Unique Property Bulletin 8 November 2015

Nov 2015 – Header

This Edition’s Unique Property Feature:-

Unique Property Bulletin Evolution

& How You Can Get The Best From It

The Round House MAIN 2

The Round House: Unique Architect Richard T. Foster

In our previous Unique Property Bulletin we advised a temporary switch to publishing new editions on a 3 week cycle instead of the earlier fortnightly frequency. In that edition the phrase “end of retirement” was mentioned as part of the reason for changing. A euphemism we heard from a politician who couldn’t quite bring himself to say the end of life. It was a relatively dry remark, but has left me touched by the decency of Bulletin readers. There have been several heartlifting and kind emails with concerns about the matter of health and wellbeing. To be frank, neither I, nor anyone who helps with the Bulletin are quite ready to drop of the perch yet. Turning 50 years of age was a jolt, and yup, absolutely, health has been a problem. The Blue Badge for parking kind of brings it home that the old body is complaining. But hey, there is plenty that can be done, even if the bones are creaking and there are, with morbid fascination, bits of my spine in a medical jar sitting on the study desk as the most vivid of possible reminders to my terminal stupidity – to stop doing idiotic things like lifting overly heavy objects – and getting bloody well stuck again when the old back has a resultant bout of rigor mortis! Whatever else, the fingers can still work the computer keyboard and the internet. So there is plenty of life in contributions to the old Bulletin yet.

To those highly perceptive and decent readers who emailed in, worry not – we’ve managed to keep this publication going since 1987. Indeed from being a kid with an ancient an honourable Adana lead font letterpress machine for a birthday present – as a brilliant lesson of how life affirming and important the written word can be, print is, as the mantra goes in the DNA. So the Unique Property Bulletin is far from stopping. Just evolving. Or as the folk in Japan are apt to say ??  kaizen – equating to the philosophy of continual improvement. Now we embark upon a next stage in the life of this eccentric publication. Social media then growth to where we can ensure continuity through taking on staff.

Plus there is a huge kick – an almost immeasurable pleasure, when one of our lot – that means you – Bulletin readers and/or syndicate member ends up buying that martello tower, castle, railway station or windmill as their new home. Bliss. It never ceases to knock the old socks off.

This edition narrates a little of past, present and future evolution of this publication. To ensure it is improved and the long term viability of the Bulletin is secure. Though at the heart of things it is about….

You & Unique Property

The full feature can be read – at the foot of this page.


For ADDITIONAL Unique Properties Check Out…

The Unique Property Bulletin TWITTER Newsfeed: Click Here


The Unique Property Bulletin FACEBOOK Newsfeed: Click Here

Nov 2015 – Chapel With Plans For Auction

Chapel With Plans For Auction

9 December 2015. Guide £63,000

Our Lady of the Valley Church, West Donington Street, Darvel, East Ayrshire, KA17 0AP.

Our Lady of the Valley Church, West Donington Street, Darvel

This news just in. A very nice opportunity to acquire this former church which has full planning permission for conversion to a 5 bedroom residence via auction on 9th December 2015 at a very attractive guide price.

Location: Our Lady of the Valley Church, West Donington Street, Darvel, East Ayrshire, KA17 0AP.

Date: For Sale By AUCTION: Scheduled 9th December 2015

Guide: £63,000

Further Details: Click Here 

Nov 2015 – Lighthouse Cottages, Rattray Head

We Are Looking For Neighbours

Rattray Head MAIN

Lighthouse Cottages, Rattray Head, Rattray, Peterhead

One of the Bulletin family/contributors lives nearby to this property, and we would like to use an ancillary building within the general Rattray Head Lighthouse Compound for the growing Unique Property Bulletin to be relocated to. An added benefit, especially if you would like either a £79,000 or a £249,500 BUY-TO-LET property is that you would have the option for one of the internet’s highest ranking lighthouse building rental websites on-site to manage your property for you.

Just Google two words:- lighthouse + sale

See what comes top of your rankings? With some luck it should be our Lighthouses For Sale & Rent website. Would this be helpful for your investment in a BUY-TO-LET property? So if you would like to become neighbours with us, please feel free to get in touch: click here.

