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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 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.
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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Hugh Conway-Jones 2006 Contact