Dorman Long Tower - Listed Building Status

newyddion

Well-known member
Well if it was in a dangerous state of repair and economically prohibitive to maintain they probably would. I have no problem in having the transporter demolished for the same reason.But that’s easy for me to say because my grandad never worked on it.😎
The transporter bridge isn't as important architecturally or historically as the dorman long tower. It's got little to do with personal feelings or whose grandad did or didn't work on it. I know your breaking your neck to make me out as a romantic fool.. but it simply isn't the case.

1st and 2nd drafts are quite often just text, or no images, or a split document, rather than the full collated document, as putting it all together can be a nightmare, especially when there are a couple of daft errors to correct, which there always are.
Lets have a look shall we.
They probably didn't even have to go down the full feasibility route, they possibly could have just torn it down and said that's that. Seems to me they genuinely wanted to see if it could be saved, and at the very least they asked a question.
They had to do this as a bare minimum due to the huge amount of interest in the building.
I'm amazed the initial repair bill was only 4.7m to be honest, it just seems like such a low figure for what it would entail.
The report covered most bases and was priced on a worst case scenario.
Then 325k a year is a drop in the ocean on such a large structure.
It certainly is.
Another thing to consider is that having the local authority/ council manage that repair would have also been an absolute cluster ****, they would have had their pants pulled down by every contractor going, and no way would they have got fixed-price contracts, which means a pretend price and then a jacked-up cost later down the line.
You can apply that to anything, it's not a justified reason for pulling down the heritage asset.
There was absolutely zero chance that could have stood another 30 years safely, you can see that from the external images, never mind that from inside, which could not be seen. Once corrosion starts it doesn't stop, and it's impossible to deny it's happening or know the full extent of it. -
Absolutely Zero chance? How many bridges are there around the world that have concrete supports much older than DLT that carry much grater loads?

Prevent Corrosion with Concrete Repair

Correcting and Preventing Concrete Corrosion

There are many ways to deal with concrete corrosion in concrete structures and those applicable to the DLT were priced for in the Atkins report in the form of Repair and Maintenance cycles.

I don't know whether the DLT should have been saved or demolished.

This is the building that should have been saved, 51 years ago. It really could have been transformed into something good.

It could have been transformed into something good but had little architectural interest and in no way was as important as the dorman long tower. The choice to demolish was was probably correct in this instance.
 

Soutra

Well-known member
51 years ago it was being used,and when it went offline it was in the middle of a working plant, it was functional not a landmark for romantics.
I was talking about the Clevo Flour Tower. It was demolished in June 1970 after several failed attempts to blow it up. Eventually it was leaning right over the river, until eventually it collapsed. One of those funny stories at the time, Look North had a broadcast every day from Mandale Bridge to speculate on whether it would collapse or not.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
It was destroyed so quickly no one had the chance to actually look at future use or what the structure might represent. You often advocate a very virtual life others want to actually see, touch and experience things. It would have been nice to have given time for everyone to have their voice and also to weigh things up with all the evidence and all the options on the table.
There were folks heavily involved with the DLT's future use as stated previously, again many folks were well aware of what the structure represented (worldwide) unfortunately these did not include local councillors, MPs or even local 'historians' It's was much more important for these individuals to get their photos in the paper or to be interviewed by the local press than to do the job they were voted into power to do or to use their expertise for something more than selling parmo birthday cards.
 

TeaCider

Well-known member
The transporter bridge isn't as important architecturally or historically as the dorman long tower.

That's just not true though, is it?

The Transporter Bridge is one of only 12 surviving transporters in the world, one of only 3 in the UK, and is the longest transporter bridge left in existence.
It's a nearly unique piece of engineering.

The Dorman Long Tower was a concrete tower used to house coal.

It's also significantly older than the Dorman Long Tower (constructed in 1911 compared to 1956).

There's a reason it was listed in 1985, whilst the Dorman Long Tower only received listed status a few days before it was set to be demolished in 2021.
 
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newyddion

Well-known member
That's just not true though, is it?

