuck into your website. In a good way. You had a section called ‘Two summers and no winter’ which I really liked. But that piece was written back in 2014. Have you anything that includes buildings being sold now? I’ve agreed a sale on my house for £322,000 and am almost ready to move. There is a good budget to be split between the north and south for maximum summer sunshine. Thanks K.C.

This is an interesting enquiry. We think the old article referred to – for reference is here.

How could we not accept the challenge? For the northern summer we have a modestly priced former railway station. The two summers thing is our principle of splitting six months with a home in the north, and six months of the year at a home in the south. Rural location means a very competitive price so many folk can afford the two homes. The secret ingredient is a proximity to the Arctic and Antarctic that gives 18 hours of daylight and lots of sun. The is an often misconceived notion thought is the north of Britain has a lot of dark nights and cold weather. Yes this can be true – in the winter. But in the summer, the far north has very long and bright days. Same goes for the far south: we are talking Australia, or for shorter bi-annual commutes, the south of France, possibly Spain and certainly the Channel Islands/ Rock of Gibraltar areas.

So here goes for April to September part of our two summers no winters lifestyle: the old railway station master’s house…

Loth Station 3 MAIN

Garden Office Within The Grounds – Station Masters House, Loth

The current owner bought this former railway building in 1994 – 10 days after first sight and falling in love with the place. Now, 22 years later, this old station master’s house is available for £150,000. As detached property goes, this is a fairly respectable price.

As for something unique in Australia, New Zealand, Spain or the South of France. That is a challenge we are presenting to our readers.

Our Challenge For You


Please Can Bulletin Readers Suggest A Unique Property In The South?

Budget is £172,000 = 219,000 Euros = 330,000 Australian Dollars

Please Click Here With Your Property Nominations

We are asking readers to email their favourite finds in the southern hemisphere. The eclectic is what we seek for our fellow traveller. Sun for the October to March half of the year.

The budget for the southern hemisphere or equatorial unique home? £172,000 (the buyer has £322,000 less for example £150,000 for the northern house). The invitation to suggest an antipodean candidate property is to balance the two geographic locations so that  two-summers-no-winters will work well. This is to complement the northern property we have suggested. As far as the old station at Loth is concerned, the current owner/seller also runs a modest antiques business from the station part. So if you are looking to buy a home and a small business, this might just be the thing for you.

Location: Station Masters House, Loth, Helmsdale, KW8 6HP

Guide: £150,000

Details Direct From The Owner: Click Here

Selection of Interior & Exterior Photographs: Click Here

News Article For Reference: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact the owner – Tel: 01408 622098 or Mobile 07757 674896. Please can folk mention to the owner that they found this former railway station master’s house for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.



If you would like a reminder email each month, once each new Unique Property Bulletin goes online, please feel free to join our ALERT list. Just…

Click Here For Email Alert’s For Each New Unique Property Bulletin

…fill in the brief form typing the Subject Header with the simple word “ALERT” and we will do the rest 🙂 ensuring that a weblink for each new Bulletin is sent for you to enjoy each month.


Divine Dover Delight

Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion - Old Charlton Road, Dover MAIN
Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion – Old Charlton Road, Dover

Arcadia has been created by joining a pair of Victorian Gothic cemetery chapels. Without being indelicate, this house isn’t exactly dog friendly – you couldn’t really let Rover go play dig-up in the cemetery gardens, if you know what we mean.

Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion - Old Charlton Road, Dover MAIN 2
Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion – Old Charlton Road, Dover

Notwithstanding the quiet subterranean neighbours that have reached the end of retirement as the phrase goes, this is a finely built property designed by a student of Pugin – the articled Thomas Talbot Bury (here).

Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion - Old Charlton Road, Dover MAIN 3
Arcadia, Old Chapel Conversion – Old Charlton Road, Dover

Location: Arcadia, Old Charlton Road, Dover, CT16 2QD

Guide: £545,000

Further Details & Nice Set of Photographs: Click Here

Google Satellite Streetview: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact: Click Here. Please can folk mention to the estate agent that they found this converted chapel for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Unique Property Competition

For May & June 2016, the Unique Property Bulletin competition prize is picture of a castle on a crisp twenty pound note…


Sponsored By Scotslion – Real Dragons’ Den

Sponsors Website – Click Here

Please Name The Castle on This Bank Note…


Here is a photograph of the real castle upon which the prize note is based…

Competition Castle Main

The winner is the first drawn from our Competition Box at close of competition on 30th June 2016 

Email free entries to Unique Property Bulletin:-

Click Here For Competition Entry Contact Page


Grand Design For Sale

The Roundhouse

Roundhouse, Northfield Barns Drive, Deanshanger, Milton Keynes, MK19 6LG 1

The Roundhouse, Northfield Barns Drive, Deanshanger, Milton Keynes

Properties for sale that have previously featured on Kevin McCloud’s television series, Grand Designs, are usually very popular. Though some can be a little heavy on the bank balance. Here is a building that was the star in episode 3 of series 14.

Agency Summary: Throughout history pioneers in industry, architecture, engineering and research have been told, “it’s impossible, it can’t be done”. There have of course always been exceptions to the rule and this fine property certainly falls into that category.   

At first the property suggests a radical departure from regular new builds and it is, but only upon viewing this remarkable home does obvious practicality seamlessly combine with the comfortable and versatile contemporary living space.

Location: The Roundhouse, Northfield Barns Drive, Deanshanger, Milton Keynes, MK19 6LG

Guide: £1,000,000

Further Details: Click Here . Includes an excellent piece of video footage.

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact – Tel: 01280 610 176. Please can folk mention to estate agent that they found this Grand Design For Sale on the Unique Property Bulletin website. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers


Architecturally Unique

This edition we are digressing this segment slightly. The architect designed property is…

Grand Designs Television Candidate

Filming Already Started


Grand Design, Kibworth, Harcourt, Leicester

This property is unusual, even by Unique Property Bulletin standards. The Grand Designs television crew have already started preliminary filming at this site. It is of course at the discretion of the new owners whether Kevin McCloud has the existing invitation renewed.

By the look of the designs, we really hope that Kevin and his team will be allowed to progress the episode, as this is certainly a property that we would like to study on the television programme.

Agency Summary: The house will embrace the latest technologies in an effort to achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6. It is planned to include air to water heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, grey water harvesting and the possibility of an earth energy bank for longer term heat storage.

Planning permission – 11/00734/FUL & 14/01108/MMA

Plot size – Approximately 2 acres

House – circular design – approx. 5918 square feet

House – rectangular design – approx. 5230 square feet

Garage – approx. 560 square feet.


Grand Design, Kibworth, Harcourt, Leicester

There are two ground floor layouts both with planning permission, the first in circular form and the second with a more conventional rectangular design – please see planning reference numbers above whilst planning approval and site assessment documentation also available from the selling agent.

Agencyy Narrative: Subject to any amendments that the purchaser wished to make, it is understood that the project is at an advanced stage whereby work could commence onsite in a timely fashion. Architects, engineers, mechanical & electrical consultants and building contractors are all ready for appointment and guidance can be offered immediately on building regulation approval, structural design and build costs, including engineering matters, foundations, site work and general building works.


Grand Design, Kibworth, Harcourt, Leicester

Preliminary filming by the television programme Grand Designs has already taken place however it will be at the purchasers discretion as to whether they continue on with the television production company involvement.

Location: Grand Design House, Wistow Road, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester, LE8 0LY

Guide: £650,000

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Fine & Country – Tel: 01858 463747. Please can folk mention to the estate agent that they found this Grand Design for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us keep this publication free for all readers.


Try Before You Buy

The property included within the try-before-you-buy section of the Unique Property Bulletin – is NOT for sale. Our endeavour is to provide a sample, and actual experience of what it would be like to live in – or in this case to visit – any particular genre of unusual abode. Our offering for this edition:-

A Beautiful Location By Toward Lighthouse

5 Minutes into the film to see the best part.

Click here to watch the part (5 mins in) as the movie-drone films above the lighthouse

Clover Cottage, Toward Lighthouse Point, Toward, By Dunoon, Argyll, PA23 7UB

Here is an exquisitely located place to rent for a holiday, or longer periods if desired. To study the full details, please…

Click Here 


This Edition’s Unique Property Feature:-

Unique Transportation

Ways of getting there are almost as much fun as being there

Hovercraft On Trailer

Similar To The Hovercraft That Started The Bulletin

The Unique Property Bulletin started, by virtue of an unusual piece of transport. Back in the 1980s, during a previous career as a police officer, I happened across a car that was parked in the street with a trailer attached on the two-bar. Atop the trailer was a hovercraft.

