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Report - Countrywide Animal Feed Mills March 09 - Pic heavy

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by coyote, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. coyote

    coyote 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Been on the radar for a while. Finally got round to it.

    Not much history is available on this site. It is owned by Countrywide, suppliers to the agricultural community who also have a farm store on the site. Mill closed in 2005 in a deal with BOCM. There were originally 2 1940s grain silos on the site which the new building replaced in the 80s

    Asda have recently been given permission for a new store on the site so they won’t be around for long.

    From previous recon I knew that access would be exposed. The site is bordered by the live farm store and scrappers to the sides, a busy A road to the front and sewage works to the rear.

    As I parked up I noticed a car straight outside the main gates, 2 up with Hi-vis evident and for a moment fear the worst. False alarm, just 2 very bored looking OAPs on a traffic survey.

    There is no easy concealed access to the site and I have to go in in plain view of the road. I know the only real option is to balls it out and jump the gate and hope nobody is too switched on to notice.

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    I wait for a quiet moment on the road and make my move. In and out of sight before another car passes. I know that back of the site is wide open and even a blind man could fall into it. I poke my head around a corner and spot a Highways Agency Van parked up. Is it occupied? I cant tell but decide not to use my primary access. I have a second access point but it’s visible from the road.

    Nothing for it then. Wait for a traffic lull and go.

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    I'm confronted by a cavernous space full of dust and metal. Heras protects two huge holes in the ground. Looking up its a confusing mass of walkways and twisted pipes.

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    I take time to scout the lower floor. There isn’t much left and it has become a dumping ground for all sorts of rubbish.

    Some serious time with a gas axe has been spent here and no access upwards remains. I bust out some super ninja skillz and make the first floor.

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    Ducts drop from the darkness above to a now missing conveyor system. From here the feed would have filled waiting trucks below.

    The floor is thick with a mixture of dust and pigeon crap. No foot prints. Looks like I'm the first up for quite a while. I move on, it gets darker and the footing more unsure.

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    The second and third floors are dark enough to need a torch to see and claustrophobic.

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    I enter the 4th and final floor and it’s a massive change. Sunlight pours in through the windows giving the place a warmer feel. I take stock of my surroundings. The place is a maze. Its not a huge space but its been rammed full of ladders, platforms and walkways giving access to all manner of feed pipes, storage silos and conveyors.

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    Its a densely packed mass of steel all, for some reason, painted in primary colours.

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    The tops of the storage areas all have Explosion panels, presumably to release pressure in a "controlled" manner and avoid expensive damage.

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    Tatty auction lot numbers and gaping holes in the floor indicate that at least some equipment has been salvaged from the site. I need to keep my eyes open though as some of the drops go right to the bottom and it’s a long way down. This site lists a lot of the equipment which was removed. I would particularly have liked to see the robotic palletiser!

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    I continue the tour at floor level taking in the various structures. Conveyers and pipes cross at multiple levels feeding an array of storage tanks and silos.

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    I looking up I spot what may be roof access. It won’t be an easy climb; ladders have been removed in places so I'm going to have to improvise.

    I go up the first ladder and crawl cautiously across a conveyor. It wasn’t built for this but its sturdy enough to take my weight with ease. I look down on a set of storage silos. These drop 3 floors and would have fed the filling system I saw on the first floor.

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    At the top I rest up for a minute and take in the view.

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    I move on climbing carefully between axed platforms I finally make my goal. Its worth it. Roof access.

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    I pop my head out of the roof and take in the scene. The roof slopes gently away, punctuated by giant vent stacks. You can see for miles up here.

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    As much as I want to get up on the roof my head tells me it’s a bad bad idea. It is exposed to both the road and live store and if anyone sees me up here I can almost guarantee a police presence in minutes. Area HQ is just up the road. I take in the view for a while then reluctantly climb back down.

    As a jump the last few rungs of the ladder, the platform I’m on sways alarmingly. On closer inspection I find that all the supports for the platform have been cut away, leaving it supported by the lift conveyor running up through it. Best take my decent gently then!

    Once down I head for what may be the control room.

    On the way back down I take the opportunity to pop the hatch on a silo and have a look inside. They sure go down a long way.

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    My assumptions are correct and I find the control room, however the main access door has been boarded up which means using a narrow side passage full of broken glass and used needles. Nice.

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    It’s not the most impressive site. Most of the control equipment has been removed and the whole place is covered in a thick layer dust. Out the back is a kitchen still with a microwave and kettle.

    More interesting is the sign to the panel room pointing down a flight of stairs. Its pitch black down there. The image of the needles pushes its way into my mind, as does that fact that I only have 1 torch. My trusty maglite is 150 miles away. The cobweb screen indicates that no one has been down recently so I put my trust in Tesco and push on.

    Two flights of stairs lead to a series of interconnecting rooms. There isn’t much to see. One has obviously been used by security at some point with the usual collection of newspapers with more tits than words.

    I have a poke around for any interesting paperwork but there’s not much. Lots of rubbish though and some dirty bastard has taken a shit on the floor. It’s looking more and more like a junky hide out.

    The only item of any interest is the notice board which looks to have held driver dockets for their delivery routes.

    [​IMG]

    I'm getting a bit spooked so decide to head on out. I’ve been here a good few hours now and seen most of what there is so I pop of a few more shots and decide to call it a day.

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    I exit the site without incident and allow myself to relax. It may not be the most impressive site ever but it was a good way to spend an afternoon. I haven’t bothered with the offices to the front of the site. They were well secured from inside and would probably be bare as they were available for let until recently.

    Worth another trip? Maybe, but with someone else next time. I'm not worried about junkies but another pair of eyes looking for holes in the floor would be useful!

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