The Transporter Bridge is one of only 12 surviving transporters in the world, one of only 3 in the UK, and is the longest remaining transporter bridge in existence.
It's a nearly unique piece of engineering.

The Dorman Long Tower was a concrete tower used to house coal.

It's also significantly older than the Dorman Long Tower (constructed in 1911 compared to 1956).

There's a reason it was listed in 1985, whilst the Dorman Long Tower only received listed status a few days before it was set to be demolished in 2021.
I'm afraid the use of a building doesn't really come into it when it comes to architectural significance and neither does it's age.
 

TeaCider

Well-known member
I'm afraid the use of a building doesn't really come into it when it comes to architectural significance and neither it's age.

Of course it does, otherwise it wouldn't have been considered for listing in the first place.
If you build a brand new Dorman Long Tower today to the exact same specs without any of the history or link to the steel works, it would have no significance whatsoever.
It would just be an ugly tower.

But my mention of the age was because you said it was not as historically significant, which is not true.
 
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newyddion

Well-known member
Of course it does, otherwise it wouldn't have been considered for listing in the first place.
If you build a brand new Dorman Long Tower today to the exact same specs without any of the history, it would have no significance whatsoever.

But my mention of the age was because you said it was not as historically significant, which is not true.
(constructed in 1911 compared to 1956) your words not mine. you've made your feeling known over and over again but yet you still keep popping up to argue the same redundant point. you didn't like it, I get it.

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on battersea power station..

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newyddion

Well-known member
Messages of support from architects all over the world, folks from London, Chicago, Boston, New York, Connecticut, Sydney & Montreal.. it's OK though because urrrrrr because it's just a coal bunker urrr it proper stunk and was dirty like, durrrr i'd spend and million pound on demolishing it me like.

1632415898040.png
 

TeaCider

Well-known member
(constructed in 1911 compared to 1956) your words not mine. you've made your feeling known over and over again but yet you still keep popping up to argue the same redundant point. you didn't like it, I get it.

View attachment 24884

View attachment 24885

on battersea power station..

View attachment 24886

No, you made a new point that the Dorman Long Tower was more historically significant than the Transporter Bridge.

I contested that by mentioning facts about the bridge and the fact it was significantly older.

That it is not me arguing the same redundant point at all.

But I'll leave the thread now because it's clear you were very emotionally attached to it and I'm not going to get anywhere by arguing with you.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
The transporter bridge isn't as important architecturally or historically as the dorman long tower. It's got little to do with personal feelings or whose grandad did or didn't work on it. I know your breaking your neck to make me out as a romantic fool.. but it simply isn't the case.


Lets have a look shall we.

They had to do this as a bare minimum due to the huge amount of interest in the building.

The report covered most bases and was priced on a worst case scenario.

It certainly is.

You can apply that to anything, it's not a justified reason for pulling down the heritage asset.

Absolutely Zero chance? How many bridges are there around the world that have concrete supports much older than DLT that carry much grater loads?

Prevent Corrosion with Concrete Repair

Correcting and Preventing Concrete Corrosion

There are many ways to deal with concrete corrosion in concrete structures and those applicable to the DLT were priced for in the Atkins report in the form of Repair and Maintenance cycles.


It could have been transformed into something good but had little architectural interest and in no way was as important as the dorman long tower. The choice to demolish was was probably correct in this instance.

