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.

Lincoln Castings

An iron foundry in North Hykeham, with a production capacity of approximately 80,000 tonnes of castings annually, they manufactured high quality iron casting components in nodular and grey iron for the international automotive, tractor and construction machinery industries.

The furnaces burnt coke to melt iron but as coke is a fossil fuel, Lincoln Castings hit upon a solution, the company developed a unique method of using waste tyres to supplement coke in the foundry. The furnace then operated with a mixture of 25% tyres and 75% coke, equating to more than one-third of a million waste tyres being controllably burned annually. The tyres were sourced within Lincolnshire and the sophisticated gas cleaning plant ensured that emissions to the atmosphere were unaffected.

Lincoln Castings pioneering project helped the environment on many levels: reducing the quantity of coke required, reducing the transport of coke, dealing with the problem of waste tyres, and the resulting cost savings help secure local jobs for the future. This last statement is a bit ironic, because in February 2007 the plant closed.

Litchfield Maltings

Wolverhampton and Dudley’s Lichfield Maltings, was originally part of a brewery owned by ‘The City Brewery Company’ that was established in 1874.

The Maltings were built in 1891 to designs by George Scamell of Westminster. In 1916 a fire closed the brewery and in 1917 the company was taken over by Wolverhampton and Dudley.

The modern storage unit was added in the 1970’s. At the time of closure in 2005 there were five employees.

Langwith Mill

A four storey cotton mill built in 1760, powered by the river Poulter via a mile long contoured canal from Langwith Lodge Lake.

Originally the mill was sixteen windows wide, which must have made it one of the largest mills in the district.

Cotton spinning ceased in about 1848 and the building was converted into a corn mill in 1886. It is built in limestone with a slate roof, alongside was a large dam for water power supply, now a meadow.

Langwith Mill is a curtilage building to the Grade II listed Langwith Mill House and a building of local interest in its own right.

Holme Bank Chert Mine

Holme Bank mine was opened in early 1800 and worked up to 1960.

There are many workings within the site and it is notable for the large packwalls used to support the roof after the chert beds had been removed. It later became known as Smith’s Mine after a later owner who operated the mine, they also manufactured Davie blocks on the site for building and continued to do so on site up to about 1995.

Hartlepool Magnesia

In 1937 The Steetley Manufacturing Company built a pilot plant, it was known as the Palliser Works, named after the wartime fortifications that were there. The British Periclase Company was incorporated and a full-scale commercial magnesia plant was erected.

When war broke out in 1939, Hartlepool was the only source of magnesia in Britain and was sold under the name of Britmag.

In 1941 the plant was under government ownership, in 1952 it was passed back to its original owners.

1992 saw the company come under ownership of Redland plc, Magnesia was never part of Redlands’ business strategy and the plant was sold in 1997 and renamed Britmag. This company traded until the end of 2001 and then went into administration in January 2002. The site was reborn as CJC Chemicals in April 2002 without the refractory production units. CJC Chemicals ceased production June 2005. For more information please visit: www.magworks.co.uk

Hams Hall ‘B’ Control Room

Hams Hall B Power Station was planned in 1937. It began generating electricity in 1942. Between 1946 and 1949 the station was expanded, this increased the generating capacity to 160,500kW. Its water was cooled by four cooling towers.

The station used Parsons Alternators and December 1945 a corroded metal connection between the chimneys and boilers was the cause of a complaint of pollution. The connection was finally replaced in 1948 and until that time the pollution continued.

At the time of closure in 1981 Hams Hall B was generating 306 MW. Its four cooling towers were demolished in November 1985, with chimney number 2 going down in September 1988.

The main control room is an isolated building with a duodecagonal roof and is all that is left of the site.

George Barnsley

Founded in 1836,the original factory was situated on Kelham Island, Sheffield, one of the oldest industrial areas in Sheffield and they specialised in forge filing and cutting tools for leather workers and shoe makers.

In 1837 they were listed in the Sheffield directory as a file manufacture situated on Wheeldon Street.

In 1852 they were to relocate to Cornish works and by this time they had increased there product range to include butchers knives and steel files.

In 1883 George Barnsley was made a Master Cutler.

They are again listed in 1944 as manufactures of files and blades shoe knives and leather workers tools. In the 1948 listing, the business had become George Barnsley and Son Ltd. The company finally ceased trading around 2004.

Forest Mills

John Lawson Thackeray, (later mayor of Nottingham 1854-55 and 1865-66) moved down from Manchester in the 1780’s, he established what we call the Forest Mills factory some time in the early to mid 1800’s, just as the industrial revolution was in full flow, machines were putting people out of work and in 1811, a movement was formed by workers in the lace and hosiery industry in Nottingham, known as the Luddites. Factories and machinery, where being destroyed by this group of protesters but the government used the militia or army to protect industry, rioters who were caught were tried and hanged, or transported for life.

After the protests ended in the 1830’s, John Thackeray set about producing lace to a high standard and quality, he was rewarded in 1851 when at the Great Exhibition, his lace was awarded a gold medal which subsequently gained him a full order book.

As the demands for lace declined, Thackeray’s failure to upgrade machinery to modern standards forced the factory to finally close in 1950.

Dove Creamery

In the 1870’s the Duke of Devonshire founded the Dove Creamery in Hartington (later to be come known as The Hartinginton Cheese Factory) which produced a white crumbly Derbyshire cheese until 1894, when a fire partially destroyed the building. In 1900 Mr Thomas Nuttall took over the company and began producing Blue Stilton Cheese and was one of only 3 companies producing this cheese in the UK. The company was finally taken over and expanded by his son Mr John M Nuttall and in the 1920/30’s Hartington cheese was supplied to King George V by Royal Warrant. In 1930’s the Hartington creamery was acquired by the Milk Marketing Board and so became part of what was later known as Dairy Crest.

2001 saw a massive expenditure program that lasted until 2004, this included a ‘continuous vat production system’ that would replace traditional cheese making processes. This was the only one of its kind in the UK and was referred to as the’Continuous Coagulator’. Long Clawson Dairy acquired the creamery in August 2008 for the sum of 3.5M. The site finally closed in march 2009 with the loss of 150 jobs.