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Suspected WWII bomb damage: who to confirm before sale?

(9 Posts)
plutocrap Sun 29-Jul-12 20:20:52

We have just got the full building surveyor's report on a house we want to buy, and there are some potential structural issues. DH is flipping out about subsidence, but I've found at least one V bomb site in te adjoining road (and it's by the railway) so I want us to be alive to this possibility as well.

Is it a question a structural engineer could settle? Should we raise it with the solicitors for their searches, too?

tricot39 Sun 29-Jul-12 21:42:10

if you are in London the metropolitan archives keep the London bomb maps. you can see where bombs landed and when; plus the damage recorded to various properties in the area.

i don't know about outside London so speak to your local history library.

it is something that a structural engineer would advise on and might be best to commission a report if subsistence is a possibility or there are a few things raised by the surveyor.

good luck.

plutocrap Sun 29-Jul-12 22:33:30

Thank you so much! smile

tricot39 Sun 29-Jul-12 22:41:35

if you commission an engineer then they will/should have access to bomb maps so you wouldn't have to look.

PigletJohn Mon 30-Jul-12 12:33:59

that's interesting
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4655437.stm

some of them seem to be online www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/maps-bomb-census-survey.htm but it doesn't look easy to search

tricot39 Mon 30-Jul-12 12:55:25

We have a copy of the book in our office now, but used to have to visit the LMA before 2005.
www.amazon.co.uk/London-County-Council-Damage-1939-45/dp/0902087517

A word of caution is that the maps are not 100% accurate. Obviously in the chaos it was amazing any records were kept but sometimes damaged properties are not indicated and vice versa.

motherofallhangovers Mon 30-Jul-12 16:32:52

I grew up in a road in London where the houses opposite were bombed in the war (later to be replaced by a small estate).

The houses on our side sustained a bit of damage apparently but not too bad.

When my parents did some renovations in the 1980s they stripped the wall paper - the first time it had been done since the war apparently. Under several layers of paper was a massive crack, stuffed full of newpapers from 1943!

The wall was filled and the newpapers rescued and put in a frame, problem solved smile

I hope yours is as easy to put right!

plutocrap Mon 30-Jul-12 18:18:39

I don't think the house itself was hit; it's more the shockwave/possible ground shock (?) I thought might have been responsible for the cracks rather than subsidence, which I thought would be a worse problem because it's potentially ongoing...? (Though it's true that this house is on a hill....)

We used to live in a part of London which got a few bombs (also because of the railway), and a friend turned down viewing of a Victorian house which had been adjacent to a bombed out and replaced house (her father saw the facade and "nay-said" it).

Although the surveyor will have access to all of this, it is interesting to know ourselves, too!

We probably won't end up wth a story like yours, though, motherofallhangovers, as if the damage is too bad (or if we find bad equally-old but less-historic damp or rot), we won't buy. sad

plutocrap Thu 27-Sep-12 15:13:42

Hi, all.

Apologies for coming back to this so late, but we only recently got the structural engineer's survey back and digested it.

There may indeed have been bomb damage. Or subsidence. Or something else. Whatever it was, there was something, and the engineer reckoned we could be stuck with high insurance premiums forever, and have difficulty selling, so advised us not to buy.

Thanks very much for all your feedback.

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