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Harbour House

     Harbour House is the name now given to the small office building overlooked by Alexandra Warehouse. This page features the varied uses of the building and explains the curious graffiti on the south wall.

The Building
Harbour House     The building was erected in 1888 to provide offices for the firm of Fox Clinch & Co, corn merchants and maltsters, who occupied the two warehouses and the kiln to the south. Early in the twentieth century the offices were taken over by the Bristol Steam Navigation Co who ran a regular steamer service to Antwerp and Rotterdam. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the building provided offices for John Harker Ltd who had a fleet of tanker barges carrying petroleum products to Gloucester and further inland, and for a time it also housed the office for the local Regent Oil Co's tanker barges. During this period, some interesting graffiti was carved on the south wall (see below). At various times later, the building was home to staff of British Waterways, Gloucester Harbour Trustees and the Willow Trust. In 2002, it was linked to the adjoining Alexandra Warehouse to provide the public entrance to the offices of British Waterways in both buildings, but they moved out in 2008.

Graffiti on the wall of Harbour HouseThe Graffiti
     On the south side of the building (now inside the boaters' facilities room), some letters are carved into the brickwork. These represent the names of tanker barges based at Gloucester which were carved by crewmen waiting outside the office for orders or when collecting their pay. Nancy, Winnie, Joan and Darleydale were all built in the late 1930s and owned by John Harker Ltd. Jill and King were tanker barges from the same period owned by the Regent Oil Co. 

Sources: Glos RO D2460 drawing; Goad Insurance Maps; local memories.

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