to Isle of Wight History Centre Archive of Monthly News Items
As previously featured in the History Centre

July 2017

July 2017
The jib of the Cowes hammerhead had to be manually repositioned to enable additional scaffolding to be erected, so that previously unseen sections of it could be closely examined. As a result, further deterioration has been exposed and a second phase of the Urgent Works Notice is now being undertaken.
Cowes hammerhead crane
   The above photos show the crane with the repositioned jib and just one example of a number of points where serious corrosion has been identified. A survey of the repairs required has been completed and work is now underway. Once this section is finished, the jib will have to be turned 180 degrees to give access to the ballast box at the rear. It is thought the project will not be completed until the end of September.
  Work now being undertaken is part of the Urgent Works Notice served by the council, intended to leave the crane structurally sound. Historic England are organising and financing the work but the situation is complicated because they are simultaneously engaging in talks with the developer on the proposed complete renovation of the crane, linked to the Medina Yard development plan. The developer plans to renovate the crane but render it inoperable. Historic England, along with The Cowes Hammerhead Crane Trust, would like to see the crane returned to an operating state.
  The matter is further complicated because the developer's crane renovation falls under a Listed Building Consent application, which is independent of the main Medina Yard planning application. Strictly speaking they are separate matters but the crane is clearly linked to the development, inasmuch as the developer will not renovate the crane unless he gets approval for the main development.
  The outstanding question of the crane adds to the complexity of the whole Medina Yard development project. There is still no indication of when a planning recommendation might be forthcoming. Theoretically, a Medina Yard planning recommendation could go ahead while issues surrounding the crane's renovation are still outstanding, but the council have declined to say whether this might be a consideration. It is possible both applications will be revised and re-submitted.