Cuttings index Family history index 1998 & earlier index
Let It stand or let it fall?
SHOULD this chimney stand or fall?

A prominent Waltham Forest councillor wants the opinion of you-- the public.

The chimney was built in Auckland Road, Leyton, around 1896, says Jo Brind, chairman of the planning implementation committee.

It was part of the waste disposal site then run by the old Leyton District Council.

The site is now a waste transfer depot and the chimney has long been disused, but it remains a conspicuous feature of the Leyton landscape.

Over the years, attempts have been made through the former GLC Historic Buildings Division and latterly through English Heritage to have the chimney listed as a building of historic or architectural interest, so far in vain.

Now its fate hangs in the balance.

It- would cost about £10,000 to have demolished.

In its present condition it needs urgent repointing, a job priced between £4,000 and '£5,000. That work, however, would have to be repeated at intervals.

Uses for the chimney are limited. In the very long term, it could form the centrepiece of an industrial museum-- a scheme in which some interest has been shown by neighbouring boroughs.

But there is no prospect whatsoever of a museum being built in the near future. What .do YOU think should happen to the chimney?

To register your vote for or against preservation, write to Councillor Jo Brind at Waltham Forest Town Hall (xl60)

Waltham Forest Guardian & Gazette September 25, 1987.
8 Draycot Road
E11 2NU
Telephone 01-989 2863
Councillor J. E. Brind
Town Hall
Forest Road
London E17 4JF
28 September 1987

Dear Councillor Brind
Re: Let it stand or let it fall?

I was interested to read the above-mentioned article in the Waltham Forest Guardian for week ending Friday, September 25, 1987. Prior to giving my vote for or against preservation, I would take this opportunity of mentioning, a few points.

I was the Borough Engineer & Surveyor to the old Leyton Corporation from 1958 to 1962, resigning to take up a similar appointment in Islington from which I retired in 1980.

I have continued to take an interest in developments in Waltham Forest. Incidentally, your Council are to be congratulated upon the renovated and improved Central Library in Walthamstow. I await with interest the completion of other works in progress in that part of your authority's area.

It was during my appointment with Leyton that the old refuse destructor works at Auckland Road were reconstructed as a refuse transfer depot, and I was responsible to the Council for the carrying out of the works. Upon completion of the scheme, refuse was conveyed in bulk transporters to South Ockendon in rural Essex. Demolition of the chimney at that time was not practicable as a limited amount of burning of refuse continued and hence the need to retain the chimney. Nevertheless, the chimney was reduced in 'height, the reduction, if I remember rightly, being in the order of 3 or 4 metres.

I would not have thought the character of the chimney justified it being listed as a building of historic or architectural importance. When I recently visited the site the brickwork appeared in fair condition and, I should say, the bricks would be of some value in the event of demolition. Should the chimney he retained, remedial and pointing works will be necessary, and this will present a heavy recurring cost to the Council.

I feel that your Council should agree to the chimney being wholly demolished. I would further suggest that the memorial stone erected in 1896 be retained and re-located on a suitable site. I put forward two sites for re-locating the plaque namely,

Either. After demolition of the chimney, the area on which it now stands, together with a small adjacent area, be suitably paved, and some of the bricks from the demolished chimney incorporated in the paving. The plaque could then be laid flat within the newly paved area. The area within the vicinity of the chimney is being used for the parking of skips and as a mechanical shovel compound. I would not consider that taking some of this asphalt paved area would cause any problems.

Or. The plaque to be erected on the external wall of the building that is now being used as a weighbridge office and mess room.

I 'trust my remarks will be of some interest and, in the meantime, I await with interest the decision of your Council in this matter.
Yours sincerely,
John T. Lewis

London Borough of Waltham Forest
TELEPHONE: 01-527 5544
Bob Bennett,
Chief Planner,
July 3, 1987
Dear Mr Bennett,

When we talked yesterday you suggested I write to you to request that consideration be given to the listing of a very tall chimney at the Auckland Road waste transfer depot, Leyton. The chimney was built in the 1890s by the old Leyton council (I think---certainly the names of the councillors who opened it can still be read on the plaque attached to the chimney). It is probably one of the tallest(if not the tallest) brick built factory chimneys remaining in London built in this era. In Burnley, for example, there used to be 300 chimneys of this size and now I believe there is only one and that's a museum.

