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Report - Corah & Sons, Leicester - August 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by WildBoyz, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    History

    “Let this be our motto so God will prosper our efforts: Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving God. In prosperity let us not forget Mercies”.

    Edwin Corah and John Harris Cooper.

    The reputed company, Corah, was founded by Nathaniel Corah inside the Globe Inn on Silver Street in Leicester. It operated from 1815 through to 1999. Originally, Corah produced garments on a knitting frame on his farm, however, the original business model which stemmed from this embryonic occupation sought to purchase already-completed stockings, to then sell them elsewhere at a profit. The factory would become the first in Leicester to be built and designed for steam operation, around a central beam engine; although before that the initial place of operations was opened in 1824 and it remained there on Union Street up until 1845. During this time, Corah’s three sons – John, Thomas and William – were taken into partnership and the company became known as Nathaniel Corah & Sons.

    By 1855, the company had once again been renamed; this time to Thomas Corah & Sons, and during this time it had over 2000 knitting frames. It was, subsequently, one of the largest hosiery firms in England at the time. The company continued to prosper over the next ten years and by 1865 the premises were once again deemed too small to cater for the scale of manufacture. The company relocated to a larger site later that same year, which was close to both the River Soar and the Great Central Railway; a location which had obvious transportation benefits. This was the factory that would be powered by a large steam powered beam engine. Accordingly, by the early 1870s, the firm was able to expand its product range considerably, and as a result they began to produce a range of football and rugby jerseys, alongside a range of men and women’s garments.

    Corah was the first company to develop a relationship with Marks & Spencer. One of the main advantages of this association allowed Marks & Spencer to reduce costs by cutting out wholesalers. Working alongside each other also meant that both companies could work together closely to produce products of a higher quality. This relationship was, however, risky for Corah since there was a risk that they would be blacklisted by the Wholesale Textile Association (WTA). In an attempt to avoid this, Corah referred to Marks & Spencer in its accounts only in coded terms. Nonetheless, as predicted, the WTA became aware of the partnership and it removed Corah’s name from the list of approved suppliers. Nonetheless, soon after, many other manufacturers also began to deal with retailers directly, and so the impact of being blacklisted was limited.

    By the 1960s, Corah employed over 6,000 employees, making it one of the largest manufacturing companies in England at the time. Unfortunately, however, the recessions through both the 1970s and 80s caused the UK hosiery industry to fall into severe financial difficulties. In the aftermath, Corah and other UK companies were challenged by relentless financial complications, changing styles of clothing and foreign competition. Corah finally lost its final link with the founding family in 1989 and later that same year it was sold to an Australian company where it was then broken up after the buyer crashed itself. Sadly, by the late 1900s, the entire Corah enterprise had ceased all of its operations. Today, some parts of the monumental factory are still used by small scale hosiery manufacturers, and a small number of other businesses, however, much of the remaining site is completely derelict and deteriorating rapidly.

    Our Version of Events

    “You can’t come to Leicester and not take a look at Corah” said an excited KM_Punk. “What the fuck’s Corah” we replied, with rather clueless expressions on our faces. A little taken aback, Punk was having none of it, and with that we set off, through Leicester’s rush-hour traffic, towards the legendary former textile manufacturer. After surviving yet another journey in ‘The Car’, we wasted no time, and immediately set about trying to find a way inside the mammoth-sized building. That description is no exaggeration either, the place is fucking enormous. Several minutes later though, despite its size, we were all sniffing the stale mustiness; ready to tackle the beast. Sadly, as we’d been warned prior to entering, the place is very trashed indeed; however, if you look hard enough, and risk venturing into the shadowy depths of Corah, little pieces of the past begin to surface. Since Corah has such an extensive and important past (inasmuch as a few days later even an Officer of The Law recommended that we paid the place a little visit), I’m thankful that Punk took the time to bring it to our attention. On the whole, we had a good wander: we grabbed plenty of shots, soaked up some decent views from the rooftop and even managed to test Punk’s climbing capabilities in our attempt to grab a quick peek at the reception area which had, up to that point, been inaccessible. Above all, however, we left feeling much more educated about Leicester’s past.

    Explored with Ford Mayhem, Soul and KM_Punk.

