Historic yacht club closes amid fears it is sinking

Echo: The clubhouse in Southend Cliff Gardens The clubhouse in Southend Cliff Gardens

A HISTORIC yacht club has closed its 130-year-old clubhouse over fears it may be sinking.

The Alexandra Yacht Club’s Victorian building, next to the Cliff Lift, in Southend Cliff Gardens, has been temporarily shut for business after a structural report.

Commodore Andy Solkhon said: “We have had a report and there are signs it might be sliding.

“At the moment, surveyors are looking into it, but for safety reasons we had to close the clubhouse temporarily.”

The club, celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, leases the building from Southend Council.

A structural report was ordered as the lease is up for renewal, and a survey found signs it may be sinking.

The council is investigating to see if the clifftop premises need underpinning.

A meeting will be held tonight to update the 200 members on whether work needs to be carried out.

Mr Solkhon, a lorry driver from Hockley, said: “It’s in the hands of the surveyors. We are waiting for them to come back. We closed it temporarily the day we got the report because it said at the present time we should shut until further checks are done.”

The club had to move its annual dinner to the Gleneagles guest house, in nearby Clifftown Parade, a couple of weeks ago, after concerns were raised about the clubhouse.

Members can still use the boat store and jetty, opposite the landmark building in Western Esplanade.

The club, formed in 1873, bought the clubhouse, based on the design of an Indian pavilion, from a Mr W Chignall in 1883 and officially opened it on Trafalgar Day, 1884. Mr Solkhon said: “No-one wants to see it come down. It’s part of Southend’s history.”

A council spokesman said: “We’ve been made aware of an issue with the building, but can’t comment further until we’ve received and reviewed the report commissioned by the club.”

Comments (13)

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10:28am Tue 3 Dec 13

j-w says...

Good news for the lagoon proposal then!
Good news for the lagoon proposal then! j-w

10:59am Tue 3 Dec 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

this place must be saved..other wise it will be knocked down and left an empty baron over grown plot with a temp wire fence.
this place must be saved..other wise it will be knocked down and left an empty baron over grown plot with a temp wire fence. DogsMessInLeigh

11:01am Tue 3 Dec 13

pembury53 says...

j-w wrote:
Good news for the lagoon proposal then!
it makes no difference to the lagoon proposal...... the club house has closed, not the club.....
[quote][p][bold]j-w[/bold] wrote: Good news for the lagoon proposal then![/p][/quote]it makes no difference to the lagoon proposal...... the club house has closed, not the club..... pembury53

11:13am Tue 3 Dec 13

jayman says...

when was the the survey report published? have the echo paraphrased?

This structural survey may have been done several years ago and it may have been submitted to the council for repairs and underpinning. The council may have sat on this report without action. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the Stockvale group wants to build a lagoon near the yacht clubs slipway........

my sceptical senses are not tingling at all....
when was the the survey report published? have the echo paraphrased? This structural survey may have been done several years ago and it may have been submitted to the council for repairs and underpinning. The council may have sat on this report without action. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the Stockvale group wants to build a lagoon near the yacht clubs slipway........ my sceptical senses are not tingling at all.... jayman

11:41am Tue 3 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Hope they consider closing the path below.....
Hope they consider closing the path below..... Nowthatsworthknowing

1:16pm Tue 3 Dec 13

whataday says...

Ironic
Ironic whataday

1:33pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

This is a great club, lovely atmosphere... it has been sinking for a long while. I do hope it can be saved.
This is a great club, lovely atmosphere... it has been sinking for a long while. I do hope it can be saved. Kim Gandy

3:23pm Tue 3 Dec 13

jassouthend says...

I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.
I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed. jassouthend

4:12pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Tich25 says...

You watch this will become a listed building so the Council can justify underpining it
You watch this will become a listed building so the Council can justify underpining it Tich25

8:15am Wed 4 Dec 13

pembury53 says...

jassouthend wrote:
I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.
if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want.......
[quote][p][bold]jassouthend[/bold] wrote: I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.[/p][/quote]if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want....... pembury53

6:35pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Nebs says...

pembury53 wrote:
jassouthend wrote:
I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.
if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want.......
Looks like it may be time to build more sea walls to complement the one planned for Shoebury.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jassouthend[/bold] wrote: I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.[/p][/quote]if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want.......[/p][/quote]Looks like it may be time to build more sea walls to complement the one planned for Shoebury. Nebs

7:06pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Joe Clark says...

jayman wrote:
when was the the survey report published? have the echo paraphrased?

This structural survey may have been done several years ago and it may have been submitted to the council for repairs and underpinning. The council may have sat on this report without action. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the Stockvale group wants to build a lagoon near the yacht clubs slipway........

my sceptical senses are not tingling at all....
If you read the article it was carried out as the lease is due for renewal, as in most situations I have been involved in if a lease is due for renewal a survey is carried out in the months before no point in years before as this can happen dynamically and so a new survey would need to be undertaken rendering the previous one pointless.
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: when was the the survey report published? have the echo paraphrased? This structural survey may have been done several years ago and it may have been submitted to the council for repairs and underpinning. The council may have sat on this report without action. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the Stockvale group wants to build a lagoon near the yacht clubs slipway........ my sceptical senses are not tingling at all....[/p][/quote]If you read the article it was carried out as the lease is due for renewal, as in most situations I have been involved in if a lease is due for renewal a survey is carried out in the months before no point in years before as this can happen dynamically and so a new survey would need to be undertaken rendering the previous one pointless. Joe Clark

8:08am Thu 5 Dec 13

jassouthend says...

pembury53 wrote:
jassouthend wrote:
I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.
if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want.......
Y fight nature?! and besides, to stabilize and do a good job at it, i suspect its alot cheaper it they dont have to work around an existing build
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jassouthend[/bold] wrote: I hope the council wont have to pay to underpin this tatty old building. Services in Southend are shutting, and this building is hardly 'special'. Indeed its looked quite tatty for a while now anyway. There are some 'jewels' of buildings that should be saved, but this one, unfortunately if they couldn't save the bandstand from the naturally eroding cliffs edge they certainly shouldn't save this shed.[/p][/quote]if the existing building is not underpinned it would still need to be removed and the cliffs stabilised...... there are no cheap options, except fence it off to remain an eyesore which i doubt anyone would want.......[/p][/quote]Y fight nature?! and besides, to stabilize and do a good job at it, i suspect its alot cheaper it they dont have to work around an existing build jassouthend

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