Author Topic: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??  (Read 123809 times)

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ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #460 on: February 08, 2014, 01:37:06 PM »
But what they have got - I believe - I could be wrong is a group already set up.

The group is already a legal entity. 

Some cash in the bank to keep them viable whilst they seek the funding to do the job, which would come quicker if they had a hope of getting the building.  They have all the proof  of the importance of the building not just for Swindon but nationwide.

The business plan on the shelf somewhere, ready to dust down and reword if necessary. 

Relationships built with the right people.

And the 'passion/will to do it, because anyone who takes this on, with none of that, will be doing so in a foolhardy manner will soon find themselves coming a cropper.

Anyone who hands over anything this big over to a brand new, not 'management practiced' group of people will be taking a huge risk.

And the Mechanics building would be 'out of the frying pan and into the fire'.

That is just the sort of nonsense that has kept this carbuncle a wreck for the last 30 years.


Legal entity - Karsten is correct, this has to be a CIC if you want to keep the building out of the hands of the developers.

Only a fool would take NMIPT seriously - they've had 20 years and have SEVEN GRAND!!!

Only slight flaw in Katsten's plan is it needs a use once renovated that will generate more revenue than the costs of running the building.

The capital can be raised by grant, public and business subscription.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Wonder who owns the scaffolding around the building?  Does it belong to a new owner?
If not could a new owner charge storage rent?

Kohima did an FOI I believe and he has the figure, it costs the Council, ie us, and it is on hire!!
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #462 on: February 08, 2014, 03:06:59 PM »
Ok so we'll agree to disagree on the CIC idea, which is not what I would want any group I was in to be.

For one thing it's a relatively new idea, took agessssss to be agreed and no way of knowing how many ways there are to fiddle it yet.

"Only a fool would take NMIPT seriously - they've had 20 years and have SEVEN GRAND!!!"

It's not how much they have now, but how much they have raised over the 20 years and spent in pursuing their objective, and let's face it, whether you like it or not they have pursued it.

Anything set up and with an AGM has a potential for a whole committee to be voted off (or on).  You could have your CIC, how would you stop the MIT from just standing and becoming the board of the CIC?  Does this mean that a CIC board is unchangeable?

Since I first heard of CIC's they have obviously changed direction - perhaps that's what took the time. I'm off to do a bit of swatting, because they have been recommended as a way forward for charitable companies.  Recommended as away for the trustees not having the onerous task of reporting both to the Charity Commission AND Companies House.


 
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Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #463 on: February 08, 2014, 03:26:33 PM »
I did a FOI on the cost of the steel fencing and the cost of the scaffolding, but got a reply, after the reg 20 working days, that they are paying around £217 a month, to secure and look after the scaffolding, but no actual costs, so now have now gone back and asked again..

ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #464 on: February 08, 2014, 04:17:51 PM »


It's not how much they have now, but how much they have raised over the 20 years and spent in pursuing their objective, and let's face it, whether you like it or not they have pursued it.


No it's precisely how much they have now. Whatever they have done with whatever they have raised in the past it has achieved absolutely nothing for the Mechanics.

I'm afraid it's now or never.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #465 on: February 08, 2014, 07:16:45 PM »
I did a FOI on the cost of the steel fencing and the cost of the scaffolding, but got a reply, after the reg 20 working days, that they are paying around £217 a month, to secure and look after the scaffolding, but no actual costs, so now have now gone back and asked again..

That figure sounds to be in the right ballpark, if anything a bit cheap.

Scaffolding can only be erected by qualified personnel, so it is usual to pay a company to erect and then pay a weekly or monthly hire charge. I haven't seen it for a while, but if it is just scaffold tubes it shouldn't be too expense. More expense if the scaffold is fully boarded out.

A scaffold also needs an up to date ScafTag before anyone can use it. This is a green plastic tag on the scaffold which states that it has been checked by a competent person who signs and dates to say that it is safe. This would need regular checks as anyone with a spanner or wrench could tamper with it. Despite the obvious risk to life, I have known school kids think it is funny to tamper with scaffolding.

Offline bobwright

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #466 on: February 08, 2014, 09:21:37 PM »
Things are never as simple as they seem. The scaffolding is a necessity for the long term future of the building.

My understanding is the scaffolding is doing more than a job of giving access for building work and inspection. It is also protecting and tying in the Northern end structure against vibration. This is also the reason for closing off part of the road.

The Mechanics sits within a Conservation area, the Conservation document identifies the problems associated with vehicle vibration in the area.   

Offline Tobes

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #467 on: February 08, 2014, 10:11:00 PM »
Bob, I'm not an absolute expert on such matters, though I am a qualified building conservator, any scaffolding (as opposed to purpose built and installed shoring) which costs a mere £217 a month is not going to 'protect' any building from vibration (what 'vibration' anyway...?).