The chimney is not being used and it costs the North London Waste Authority (which owns it) about £5,000 a year in maintenance.

Obviously the attraction of demolishing it (cost £10,000) is very strong. However, senior officers of NLWA would like to keep the chimney if they possibly could and listing (which might attract grants) would strengthen their hands.

It seems to me that since work is currently being done at Auckland Road it would be possible to slightly alter the layout of the depot to make the chimney accessible by a separate entrance (I must admit that this would be difficult). If it was separately accessible then the chimney might become the centre piece for an industrial museum. It is certainly worth a visit.

Anyway, since we don't seem to have enough listed buildings and some of the listed buildings we've got at present aren't all that interesting (Leyton town hall?) I thought this might be food for thought.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Jonathan Brind

London Borough of Waltham Forest
Walter Furness, Director of Development
Municipal Offices, The Ridgeway, Chingford, London, E4 6PS
Chief Engineer and Assistant Director:
Brian C T Bailey C Eng Dip TP MICE
Chief Planner:
Robert W Bennett Dip TP MRTPI
Chief Architect
lain D Welsh DA (Edin.)
Chief Property Services Officer
Geoffrey M Easton BSc ARICS
Councillor J E Brind
3 St. Helier's Road.
London E10 6BH
Ask for Mr J S Chandler
01-527 5544 Ext. 6318
Please quote ref.
Your ref. PPI/JSC/093/3
13th July 1987-

Dear Councillor Brind


Thank you for your letter of 3rd July in confirmation of our earlier telephone conversation. I have found out that some initial thought was given to possible listing of the chimney structure some years ago by the GLC Historic Buildings Section; but this suggestion was not felt worth pursuing at the time, and it was certainly not included in our recommended local list. I will pass on your thoughts to English Heritage for their further consideration, but with the new list recently published, and with other notable buildings omitted, which we have for many years pressed to be included, I donít hold out much immediate hope for success on this one.
Yours sincerely
Robert Bennett
Chief Planner
Please address all communications to Director of Development quoting reference BLD

DATE : 22 September 1987
TITLE OF REPORT: Auckland Road Recycling and Waste Sorting
Report of the: Operations Co-ordinator
1. Introduction
1.1 Since a visit by Councillors, soon after the NLWA was formed, it was agreed that the site could be suitable for trial schemes for recycling and/or sorting.
1.2 At that time the site was sub-standard, although improvements were in progress.
1.3 Due to the fact that development was being carried out while the site remained operational and with limited resources, progress has been slow.
1.4 However, although there is still work to be done, it now presents a satisfactory appearance. These improvements have encouraged the staff, who are keen to assist with recycling schemes.
2. Recycling
2.1 The recycling of metal, both by public and staff separation into a skip, has been maintained during this period.
2.2 We are now in a position bo accept : paper, cardboard and textiles; separated by the public, but supervised by staff to ensure the purity necessary to realise an income from recycled materials.
2.3 Skips have been painted, signs unite and an area set aside for this operation.
2.4 It is proposed to open this facility on October 11th 1987, in line with national recycling week
3. Waste Sorting
3.1 Waste sorting at this site will only be possible when suitable waste, i.e. C.A. waste, wood, furniture, etc., can be stored separately from the main 'heap'. It is unsafe to sort while collection vehicles tip, or bulk vehicles load. It would also considerably slow down operations.
3.2 It is hoped to carry out the necessary work on the tipping apron, as soon as it can be met from the budget.
3.3 In the meantime, enquiries have been made about possible schemes, and all possible avenues are being explored.
3.4 Charity workshops were contacted about the use of furniture for re-upholstering etc., but it was found that they had difficulty in finding outlets.
3.5 On the positive side, there is a firm interested in taking tyres, and a trial is being set up at Deephams Strip, also a voluntary environmental group have asked to sort timber for a particular project.
3.6 A private individual has asked to sort material from Auckland Road in return for a regular payment to the NLWA. A letter has been sent to him suggesting an early meeting.
4. Financial Considerations
4.1 The recycling of materials, while yielding little after transport costs are incurred, will save around £3.85 per tonne on disposal costs.
4.2 Other schemes, such as the tyres, will be brought before Members for approval, with full financial details, after a trial period.
5. Recommendations
5.1 That the report be received.
5.2 That members indicate whether they wish to visit the site during recycling week,
6. Local Government Act 1972 - Section 100 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985