For sale: Main 5 Bedroom detached former lighthouse keeper’s dwelling. We are now very close to achieving the goal of selling all four properties at the Rattray Head Lighthouse Compound. One of the smaller £79,000 properties is also technically available for sale if that tempts you (though we are able to underwrite a sale on one of the three diminutive lighthouse homes should this be the last piece of the jigsaw and such a bridge to completion be required).

Location: Lighthouse Cottages, Rattray Head, Rattray, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. AB42 3HA.

Guide: 5 Bed Detached Lighthouse Keeper’s House At £249,500

Further Details: Click Here

Contact: Click Here 

The Views…

Rattray Head Lighthouse - Mainland Station Compound Buildings For Sale

Rattray Head Lighthouse

The actual tower is NOT for sale: just the former lighthouse keepers’ buildings in the mainland station. Still we reckon this is not a bad view to have. Plus there are genuinely spectacular beach walks into the bargain.

Nov 2015 – Water Tower, Lancashire

Lancashire Water Tower

H2O Legsy Building: Failed To Sell At Auction – Bargain Afoot?

The Tower, Tower Hill, Ormskirk, Lancashire


Photograph Courtesy of Galatas

Another Failed To Sell At Auction property. Unique in so many ways. Possibly the price tag was a little ambitious, but as it didn’t sell, then the owner may have some flexibility as to what would be an acceptable number! Though to be fair it does have PLANNING PERMISSION in place to convert into a 4 bedroom home. Auctioneer’s Narrative: Victorian sandstone water tower constructed in the Romanesque Revival style, with nine masonry piers arranged in a square plan. Each side has two full height arches with stepped surrounds and arch bands, with the tower standing approximately 17 metres (56 feet) in height. The top of the tower benefits from views over the surrounding countryside. A photo from onatop can be found here – eeek – a bit high and scary. Best someone build a house in the clouds here soon then.

The Water Tower, Tower Hill, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 2EE Photo Chris Denny

The Tower, Tower Hill, Ormskirk, Lancashire


Photograph Taken Circa 1987. Courtesy of Chris Denny

Location: The Water Tower, Tower Hill, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 2EE

Original Guide: £200,000 – Failed To Sell At Auction.

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details (for future research): Click Here

Contact: 0844 2 722444

Nov 2015 – Rugger Fail

Ruggers Fail

Former Rugby Club, 78 to 82 Backhold Lane, Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 9EH Photo By Stephen Craven

Former Rugby Club, Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Photograph Courtesy of Stephen Craven

This former rugby club is a curious little building. Detached and spread over three floors. It is one of our favourite types of proposition, a FAILED TO SELL AT AUCTION job.

This interesting looking building and equally interesting planning permission for a four storey block containing 8 apartments.

Not sure where the former rugby guys have gone, but we wish the Siddal Amateur Rugby League team all the best in their travels and fixtures.

Rugby Club Plans 78 to 82 Backhold Lane, Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 9EH

Former Rugby Club Plans – Backhold Lane, Siddal, Halifax

Location: Former Rugby Club, 78 to 82 Backhold Lane, Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 9EH

Guide: Failed To Sell At Auction. Original Guide: £70,000

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details (for future research): Click Here

Contact: 0844 2 722444

Nov 2015 – Want A Seaview? Just Imagine

Want A Seaview? Just Imagine.

SHOTLEY, SUFFOLK ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ80.1 ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ13C P27497 ÊC Ê1906 ÊLooking from Shotley across the River Stour to Harwich with Shotley Pier in the foreground and the training ships GANGES (ex MINOTAUR), CAROLINE and GANGES II (ex AGINCOURT) at moorings. Smiths Suitall Neg. No. 239.

By Old HMS Ganges – Bristol Pier, Shotley, Suffolk – For Sale
Possibly Looking For A Ship To Link Up With

The previous Bulletin featured the old Bristol Pier at Shotley, Suffolk – formerly part of HMS Ganges. By dint of fate we just received news of a quite magnificent vessel that has come up for sale and would make a wonderfully unique place to live on and work in. Just imagine living on this….

PS De Majesteit 1

Paddles Steamer De Majesteit

In our previous Unique Property Bulletin we featured that all important thing you are likely to need when you consider living life afloat – a berth (click here). As if by fate, just a few days later, this magnificent vision of a vessel navigated itself onto our radar.. It may seem a flight of fancy, but these ships really are available for sale. With some imagination and a place to berth, there may well be a first rate adventure to be had.

Location: Zuid-Holland Netherlands

Guide: £P.O.A.

