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Report - An day in Derbyshire aggregates - June 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by thompski, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. thompski

    thompski Leggy brunette
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    Sorry for the non-standard title, however I think these two work better together as they're both down the road from each other and seemed related in the nature of the explore.

    So one day a merry band of clayhead's from Stoke and the slightly weirder Derbyshire folk met up in some rural backwater of Derbyshire called 'Weston Underwood' a tiny village on some B-road between Ashbourne and Derby which despite being only seven miles away from, I'd never heard of it. Surprisingly the local bus company operate an hourly service through here!

    I passed through the area a few months ago, and spotted a curious looking place which I later realised was in my research file. Tarmac Topfloor (a subsidiary of Tarmac) produce concrete products such as floors and staircases for the construction industry and according to my research ceased producing them in Derbyshire two years ago.

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    Being such a lovely day, it seemed right for a recce, within minutes recce turned to access to the main building on site. The site was believed to be semi-live with 200 staff on site as the head office of Topfloor (production taking place in Norfolk these days). I noticed a large quantity of the concrete floors produced here dominated the vast site, however assumed it was used for storage.

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    Going inside...
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    Initial thoughts were that it was simply used as storage for vehicles, however had looked like they were recently used. Either way I blatted a few shots off.

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    On one side of the warehouse was a number of covered concrete floors which I assumed were produced in this building prior to closure. One of the chaps from Stoke noted that heat was emitting from these.

    Turns out they were still being dried :confused

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    "You know how I said this was abandoned two years ago? Well..."
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    Then we heard voices, and then loitered around inside chatting for a few minutes and then retired to the lovely sunny day outdoors.

    We took a few shots of some cement making machinery attached to the outside of the building, unlike the main building, these had been disused some time.... possibly two years?
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    One of Derbyshire's big industries is quarrying, and its hard to travel through the county without finding a working one. Tarmac, La Farge and Hanson have big operations around here, especially the North of the county.

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    In the nearby village was one such example, nothing particularly amazing as far as quarry machinery goes but worth a nose while we were nearby.

    This Hanson operated affair, unlike the Topfloor facility up the road, was believed to be fully operational. Appearing unstaffed, it was rude not to pop in for a quick wander. And we did.

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    Upon further inspection, we found while the site is still used, the quarry machinery has long since been decommissioned, and access to the primary crusher was prohibited for health and safety reasons.

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    And then, a van pulled up outside the gate. We were inside the crusher at the time, however one chap was on the ground and luckily out of sight. A gentleman got out the van dressed in casual clothes armed with a DSLR and a telephoto lens and snapped a few shots of the site before driving down the lane.

    We called it a day and I took a photo of some CAT 972G loaders on the way out. I'd have kept my distance but alas was shooting at 10mm.
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    We walked down the lane back to our cars, the van was pulled up besides the road. The chap got out, camera round neck (a 450D for the geardos amongst you).

    "You shouldn't be trespassing, you could have sued us if you got hurt"
    "Well we didn't get hurt and we're leaving"
    "Right, well we got you on camera, we will show it to the police"
    "Fine, bye"

    Well I think that's how the conversation went.

    The gentleman was kind enough to snap some shots of us from a distance as we chucked out stuff back in the cars, we waved and smiled and he got back in his car, drove about two yards and got out to chat with the woman in the nearby house.

    We drove past and he took more photos, so I gave him my default "uncomfortable with people taking my photo because I always look like a prat" pose of two thumbs up and pulling a silly face inspired by a childhood of watching Jim Carey films and Mr Bean.

    And that was that.... a rather odd day, but demonstrating the relative ease of visiting live industrial concerns in rural areas.
     

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