HUMBER POLYCENTRIC PORT AUTHORITY BACKGROUND STUDIES/ LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE/ POST GRADUATE/ SEMESTER 4/ 2009-2010/ JOE RILEY An investigation into the feasibility of a singular control building for the entire shipping operations of the River Humber. Synchronising Goole, Hull, Immingham and Grimsby to allow shipping growth in the area and the creation of a polycentric port to boost the local economy.
NARRATIVE______________________________________________3 INTRODUCTION _________________________________________4 HUMBER PORTS _________________________________________5 PORT IMAGES _________________________________________8 EURO CONNECTIONS ___________________________________9 BREMERHAVEN CASE STUDY__________________________10 BRIEF
POTENTIAL SITES______________________________________15 SITE ANALYSIS_________________________________________16 SITE HISTORY__________________________________________18 MATERIALS STUDY
SITE PHOTOGRAPHS___________________________________26 BIBLIOGRAPHY ________________________________________27
The Humber is the Shipping giant of the North, providing income to Humberside and Lincolnshire, however shipping has declined and control is divided reducing international status. Many ports compete for trade and business, could these ports be connected and controlled from a single node, could this node also act as a spark to bring jobs back to Hull, Goole and Immingham.
The Humber Estuary, River Humber and River Ouse create a large proportion of the Uk’s commercial shipping destinations. Over the years the area has always had a rich maritime trade, including ship building and goods import and export. Immingham and Grimsby alone handle the largest amount of bulk load in the UK per year, however these ports are all managed individually. If all the ports in the Humber corridor had a common link, a central control point of control they could work to maximise efficiency and increase load capacities, thus bringing more clients, more work and increased employment, which is greatly needed in this are of the North of England. Part of this is due to the privatization of UK ports and the dispensation of the National Ports Council in 1981, reducing the amount of Port Authority buildings and creating Individual and competing Company run Ports. This extract from the British Ports Association website sums this up pretty well: ‘Whether private, trust or municipal, all ports in the UK operate as commercial entities and receive no systematic national funding assistance from the government. Ports operate in strong competition with each other and keenly protect their independence. This is a situation almost unique in the EU and has resulted in UK ports being recognised as amongst the most efficient in the world.’ Within the Humber; Associated British Ports run Hull, Grimsby, Immingham, Goole and Blacktoft jetty, but not in unison. Simon Group Plc runs the Humber Sea terminal – one of the newest and greater capacity jetties in the
Humber, Howorth Timber has its own dock at its headquarters in New Holland and PD ports controls the port of Howden. This Background studies document focuses on the control of these ports by a singular point creating a single Polycentric Port Occupying the whole of the Humber. This Building would control the access and tracking of ships within the Port, enable logistic decisions to be made with respect to cargo collection and deposition and ongoing transport links to best optimise the running of the Humber.
KINGSTON UPON HULL HOWDEN
HUMBER SEA TERMINAL
Hypothetical Case Study: With the adoption of new tracking technology any ship that enters the Humber Port could be actively controlled from this one building, allowing greater capacity for adjustments within the ports; If one port is backlogged or inaccessible due to tides or weather, as suitable dock could be found elsewhere, transport links mobilized and journey times epitomized, ensuring a efficient service from supplier to end user.