Contact Officer: A. Parnham
Operations Co-ordinator
Angel Road, N18 3AG
Telephone No. 803 1322

3 St Helier's Road
Leyton, 110 6BH
5 October 1987
Dear Mr Lewis
Many thanks for your fascinating letter about the chimney at Auckland Road. I think you are probably right that it should be demolished.
I will get back to you as soon as North London Waste Authority, which owns the chimney, has decided about its future.
Once again, many thanks for your letter which certainly gave me a lot of information I did not have previously.
Yours sincerely,
Mr John T Lewis
8 Draycot Road
London E11 2NU

London Wildlife Trust
Central Office 80 York Way
London N1 9AG
Telephone 01-278 6612
Auckland Road Transfer Site : Creation of bat roost in existing chimney.
Prepared October 1989.
Aim of the study .
The aim of the study is to investigate the potential and possible environmental development of bat habitat creation in the existing chimney, Auckland Road Transfer Site.
The study will include work required , labour force as well as general background information.
Summary. London wildlife Trust were approached by members of the Grove Green Labour party ward to advise on the potential for environmental development in the Leyton area. This study is written as part of a large scale improvement programme which includes park improvement , a Green Link Walk and the proposed development , and hence protection, of sections of the Temple Mills Marshalling Yard.
Why conserve bats? There are many problems facing our Bat populations in London. The main factor is the general lack of suitable habitat. Bats prefer to roost in old tree hollows, or where appropriate in caves. In urban areas bats have adapted to utilising building such as chimneys and the roofs of houses . With the increase use of wood preservative some of these roosts are becoming unsuitable for bats and this decrease in habitat leads to a decrease in the bat population. The second problem is a general lack of food supply. The felling of trees, poor management of grasslands and the canalisation and destruction of our wetlands cause a decrease in the habitat available for the bats food supply. In the Leyton area we can help by providing a suitable habitat in an area close to the Leyton and Hackney Marshes , an excellent food supply.
The Chimney Location The potential bat roost chimney is situated in the Auckland Road Transfer Site, Leyton , in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Present management. North London Waste Authority, Angel Road, Edmonton. 01-803-1322.
Legal Status The chimney is not a listed building so improvement work could be undertaken.
Present condition The chimney is structurally sound and is surveyed annually for faults. There is an opening on the east facing side of the chimney which exposes brick walls of 4 foot thick . The inside base is covered with paper waste and cans.
Potential use of chimney The basis of the project is to undertake a programme of works which would create a suitable habitat for breeding and roosting bat species in the Leyton area. This project could one day be expanded to provide an Environmental Education and Information Centre, (EEIC) for the use of the public and schools within the Borough of waltham Forest. The EEIC Project would require a permanent building , maybe an existing underused property, and a a much more detailed Feasibility Study.
Work Required
Project 1 To maximise the potential appeal to bats, the chimney needs to be draught free. This would require the blocking of the large entrance at the base of the chimney. This could incorporate the building of an information centre on the Recycling Department.
Project 2 Suitable strata for bats to hang upon is required as the inside of the chimney is too smooth for the bats to cling on. This is an essential feature of any bat roost and could be created in the chimney by the attachment of weather boarding on the inside walls. The hollows between the flat weather boards and the circular inside walls would provide excellent draught free crevices for the hibernating bats. The weather boarding could be attached inside the majority of the chimney to maximise upon the available habitat.
Project 3 The top of the chimney also requires modification in order to be attractive to the bats. The open entrance needs to be converted into a series of crevice like entrances. This will make the bats feel secure, reduce the effects of draught and will stop birds from disturbing the bats during hibernation.
Labour The large amount of work required to convert the chimney to a suitable bat roost would need to be undertaken by a well equipped and experienced team. Clive Ramsey, Secretary, Grove Green Labour Party suggested the use of army personnel. If this could be arranged it would certainly be a good Press and Television opportunity.

written by Martin Hall , London wildlife Trust

The London Wildlife Trust
A company limited by guarantee 1600379 and
registered charity 283895
Registered office
66 Lincolns Inn Fields London WC2

Associated with the Royal Society
for Nature Conservation
Printed on recycled paper.

Cuttings index Family history index 1998 & earlier index