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details: Click Here

Contact: Tel: 00316 20350406 or Click Here

Name: PS De Majesteit (ex-Prins der Nederlanden, ex-Rudesheim, ex-Rheinland

Ship’s commercial website: Click Here

Paddlesteamer Specialist Site Narrative: Built at Cologne in 1926 by Sachsenberg; Length : 81.32 metres; Machinery : Compound Diagonal, by Sachsenberg at Rosslau; Originally named “Rheinland” and used on express services on the Rhine; Wrecked during World War II but raised in 1950 and almost totally rebuilt; Converted to oil firing in 1956; Renamed “Rudesheim” in 1965; Withdrawn after the 1981 season but remained tied up at Cologne as a waiting room and ticket office for the KD company; Sold and moved to Zaandam in the Netherlands in 1993 for restoration and planned further service from Rotterdam under the name “Prins der Nederlanden”. Restored to operational condition by 1999 and renamed “de Majesteit”; Furnished to a high degree of luxury, it caters primarily for charter groups “Showboat” tours along the Maas and around Rotterdam docks are offered with high-quality cuisine and live entertainment.

Source: Click Here

Nov 2015 – Windmill for sale, Lancashire

Windmill Home

For Sale – In Lancashire

Damside Windmill Alexander P Kapp
Damside Windmill, Taylors Lane, Pilling, Preston, Lancashire

Photo Courtesy Alexander P. Kapp

Agency Narrative: Built in 1808, this impressive windmill offers a unique family home in a fine rural setting. The ground floor has a spacious open plan living area with feature fireplace and slate floor. This is inset with four of the original millstones. The adjoining kitchen is located in the old drying kiln. A central staircase leads up to the first floor with two double bedrooms and a family bathroom. On the second floor is a further lounge with access to the wrap around balcony making the most of the countryside views.

Taylors Lane, Pilling, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 6AB 2

Interesting Interior: Damside Windmill, Taylors Lane, Pilling, Preston, Lancashire

A spiral staircase leads to the ensuite master bedroom on the third floor, with access to the fourth floor hobby room. The property also benefits from a beautiful secluded south-facing garden to the rear, with lawns, patio and a range of mature plants, as well as a detached garage. Damside Windmill is a landmark in the village of Pilling and the wonderful location affords fantastic views across to the Lake District and the Pennines.

Click Here For Photographic Montage of Damside Windmill

Location: Damside Windmill, Taylors Lane, Pilling, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 6AB

Guide: £495,000

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details: Click Here

Contact Tel: 0333 999 7699

Nov 2015 – Syndicate News

Unique Property Syndicate


Just a quick update to those readers interested in our Unique Property Syndicates. We had a terrific response to the recent Syndicate Survey.

We are now progressing the regulatory and legal side of things to ensure our next project is run in a way that meets the various official requirements governing these types of project. As soon as we have the due diligence and certification etc., sorted out, then those who have registered an interest in syndicates information and candidate properties will receive an email in respect of our next property adventure – Syndicate 19.

If you would like to receive an email alert for this aspect of what we do, please click here and type the word SYNDICATE into the subject line or message box. We will then ensure you are updated you when materially important events happen.

Lairg Hotel Project

Earlier Syndicate 8 – Waterside Properties Usually Do Well In Bulletin Adventures

This is one of the 18 syndicates so far progressed. We bought the building in the year 2000 for £120,000. Poor old thing was in a sad state. Been closed down for 3 years. Our Bulletin syndicate sold it within 6 months of purchase. Resale proceeds were £152,500. Grossed £32,500. After solicitor, conveyancing, tax and auctioneer costs, the net total profit was £26,306.62.

A 21.92% return was very welcome. Though a few regrets – after a couple of years, the new owner demolished what was a building with a unique history. Not least as this waterside property gave service during World War II as a garrison for soldiers who attended special operation exercises in this strategically remote area and we would have loved to bring the building back to life.

“But a hotel is not that unique” we might hear you say! Au contraire we would suggest. Hotels are implicit in the concept of two-summers-and-no-winters – a lifestyle experience we passionately believe in. As expounded on one of the Bulletin’s sister websites: Hotel Room Ownership.

If the likes of actor Keanu Reeves and billionaire Howard Hughes plus many others find hotel perma-residence useful and interesting, then it is certainly on our radar. Our syndicates have bought four hotels so far in the effort to test the two-summers-and-now-winters theory.