THE HUMBER AND ITS PORTS
During the late 12th century the monks of Meaux needed a port to export wool from their estates. They chose a spot at the junction of the rivers Hull and Humber to build a quay which they called Wyke on Hull. In the late 13th century, when Edward I looked for a port in the north east of England, he acquired Hull which then became known as Kingston (King’s Town) on Hull. The King set about enlarging Hull and built an exchange where merchants could buy and sell goods. Hull’s trade continued to develop as the power structures in Europe altered. By the late 17th century trade was booming and the River Hull began to struggle to cope with the volume of traffic and there were problems with it silting up. This eventually resulted in the development of new docks in the Humber Estuary in the 18th century; Hull prospered through the export of goods from the manufacturing towns of Yorkshire. One of Imminghams first and key points in maritime history was in 1608 with the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers to Hollond, who would then later travel to Plymouth via Southhampton and finally to the New World landing in Plymouth Massachusetts. Immingham only really started to grow from a tiny village with the introduction of a National railway system in the early 20th century, this was the ideal location to have a dock to the South of the Humber as there was obviously no bridge until the 1980’s. This Southern rail access meant Immingham quickly flourished and became the third largest town in Linclonshire. After the First World War Immingham went into decline, and didn’t really start to rise again until the 1950’s after the Second world War. The increase of trade came with the expansion of chemical and petroleum industries along the Humber Bank over the next twenty years, fuelling the economic growth and level of population of the town. Grimsby initially started off as a small fishing village and grew at a similar pace to Immingham. In the early 19th century, the town grew rapidly. The Great Grimsby Haven Company was formed by Act of Parliament in May 1796 for the purpose of “widening, deepening, enlarging, altering and improving the Haven of the Town and Port of Great Grimsby”. Grimsby’s port boomed, importing iron, timber, wheat, hemp and flax. New docks were necessary to cope with the expansion. The Dock Tower was completed in 1851, followed by The Royal Dock in 1852. No.1 Fish Dock was completed in 1856, followed by No.2 Fish Dock in 1877. Alexandra Dock and Union Dock followed in 1879. During this period the fishing fleet was greatly expanded. Like Immingham the arrival of the railway made it easier to transport goods too and from the dock meaning larger bulk goods like coal could be exported through Grimsby. The population of Grimsby grew from 75,000 in 1901 to 92,000 by 1931 but then remained fairly static for the rest of the 20th century. From its medieval beginnings, the Humber docks main trading links have been with Scotland and northern Europe. Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Low Countries were all key trading areas for Hull’s, Goole Immingham and Grimsby’s merchants. In addition, there was trade with France, Spain and Portugal as well. As sail power gave way to steam, these trading links extended throughout the world. Docks such as Alexandra Dock were opened to serve the frozen meat trade of Australia, New Zealand and South America. These Key business links around the world have meant the growth of the ports in the Humber quite independently of each other to the Point where each of the main 3 ports are contenders for the largest in the Uk. When looked at in a combined manner They would easily outweigh the tonnage and load capacities of any other port in the UK and with some key structural implementation and planning could easily become one of the key ports in Europe.
Located on the North bank of the River Humber, the Port of Hull is one of the UK’s leading foreign-trading ports. Regular short-sea services operate to Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states, and the port also benefits from worldwide deep-sea connections. Hull is the UK’s leading softwood timber-handling port and regularly handles in excess of 1.5 million cu m of timber. The Port of Hull is the only passenger port on the Humber, handling nearly one million passengers per year. The port’s Rotterdam Terminal accommodates the super-cruise ferries operated by P&O Ferries on the Hull–Rotterdam crossing.
Together with its sister Port of Grimsby, Immingham is the UK’s largest port by tonnage. Benefiting from a prime deep-water location on the Humber Estuary, Immingham provides excellent access to the trade routes between the UK and Scandinavia, the Baltic states and mainland Europe. The port’s links extend throughout Europe, to North and South America, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and the Far East. The opening of Humber International Terminal 2 and DFDS Nordic Terminal Riverside, coupled with ongoing investment, have helped to secure Immingham’s place at the forefront of the UK port industry.
One of the countrys largest inland ports situated 80kmâ€™s upriver from the North Sea. This didtance inland coupled with the proximity to major infrastructure links such as the M62 and rail connections means that the port is a very rapid and cost effective delivery point for its customers. The port handles a wide range of goods including bulk, and genaral cargo with a specialism in containers, steel and timber with a capability of handling almost 3 million tonnes of cargo a year. The demand for facilities at Goole continues to increase, and is met by both short and long-term development plans. In recent years the port has attracted traffic levels not seen for over 40 years and the controlling port authorit; Associated British Ports is looking to invest more money in the future to ensure the port offers up to date goods handling technologies and systems.
