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Report - Dobcross Loom Works - Diggle - July 2011

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by The Lone Ranger, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. The Lone Ranger

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    Feb 25, 2010
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    Dobcross Loom Works (AKA W H Shaws) - Diggle




    By far the most impressive building in Diggle is the Dobcross Loom Works; built in 1860 and located on the Canal side of Huddersfield Road about 300 yards from the junction with Standedge Road. For 37 years until 2006 it had been the home of Shaw’s Pallet Works, reputedly one of the largest pallet works in Europe.

    The stunning building at the entrance known locally as ‘The Cathedral’ the main building housing the clock tower. The building with the clock tower is a Grade II listed building and any future development of the site will have to incorporate that building into their plans.

    Nothing is left of the loom works, but the Pallet Works’ site, covers 22 acres, is up for re-development, interestingly, the buildings were used for munitions in World War I and for making parts for Russian submarines in World War 2.After over 36 years of making wooden pallets, and a major employer of the village, W.H Shaws factory closed down in 2006 after going into administration. It is more than likely that the whole site will be turned into a major housing development..

    There was a huge auction at the factory on the 7th March 2007 when to name just a few of the items sold were Eight Fork Lift Trucks,Pallet Trucks, Climax 90 Sideloader, Ford Agricultural Tractor, Rolls Royce Diesel Generator, Wellman Robey Ygnis & Senior Green Gas Fired Steam Boilers, Atlas Copco Air Compressors, Pressure Washers, Welding & Fitters Shop Equipment including Mig Tig Welders, Cut Off Saws, Power Hacksaw, Drills, Degreasing Bath, Collectible Office (Partners Desk & Boardroom) Furniture & Equipment including computers, Canteen & Kitchen Equipment. Three Scania Sleeper Cab Tractor Units, Leyland Daf 85 330 Shunter Tractor Unit and a Ford Transit 190 Dropside Tipper. At one time the factory even had its own buses transporting staff to and from the pallet works.

    My Visit

    I had been out for a local mooch and thought I’d have another quick look here, I have looked at this place over a few years, sometimes being lucky and getting in, but more often than not just seeing a single bleak room!

    Today I came up trumps, but at a heavy cost. My best trousers (only trousers without holes) found some re-bar and my trusty tripod finally died. After finding a way in I was surprised how much of the site opened up, not as much as I hoped though. Part of the site is still live and it is hard in places to work out if you have wandered into the live part of the site.

    In the main it has not been trashed, local youths have been in, I still need another visit as the water tower is very tempting plus it was just a quick visit today.


    Approaching the pallet works just to see if it was possible and to get a few outside shots.


    Luck was on my side as I made it in, a leisurely walk back to the van had suddenly become an explore :)


    Apart from the boiler, the first interesting port of call was the locker room.



    From here I realised that I access to one of the larger buildings


    Passing the switch room onto one of the large open floors


    After climbing through an area which may have been live I accessed the upper floor, some interesting workshops and offices here



    Back on the main floor found a large amount of dead pigeons gathered together, presume it’s pest control? But they are starting to smell.


    A nice roof detail


    Doorway to the link tunnel


    Looking down the link tunnel to the grade 2 listed office building


    Looking the other way


    As most good sites they don’t always open up to you on the first visit, here is what was at the end of the link tunnel


    Glad I have finally got into one of the main buildings, have not seen any other reports on this site as yet

    Well that's it for now, but there’s a bit more to explore hopefully next week.
    #1 The Lone Ranger, Jul 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011

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