I don't know who told you that was its purpose, but I would recommend you look a little deeper if that was the justification given.

Access and maybe a little weather protection is all standard steel tube scaffolding can give.
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Offline bobwright

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #468 on: February 08, 2014, 10:29:38 PM »
Tobes, happy to be advised, that is why I posted. I have seen scaffolding being used as building props in many places. Clearly a stand alone scaffolding can't prop but it might stop that which has been vibrated loose falling down.

If we have scaffolding experts reading the thread we might get a clearer picture. I am pretty clear on vibration damage as this is attributed to the lane closure and reference has been made in other documents.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #469 on: February 08, 2014, 11:07:16 PM »
The scaffold to the north elevation (Bristol Street) can be viewed on Google Streetview.

It does look a bit more substantial than a standard scaffold as there is some additional bracing and a few ladder beams in there. I doubt if it is providing much support but if it makes the difference between a factor of safety = 0.99 and 1.00 then it is better than not having it.

The partial road closure is a bit odd. It won't help if the whole scaffold falls and if the council are worried about small pieces of masonry falling then debris netting would probably be more effective. My guess based on Bob's comments is that they are trying to keep vehicles away from the building to reduce vibration from traffic.

Offline Simon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #470 on: February 09, 2014, 02:03:36 AM »
Umm Bob..

I am pretty clear on vibration damage as this is attributed to the lane closure and reference has been made in other documents.

So vibration damage to the Mechanics Institute is caused by buses being rerouted via roads which don't pass the Mechanics Institute?

Or, in order to avoid vibration damage, the buses were rerouted.

Please get your cause and effect in the right order  :)
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Offline Karsten

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #471 on: February 09, 2014, 05:22:06 AM »
In regards the scaffolding I believe it is left there for access and possibly to partially support the SBC tin roof which basically is the responsibility of SBC.
This could be a point I could use in regards the 360k charge..?

The biggest cost would be the removal or the tin roof and repair/re-slating of the original MI.
I think even EH would see that reslating with old tech isn't feasible and the roof could be more modern with perhaps inroof solar panels etc. 
The roof is same construction as the Health Hydro with plate girders and 2" boarding.  the roof boards have started to rot after the previous owner Mr Singh,"left the MI to Rot" as he said he would years ago. :-(
I don't think all the roof boards have rotted.  Only part of the roof has and that is where the tarpaulins leaked.
Replacing the roof 'like for like' just wouldn't make sense.

I think the MI could get a lot of funding thru companies associated with the Self Build center.
They might like to use it as demo site for modern tech.

As for a "Use"  that can wait as I do not plan to develop the MI. just stop the rot.  It's been Mothballed which a good enough solution according to EH.
Also it's a big building and I doubt one Use is enough.   
I can see it having residential, music venue, sport (climbing?), I-Cafe/restaurant, Museum (Stars Wars), Indoor Garden/small Farm  :weed: ,Wedding, Community, Market  :froggy:, exhibitions/meetings, educational and who knows even theatrical/dance use.
Oops forgot another Church of the Jedi or maybe Syth..
But NOT in a few years..

I think it would take decades just like Camden Market which morphed from derelict warehouses into fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London.
The 1974 Camden Market was only held on Sundays and in derelict warehouses some were roofless.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camden_Market

The main cost of the MI would be maintaining and improving the current mothballing.
the South Part.. Plot 2 would be the first part to find a possible use for.

I would hope the Art College and the Princes Heritage trust, EH, WMF,etc.etc would take more interest in the MI when it has a proper owner, especially when being bombarded by emails about the building. :azn:
Maybe when the BBC run another Heritage series, the MI might be part of it.

The first part really is that the MI gets a proper owner that is interested in the building and not profit (primarily  ::) )

As for NMIPT ..





















































































:2funny:
(sorry couldn't help it)

Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #472 on: February 09, 2014, 09:01:06 AM »
Ok, must admit a senior moment when talking about CIC's.  I was reading that as CIO?

"A charitable incorporated organisation, or CIO, is a new legal form for a charity.

A CIO:
is an incorporated form of charity which is not a company
only has to register with the Charity Commission and not Companies House
is only created once it is registered by the Commission
can enter into contracts in its own right and its trustees will normally have limited or no liability for the debts of the CIO

The CIO was created in response to requests from charities for a new structure which could provide some of the benefits of being a company, but without some of the burdens."

Which is easier to understand why this would be a better option for TMI.

It is NOT true that the present Trust has done nothing to save the building, in fact by saying so you prove to me that you are not aware of what needs to be done before anything is attempted on the building itself.