Located on the South Bank of the Humber and is a highly versatile port that is well placed to offer superb transport links and logistical services, providing a wide range of specialist port services and facilities. Grimsby caters for all types of cargo and handles vessels of up to 6,000 dwt (dead weight tonnage). In addition, Grimsby is the chief vehicle-handling centre for the North, handling almost 400,000 vehicles annually for leading manufacturers, these can be clearly seen in aerial views of the town taking up vast carparking areas adjacent to the port. The port is also home to the UKâ€™s most advanced fish market.
Top Left :
View From Ships Bow whilst exiting Immingham Port
Bottom Left :
Queen Elizabeth Docks Hull
Top Right :
Dock side cranes at Grimsby
Bottom Right :
Goole Dock with the Dock tower in the background
POSSIBLE EURO CONNECTIONS
The Ports of the River Humber already operate to many of the largest Ports in Europe and around the World, but the joining of the Ports together would create one large polycentric Port and instantly would catapult the ports rankings towards the largest in terms on tonnage in Europe.
TO NORTH AMERICA
An offshore terminal would also open up the possibility to unload the worlds largest container ships in the Humber area. Thus having quick road rail and even river transportation routes to the rest of the UK.
HAMBURG BREMERHAVEN ROTTERDAM FELIXTOWE ANTWERP
TO ASIA - via Port Said
10________________BREMERHAVEN CASE STUDY
Centre : Location Map of Bremerhaven on the River Weser Top Left : Terminal Four during construction (completed in 2008) and the adjoining terminal 3 (Wilhelm Kaison) combine to be one of the biggest container terminals in Europe. These are situated to the North of Bremerhaven. Bottom Left : Ecological compensation zone, summer dykes were opened and water was allowed to flood into to previously intensively farmed land. This new ecological zone allows new bird and animal habitats, and reed beds to develop. Water buffalo has also been re introduced to the area. The landscaping will be complete this year. Bottom Right : The New Harbour Area is situated just South of the main terminals, work is currently undergoing to create a tourist and business complex to create jobs and attract people to this shipping area. Current buildings include; hotels, a zoo, museums and offices all surrounding the Harbour, which is itself surrounded by the old town.
BREMERHAVEN CASE STUDY________________11
Top Left :
Atlantic Sail Hotel And Conference Centre
Top Left Middle :
View From the Port Authority Conference room at the Top of the Atlantic Sail Hotel
Top Right Middle :
Newly constructed Terminal 4 Bremerhaven Port
Top Right :
The New Harbour in the tourist area of the Port
Masterplan Of New Harbour
The Ports of Bremerhaven is the sixteenth-largest container port in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe with 4.9 million container units of cargo handled on average per year. In addition, more than 1,350,000 cars are imported or exported every year via Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven imports and exports more cars than any other city in Europe except for Rotterdam, and this traffic is also growing. To deal with this demand Bremerhaven recently completed (date) this large terminal was built on the bank of the River Weser by building up the land in the shallows to create a deep water port. Sediment was deposited in the Weser and once built up a pile wall was created to which the concrete was poured on top. There were designs included to reduce flooding possibilities and also a large area of ‘Environmental offset’ land was allocated as a flood plane and protected wildlife habitat area. To the South of the main ports of Bremerhaven is the New Harbour (pictured Left) this area is a designated masterplan designed with the intention of boosting international tourism and an area for clients to relax in on an evening away from the Port. New buildings include the Adlantic Hotel Sail City (Top left), a zoo, various museums (both on land and on historic tall ships) restaurants, shopping centres and offices. This type of development is a perfect precedent for the type of Masterplan ideas I have for the Humber, showing both a healthy investment in the shipping industry and pride in the heritage of the area. Hull and the surrounding towns are in an economic downturn since the industrial booms of the early 20th century and the 60’s and I feel with careful integration and investment the whole area could boom again when applied with a model like that of Bremerhaven.