Can we have a look, do you have Rev's 1 and 2?
They probably didn't HAVE to do the report, they did it because the public wanted it, to me the report looks like a waste of money, most are. It's often simpler just to speak to the specific expert where the problem seems to lie (corrosion/ steel/ concrete issues), get their thoughts and then go from there.
That's not a worst-case scenario, as the worst-case scenario is not known, anywhere near, as it's too unsafe to go inside and see what that could potentially be. It's a high-level, low accuracy estimate, based on unknown issues and variables, as that is all it could be due to safety issues, and not being an intrusive survey.
But, the worst-case "cost" scenario that you assume, has already been eclipsed due to construction company shortage/ overwork, materials and labour shortages, as well as sharp inflation increases, and other massive price hikes. These will not have been factored in, as the true extent has not yet even been realised like I keep telling every single one of the people to who I send feasibility studies too. Even reports written today, don't factor in a lot of the last 12 months changes, as there is not enough data to do it.
Other further worst-case scenarios include a massive flood, 100-year storm, natural disaster or extreme weather event etc.
The report didn't cover most bases, nowhere near, it's a 66-page document, and only about 17 of them are text, it's mostly external pictures.
There is no cost risk assessment, no environmental risk assessment, no geotechnical risk assessment and no health and safety risk assessment. The reason these haven't been done is likely as it's a lost cause, even more so at a time when we're going to have 10 years or whatever of Covid austerity and whatever extra for Brexit crap, there just wasn't the money before, and there isn't the money now.
It wouldn't have even stood a chance 20 years ago, it's been derelict for nearly 50 years.
Every bridge using similar construction techniques, materials and subject to heavy loads in the UK has been inspected and maintained every year, at extreme cost, and yet they're still all falling apart, and cannot be saved. That's what design life is, and that's why they're being replaced.

You really think a massive structure like that, in a poor environment by the river and a few miles from the sea could have an equal or better fate after 50 years of neglect?

I get you like heritage stuff, that's fine, but there's no way the numbers could have stacked up on this, with it being derelict so long, and now is literally the worst time ever to be burning money on things that are lower priorities, we have much, much bigger problems.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
The Transporter Bridge is one of only 12 surviving transporters in the world, one of only 3 in the UK, and is the longest remaining transporter bridge in existence.
It's a nearly unique piece of engineering.
Vizcaya Bridge, Spain 1893 (still in use)

Rochefort-Martrou Transporter Bridge, France 1900 (still in use)

Aerial Lift Bridge, Minnesota 1905 (converted to a lift bridge in 1929 but still in use)

Newport Transporter Bridge, Newport 1906 (still in use)

Osten Transporter Bridge 1909, Germany (still in use)
 

newyddion

Well-known member
I get you like heritage stuff, that's fine, but there's no way the numbers could have stacked up on this, with it being derelict so long, and now is literally the worst time ever to be burning money on things that are lower priorities, we have much, much bigger problems.
I agree 100% now in now the time to spend £1m demolishing a historic building that was in no danger of collapse.
 

Ex pfc wintergreen

Well-known member
Yes my mistake
I was talking about the Clevo Flour Tower. It was demolished in June 1970 after several failed attempts to blow it up. Eventually it was leaning right over the river, until eventually it collapsed. One of those funny stories at the time, Look North had a broadcast every day from Mandale Bridge to speculate on whether it would collapse or not.
Yes my mistake I read it wrong.
 

MFP

Well-known member
Was there any ever attempt to have this tower listed before the application made at the beginning of the month and then granted emergency listing seven days later?
What about any meaningful attempts to preserve the structural integrity of the building over the years?
Or is it as I suspect - people simply didn't care enough about it until the Atkins review made clear its end was inevitable.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
Was there any ever attempt to have this tower listed before the application made at the beginning of the month and then granted emergency listing seven days later?
What about any meaningful attempts to preserve the structural integrity of the building over the years?
Or is it as I suspect - people simply didn't care enough about it until the Atkins review made clear its end was inevitable.
I think the DLT was seen very much as part of Teesside's steel works infrastructure, if folks are getting voted in on the back of 'BRINGING THE STEEL INDUSTRY' then no one would go near it as listing would have made any necessary upgrades much more difficult as a working structure. Having it mentioned in 2019's South Tees Development Corporation as a heritage asset (lets not forget that the Tyne Bridge built in 1925 was only listed in 2018.. incidentally by the same team who listed the Dorman Long Tower) having it mentioned as such led folks to believe that those who were voted into positions of power, those whose job it was to protect our heritage structures were in fact doing their job. It was only until there was talk of demolition and the council in response to the outcry and requests to halt the demolition being that they could not take the buildings heritage into consideration as it was not listed.. it was only then that me and nick unbeknown to each other made the move to apply for listing. It's wasn't his job to do that and it certainly wasn't mine. But with the help of historical experts (not Dr Tosh Warwick) and architectural experts the team at Historic England who had been involved for 18 months prior were able put forward the recommendation and indeed have the building listed as was the intention. The Atkins report was only made public AFTER the demolition and far from saying that the building was in danger of falling down and beyond economical repair actually says that the building was structurally sound and would need maintenance/repair appropriate to a building of that age. The wheels were in motion to secure heritage funding for the building that was unfortunately delisted less than 48 hours after Historic England's final visit to the site which confirmed that the building was still worthy of the listing, still had significant architectural and historical interest. 60 hours after delisting the building was turned to rubble.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
I agree 100% now in now the time to spend £1m demolishing a historic building that was in no danger of collapse.
It was, on a fixed price contract when you can use the land for something else (which would be used), provide jobs, tax, income etc. The 1m spent also went to a small firm, which is also employing locally, taxed etc, it's not just set on fire.