The only flaw in our plan so far is we keep buying the hotels at a very competitive price, and subsequently have difficulty refusing a significantly higher price in the weeks and months after acquisition. But this is a whole other story for another Bulletin edition. Suffice it to say, that unique property syndicate purchased hotels have helped many of our readers grow their individual financial moneypots to a point where other unique properties become affordable and beckon.


Nov 2015 – The Water Tower, Leek!

Ten Grand Off Tower

The Water Tower, 61 Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7FG MAIN

The Water Tower, Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire

A fairly modest price reduction from £495,000 to £485,000. But two points: [1] This tower is STILL for sale and [2] The price is descending.

Water Tower, Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire HEADLINE

The Water Tower, Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire

So if you like the looks of it, perhaps have a read of our earlier entry (click here) and give a little thought to whether the owner’s might consider an offer somewhat lower than the current £485,000 guide.

The Water Tower, 61 Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7FG Stairway

An Amazing Stairway – Seemingly Infinite

Location: The Water Tower, 61 Willow Drive, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7FG

Guide: £485,000 – Though advertised at £399,950 a while ago.

Further Details: Click Here

Contact: 01782 399911

Nov 2015 – Chapel Life

Chapel Life

Granville House, Sutton Gardens, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8GW

Flat 10, Granville House, Sutton Gardens, Winchester, Hampshire

Agency Narrative: This interesting apartment has accommodation arranged over two floors and occupies the top floor of a converted chapel. The property is offered in good decorative order and offers spacious and well balanced accommodation.

Granville House, Sutton Gardens, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8GW Interior

Interior of Flat 10, Granville House, Winchester, Hampshire

There is an attractive reception room with a featured circular window from the original chapel building. Other features of note include a double height ceiling in the reception room, and a mezzanine level for the second bedroom and a dressing room located off this bedroom.

Location: Flat 10, Granville House, Sutton Gardens, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8GW

Guide: £435,000

Further Details: Click Here

Contact: 01962 841 842

Nov 2015 – Hop Home

Hop Home

Clerk's Cottage, The Maltings, Holt Road, Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7AR

Clerk’s Cottage, The Maltings, Holt Road, Letheringsett, Norfolk

The old Letheringsett Maltings have been redeveloped to combine a historical place of hop conversion into a nice group of homes – with the possibility of a pleasantly refreshing aroma of the old processes that once occupied this place in the country.

Clerk's Cottage, The Maltings, Holt Road, Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7AR b

Aerial View of The Maltings & Clerk’s Cottage At Letheringsett, Norfolk

Located in North Norfolk , these homes have been created by local craftsmen specialising in the conservation of old buildings to deliver a high quality build with all the contemporary facilities expected in and of new property, but of course with the gentle ageing of the surrounding buildings to contrast old and new in a way that has distilled this place into a fine place to live. The particular property being sold in this listing is known as Clerk’s Cottage.

Location: Clerk’s Cottage, The Maltings, Holt Road, Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7AR

Guide: £325,000

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact: 01603 617431 – Will Mullan

Nov 2015 – Up The Creek

Up The Creek

To Paddle Or Not To Paddle

The Creek, Sunbury
The Creek, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey

This property is being marketed as a building plot, but actually has a serviceable house in situ. So the question is whether to refurbish what is already here, or knock it down and build a new bespoke residence? To newbuild or not to newbuild? To paddle or not to paddle. Personally we quite like the old building. It is quirky and certainly liveable. But the price tag is pitched towards a state of the art newbuild to go onto what is a very well located site. Imagine commissioning Richard T. Foster Architects to build something along the lines of The Round House as featured below! What an amazing design for a first class location.

For the sake of good form we should also point out a third option to the refurbishment or newbuild proposition. At around 0.45 acres, technically there should be enough room to build 6 houses on this plot (click here). Though that might be viewed as over development of the site. Perhaps four newbuilds would be worth consideration.