OUTLINE BRIEF - NEED FOR THE BUILDING
As previously outlined there are four major ports on the Humber ; Hull, Immingham, Grimsby and Goole and several more river Wharves. These ports currently have no interaction even though several are owned by the same company (Associated British Ports) but If they were to be listed as a port complex, their total tonnage makes the Humber the largest in the UK. (approx 105 Million tonnes last year) The Brief is for a building that could act as a coherent focus for a singular Humber Port complex, joining all the ports as one as an international trading region. Allowing for future growth of the ports and efficiency within its roles. This would hopefully bring jobs and eventually tourism back to the area. The Vessel Tracking Services building is currently in a tower located on the Eastern side of Spurn Point, the Hunber pilots operate from this in on a shift basis and Share facilities with the Lifeguards. Due to the nature of the building there is no offer for expansion as the ports grow and service requirements increased. The proposed building through the combination of commercial and hotel/ conference facilities would offer an upgrade in accommodation creating a key building on Spurn point that is aimed not only to serve the port, but bring tourism to the point, generate power and safeguard the upkeep of the point for years to come. In terms of habitat the building is required to cause minimal disruption to the site. Once build it must integrate into the site and be able to allow wildlife to flourish as it currently does.
BUILDING ACCOMMODATION BRIEF PUBLIC SPACE / ENTRANCE
• • • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • •
Entrance Lobby Reception Area Cafe Atrium garden Tourist information displays Management Office Toilets Stairs Lift Storage
CIRCULATION CORE • • • • • • • • • •
Docks Accessible walkway Stair and Lift Cores Plant rooms Viewing platforms Rainwater Harvesting Power Generation Ground source Heat Generation Bin Stores Service Access
Operations floors/ rooms x2 Server cupboard Radar equipment storage Staff Lounge Kitchen Managers Office Comms room Sleep over room Plant room Equipment and Lifejacket Storage General Storage Toilets
CONFERENCE CENTRE • • • • • •
100+ seat conference room Seminar Room Offices Meeting Room Toilets Direct access to Hotel and Entrance Facilities
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • • •
30+ Rooms Terraces Reception Restaurant Lounge Bar Gym Swimming Pool Changing rooms Kitchens Kitchen Storage Offices Laundry Cleaners Stores
Boat Moorings Parking Bar terrace Elevated viewing platforms
Situated adjacent to the Smeaton lighthouse in a low lying patch of the Spurn Point peninsular, this site is flanked by banks on both sides sheltering the site from the North Sea winds and the harsh winter gales. The site was one of the busiest points on the peninsular in the 60’s with army buildings surrounding the lighthouse (as seen in Humber Highway(1956)) The only remains of these buildings are a section of wall with an underground room and some sheds. Positives: • • • •
Sheltered site Flat plateau flanked by sand banks allows for level changes between buildings Unobstructed views to both the North Sea and the Humber Estuary Grassy vegetation means building will quickly become routed within site
Negatives: • • •
Road dissects the site causing a possible access problem The site had a wide plan between dunes meaning levels may be an issue Deep piles would be needed due low lying bedrock
This site would suit a linear type of building trans versing the site with a varied array of levels, opening up views out to sea and back towards the Ports of the Humber. A linear building could have a jetty like the lifeboat operators, harnessing tidal energy.
Situated at the far tip of Spurn Point this potential site offers perfect 360o views of the surrounding River Humber and North Sea. The site can be accessed by the small track that remains from access to the World War 2 gun emplacements. Positives: • • • •
Clear views both out to sea and into the Humber Open land allowing accessibility for development Strong tidal current for power generation Level topography
Negatives: • • •
Open site with little defence from the wind Site is a key part of the National Nature Reserve with many bird nests and release points The site is very overgrown, meaning it would take a long time for the building to ‘mature’ within the site
This site would suit a tower type building with concept links to the two existing lighthouses due to the topography of the site. Extending the site into the sea may not be the best idea due to the close proximity to padding vessels. key presidents would be the Atlantic Sail Hotel in Bremerhaven and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
Vast areas of Holderness are liable to flooding and at times spurn point can get cut off from the mainland at the lower, thinner sections of the peninsular. However due to the raised nature of the tip the people currently living on the point are never really affected, shopping and school runs are just done by boat. Any building would however need to be able to withstand occasional flooding and future high waters.