Apart from the awareness raising, the constant campaigning which eventually led to it being listed etc. I can honestly say that over the period of time I have not attended a Swindon wide meeting that has not also included a presence from one or two members of the Trust putting forth the Mechanics case, they have amassed a huge historical collection to-doing with the building, they have found volunteer 'experts' to provide plans etc. (even if you don't like them, they've done them)  and they have consulted on the same at every opportunity.

In doing so they have maybe put peoples backs up because of their forcefulness. They have done this despite every attempt by people who they make feel uncomfortable, to marginalise them.  They have put up with people bouncing on and off the committee, leaving and still not understanding the up front need to do all they were doing, bad mouthing them when they left, and managed to keep a viable committee going all that time and keeping it legal too - loads of paperwork to do behind the scenes when in receipt of public or charitable funding. And keeping some sort of building going to store all the stuff until someone gets the Mechanics. 

Their 'aim' was to save the Mechanics but to educate etc. along the way. Less able and spirited people would have given up ages ago.

When and if the people of Swindon ever get that building back, that's the sort of people we need to make sure it keeps running, even if they are the people not actually doing it.



Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #473 on: February 09, 2014, 09:12:47 AM »


As for a "Use"  that can wait as I do not plan to develop the MI. just stop the rot.  It's been Mothballed which a good enough solution according to EH.


I'm sorry but it can't. What the building can become - and how, once it has been restored, it will be financially self sufficient is absolutely crucial.
Firstly that is what will enable EH and lottery funding grants. Secondly That is what will get people and business opening their cheque books.


Offline the gorgon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #474 on: February 09, 2014, 09:47:15 AM »
The scaffold to the north elevation (Bristol Street) can be viewed on Google Streetview.

It does look a bit more substantial than a standard scaffold as there is some additional bracing and a few ladder beams in there. I doubt if it is providing much support but if it makes the difference between a factor of safety = 0.99 and 1.00 then it is better than not having it.

The partial road closure is a bit odd. It won't help if the whole scaffold falls and if the council are worried about small pieces of masonry falling then debris netting would probably be more effective. My guess based on Bob's comments is that they are trying to keep vehicles away from the building to reduce vibration from traffic.

This is why whoever gets control of the MI must have money.  First of all they need to have money to insure the building, because if bits are falling off they probably lose any damages claim should an incident occur.   Trouble is how expensive is insurance going to be in the first place if there are that many problems, will they even be able to get the building insured?  Then there are any urgent/essential repairs that will need to be carried out and paid for (could an insurance company demand repairs are done?), I bet the weather we've been having since before Christmas hasn't done the building any good.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #475 on: February 09, 2014, 12:10:32 PM »
Quote
Tobes, happy to be advised, that is why I posted. I have seen scaffolding being used as building props in many places. Clearly a stand alone scaffolding can't prop but it might stop that which has been vibrated loose falling down.

If we have scaffolding experts reading the thread we might get a clearer picture. I am pretty clear on vibration damage as this is attributed to the lane closure and reference has been made in other documents.

Hello again Bob - Whats being described sounds much more like weather protection. Be warned, if it is being used as some kind of protection against collapse or 'lumps dropping off', its unlikely to be very effective unless it includes baulks of timber for shoring/propping and acro-props (with something substantial to brace against). In fact, depending upon what lumps of masonry are at risk of coming off, the scaffolding itself might be a significant risk, as it won't hold the weight without collapsing itself and potentially falling out into the road.

Whats being described, if extensively netted, ought to be good for catching things like tiles and bits of pointing.

I suspect that there's some mealy-mouthed descriptions going on in the official version of whats happening: the lane closure probably has little or nothing to do with protecting the building from 'vibration' - and everything to do with protecting the council from legal action should a tile, brick or lump of masonry fall and hit a vehicle.

If things have become that bad, we really are looking at the last window of opportunity to save the building. I can't imagine that anyone is going to leave a lane of a busy road closed for any significant length of time without this long running issue being resolved once and for all.

Lets be clear, the building is falling apart because of natural weathering and a lack of maintenance. NOT vibration.

 :(
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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #476 on: February 09, 2014, 01:59:56 PM »
Maybe it's the same vibrations that Rob feels? :banana:

(I'll get me coat.)
What's it all about?

Offline Tobes

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #477 on: February 09, 2014, 09:46:25 PM »
 >:D
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Karsten

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #478 on: February 10, 2014, 01:59:52 AM »
Just two images of what the NI was like in 1892 before the stage fire.


http://www.swindon.org.uk/images/MIfirstfloor1892.jpg
www.swindon.org.uk/images/MIgroundfloor1892.jpg


Offline bobwright

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #479 on: February 10, 2014, 07:53:35 AM »
Simon - It is not a question of what order, it is a question of not following an order.

The Conservation order identifies buses should not be in the vicinity. This has not been followed and the current situation with the MI has led to some semblance of understanding with a lane closure. However this has not stopped buses in the vicinity or potential further damage.