The Creek, Sunbury 2
Much Desired Water Frontage: The Creek, Sunbury-on-Thames

Agency Summary: Externally at over 220′ in length and just under half an acre in size the large plot has plenty off street parking to the front of the property, a gated entrance and large southerly aspect mature gardens which lead down to the river – 80ft of river frontage and mooring. With lovely views of the river Thames backwater and Wheatleys Eyot. Situated in a private cul-de-sac, The Creek is located just a short walk to Sunbury village on the banks of the River Thames 3 miles from Hampton Court Palace. A highly desirable place to build a unique home and just a few miles from…

Canary Wharf

Just 20 Miles From Canary Wharf & some of the most expensive real estate on the planet

2015 Copyright Courtesy of Diliff

This property at Sunbury-onThames has reasonable access to the M3 & M25 for London and major airports. It is almost exactly one hour from Canary Wharf – and we know a fair few of our readers are looking for something like this within a reasonable commute to their office.

Location: The Creek, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, TW16 6BY

Guide: £890,000

Further Details: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Hamptons Tel: 020 3369 4568. Please can you let the estate agent know that you found their property in Unique Property Bulletin. Many thanks.

November 2015 – Competition

Unique Property Competition

For November & December 2015, the Unique Property Bulletin competition prize is a modest £20 note:-

Twenty Pound Note Prize

Please Name This Unique Building & The Location…

UPB Competition Nov Dec 2015

The winner is the first drawn from our Competition Box at close of competition on 31st October 2015 – or more likely somewhat groggily on 1st or 2nd January 2016!

We are hoping to encourage the property sleuthing abilities each and every reader has with this edition’s competition. Best wishes and good luck from the Unique Property Bulletin Team

Email free entries to Unique Property Bulletin:-

Click Here For Competition Entry Contact Page

Architecturally Unique – The Round House

Architecturally Unique

Please note, each edition we feature the work of a unique architect. These properties are usually NOT currently for sale, but are included to help inspire readers as to the talent that abounds when a good architect’s mind meets the imagination of a unique property person, and something that little bit special is created by the synergy.

 The Round House

The Round House MAIN

The Round House By Richard T. Foster – Architect 

Photograph Courtesy of CMLS

 Our Top & Commended Architect For This Unique Property Bulletin Is:

Richard T Foster

Richard Foster Architects: Official Website

A founder of the Richard Foster Architectural practice in Connecicut, America. Sadly Mr Forster died on 13th September 2002. However, the firm he started lives on, as does some incredible design.

A Cornucopia of Wonderful Round House Pictures: Click Here

Backup Archive of Round House Photo Montage

With the wonders of broadband and internet connectivity, the location of a any given architect may not be as critical as it once was. If the iconic Round House captures your vernacular desires, please don’t hesitate in getting in touch with Richard Foster Architects. The original Round House was decades ahead of it’s time – built in 1968. But we are certain it will tick all the boxes for many of our readers. The last time I visited America the exchange rate was two dollars to the UK£1. The original Round House could have been bought for $1,550,000 at that time. A relatively modest UK equivalent of £775,000. Food for thought?

Nov 2015 – Try Before You Buy, Toward Lighthouse

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 any particular genre of unusual abode. This specific listing is for a short-stay break. Our offering for this edition:-

A Christmas 2015 Holiday

Plus A Good New Year Available Too

Toward Lighthouse Compound & Foghorn Building

Clover Cottage, Toward Lighthouse Compound, Dunoon, Argyll

Toward Lighthouse Cottage is available to book NOW for the 2015 Christmas and/or New Year holiday. Former lighthouse keeper’s house – now called “Clover Cottage” has has a stunning outlook. Facing South, the cottage looks straight onto and has an excellent view of the famous lighthouse. On a clear day you can see beyond to Little Cumbrae Isle, and right, southward to Alisa Craig Island.

Clover Cottage Toward 1

Clover Cottage, Toward Lighthouse Compound, Dunoon, Argyll

Internally the cottage has one bedroom (double or twin beds), a large lounge, sunroom, kitchen and shower room. Outside there is a large garage and a reasonable size garden

Location: Clover Cottage, Toward Lighthouse Compound, Dunoon, Argyll, PA23 7UB.