    1: Corah & Sons

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    2: The Stairwell

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    3: The Textiles Room

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    4: Strange Décor

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    5: The Rooftop

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    6: The City of Leicester

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    7: Corah Sign

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    8: The Cages

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    9: Old Paperwork

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    10: The Burnt Office

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    11: Danger of Overheating

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    12: Tapes and Records

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    13: Another Way to the Roof

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    14: Looking Over Corah & Sons

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    15: Inside the First Bridge

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    16: Dirty

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    17: The Second Bridge

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    18: The 'Mystical' Looking Door

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    19: Crucial Office Supplies

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    20: Official Documentation

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    21: Back on the Roof

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    22: WildBoyz Meet the Punk

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    23: Textiles Machine

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    24: Ironing Boards and Surfaces

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    25: Looking Back at Corah

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    26: Clothes, Tags and Zippers

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    27: The Main Entrance Doors

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    28: Main Reception and Receptionist

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    29: The Vender

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    #1 WildBoyz, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
    ThisWay, tazong, Oxygen Thief and 3 others like this.

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  2. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Funny you hit everything when i"m not there you Fuckers ;)

    Looking sweet considering the state of the place these days, nicely shot mate :thumb hopefully no arguing from the kids this time lol
     
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  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Thanks mate. We left the little ones behind this time ;)

    Yeah man, sorry about that. Be thankful you weren't there the next evening though :D
     
  4. JaneEyre

    JaneEyre The clumsiest explorer in Yorkshire!
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    Brill shots :) Lovely work hun xx
     
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  5. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Thanks. Appreciate the comment :thumb
     
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  6. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Schweet report dude, reminds me of Aberdeen's Broadford works.
     
  7. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Thanks man. Yeah, I can see the resemblance :)
     
  8. Bigian88

    Bigian88 The Massive Mancunian
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    You did well to make it look so good.

    I didn't even bother taking my camera out when we went and just snapped on my phone as it was such a state.
     
  9. BrainL

    BrainL 28DL Full Member
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    Great report mate, we somehow missed almost everything in your pics when we went haha Just ended up in some empty rooms were they used to teach karate
     
  10. Alex6467

    Alex6467 28DL Member
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    Been in this building so many times! It's creepy as hell in the dark though! Me and a few friends found a belt with stress marks suspended from the ceiling with a chair and boots at the bottom of the stairset (that really was spooky!). It's pretty fun to explore, but I'd say rickety is not a strong enough word for the state of the place, if you go BE VERY CAREFUL!! avoid the burnt bit, you don't need to go through it under any circumstance as you can access both sides without passing through, and if you absolutely need to cut through the burnt out part, stick to the basement and keep the noise down, wouldn't surprise me if the place caved in at the slightest echo. Overall a good place to explore, but it could easily be very dangerous. Sidenote we found a methlab there once too, on the middle floor, that was pretty cool too but a bit strange and we were a bit bothered about Walter White popping out of a dark corner to make sure we never told anyone of his little business, but that didn't happen luckily. Last thing! There is a creepy corridor in the basement that you have to climb through a collapsed lift to get to, that was the downright creepiest part of the whole building, as it was dark as hell and there was a weird creeking sound, we had to turn back when we got to the end of that corridor due to flooding, which was a real shame, but over the last 2-3 years I've been inside a lot and I can proudly say I've stood in every single room, including in my days of young bravery (more like idiocy in retrospect) walking across the burnt out part of the factory on the top floor (right near the burnt office) SKETCHY!!
     
  11. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    We walked across the top floor of that burnt out building... Lived to tell the tale. :thumb

    Good to hear this place has lots of good memories for you though! It was a real shame it was in such a state when we visited. I've heard there was a lot more there back in the day. We visited most of the room, but didn't encounter any problems. Thanks for your tips.
     
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  12. Alex6467

    Alex6467 28DL Member
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    Yeah, bit of a staplemark of Leicester for my teen years hahha, and we all lived to tell the tale too but I think it's probably more luck than judgment, walking across burnt floors is hella dodgy hahah! one of the worst ones too is where there's a flight of about six stairs and there's a hole in the bottom step that you can see down to the next floor through, that was also SKETCHY!
     
  13. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    If you have any photos from any of your trips you should post them up. I'm assuming you saw it when it was in better condition?

    All I can say is that when the British built stuff back in the day, they built it to last; even when idiots try to burn them down, they're still standing.
     
  14. Alex6467

    Alex6467 28DL Member
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    I did have loads, but unfortunately my old laptop gave out:/ may have to go back one day in the summer and take some, there's quite a few nooks and crannies not covered here, but I don't fancy going inside at the moment with recent wet weather
     
  15. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah, still looks worth a mooch even tho' it's pretty trashed........
    Nice pics and report :thumb
     
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