Client: Durham County Council
Date / Duration: 17 weeks – Completed August 2012
After the demise of the pits in the early 1990’s The North Dock fell into a semi derelict state. The regeneration of the dock was one of the key objectives of the Seaham Regeneration Straegy, and during this phase funded from charitable sources. The works were centered on the conservation and restoration of the Lifeboat House and the new build to house a Heritage Education, Sales and Display Area, in the enhancements providing a heritage space to house the restored George Elmy Lifeboat, together with other heritage items exhibited as a focal point for local residents and visitors to Seaham.
The Trimmers Hut to the back of the Lifeboat House was removed to allow for future developments within this space and it is proposed the area could be used as a viewing area looking out towards the marina, as well as affording views into the Lifeboat House. The existing windows were refurbished whilst retaining their original character and provided with new aluminium double glazed windows.
the roof of the Lifeboat House was refurbished with the consideration of conservation, so a pre-weathered stainless steel standing seam roof was agreed with a sedum roof blanket on a new concrete roof to the Fisherman’s Cabin. The entrance doors to the Lifeboat House were refurbished with the installation of secondary glazed doors. The secondary doors will act as a barrier against humidity levels and adverse weather conditions, working to protect the George Elmy Lifeboat when the main doors are open to view it. The boat is sited on a removable cradle to allow for the George Elmy to be moved in and out of the building for special events/occasions.
A removable platform was installed to one side of the lifeboat house, allowing visitors to view the inside of the lifeboat and read displays placed on walls. At the back of the lifeboat house, works were undertaken to allow for a platform lift to be installed in the future.
The floors were cleaned down and recorded prior to the floor being carefully broken out with the existing features being set aside for re-use in the scheme. The new floor is a simple concrete slab floor with the original features inset to correspond with their original position.
The Fisherman’s Cabin was demolished and an internal door constructed to allow ease of access into the boathouse from the right side of the Boathouse Building and the newly built Heritage, Sales and Display Building. The main entry doors are through the Heritage Education, Sales & Display Area allowing visitors to view the merchandise on sale.