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Report - Croda/Unichema/Price's Patent Candle Company, Wirral - January '12

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Xan_Asmodi, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Xan_Asmodi

    Xan_Asmodi Cave Monster
    Regular User

    Feb 18, 2011
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    Visited with Sim2Lew, The Kwan, Squeezethatgap and MaybeNot1330


    In 1854 Prices Patent Candle Company bought 61 acres of land to built a factory unit at Bromborough Pool and a small village for its work force. This was prompted by their need for expansion and a lack of space at their London sites. In 1919 Price's was taken over by its neighbour and rivals Lever Brothers. Three years after the takeover Lever Brothers entered into an agreement with several other companies to create a newjointly owned company, it was named "Candles Ltd". This new company took over Price's and all its subsidiary companies. In 1936 Lever Brothers pulled out of Candles Ltd, taking the Bromborough works and all the soap manufacturing rights with it.


    The site produced a complex and sophisticated range of specialist fats and glycerides for the manufacture of cosmetics, polishes, ice cream, confectionery, soaps and detergents, printing inks, plastics and pharmaceuticals - all deriving from the basic industrial chemistry of separation and distillation.

    The name of the business changed to Price's (Bromborough) Ltd., 1936-67; and Price's Chemicals Ltd., 1967-77. At some point the factory passed to ICI and became Unichema. It remained such until a buy out by Croda International in 2006.

    In April 2009 Croda made the following announcement:

    "As part of our continuing strategy to reduce our exposure to basic commodity sectors, we have today announced the closure of our operations at Bromborough in Merseyside, United Kingdom. The site currently employs 115 people and was part of the Uniqema acquisition in 2006. Bromborough predominantly manufactures commodity and industrial speciality chemicals and we will move production of key specialities to other sites. In 2008, the discontinued business had a turnover of £45.3m and made a £2.1m operating profit."

    And in one fell swoop 155 years of manufacturing at this plant came to an end.


    This is a site I've been meaning to do since 2010. I'd spoken briefly to DHL about it a couple of times, even made it inside the fence on one occasion during a recce with ex0, Sim2Lew and Tweek. On this occassion I shit one as there was a camera looking right at me, which I hadn't seen until it was too late. Sim2Lew and ex0 carried on with the recce whilst Tweek and I kept an eye out for secca. On this occassion it seems secca spotted us as Tweek and I were being very unsubtly stalked by a white van, it drove by about 5-6 times! :eek:

    Sometime last week OT popped on to ChatBox Looking for the scousers. Someone had contacted him saying the site is due for demo. Well, I can confirm this and then some. The industrial side of the site appears to be being actively demo'd. Get down there quick!


    After comedy access we headed into the old admin building

    Peely paint goodness


    70's offices?

    Through to the old offices

    More peely paint

    Wallpaper for Rooks :p

    Old IT room


    "New" entrance

    Contrasted with the old

    Thanks the Squeezethatgap, we made it up to the old clock tower. Sadly the mechanism is now electric


    Now for the industry goodness

    MaybeNot described this as "Mobil on steroids" :D





    Splitting towers

    Glycerine stores

    Wouldn't like a bath in this stuff!

    And finally to give the place a sense of scale


    That's it from me. After receiving a call from my dad and not feeling great after his exploring related guilt trip, The Kwan, Sim2Lew and I headed off. Squeezethatgap and MaybeNot stayed on to do the rest of the site. I can't wait to see MaybeNot's report!

    Thanks for looking :thumb

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