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Report - Clarence Mill Hull 01-02-09

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by flyingmonkeycorps, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. flyingmonkeycorps

    flyingmonkeycorps 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    I know this place has pretty much been done to death, but it's such an amazing place I reckon it needs to be remembered as much as possible. As such I'll not go onto much detail on the history of the place, just say that the mill originally opened in 1891, but was destroyed by a bomb in World War 2. The building as it stands was built in 1952, and closed early this century due to the age of the building and machinery. It's also known locally as the Rank Hovis building. Visit my Flickr set for loads more photos...

    Anyway, on with the pictures / story...

    Couple of exterior shots, for anyone who's not seen the building before. In this one (taken from Drypool Bridge) the big tower you can see with the round windows at the top is the silo building, which houses the enormous grain silos. As far as I could ascertain, these run from the top floor of the building all the way down to the bottom.
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    This one shows the silo from the other side, the lower building houses most of the actual milling machinery and some of the windows you can see on the silo are offices.
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    Once we got in, since we weren't too sure how tight security was (and indeed whether we'd been spotted on a camera - amateur hour!) we decided to head straight up to the top, then work our way back down checking out the floors seperately. The first room we spent any time in was pitch black, full of pigeon crap and I managed to drop my water bottle. Brilliant. It contined this, which looks like some kind of big motor?
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    We then made our way up onto the roof, and whilst I was taking the opportunity go get a nice panorama of Hull, Thrashtronaut snapped me in action
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    The panorama - still needs some more editing, but you get the idea. Click the image for a big version. I think I might get this printed
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    We then headed back to the top floor of the silo to have a look around the machinery in there. I have no real idea what most of this stuff does, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.
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    Each of these seem to be attached to the top of one of the silo drums, which are enormous
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    Someone had pulled away one of the tubes, so it seemed rude to not at least have a look down it...
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    Before we headed back out and into the lower part of the building, we found a nice little corner office
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    On our way back through the main room I spotted a nice shot
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    Then back out onto the lower roof, for some more photo opportunities before heading into the other part of the building
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    Although the lower building is much less imposing and interesting from the outside, it's in here that the bulk of the sights are to be seen. Apparently one of the reasons the mill was closed is the age of the machines, and it shows - some of it felt like being in a museum, and almost everything was covered in flour. The whole mill seemed to be powered by a complex belt drive system. Again, we worked our way down from the top, which was powered by enormous wooden pulleys
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    We then made our way down the metal staircase to the next floor. You could pretty much see all the way to the bottom of the building
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    From here on in most of the South side of the building seemed to be fairly empty (but covered in flour) whereas the North side remained more intact
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    This was quite freaky - it seemed to be hooked up to the venting system, and was just sat there spinning steadily!
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    The huge rows of belt drive pulleys must have made an incredible amount of noise when the place was still going
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    There didn't seem to have been that much damage done, although what there was increased as we got further down
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    There were also a couple of offices and labs - must have been a nightmare trying to concentrate in there
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    All that remained was to complete the trek down through the building, taking in a few more rooms then head back through the bottom of the silo to get out the way we came in
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    All in all a great explore, and a few hours well spent. Apparently the site is soon to be demolished to make way for this monstrosity. So if you want to see it you might not have long. That said, in the current financial climate I can't see it happening any time soon.

    Apologies for the huge post, and conversely if you want to see more there's lots more photos in my flickr.
     

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