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In the footsteps of....

Selling Fort Gilkicker in Gosport earlier this year was obviously an interesting experience, and not just from the point of view of the mechanics of selling such an unusual Lot, for it is not every day that one gets free rein to wander about such a building, steeped in what is relatively recent history.



Sadly, after donkey’s years of neglect by successive public and private sector owners, the building was in a very poor state of repair and far from its once pristine military condition.

Walking around the Fort it was easy to imagine and visualise those who had walked in the same spot in years gone by, perhaps on guard duty, with the well-trod stone steps slightly eroded in the middle from the hundreds of thousands of boots that had been up and down them over the previous 150 plus years.

I found myself wondering what the former commanding officers, or indeed any of the officers and men who had been based at the Fort might have made of the heavily weeded and litter strewn parade ground, where doubtless immaculately dressed soldiers had once paraded or what they would have made of the graffiti covered walls and other acts of mindless vandalism that have scarred what was once their place of work and home.



I have commented in the past on how fortunate my colleagues and I are to do a job with so much variety, both in terms of the people we meet and, of course, the huge variety of property that we get to see.

The very nature of our business means that the types of property we regularly get to look at, such as Fort Gilkicker, often have an interesting back story.

Standing at the front of an old church, one cannot help but consider all the weddings, funerals and christenings that have taken place in that very spot.  Or, when standing at the bar in a ‘down on its luck’ and closed down pub, imagining the busy Friday nights, the parties, the wakes and maybe the odd marriage proposal or punch up thrown in for good measure!



In the same way that the soldiers stationed at Fort Gilkicker would not have believed the condition of the place in 2022, neither I am sure would the parishioners at the closed church have ever expected their place of worship would one day be redundant, nor the regulars at The Red Lion have thought that call of “last orders” really was very last orders.

Equally, in twenty or thirty-years’ time, when all of these buildings have been repurposed, those walking in my 2022 footsteps will doubtless find it hard to visualise just what I could see when looking at their building in 2022.

Without wishing to get overly profound, this does bring home just how in the moment we all live from day to day, while Father Time waits for none of us and is on the march inexorably!

Are you selling an unusual property? Selling by auction is often the best way to connect with interested buyers. Read our guide on selling property by auction here.


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