The Victoria Mill in Grimsby is a former flourmill, warehouses and offices, built between 1889 and 1906. The building suffered from long-term neglect and in 2013, dormer roofs were blown off the building in high winds, causing the evacuation of 77 nearby residents. The building silapidation and its danger to the public left North East Lincolnshire Council no other option than to bring the building into public ownership as the owner could not be located and it had to be made safe.
Contractors who first saw the extent of neglect over decades were faced with four-inch deep pigeon guano on the top floor. There were buddleia growing from the ledges and interior timbers were rocking and many had crashed to the floor of the shell of the building.
The parapet gutters were poorly supported, decayed in places and considered unsafe for anyone to access. All internal roof steelwork showed surface corrosion and roof boarding was decayed extensively due to water ingress.
Victoria Mill is a Grade I listed building and part of the Heritage of England as such it is a protected site and any works carried out would need to be in line with English Heritage and Conservation which would involve a possible re-use of the existing materials where possible. Notching, drilling and chasing for services had to be carried out carefully and planned to minimise damage to historic fabric, and to avoid structural weakening of joists and walls.
Existing roof coverings were removed to expose the structure to allow for the main contractor to carry out much needed structural works to best restore the building to its original state. On removing the existing slates and after much deliberation it was decided to replace the roof covering and use new Welsh Penrhyn slates. The slates were fixed on 50mm x 25 treated lath on Proctor Roofshield breathable underlay onto the new timber roof structure complete with all associated flashings and leadworks. Ashbridge assisted the construction team in producing detailed sketches which were then agreed with the relevant bodies for authorisation to proceed with the works.