The old Seafarers’ Mission building on Haven Rd looks a bit different without it’s blue cladding, but it won’t be the only change to the Haven Rd corner that it’s called home for decades – the neighbouring Guards Sea Service shed is coming to the ground.
The mission building, now owned by Spanish photographer Jose Cano, does not yet have a definitive plan set out, with an engineering assessment still needing to take place. The possibility of a full restoration is in the air, with talk of a cafe and gallery.
Susan Heydom who lives in the cottage next door says she is very excited to see what developments happen.
“He’s really delightful, a really enlightened person. We’re really excited about what’s happening, it’s the best possible scenario for us. We restored this lovely old cottage and he’s doing the same next door to a building considerably more damaged to ours.
Susan says she couldn’t believe the transformation when the 1970s cladding was removed.
“It was covered with this blue asbestos stuff and to now see this building in all it’s magic is really special. Hopefully he is an inspiration to other people to do the same thing and not just knock down the beautiful old building. He’s talking about running a whole heap of new timber through it to rebuild the church.”
She says the woman who lived in her house, Amelia, taught at the Sunday school in the church and her son burned lime next-door from the lime-works which he ran. “The whole area was surrounded in a smoke pool.”