Further Details: Click Here

Guide: £POA – Please email the owner via our…

Contact Page: Click Here

Nov 2015 – Unique Property Bulletin Evolution part 1

Unique Property Bulletin Evolution

& How You Can Get The Best From It

Part 1 of 2

The Round House 6

The Round House By Architect Richard Foster
This Is An Example of Unique Property That We Just Love

Photograph Courtesy of CMLS

The what, why and how of evolving Unique Property Bulletin? Let’s just explain where we are as of this edition. Until we can restructure things so that there are sufficient resources to augment the purely volunteer based structure and employ two part-time salaried contributors, the current frequency of Unique Property Bulletin is moving to 3 weeks instead of two. However, like much that is accidentally successful about this endeavour since being first published in 1987, we did something intuitive, but not previously thought useful. In this case we started to add new properties every couple of days to our Twitter and Facebook feeds. We hadn’t anticipated how the social media element would impact upon readers. It has been particularly positive. Already two Bulletin readers have made offers on potentially life changing projects for their new homes. So as part of this feature, we cannot emphasise enough:-

How Can You Get The Best From The Bulletin?

Answer: Add Social Media To Your Reading Mix…

Twitter: Regular Additional Lots – Click Here

Facebook: Regular Additional Lots – Click Here

The reasoning is to ensure readers still have a steady and varied diet of unusual property candidates for their future home between the main Bulletins (major edition and feature etc., published each 3 weeks). We have always had too many properties for any given Bulletin and had to distil them to 8 or so per main edition. Therefore there are plenty to include, and this is in addition to what already makes it’s way onto our website. Since deciding to opt for the 3 week frequency, the Twitter/Facebook feeds have had an extra 12 to 24 properties between main Bulletins. That means an increase of 200 more unique properties a year. Not too bad an accident in the evolution of this thing.

So If You Seek A Modest Box Building…

Leigh Road Security Station Box, Leigh Road, Ramsgate, CT12 5EU
Leigh Road Security Station, Leigh Road, Ramsgate, CT12 5EU
Whether You Are Looking For A Bargain Box Building Box Building (Sale Result Here)

Plus A LOT of Land Guided At 20 Grand…

Leigh Road Security Station Land Leigh Road, Ramsgate, CT12 5EU

To Work Out How Much Land At £20,000:
Check Out The Comparable Size of The Neighbouring Plots.

Ordnance Survey Copyright Licence: LIG1016 & 100052015

Then our new social media/newsfeed Facebook and Twitter additional lots are well worth keeping an eye on.


Or Even If You Seek A Grand Pile…

Caverswall Castle MAIN RSZ

Grade 1 Listed Caverswall Castle & Moat, Caverswall, Staffordshire, ST11 9EA

Something Brill For Just 3 Mill !

Then you would do well to check out the Bulletin AND the Facebook & Twitter newsfeeds.

The positive use of social use of social media with additional property links is, far from being a retrograde step, in fact something that helps our readers. That is the essence of what is here. A website that interacts, and can help you in ways that, incidentally, we find incredibly enjoyable.

This current turn of events has heartened our reason for writing the Bulletin, and is also starting to bring about the necessary changes: to free up a little time that can be devoted to the syndicate side of things. Those very Unique Property Syndicates  that have, in the past, garnered tens of thousands of pounds extra for Bulletin readers who join in, along with the fact that the financial support from the syndicates has, on several occasions, kept this very publication going.

It is also worth mentioning the accidental success in Unique Property Syndicate spin off – our Real Dragons’ Den having, since 1998, created over 100 new job. However I digress. Returning to the evolution of the Bulletin -the narrative above indicates where it is now going – including more use of social media.

To be complete, and also to answer a thread of emails that steadily arrive at Bulletin HQ it is perhaps worth placing on record a little of the past so as to appreciate where this thing has evolved from…

Nov 2015 – Unique Property Bulletin Evolution part 2

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

Click Here For UniqueBulletin Facebook Newsfeed

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Original ISSN: 1460-5716

Copyright - 1987 to 2023 Inclusive: Alternative Househunter Guide (A5 Paper Format): 1987-1991 & Unique Property Bulletin Newsletter (A4 Paper Format) - 1992 to 2023. Unless otherwise attributed, all material, including photographs in all Unique Property Bulletin Newsletter (paper and/or electronic) editions are protected by copyright. As such the content within this publication may NOT be reproduced without the courtesy of prior written permission of the respective copyright holder. This will either be ourselves, OR the Creative Commons copyright owner, OR the Stock Photo (commercial supplier) Copyright owner. Thank you.

Our aim is to provide readers with a variety of unusual places to buy or rent on a regular basis, plus feature articles to help bring tired old buildings back to life. This publication is free to read. It is run on a not-for-profit basis by volunteers.

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