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To: Mark Dickinson, General Secretary, and John Lang, Chair of Trustees, Nautilus International

Save Andrew Gibson House in Wirral!

You did it! The tide of public support and the goodwill of Wirral Council and Nautilus in response to SAVE's campaign and the Echo's coverage has brought forth a deal to save this much-loved building - an amazing 11th hour rescue package. Well done!

Please do not demolish this fine Edwardian building and Mersey Maritime monument to Britain's mariners and their widows. It is a perfect candidate for imaginative reuse - we call on you to save it for posterity.

Why is this important?

Seafarers’ union Nautilus has applied to demolish this grand Edwardian home for sailors' widows, which stands on the River Mersey opposite Liverpool’s famous waterfront World Heritage Site.

The imposing brick and stone Andrew Gibson House was completed in 1906 to provide a sanctuary for the widows of elderly sailors and men lost at sea, and was the gift of a wealthy Liverpool cotton merchant.

Built by individual philanthropy and maintained by the collective contributions of individual Union members, the building represents a unique piece of Britain's maritime and welfare history.

It stands in its own landscaped grounds with unrivalled waterfront views and is owned by the merchant navy union Nautilus, formerly NUMAST, that has managed the building and its extensive Marine Park retirement and convalescent estate for over a century.

Until about a decade ago the building was in use, but it has since been left empty and has become increasingly derelict.

Nautilus has now applied to the local authority, Wirral MBC, for prior approval to demolish the complex. The Council will meet to determine the decision in the next two weeks. Surprisingly, the building is unlisted, and the prominent site is likely to be sold for the development of waterside flats.

The building has already demonstrated that it is ideal for repurposing to apartments, indeed the local authority has already granted permission for conversion, and has approved permission for some enabling development on the grounds.

We urge Nautilus to work with the local authority, Wirral MBC, that supports renovation. In addition, there has been interest from several developers and at least three housing associations to convert the building.

The building remains in essentially good order, requiring mainly remedial works to its roof and services, and it would be inexplicable and inexcusable for Nautilus to knock it down.

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL





2016-12-15 09:59:34 +0000

Petition is successful with 5,698 signatures

2016-05-13 12:54:56 +0100

BBC Radio interviewed SAVE supporter Jonathan Brown outside Andrew Gibson House on Wednesday morning (11th May) . You can listen here, 1h 23m 50s in:

2016-05-06 23:12:40 +0100

You did it! The tide of public support and the goodwill of Wirral Council and Nautilus in response to SAVE's campaign and the Echo's coverage has brought forth a deal to save this much-loved building - an amazing 11th hour rescue package.

Liverpool Echo, 6th May 2016, Maritime Landmark to be Saved and Converted into Flats:

“If the investor does prove able and willing to renovate Andrew Gibson House, then both Nautilus and Wirral Council deserve credit for an outbreak of goodwill that brokered a rescue package when all seemed lost.”

“Thanks are especially due to the ECHO and the thousands of people who signed our petition, many of whom also wrote in to support this Merseyside maritime landmark.” Campaigner Jonathan Brown.

Liverpool Echo, 25th March 2016:

2016-01-08 00:11:24 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2015-02-06 12:25:29 +0000

More fantastic coverage in today's Liverpool Echo - here's a link to the article - feel free to comment:

2015-02-05 17:32:35 +0000

Some great detective work from @Liverpool1207 and @SharetheCity on twitter, along with Dave Cornett of @SnowArchitects, has yielded several important buildings designed by A.P. Fry.

One of these, the Gregson Memorial Institute in Wavertree, L15, was spot-listed at the request of SAVE's Northern Caseworker Jonathan Brown back in 2008, on the day Liverpool's planning committee gave permission for demolition. We had no idea Andrew Gibson House was by the same architect as the Gregson, and this will add great weight to the case for listing.

Gregson details:

Spotlisting story:

2015-02-05 15:19:29 +0000

Just heard the good news that English Heritage have agreed to re-look at listing the building! They initially refused on the grounds they turned down listing about 10 years ago - but have been persuaded to re-think by Liverpool's former World Heritage Site officer John Hinchliffe.

We now know the name of the architects - H and A P Fry of 18 Hackins Hey, Liverpool. Any information on their other buildings would be appreciated.

2015-01-30 13:00:18 +0000

We've been overwhelmed by the public's support for saving Andrew Gibson House - 2,300 signatories in less than two days is incredible. We really hope the weight of opinion makes Nautilus rethink demolition.

There are a few interesting pictures of the building on this 'Urban Exploration' website:

2015-01-29 20:25:23 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2015-01-29 18:22:56 +0000

Great coverage of the campaign thanks to Isabelle Fraser in the Liverpool Echo:

2015-01-29 18:06:36 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-01-29 17:56:52 +0000

Your response has been astonishing - 466 signatures on the petition which was only posted yesterday. Thank you! It has prompted this response from Nautilus, tweeted by General Secretary Mark Dickinson @MDickinson1262 :

Requests have been made to see evidence of the 'structural challenges' claimed by Nautilus.

2015-01-28 23:37:23 +0000

Amazed and grateful you've helped us hit over 100 names and counting on the first day of our petition! Here's a link to the press release issued by SAVE this afternoon - please share, RT etc.:

2015-01-28 23:29:09 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-01-28 17:29:45 +0000

50 signatures reached