Not spending now, meant that cost was going to be more later down the line, it's called biting the bullet, the longer you leave it the worse it gets, just like how this structure got bad (and beyond repair), after being left to rot for 50 years.

If you (or someone else) had raised some money to save it, 40 years ago, it might have been repairable and still have been ok. But now it's too late, and leaving it longer accelerates the cost/ loss. Views aren't worth more than lives.
 

MFP

Well-known member
I think the DLT was seen very much as part of Teesside's steel works infrastructure, if folks are getting voted in on the back of 'BRINGING THE STEEL INDUSTRY' then no one would go near it as listing would have made any necessary upgrades much more difficult as a working structure. Having it mentioned in 2019's South Tees Development Corporation as a heritage asset (lets not forget that the Tyne Bridge built in 1925 was only listed in 2018.. incidentally by the same team who listed the Dorman Long Tower) having it mentioned as such led folks to believe that those who were voted into positions of power, those whose job it was to protect our heritage structures were in fact doing their job. It was only until there was talk of demolition and the council in response to the outcry and requests to halt the demolition being that they could not take the buildings heritage into consideration as it was not listed.. it was only then that me and nick unbeknown to each other made the move to apply for listing. It's wasn't his job to do that and it certainly wasn't mine. But with the help of historical experts (not Dr Tosh Warwick) and architectural experts the team at Historic England who had been involved for 18 months prior were able put forward the recommendation and indeed have the building listed as was the intention. The Atkins report was only made public AFTER the demolition and far from saying that the building was in danger of falling down and beyond economical repair actually says that the building was structurally sound and would need maintenance/repair appropriate to a building of that age. The wheels were in motion to secure heritage funding for the building that was unfortunately delisted less than 48 hours after Historic England's final visit to the site which confirmed that the building was still worthy of the listing, still had significant architectural and historical interest. 60 hours after delisting the building was turned to rubble.
So 'no' then basically. It stood for decades after fulfilling its use and then allowed to fall into such a state of ruin that the damage was irreversible and its end life near. I'm sure people cared about the tower, just clearly not enough when it mattered in order to protect it the way they seemed it should when its fate was sealed.

And I've read the Atkins report. I don't understand why you keep posting untruthful representations of their findings.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
Views aren't worth more than lives.
But neither would the Heritage Grants been set on fire. £4.7m on repair and renovation creates more jobs than the £1m on demolition and you have something of worth at the end of it.

Something is worth more than nothing.. a lot of people fail to grasp that vey basic concept.
 

rob_fmttm

Administrator
So 'no' then basically. It stood for decades after fulfilling its use and then allowed to fall into such a state of ruin that the damage was irreversible and its end life near. I'm sure people cared about the tower, just clearly not enough when it mattered in order to protect it the way they seemed it should when its fate was sealed.

And I've read the Atkins report. I don't understand why you keep posting untruthful representations of their findings.
The threat came right out of the blue - as far as most of us was concerned. Only 6 months I spoke with one of the founding members of the committee set up to investigate ways to safeguard steel heritage and he said that there was danger to the tower. Why would anyone want to demolish it? The first I knew about the proposed demolition was probably earlier this month - I was stunned.
 
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