Fascination got the better of me as I wandered around this amazing piece of kit. The owner must have clapped eyes on a plod at his vehicle because he came along to ask if there was a problem. Not at all was my reply. We struck up a conversation, and an invitation was extended to go for a run in the hovercraft. A rare treat indeed. Just a couple of days later and this came to pass. A test drive of a hovercraft is something something that everyone should have on their bucket list.


Davaar Island – Low Tide Causeway

Site of hovercraft test drive – land, sand, water, shingle, mud – a brilliant piece of transport

Copyright 1984: Raymond Okonski

The location was perfect – a tidal causeway between the island of Davaar and the mainland. A hovercraft was, and is an ideal way to cross. Land, sand and water are all overcome with relative ease. The destination was reached very quickly. A beautiful island. Leaving the hovercraft, Mr Turner and I took a walk up the coastal cliff path on the north side of the island and this led to the old Lookout – and also the lighthouse tower. After a few minutes chatting, the next thing I knew, was the owner, an absolute gentleman, invited me to lease the empty coastguard buildings.

Old Lookout - Photo By Russ McLean 1983
The Old Lookout Before Renovation

It has been over ten years since I was last on the island, but you can now rent the actual Lookout for holidays (click here) and (here).

The idea was so that Mr Turner could have the comfort of there being a secure presence on the island. I was certainly game – for the thought of a sanctuary where you could relax when off duty had a great appeal. As the discussion progressed, the offer was put and accepted that if I undertook a modest renovation of the building, the rental would be a nominal amount each year (around a sovereign).

Hovercraft For Davaar Island

Friends At The Subsequent Hovercraft Purchase – A While After The Davaar Island Building Lease Was Signed

The reason we are revisiting that time, and the unusual modes of transport, is partly interest, plus some fun, and also to illustrate how hand in glove the two elements of unique property and unusual transport go together. Though as this video shows, these small vehicles can be severely fast and not for the feint hearted…

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Video

If the seriously exotic example of a hovercraft is not to your taste, you might like to go the way I eventually did with an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). First we tried a three wheeler…

Davaar Island Transport ATV

Relatively Sedate Alternative – An ATV As Transport To The Island – Still A Lot of Fun

Then we graduated from the three wheeler, to a fairly standard farmer’s type of quad bike. This meant working with the low tides as the island was cut off twice a day by some pretty impressive tidal coverage. That was a good reason, if excuse were needed, to graduate to a boat for when the island was truly surrounded by water on all sides.

This brings us forward to what prompted this Bulletin’s feature article. Whilst rummaging around to see if the Grand Design’s Tenby Lifeboat Station had possibly come up for sale (no sale yet) I spotted St Catherine’s Island (here). The proposed footbridge is illustrated in this artists impression…

St Catherine Island Foot Bridge

St Catherine’s Island – Proposed Footbridge – Unique Access

The the similar access issues and unusual solutions are self-evident. What isn’t so apparent is the utter enjoyment that unique transport can provide. Though before we move to unique journeys, let’s bide a while and have a view of the proposed St Catherine’s island restoration…

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Video

Looking at St Catherine’s Island and the access problems, how about a lateral thought solution? Perhaps consider one of these amazing peddle cycle monorails to run alongside the proposed mainland-to-island footbridge. Not least, but for those with a whole range of disabilities, access would be made possible with one of these amazing pieces of transport…

Amazing Video of Peddle-Cycle Monorail

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Monorail Video

Surely an engineering solution could be found to build one of these peddle-powered monorails alongside, or directly under a footbridge.

Shweeb Main Photo

Brilliant Peddle-Powered Monorail
Installation at St Catherine’s Island and many similar properties would be inspirational.

