While cruising the boat down the Limehouse Cut, I spotted a grand derelict warehouse and decided to moor-up and take a look. I was staring up at the building when a Scottish man with a six-pack of Stella tapped me on the shoulder and kindly said hello.
After some polite small talk he declared that he was the caretaker of the warehouse looming over our heads. I wasn't sure whether to believe a man chugging through a pack of Stella before midday but I played along with the bold claims. He guided me round to the front of the building, pulled out a wad of keys and proceeded to open the giant doors to the building. The cheeky bastard was telling truth.
The workshop was built in 1869 as a sail-makers’ and ship-chandlers’ warehouse. It was occupied by Caird & Rayner from 1889 to 1972 and was never substantially altered. Caird & Rayner were engineers and coppersmiths who specialised in the design and manufacture of seawater distilling plant for supplying boilers and drinking water on Royal Navy vessels and Cunard liners.
After various changes of ownership in recent years there are no imminent plans for the premises which remain vacant apart from Ian, his old giant of a dog and his camper-vans. However, this will no doubt change very quickly given it's location. Watch this space.