The Site is situated near the end of Spurn Point just as the peninsular starts to widen at the tip. Sheltered from both sides by sand and vegetation covered banks. Existing access to the site is via the only road down Spurn Point which is a single track road with passing Places. The Whole of Spurn Point is owned by Yorkshire wildlife trust so care would have to be taken to reduce impact onto the site and make sure the building can mature with the site. There are only 3 buildings in close proximity to the site, the largest of which is the Smeaton Lighthouse, built adjacent to the site. The lower light is now used as a storage tower and sits further down the beach. There is a garage on the site which will probably be removed as it is of no historical or aesthetic value. The Site is very open and whilst sheltered from the wind by the grass banks there is no shelter from the sun, due to no landmarks or trees to cast shadows.
Spurn Lower Light
Single storey tin roofed garage
Visitors car park and sea wall
Hardstanding where 60â€™s military buildings were demolished Sand and shingle beach
Water (shown up to high tie line)
Vegetation Site Section A-A
A peninsula in one form or another has existed at the mouth of the Humber since the first one was formed after the retreat of the ice at the end of the last Ice Age. There are two theories as to why this has happened, its course is not fixed, because it is attached to one of the fastest eroding coasts in the world â€” the Holderness coast. One theory, supported by historical records, indicates a cyclical history of about 250 years for each of the various peninsulas, which have grown gradually as a result of long-shore drift of material washed out of the clay cliffs to the north. The profile of each peninsula, which grows from a stump, is low, allowing a certain amount of wash-over of sand, which helps to build it up on the western side, whilst most of the material moves further south and forms a spoon-shaped point. With the rapid erosion of the coast to which it is attached, a breach is inevitable eventually, and once the sea gets through, the head becomes isolated and gradually washes away. A new peninsula then forms a little to the west and the cycle starts again. The second theory gives more emphasis to the wash-over of the neck, and suggests that as the sand and other material is transported from east to west, the neck gradually shifts westward, presumably moving the head with it. It is not possible to test these theories thoroughly because since midVictorian times Spurn has been kept in place by artificial coastal defences, begun after a massive breach which took place in 1849, when the peninsula was composed of a string of islets. The groynes and revetments to protect the peninsula were first erected in the later 19th century by the Board of Trade, but were extended up until the 50â€™s due to military occupancy. These artificial sea defences have resulted in the peninsula now being longer than ever before and retaining unchanged the same alignment since the 1850s as a result of which it has become highly vulnerable to attacks from north-westerly tidal surges in the North Sea. The Diagrams and paintings on this page give an impression of the changing positions throughout history and some of the names Spurn Point once was called. This shows that the site is not a given fixed site and is prone to change, therefore any building placed upon it must either have a predicted life span or be able to adapt to the movement of this ever changing spit of land.
