Railway Warehouse built for the Great Northern Railway at their Friar Gate Station 1877-78 by Kirk & Randall of Sleaford. Red brick and Welsh slate and glazed roofs with three brick stacks to east. Unusual plan of rectangular warehouse with triangular office block with a mezzanine floor to the east. Two and three storeys, over a basement. Double chamfered plinth, moulded corbelled eaves cornice. South elevation of twenty-one bays divided into groups of three by giant pilaster strips. The centre bay has a segmental arched entrance, otherwise the ground floor has segment headed windows with metal casements. Similar windows above except for two bays with double doors and two bays with bracketed out timber hoist structures under oversailing gables, one partly demolished. West elevation of 1-4-1 bays with mostly segment headed windows and a large tripartite railway entrance under riveted box girder. Bays one and five step forward. North elevation is similar to the south, but of 27 bays. The east end forms part of the offices and has three storeys with six segment headed sashes to each floor. Rounded corner to acute north east angle with tripartite arrangement of sashes to each floor. South east elevation of 2-2-5-2-2 bays. The outer pairs have two segment headed windows to three floors. The centre five bays have 1 similar windows above a large opening under a riveted box girder. The office block with rounded acute angle was built to front onto the proposed approach road from Friary Street to Friar Gate [...]
From the T.G.Green website ‘Cornish Kitchen Ware was first produced in 1926 by T.G.Green & Co in Church Gresley, Derbyshire, a county famed for its pottery. The range’s special characteristic came from the lathe-turning process, which cut clean bands through its beautiful blue slip to show the white clay beneath. It was apparently this that inspired the name, since it reminded one T.G.Green & Co. employee of the clear blues and white-tipped waves of Cornwall. The range of kitchen and table ware, from the hooped plates to the iconic storage jars, was an immediate success and remained popular from then on. This inspired T.G.Green & Co. to produce more colours of Cornishware, and more ranges, including the spotted Domino Ware and the cream and green Streamline Ware In the 1960s, Cornishware was updated by a young designer called Judith Onions. It says much for her skill and sensitivity that this restyled range was embraced as warmly as the originals had been. Over the past 20 years, the range has become highly prized by collectors, with the sighting of both rare original designs and Onions classics the subject of much excitement – and ever-increasing prices. The story was not so happy for T.G.Green & Co. itself, however. It had become increasingly difficult for the Victorian pottery in Derbyshire to compete in the modern age and, after a series of owners had done their best since the Green family sold it in 1964, it finally closed in 2007.’
In the 1950s, two coal-fired power stations were built on a site off Twyford Road, between Willington and Findern. The stations were privatised and sold off toNational Power in the early 1990s and eventually closed in the mid 1990s. Although most of the stations were demolished at the turn of the millennium, the five imposing cooling towers continue to dominate the skyline of the local area. The site is earmarked for a large residential development, pending the results of a public inquiry. The construction plans have been met with local opposition, perhaps due to the site’s proximity to the River Trent’s flood plain. In the mid 1990s, a pair of peregrine falcons nested in one of the site’s huge cooling towers. Unlike many bird of prey breeding sites, this was widely publicised because of its impregnable location.
The Derby Hippodrome is a purpose built theatre opened in 1914 as a 2,300 capacity Variety house. It was converted in 1930 into an 1,800 seat cinema, becoming a theatre once more for only 9 years until 1959. Three years later the theatre was purchased by Mecca Group who converted the theatre into a Bingo Social Club and was later purchased by Walker’s Bingo Group. Walkers Bingo ceased operations rather suddenly and in 2007 sold the theatre to Mr Christopher Anthony, a Property Developer. Local people expressed concern as to the theatre’s future through the pages of the Derby Evening Telegraph and through the winter of late 2007- early 2008 the paper reported numerous incidents of vandalism to the building and pointed to the fact that the vandals could gain entry to the building with apparent ease. Continued deterioration prompted a local businessman to make an offer to purchase the building from Mr Anthony, but the offer was rejected and in February 2008 an arson attack caused damage to the orchestra pit area of the theatre. The following month the Derby Evening Telegraph published shocking photographs of the wrecked interior. The pictures published in the Telegraph edition of Wednesday March 19th showed that the entire dress circle balcony had been removed and all its plaster work destroyed. Elsewhere much of the decorative plaster work around the auditorium had disappeared including large sections of the proscenium arch. Remains of the plaster mouldings on the floor suggested that the damage was the [...]
Made a return visit over the weekend, to see if much has changed in a year. It hasent but we got some nice shots all the same. The last two operational chert mines in Derbyshire were the Pretoria Mine and Holme Bank Mine, both at Bakewell. Pretoria opened in 1902. Access was from adits in a quarry at Bank Top and the steep workings extended beneath the road to connect with the earlier Greenfield shaft. The chert bed lies on a 1 in 3.7 gradient and the mine was subject to flooding in severe winters. Illumination was by mains electricity in addition to carbide lamps carried by the miners. The first report can be found here
We decided to go back to Middleton for another look around, over a year after out first visit. We where not disappointed. The original report can be found here.
A bit of a different report this time, a guided tour. For 3 days this year the Heights of Abraham decided to open up the deeper levels of the Great Masson caves. These appear to be trials in the hope to make this a more regular event. The tour took us, first into the usual show caves, before branching off to the deeper parts behind a big iron door. Plenty of interesting geological structures, but perhaps more interesting to us urban explorers a fair amount of structures and artefacts left behind from the caves lead mining days. The tour had us crawling through gaps, sliding down slopes and squelching through mud, all whilst being given a highly informative history of the system by the head guide Tony Wood (Chairman of the Peak Mine Historical Society). I would recommend keeping an eye out for this event in the future.
Middleton Mine is the only underground Limestone mine in the UK. The mine itself is split over three levels and stretches a staggering 22 miles underground. Its unclear when the mine originally opened but its origins date back to when one part of it was used for lead mining. It was only in the 1900s that the mine turned to Limestone mining. This place was truly massive, just the size of the main tunnels is breath taking. We most likely didn’t event cover a 5th of the mines on our trip here, as we where quite wary of getting lost in the huge amount of tunnels. Anyway on with the photos Update: We made a return visit here in march 2011, take a look at it here.
The last two operational chert mines in Derbyshire were the Pretoria Mine and Holme Bank Mine, both at Bakewell. Pretoria opened in 1902. Access was from adits in a quarry at Bank Top and the steep workings extended beneath the road to connect with the earlier Greenfield shaft. The chert bed lies on a 1 in 3.7 gradient and the mine was subject to flooding in severe winters. Illumination was by mains electricity in addition to carbide lamps carried by the miners. Permission may be obtained to visit this mine.