Firecrest One

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The Pump House

The Pump House is the last remaining historic building on the old Rowhedge wharf site. It was built in 1903 to pump water to the Rowhedge Water Tower, a listed building in Parkfield Street, and is an important part of the historic water infrastructure for the village.

Hills Building Group had planned to demolish the pump house as a part of their development of the Wharf site. 150 objections were submitted and as a result Hills subsequently excluded the Pump House site from their revised application which has now been approved. Meanwhile, Colchester Borough Council has now put the Pump House on their local list of historical buildings, and this should help to protect it in the future. 

Coronavirus update: Before the virus struck, the RHT was working towards reaching agreement on a legal option to purchase the Pump House from Hills. This would have meant securing a period of about 18 months to raise the money to buy the site and building. We would only go further if we are successful in gathering sufficient funds. In the meantime Hills have taken on and made improvements to the building for their use as as a site office. 


The RHT has looked into applying for grants, however in the current situation most funders are closed to new applications for the time being. RHT has communicated to Hills its continuing interest in the property, however it is not in a position to make any commitment without access to additional funding.


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Firecrest One is a 15-foot clinker-built sailing dinghy designed by Robbie Stone (better known for the Brightlingsea One Design). It was built in the early 1950s by Rowhedge Ironworks (which was originally at both ends of the High Street). After contacting the owner through one of our heritage events we originally arranged to sail it on loan, however in response to a suggestion by the owner, we finally bought the historic dinghy outright.

As she is nearly 70 years old she needs to be constantly maintained and some restoration has been needed. Last year Fabian Bush replaced the decks and this year volunteers have spent many painstaking hours cleaning out leaky seams and re-fastening them. We are now aiming for a big effort to to launch her again in early 2020. 

The newly formed Lion Quay Boat Club has shown strong interest in the Firecrest project and we will be happy to work with them and get this historic vessel sailing once again in the place she was originally designed and built.


Your Coronavirus recollections

We are living through an unprecedented time in Rowhedge's history, one that will probably be unique for all of us. The RHT is keen to capture as much as possible of what it has been like to live through this period, through the recollections, observations, images, art, poetry or prose of its residents. If you have something that you think could become part of our living archive, please let us know. It could be something that you or your children have created, something you have seen, or kept, that will forever be a symbol of the times we have all been experiencing. It could be happy or sad. We would be interested in whatever you have to offer, to ensure this moment in the life of the village is not lost forever.

Just fill out the form below and we'll get back to you with how you can make a lasting contribution.

gallery/Coronavirus front pages, April 17, 2020
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What would you like to contribute?