LIFEBOAT AND HUMBER PILOTS
Since 1810 Spurn has been the base of the Humber Lifeboat. Established at the end of Spurn Point because so many ships were being wrecked on the stones out to shore, the lifeboat has had many distinguished crew, who have been involved in numerous dangerous rescues. Between 1810 and 1910 the lifeboat was operated by Hull Trinity House, and after that date by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The lifeboat is manned by the only full-time permanent crew in the British Isles, and since 1819 the peninsula has been home for both the lifeboat crew and their families. The first houses stood on the Humber side of the peninsula not far from the lighthouse. In 1857 they were replaced by a new terrace of houses on a site now taken up by the Point car-park. In 1890 a school was erected nearby, and Spurn children were educated there until 1945, when the school was closed and the children were taken daily to Easington or to secondary schools in the area (as they still are). In 1975 the families moved into modern houses a little further down the Point. The present lifeboat stationed at Spurn is the Severn class boat called “ Pride of the Humber” that was totally funded by the people of Humberside and the Northeast. A total amount raised of £1,400,000 was largest single amount raised in one appeal at the time. The new boat is 17 m (55ft 9ins.) long, has a beam of 5.5 m (18ft.) a displacement of 37.5 tonnes a top speed of 25 knots, and a total range of 250 nautical miles at top speed. The Humber is a very dangerous river with constantly changing currents. In the 16th century Hull Trinity House controlled navigation on the Humber, providing beacons, buoys and lightships, as well as licensing pilots, overseeing the management of Spurn lighthouse, and managing the Spurn lifeboat. After 1800 the pilots became the Humber Pilots Commission, and in 1908 they came under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Humber Conservancy Board, whose powers were in 1968 transferred to the British Transport Docks Board, and in 1981 to Associated British Ports (ABP). Until 1975 the pilots worked from a vessel moored off Spurn but in that year they moved to a shore base on Spurn itself, established in one of the old World War I buildings on the Point, and a jetty was constructed for the pilot boats to work from (doubling up as a lifeboat mooring point). The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), which currently monitors all shipping in the Humber, is also controlled by Associated British Ports, and runs a 24-hour watch across the mouth of the Humber from a tower established on the base of a former Battery Observation Post on the Point.
20________________SITE HISTORY underground operations room
Settlements in the Holderness area can be traced back nearly as far as 2500 years ago, but these were mainly peaceful colonies with no real militant actions. railway entrance to pier
ww1 9.2” gun emplacement
Naval Signal Station spurn garrison barrocks
ww2 6 pounder guns searchlight emplacements
bull sands fort
The areas role in wartime history began in 1066 with the famous battle of Stamford Bridge. In a battle for the crown Herald Hardarada (one of the last Viking warriors in the area) and King Harold’s brother Tostig sailed up the Humber to Stamford Bridge, where they were defeated upon Tostig’s death. Spurn Point was used as a camp for the defeated army before Hardarada and his men left the country forever. In the years to follow Spurn was said to have been the landing point for three of Britians Kings, most famous of all being Edward Duke of York who landed with troops from Burgandy on 14th March 1471. Edward fought for the crown in The War of the Roses, capturing the throne after victory at the Battle of Barnet and became King Edward IV. During the Nepoleanic Wars Between 1793 and 1815 spurn Point took on another Military role, It was believed that French troops may invade Spurn and the surrounding Holderness due to its low lying ground. Fortifications were built by Henry VIII in 1542, which were later upgraded and a Beacon warning system was added. Another interesting method of defence that was put in place to repel invaders was the plan for flooding the whole area. Should an invasion force be spotted the flood defences would have been purposely breached and flood waters allowed to rush in. Carts stood ready in nearby villages ready to evacuate the population should this method have been taken. During World War I the military built new fortifications to Spurn Point, which consisted of three batteries on the point and the large Godwin Fort at Kilnsea. These Fortifications however failed to stop Hull from Being bombed by a German Zepplin in June 1915, which evaded gunfire and caused 60 casualties. In the map to the left you can see the remains of the upgraded forts from World War II which housed around 1000 military personel from the Navy, Army and Observer corps. Ther remains of aircraft guns, barracks, costal batteries and a Naval Signal station (used for the tracking of all Humber boats) can clearly be seen. Two further forts Bull Sands, and Haile Sands helped protect the mouth of the estuary and its ships from U-boats and bombers with the use of a boom stretched between them restricting access and heavy weaponry an armour for defence.
