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Report - Chance Bros Glassworks, Smethwick 2005 - 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by dweeb, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    A revisit to a timeless classic...

    Anyone who has driven down the M5 will have seen the former Chance Bros glassworks. Arguably one of the most historically significant industrial sites in the West Mids, this ramshackle collection of buildings produced the glass for such famous landmarks as Big Ben's clock face (I know only the bell is called Ben, the tower is actually the Queen Elizabeth Tower before anyone picks up on it) and the Crystal Palace. On the less notable end of the scale, that speckled glass in your nan's bathroom window was also probably produced here...

    Raddog and I first went mooching here almost a decade ago, and quite unbelievably almost nothing has changed in all that time. CatV and I have had a couple of sessions of poking about over the past few months and there is still a huge amount to see.

    The main body of the building is used for something although quite what is unclear. Whatever it is requires a dog that any big game hunter would proudly display on his wall in between a lion and a bear. Part of the office is very derelict, and despite having a whole wall removed at sometime in the last decade, paperwork from the turn of the last century can still be found blowing around upstairs.

    The real gems are to be found below ground. Many of the former glass kilns are still intact, almost as they were left from the last firing. A whole selection of wooden moulds for bending curved glass are still scattered around along with racks of various unidentifiable objects from the glass makers trade. The kilns are a real warren and there is some quite beautiful brickwork hiding away down there.

    Some of the other buildings are still standing although in a terrible state of repair, and although largely empty there are still a few signs and bits of paper knocking around if you look hard enough.

    The factory drew it's own water from the canal and it's pumping station remains intact. Next to it sits an old air raid shelter, still complete with fire watcher's duty board and assorted fag packets from 1940 - 80 left over from the various lolligaggers who used it as a hidey-hole!

    Assortment of pictures from the past ten years...

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    It took about a year for all the thorns to grow out of my palm after I did this!
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    Down the road from the works is the park donated by Chance... Way to look after the park keeper's lodge Smethwick!!
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    #1 dweeb, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
    bubblehead likes this.

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  2. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Few more
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    lock1999 and Speed like this.
  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    The last report on here was by you in 2006! I haven't been in there for years. Looks like the paperwork is strewn around a bit now?
     
  4. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Yeah most of it has turned to mush now, still some interesting bits in that room though!
     
  5. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    ahh that brings back some memories, Harry exploring!
     
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  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Yeah I thought this was a recent thing until I saw that.
     
  7. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    He's more active than Turkey :D
     
  8. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Yep theres a few oldie time photos in the mix, still looks exactly the same, the trees are just a bit more established in the ruinous part!
     
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  9. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    Beautiful the only word to describe this. Very sad that water gauge is in such bad condition.
     
  10. johnboy50

    johnboy50 28DL Full Member
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    Great pictures of an amazing place. Is there some kind of preservation order on the remaining structure, otherwise how has it escaped flattening?
     
  11. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
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    Loving the brickwork in those arches. Looks an impressive place!
     
  12. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Very nice shots :thumb
     
  13. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Looks a good explore :thumb Like the glass sign
     
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