Construction of the glass factory began in 1919 but it apparently opened in 1922 at great cost to the Pilkington company which was established in 1826 over in St Helens. The site was chosen due to its canal side location and access to local coal and sand. In 1923 Pilkington’s, in collaboration with Ford in the States, developed a continuous flow process for the manufacture of glass plate and a method of continuous grinding. However in the 1950′s Pilkington’s developed the “float” method of glass production (the molten glass is poured onto a bath of molten tin at 1000C). This was much cheaper as it did not require the grinding and polishing processes. Pilkington’s quickly set about converting all their factories to this new technology with the exception of the Doncaster plant which retained the old method of production. At its peak the factory had around 3,000 employees but by 1966 the plant was only running at 56% capacity and eventually the doors closed in 2008. The site was then sold in 2009 and has remained abandoned ever since. I’m not sure what the plans are for the site but there certainly doesn’t seem to be any signs that the area is to be redeveloped.
The building was last inhabited around ten years ago by a Doctor who would appear to have had an interest in Hi Fi and classic vehicles. The place is still full up with reminders of the Doctors life, and it would appear that someone has tried to make an effort restoring the Manor but cancelled before much work was undertaken for some reason.
Im sure there is plenty of information flying about the internet concerning this place, so i wont bore you with the details. ‘Berkyn Manor was originally owned by Berkyn’ family. Earnest Rayner was the last owner from 1945 up to his death in 1987 aged 96.’ On a cold November morning (3am) we snuck through the ‘dreaded bull field’ cameras and sleeping bags in tow. Stories flying through my head about the raging ‘guard bull’ and farmers with guns. This night however we where lucky, it seems. We made it into the house and immediately have a quick scope of our surroundings, not wanting to be spotted by our torches and it being a cloudy night, there wasnt a lot to see (quite literally). We would have to wait until fist light before we could explore further. Voorhees and I made your way into the windowless basement, and pulling the box of candles out of my bag, we soon had the room well lit and heated. We layed down our cardboard box sleeping mats, get into our sleeping bags and tried to get some sleep. 5 hours later we where up with the sun and ready to see what this place had in store for us, we where not disappointed!
Broadoaks Manor was built in 1876 by Ernest Seth Smith for his brother Charles, and then by Sir Charles Tennant (M.P.) from 1898-1911, then in 1911 the Charrington (Brewing) family aquired it. Later acquired by the MOD who used it until the early 00’s.
Jameah Islameah School was an independent Islamic school in East Sussex. The school was located on a 54 acre site and had residential facilities to house male students aged 11 to 16. The school was independently owned and the proprietor functioned as the principal. In December, 2005, Jameah Islameah was inspected by the Office for Standards in Education which noted that it “does not provide a satisfactory education for its pupils.” At the time of the inspection, the school had nine students. According to BBC News the school purported to teach students to become Islamic leaders, training them to the level high enough to teach in local Masajeds and Madares. There had been allegations that the school was used in the training and recruitment of terrorists. According to testimony from Al Qaeda suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, in 1997 and 1998, Abu Hamza[disambiguation needed] and groups of around 30 of his followers held terrorist training camps at the school, including training with AK47 rifles and handguns, as well as a mock rocket launcher. In 2003 or 2004, the grounds of the school were used for an Islamic-themed camping trip, at which Omar Bakri Mohammed lectured. The trip, which was advertised by word-of-mouth, was attended by 50 Muslim men, most of whom were members of al-Muhajiroun. Bakri claimed the activities at the camp included lectures on Islam, football, and paintballing. On 1 September 2006 the Jameah Islameah school was searched by up to a hundred police officers as part of their […]
Lillesden Girls School occupies what used to be the Lillesden Estate Mansion, built at the estate (south of Hawkhurst) by the banker Edward Loyd, who co-founded the Loyd Entwistle & Co bank, which later became the District Bank and ultimately the National Westminster (Natwest). Loyd had Lillesden Mansion built after he married Caroline Louisa Foster on the 12th March 1846 at Ashton-on-Mersey. He bought the Lillesden estate at Hawkhurst, Kent in 1853 and built the mansion, finished in 1855.
Sandwell College – Evening classes in science and art were established in 1846 by the Chance family at the schools attached to their Spon Lane glass-works. An institute formed at the works in 1852 flourished for almost twenty years. John Henderson of the London Works formed a library and reading room in the Cape Hill district and was patron of an institute which met there in the mid 1850s, while a few years later Joseph Chamberlain was fostering adult education at Nettlefold & Chamberlain’s Smethwick works. St. Matthew’s Church had some 140 pupils at an evening school in 1870, and Holy Trinity Church organized evening classes about the same date. Smethwick Institute, formed in 1887, met at the higher grade school in Crockett’s Lane. For a few years after its foundation its activities included evening classes. It closed in the later 1920s. Another institute was meeting at Bearwood in the 1880s. The school board constituted itself a local committee of the Science and Art Department in 1885 and organized evening classes in science and art at the higher grade school in Crockett’s Lane. In 1892 a technical instruction committee was set up consisting of members of the local board and the school board. It took over the management of the science and art classes, forming them into a municipal technical school. The school board members withdrew from the committee in 1898, and from 1899 the whole committee was appointed by the town council. The technical school continued to meet in […]