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Report - British Nylon Spinners - Pontypool - Oct 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Speed, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    I posted a lead on this site about a year ago now but there was no interest from anyone. I wasn't really surprised but i knew it was worth the effort and eventually found time to give it at least some of the attention it deserves. This amazing 1950s factory dominates the local landscape and i was in love as soon as i clapped eyes on it. Its just OLD, classic 50s industry, not just a factory but a head quarters, research centre and of course social centre all in one place. That said don't get to excited as nowadays the site has mostly been reused. The offices have been taken over by various companies (including the police!), the social club is now all but demolished and the factories ground floor has been crudely transformed into a distribution warehouse (all be it one that cant afford lighting!). That said i knew from just looking at the place there would be something to see and i was right!

    Rather than copy and paste your usual history off the internet i bought a book on the place and can give you a bit of a summery myself. Want to know how to find these places time and time again? Its simple really, get interested in the places, not the just the exploring!

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    The works were built in the late 1940s to replace earlier factories in Coventry and Stowmarket that had sustained damage during the war. If it isn't obvious from the name the plants main function was the spinning of nylon fibres to be woven into new 'artificial fabrics'. Some were further processed on warping looms to be used on modern weaving machinery and some simply bailed up for use in the original machinery of traditional Yorkshire woollen mills. Raw nylon material was manufactured at a new ICI plant on Teeside and transported down to South Wales for processing. BNS ceased to exist in the mid 1960s and the plant fell under the ICI brand for many years before being sold to Du Pont and latterly coming under the wing of a company called Terram (although it appears by this point only a small area of the works remained in use.)

    This was really more of a infiltration than a traditional 'derelict building experience'. As so much of the site has been reused there is really no option to sneak about too much so we simply used a bit of social engineering. We bypassed the main security hut and found ourself on site were it was possible to 'get to know the locals' a little. After asking around a few people we had a name of the man we needed (or should i say, should have needed) to see but in reality a 10 minute hide around the corner and a few thumbs up to the man on the forklift was all that was needed and we were in!

    The obvious target was the main 'spinning tower' which was a bit of a mystery, what was in there? Boiler house? Spinning machines? It turned out to be storage bunkers for the raw nylon. Maybe not as epic as i had hoped but still nice and very original. After this we pressed on into the first floor. This was one of the ventilation floors. A critical part of the process as controlling the temperature of the plant was imperative. Again very old and very original if a little sparse of smaller items to look at. The third area was slightly more modern in feel and contained some of the last spinning machines to operate on the site. They appeared to have been out of use quite a while but were a proper 'crystal maze industrial zone' of rusty metal and oozing chemicals. Too dark and dank for many pictures but interesting to see none the less. 4 hours later we made our escape happy with what we had seen but conscious that we had probably only coved maybe 1/4 of the main plant and a couple of the outbuildings. I urge someone to go see if they can do the rest. It was possible but maybe a little 'on top' for a Friday morning. Eddie Stobart drivers tend to stare!


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    #1 Speed, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012

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