Tag Archives: Industrial

Willington Cooling Towers

After construction started in 1959, commissioning started in 1963 and carried on until 1965, this 1 gig coal fired power station was to be the prototype for all large power stations built in the UK. It Had 2 generating sets powered by coal and a gas turbine based on an industrial version of Rolls Royce Avon Engine.

It was originally operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board but after privatisation in 1990 it was operated by National Power. In 1994 the power station closed and the 45 acre site was abandoned.

Much of the power station has since been demolished and now its six cooling towers each 100 m high and 79 m in diameter at the base, two ash slurry hoppers and railway sidings are the only remaining buildings.

There have been several proposals for the site, which include a car distribution depot and a landfill site, both of which have not proven popular with the local residents

Terry’s Chocolate Factory

In 1926, Terry’s Chocolate moved to a purpose-built factory off Bishopthorpe Road York. It was here that some of the most enduring brands were created. All Gold was first produced here in 1930 and the Chocolate Orange in 1931.

In 1939 the Second World War saw a change of use for the factory, F Hills and Sons, a manufacturer and repairer of aircraft propeller blades from Manchester, moved into the factory.

After the war it reverted back to chocolate and in 1975 the company was acquired by United Biscuits. In 1993 Kraft General Foods buys the Terry’s Group from United Biscuits and joins it with Jacobs Suchard to create Terry’s Suchard.

In 2004 Kraft announces the closure of the York site and on September 30, 2005, the factory closes it’s doors for the final time with production moving to mainland Europe.


John Marston was born in Ludlow, Shropshire in 1836, at 15 he was sent to Wolverhampton to be apprenticed to Edward Perry as a japanware manufacturer. 8 years later, he left and set up his own company: John Marston ltd.

In 1897 they began making bicycles and Sunbeam was born, consequently the Paul street factory in Wolverhampton was named Sunbeamland.

In 1905 the Sunbeam Motor Car Company Ltd was born, but when a slump affected the car industry in 1912, they where pushed into producing motorcycles and following on from their bicycle production the motorcycles where of a very high quality.

After the First World War, the company was sold to a consortium, in 1927 this consortium was amalgamated to include I.C.I.

In 1937 AMC purchased the Sunbeam motorcycle trademark and moved the production to London. I.C.I who kept ownership of the building, proceeded to manufacture radiators for cars and aircraft at this site.

Sleaford Bass Maltings

The site was purchased by Bass Ratcliff & Greeton Ltd in 1901, and building commenced to the design of Mr H A Couchman, an architect responsible for previous Bass projects.

Construction spanned six years, starting with the engine house and associated buildings, and finishing with the smaller ancillary buildings such as the manager’s cottages, dining halls, and the administrative offices, the Maltings cost around £350,000 to complete. Its eight massive malt houses, central water tower, and tall chimney dominate the skyline.

The malt production finally ceased in 1959.

In 1973 the Sleaford Bass Maltings were purchased by a local firm, GW Padley (Property) Ltd who utilised it for chicken rearing and vegetable processing, but the chicken rearing came to end during the 1990’s.

Considered to be of special architectural and historical interest, the Sleaford Bass Maltings were to become Grade II listed in 1974.

Rutland Cutlery

Rutland cutlery, who was part of the Osbourne Tableware Group, was a blade grinding and polishing company located in Sheffield south Yorkshire.

It was due to celebrate 300 years of trading in late 2009 but was unexpectedly put into receivership in January 2009.

Six months earlier it was acquired by two local businessmen who had ambitious plans to put the company (better known as Nickel Blanks) back on its feet bringing all of its five subsidiaries together under one roof at Meadowhall Sheffield.

The site you see here was the Rutland Cutlery side of the group.

Rockwood Pigments

The point of note for this site is that the entrance to ‘Side Mine’ is located within the grounds. The Side Mine was opened as a show cavern between 1825-1845. The mining finished when the owner gave up his attempt to drain the workings of water.

The site that the colour works sits on, is composed of mine waste from the Side Mine, the owner erected a water wheel of 80hp, capable of raising 1000 gals per hour, this was then used to grind barytes for the paint industry, just as the industry was demanding a cheap alternative to white lead.

Record Marples

The earliest recorded (so far) mention of ‘Marples’ is about the 1540’s, in Baslow, Derbyshire.

There the family stayed until about 1750, when they moved to Sheffield.

The years 1772 & 1774 saw the birth of two sons, William & Robert, both of whom were listed as Joiners tool makers. William’s son, William (b. 1809) was most likely the founder of the firm William Marples & Sons (also joined by George Marples), later becoming Record Marples. The other son Robert (b. 1801), produced the first of the long line of Joseph Marples (b. 1801). This Joseph being the founder of our company in 1840. During this period there were no less than seven Marples’ companies operating out of Sheffield, all somehow being related.

Millbrook Goods Yard

In 1932, a private railway siding was added on a loop of the LNWR Line at Millbrook, known as the Micklehurst Loop to serve Hartshead Power Station in order to facilitate the handling of coal.

The sidings were capable of holding some 130, 10 -12 ton wagons with provision for 100 full and 30 empty. A fireless steam locomotive, which is charged with steam through a pipeline at a pressure of 200 psi, was used for shunting purposes and the locomotive could travel 9 miles with one charge.

There were two 20 wagon tippers, and modern automatic weighbridges, meaning incorrect weighing of coal was impossible.

The coal was fed into an underground hopper before being transported by an underground conveyor to an overhead enclosed conveyor which ran over the River Tame and Huddersfield Canal to the power station.

The loop closed in 1968 but the sidings continued in use until 1975 when Hartshead power station finally closed.

Low Bradfield Water Treatment Works

Built in 1950, the original water treatment plant supplied water to the south western outer reaches of Sheffield, through Ringinglow and Rud Hill service reservoirs.

It consisted of 7 horizontal pressure filters, capable of an average output of 16,000 cubic metres a day, with a maximum of 18,400 cubic metres a day. In 1983 a 15,000 cubic metre clear water tank was added.

In 1986 the water was found to contain excessive iron and aluminium levels and by April 1988 a new Sirofloc process was in operation, it was the first of its kind outside of Australia. The new plant represented a major advancement in the development of a new type of treatment process for drinking water.