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Report - Edison Swan Cable Works, Lower Lydbrook - 09/05/2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Paskey, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Paskey

    Paskey 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Cable works have been on the site since Harold J Smith purchased some land at Stowfield, near Lower Lydbrook, and opened Lydbrook Cable Works. Originally, the site employed 40 workers, however the First World War provided many new contracts and the company experienced massive expansion, eventually employing 650 people. However, when the Official Receiver was introduced, there was less demand for the cabling produced and it was sold off to Edison Swan Cables.

    Edison Swan had access to greater resources and the site fast expanded further, having many extensions over the years.. The Second World War, like the First World War, provided many new contracts – Edison Swan owned one of only four machines that could make the lead alloy tubing required for "Petroleum Lines Under the Ocean" (PLUTO) which allowed fuel to be delivered to the Allied invasion force in Europe. At it's peak it employed 1,100 people.

    In 1966 the factory was bought by Reed Paper, and it took on the new name of "Reed Corrugated Cables". It was then purchased by a Swedish packaging firm called SCA, and the site was used as one of several SCA packaging plants around the UK. Production ceased in 1994, and the site has slowly deteriorated since.

    Visited with clebby and Morgan.

    Here are the pictures...

    We were greeted by various warehouses and factory floors...

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    Walking further into the site, we reached the offices and were pleasantly surprised...

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    The staircase was magnificent...

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    Its a shame about the paper everywhere though.

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    Located near the staircase and meeting room was a staff social area...

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    and a beautifully curved room...

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    On our way out, we saw a small room next to a factory floor and inside it were books and an old clocking in clock.

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    And finally, a fanstastic view.

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    Cheers.​
     

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  2. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
    Regular User

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    Happy days.

    Great report, it's a great site, and a good size too. Fantastic pictures too! I really like the last one for some reason.

    OK time for a history lesson. :rolleyes:

    This is an aerial view of the site taken circa 1980. That tower is the "Reeds Tower", a well known landmark, which demolished circa 1987. It would have been great fun to climb. :(

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    Some of the female workers outside the admin block...

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    Munitions were made at the factory during the First World War. These are munitions workers at the factory circa 1914...

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    The above photo is possibly related to some dynamite testing Alfred Nobel carried out around Lower Lydbrook.

    The Ediswan Girls cricket team, 1947...

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    And the viaduct over the wye, which froze in the winter of 1962 (you can just see the works at the far left of this picture)...

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    And finally, the Ediswan football team in 1953, outside the front doors of the admin block...

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    Cheers

    .​
     
    #2 clebby, Jan 3, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
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