In relation to those who have a disability – these Shweeb peddle-pods can either self driven, or if a paraplegic adjustment module for hand propulsion is not yet available (technically this would be complicated), at least a push-me pull-you could go in tandem and allow many folk with disabilities to visit the island and fort.

Flat Holm Island

Several Coastal Islands Might Just Fit This Unique Connection Idea

Guess which island is pictured above?  Okay it would need a Tianmen Shan type of crossing (here).

With regard to the eventual footbridge for St Catherine’s Island (or whatever island or access-problematic property you may end up buying), if you do have a footbridge in tandem with a monorail, how about installing a glass floor within the bridge. Thereby enabling folk to see the monorail peddle-pods whizzing by beneath your feet. Though if vertigo is something you dislike, maybe not such a good idea…

Glass Footbridge

Fun Friends! Footbridge Made Out of Glass Flooring

Click on The Photo Above To View The Glass Footbridge Video

Moving on, if the skipping across a glass walkway in the sky, or zooming through the mist in a perspex pea pod peddle cycle suspended from a single rail is not your cup of tea, then how about installing a cable car…

Cable Car - Great Orme
Installing A Cable Car To St Catherine’s Island. What Do  You Reckon?

Further information: here

If the idea of a person powered monorail isn’t the perfect fit for getting to and from your desired home, then how about a modest sized cable car. I say modest, but you could go full-on million pound London job (here). If you are considering this option, it might be an idea to visit the Great Orme Cable Car to see that piece of infrastructure…

Click on The Photo Above To View The Cable Car Video

The very approximate value of this cable car system might be gleaned from a search of the current owner (here) at Companies House – Kinetics Industrial Ltd. 2015 figures indicate £92,115. This figure is neither guaranteed, nor definitive. But it may give a starting point on how much a second hand, 1969 build cable car system may be bought for. It is a useful thing to research the costs of infrastructure if your choice of unusual home might require the extraordinary to get there.

Having said this, I can’t be too sure about second hand cable car costs. There was a recent purchase not too far from Bulletin HQ, and whatever way you look at cable cars and that form of transport, costs can be hefty (here).

Looking to stay on terra firma, the next stop is literally a bus stop. Usually you expect the number 73 from Ninewells to be on the main road. But here is an interesting hybrid I stumbled across in Cambridgeshire. An exclusive and dedicated bus hybrid highway-railway made out of concrete…

Guided Busway3

Guided Bus Ways: A Modern Version of The Old Tramway

These should be more cost effective than installing the older style tram systems

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Video

The guided bus ways are a fascinating study in, and of themselves. However, it is a mere lay-by to what this feature is considering. That is locating a way for you to solve possible transport problems to your unique property. The bus guideway led me to alight upon the next piece of inspirational method of getting from A to B. The driverless pod, on a guided pod-way. Not even sure if that sentence makes sense.

Driverless Pod2

Driverless Pod

Still Photo Image Above

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Video

The idea of having one of these driverless pods get you from the main road infrastructure to your off-road lighthouse is something that takes a little getting the old brain around.

 Hartland Point Lighthouse MAINHartland Point Lighthouse Had Accessibility Issues

A long walk, was an issue with this property sale. Imagine the weekly shopping run – all those bags and a half mile hike


Isn’t All This Unique Transport Stuff A Bit Far Fetched?


Well not as much as you might think. Remember a few editions ago I mentioned selling a fairly ordinary home near to London, and within a couple of house purchases and sales, went from this very urban abode…


From Ordinary To Extra Ordinary In Two House Moves

Would you like to join in with a similar adventure yourself?

…to a magnificently eccentric place to stay at Ailsa Craig Island. The reason for suggesting that these unique journeys and methods of transport are eminently possible and plausible is that I’ve come across them in situations that interlock with what the Unique Property Bulletin is all about. For example, I never ever thought of personally owning part of a railway. Nor for that matter realises a bucket-list ambition learning to fly a helicopter. Let alone ending up with a CAA compliant helicopter pad in the garden. Incredibly the H-Pad thingy has happened twice now. Really, what are the odds of that? I mean who in their right mind would reckon that amongst the estate agent blurb in a set of particulars, you’d be expecting such a piece of flowery narrative: “This house benefits from double glazing, central heating a generous bathroom, plus a useful helicopter pad”.


Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Compound Included One Such Pad

Yes it may seem far fetched, but such is the rich tapestry of life. The far fetchedness ended up with this very real helicopter pad as part of the property purchase…

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch An Excellent Aerial Video

Helicopter photography drone launched from the actual helicopter pad, detailing much of the Ailsa Craig Island Lighthouse Station 

When chatting with a lifelong friend about the strange forms of transport that unique properties can entail, he surprised me with news of his own flying passion. This really is one for the birds. Seems very unnatural. A helicopter with no engine. Well technically an engine to power the thing forwards, but the main rotors have no form of propulsion. They work by magic. Lorne would explain this with technical precision and a nice mixture of Archimedes flavoured with some Leonardo da Vinci (here). Probably better if I just show you some video of the magic in action. Check out the beaming grin as the pilot whizzes by – a sign of how unique transport can make you feel.

Click On The Photo Above To Watch The Video

Brilliant Aerial Photographs of Culzean Castle & The Lighthouse At Turnberry From The Gyrocopter

Film courtesy of Tommy Paton – Gyrocopter G-CGNX

My friend has offered a go in the gyrocopter, but sadly the vestibular system got pretty much hammered with autorotation exercises a few years back – engine fail simulation and flare landing (here). So it is a sad case of thanks, but no thanks on the invitation to go for a flight in this incredible aircraft. Looks a lot of fun for those reading this that decide to telephone their nearest gyrocopter flying club and go for a test flight.

Moving back to the island for a moment, there was also some narrow gauge track included in the sale, which demonstrates how you can even end up with an actual real life railway…

Ailsa Craig Railway - Photo By Birding for PleasureMAIN

Railway Included In The Purchase of This Island Lighthouse Compound

This branch line goes to the old gas station. Maybe this would work at Hartland Point (here)

Photo Courtesy of Birding For Pleasure

Ailsa Craig Island Railway To The Pier - By Corrie Bob

The Railway Starts At The Pier & Connects To The Various Island Buildings

Photo Courtesy of Corrie Bob

For those readers who have gotten to this point, it is worth noting that the Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Compound may very well be available for sale. The current owner did mention this a while back and we have asked the Bulletin conveyancing solicitor that handled the sale for us to enquire what price the present owner would seek in order for us to buy the lighthouse compound (plus railway, pier etc) back. If you would be interested in joining us, and buy one of the Ailsa Craig Island lighthouse buildings for yourself, please feel free to join our email alert – click here and put the word “ailsa” in the subject line. We will then let you know if/when these buildings are placed for sale. It is 15 years since we sold the lighthouse buildings, and as can be seen from the aerial video clip shown above, the properties clearly need a lump of renovation work, so be pleased be prepared for that.

There were other good examples of unusual transport systems on the island. The old winch house was the way that the railway bogeys were brought up from the pier…

Ailsa Craig Railway - Winch House - Photo By Sea Kayak

Up From The Pier & The Sea – Railway Winch House

Photo Courtesy of Sea Kayak

I’m sure you’ll agree that both the journey and the destination from a standard brick built house near London to an Olympic stone island is an adventure that contains an interesting tale. One that perhaps, just perhaps you might like to emulate in your own unique way?

One last thing. The most ordinary form of transport that we ended up utilising was probably one of the most exciting, and sure beats the old Ford Mondeo motor car. This was one of my favourite modes of transport to the island….

Click Onto The Photo Above To Watch The Video 

Red Bay Ribs, (here) with a trip to Alderney

I hope that you have enjoyed this current Bulletin, and that it has given some food for thought. In particular, that the journey can be every bit as exciting as the destination when you are searching for that ultimate place to call home.

If I have missed any interesting modes of transport, and you think they might be worthy of inclusion in a future feature article, please email details or a weblink to me…

Click Here

To Suggest Your Own Flavour of Unique Transport

Thank You

Russ McLean - Old Land Rover

Russ McLean – With Faithful Landrover

 Many good journeys to Davaar Island in this old bus.


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