Due to the nature of Spurn Points shifting sands Lighthouses have been located on Spurn for over five hundred years. The first reference to a lighthouse on Spurn dates back to 1427, when a hermit, William Reedbarrow, was granted dues from passing ships to complete a lighthouse which he had begun to build there, though little further is known about it. In 1776, John Smeaton completed a pair of permanent lights, as was usual at the time. Lighthouse pairs consisted of a lower light and an upper light, which enabled ships’ captains to take a bearing on each to fix their positions. By the year 1766, the previous pair of lighthouses, built by Justinian Angell circa 1674, were so far inland of the growing Spurn Head that they were themselves a danger to shipping. John Smeaton was already famous for his Eddystone lighthouse in Cornwall (an engineering masterpiece of its time) Smeaton Produced drawings for two lighthouses and two temporary lights. The temporary lights were built in the summer or 1767. The position of the permanent lower light was altered by some 73m towards the northwest. Work then began on the lower light’s foundations, driving timber piles to a depth of 2.7m. These works were completed on 23rd July 1771 and the lower lighthouse in December 1773. In February 1773 work started on the main lighthouse. Four concentric circles of timber piles were driven to a depth of 2.9m and topped with a stone platform some 300mm thick. The upper lighthouse was 27.4m high and built in brick. In January 1776, a storm exposed the low light’s foundations. Smeaton decided to use hard Hazlecliff chalk stone armour to protect against scour. Smeaton’s lower lighthouse was replaced in 1852. In 1892, cracks were discovered in the brickwork of the upper light and the tower was said to move in high winds. It’s likely that the foundations were not deep enough and had settled, or perhaps the timber piles had become exposed and begun to rot. A new upper lighthouse was constructed in 1895, and Smeaton’s tower demolished. With the building of the new lighthouse, which emitted fixed beams of light from various levels, the low lighthouse became redundant, and was used first as an explosives store, and later for water storage, when it was ‘crowned’ by a large tank, which still remains. The high lighthouse shone out over Spurn (apart from during war-time) for 90 years, until in 1985 modern technology made it redundant.
CONCRETE One of two materials that have been extensively used on Spurn Point throughout its history, this is mainly due to its extreme strength and quick installation. Primarily used for the military defences, concrete can be at the ruins of Godwin Battery that is up to 8 feet thick. Many of the concrete structures on Spurn Point have survived the test of time and can still be seen throughout the peninsular, although somewhat buried by shifting sand in places. This Hardy material was also adopted for the construction of the foundations of the lighthouse, and the modern Humber pilots Jetty as it clearly stands up to the harshness of the environment.
The second of the most commonly used materials on Spurn point; due to its strength and ease of transport, as Spurn only has the one access road. Usage ranges from the internal walls on the larger fortifications to the external walls of the barracks and is also used on the rather impressive lighthouse that still stands strong next to my site. On the beach I found segments of wall that had fallen from the defences and been eroded by the sea along with the cement that holds it together. Creating a pebble like effect and is really quite strange to behold. The modern lifeboat crews houses are also built from brick to withstand the harsh winter storms that often isolate Spurn point.
One of the earlier materials used on the Point but most evidence of this has vanished these days. There were several lighthouses that used wood in their structure, but it sometimes proved to be the failing point. Wood can still be found on the remains of the groins that no longer act as a defence form the seas power but stick up rather pleasingly form the sand with a driftwood feel caused by years of erosion. In recent years wooden planks have been used on the refurbishment of the Lifeboat crews houses to add a more natural aesthetic to the hardy little houses.
Found on Spurn Point in many locations, usually as now exposed structural elements of collapsed buildings. Its strength and ease of transport have made it a material of choice over the years. Due to the salty environment most the metal on Spurn is rusted which futher adds to the warmth of the material in this location.
Site 360o Panoramic
Humber Estuary Beach Panoramic
BIBLIOGRAPHY Hugh Pearman (2002) The Deep. London: Wordsearch. Pg 4 -18 WEBSITES www.britishports.org.uk
British Ports Authority
Associated British Ports
Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce Simon Group PLC
Humber Highway 1956 (Colour Silent Movie filmed on Spurn)
Bremerhaven Tourist Port
Port and Town of Goole website Hull and Humber Strategic Flood defence Plan
www.wikipedia.org www.flickr.com Site Visits and Photographs
8th September 2009, 1st March 2010