A grand building in its day! The site was originally conceived as the National Machine Gun Factory but by the time construction was completed in November 1918 the First World War was over and no machine guns were ever manufactured there. Crosse & Blackwell briefly used the factory for producing pickle (Branston Pickle) between 1920 and 1925 and the Branston Artificial Silk Company produced Rayon there between 1927 and 1930. During the Second World War a major ordnance facility known as the Branston Depot was established on the site: the depot closed in 1961 when operations moved to Bicester. Parts of the site were used for the storage of components for Royal Ordnance between 1964 and 1975 and more recently parts of the site have been developed for housing.
Believe it or not, This place couldn’t give you an MOT anymore.
Designed by Samuel Wyatt, the Grade II Listed Walled Garden was built 1805-06 to replace a kitchen garden that sat closer to the mansion. At the time, this new Walled Garden would have been at the cutting edge of farming innovation, from its trapezoid shape to catch as much sun as possible, to its steam-heated walls for growing peaches and pineapples and the underground mushroom house. It employed around 20 gardeners, six days a week and each earnt 1s 8d a day.
In 1905, George Wade & Son took over rival company Henry Hallen. As the Hallen firm was owned by a distant relation and was founded in 1810, Wade Ceramics (through this) claim to have been established in 1810. In the 1930s, Colonel Sir George Wade gained control of the Wade companies that had previously been run by his father and uncles. He also started further Wade factories, including Wade (Ulster) Ltd in Portadown Following the death of Sir George Wade in 1986 at the age of 94 years and the death of his innovative son George Anthony (Tony) Wade of Leukaemia in 1987, the Wade potteries were taken over by Beauford Plc in 1998 and were renamed Wade Ceramics Ltd. In early 1990s the Irish pottery factory was renamed Seagoe Ceramics and was closed down. Beauford plc’s pottery factories were taken over by a management buyout in 1999 becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Wade Allied Holdings Ltd. Edward Duke former CEO of Beauford became the major shareholder of Wade Allied Holdings and Chairman of Wade Ceramics. His partner, Paul Farmer became Managing Director of Wade. In 2009, Wade Allied Holdings invested £7.9m in a new factory with the latest robotic manufacturing equipment to make ceramic flagons for the whisky industry. The last Wade factory in Burslem was closed in 2010 and sold for housing development.[
Bowman Thompson & Company originally owned the site but was sold in 1900 to Brunner Mond whom with a seven year closure reconstructed the site producing sixty tonnes of soda ash a day. This figure rose to 800 tonnes a day in 1926 with all of the Brunner Mond assets being turned over to ICI. Lostock a coal fired powerstation was decommissioned in 2000 when E.ON built there new Combined Heat & Power plant at Winnington.
The Milford mill complex, built by Jebediah and William Strutt, spanned the A6 toll road, upstream from Milford bridge. Started in the 1780s to spin cotton, it expanded to include bleaching and dyeing mills. William built the warehouse in 1793, experimenting to produce a multi-storey fire-proof mill.The extant dyehouse near the bridge was a later more successful attempt.
McKechnie has been an engineering force in the UK in each of the last three centuries. It built its factory in Middlemore Lane, Aldridge, in 1954. At one stage branches of the company were established in South Africa and New Zealand. It came to specialise in round rod, shaped rod, turned parts and stampings for the water, gas and electrical industries. McKechnie Brass, which was bought out of administration with the backing of West Midlands-based industrial conglomerate Grove… Industries in September 2011, has a history stretching back to 1871, when it was founded by Duncan McKechnie in St Helens. It moved to Birmingham in 1894 and became an early pioneer of brass and copper extrusion. The company went into administration in January 2014 with a loss of around 60 jobs. The fundamental problem with the business was the tightening of scrap material prices throughout 2013. This led to substantial losses, despite a growing order book, significant operational improvements and the establishment of a strong local management team. The Aldridge factory employed around 1,000 people between 1979 and 1987 whilst producing approximately 1,000 tonnes per week, with about 4 extrusion presses in use at any one time, producing around 480,000 extrusions per annum. These presses produced extruded rod, hollow bar & section, in various shapes, sizes & specifications of brass. It supplied the building industry, the military, amongst others, & in the later years produced specialist wire for the railway industry. Raw material, such as swarf, brass in various forms, was […]
The station was first used by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 but was not brought into use for flying until July 1918 by the Royal Air Force. During the inter-war years and continuing through the Second World War until 1950 Upper Heyford was used mainly as a training facility. During the Cold War, Upper Heyford initially served as a base for United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) strategic bombers and later United States Air Forces In Europe (USAFE) tactical reconnaissance, fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft in the UK. Upper Heyford was unique among bases in the United Kingdom as only the flight-line area required military identification to access. The rest of the base, save the commercial facilities, was accessible to military and non-military alike. Upper Heyford was also unique in that the airspace around the base (from the surface to 3500′) was protected by a mandatory radio area (UHMRA) in which private pilots were required to be in contact with the base controllers on frequency 128.55 when flying past or overhead.
Reed’s Board and Paper Mill at Colthrop near Thatcham was a major local employer. Work started on the main building in 1955 and it was completed in 1958. There is very little left of the premises today, but if you’re passing by and it’s a nice day it’s worth a visit.
Daw Mill mined a five-metre thick section of the Warwickshire Coalfield (known as the Warwickshire Thick) in the north of the county. It was owned and operated by UK Coal and in 2008 employed 680 people. The two shafts that served Daw Mill were first sunk between 1956 and 1959, and 1969 and 1971 respectively. The mine was a natural extension of the former collieries Kingsbury and Dexter Colliery, both of which have also closed. In 1983 an inclined tunnel linking underground workings with the surface was completed. This drift miningenabled Daw Mill to increase its production capacity as it removed the often time-consuming process of winding coal up the shafts. Daw Mill was the last surviving mine in a county that once had 20 operating collieries.
Not much to go on here! Lots of fire damage and graffiti in this old place but thought it would be worth a visit before they pulled it down. Also made a hasty exit when we came across a couple of punch bags, chairs and a few big speakers. Seems like someone was getting ready for something!
Not much to go on at this site apart from the fact that it has taken on multiple uses over the years and undergone rebuilding and layout as businesses have changed hands. Nice to see some original features still exist.