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Report - Fletchers Paper Mill 'Without The Urbex Blinkers' - 2008-2016

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Speed, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    This weekend i returned to the former Robert Fletcher and Son's Papermill at Greenfield. It had been just over 8 years since i first set foot on the site but even after years of being on the tourist trail i had an inkling there might be a bit more to see than what would be apparent from your average Fletcher's report. Was i right? You betcha!

    On my first visit we had explored the main mill building but probably due to time constraints had not ventured deeper into the site. It was an epic day exploring and the place instantly went down in my book as one of the all time great industrial explores. The mill at the time was wonderfully intact, the absolute epitome of 'they just walked out one day and left it'. It had been closed about 6 years at the time but was still powered up and there was little to no damage from pikeys or explorers. The site, quite rightly, became a bit of an exploring hot spot in 2008 and with that came the usual gradual decline from untouched factory to a sea of setup urbex shots and name in the dust guestbooks, anyone been to George Barnsleys in the last 5 years? Yeh that!

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    By the time i returned a year or so later i was instantly pretty disappointed as quite frankly the site seemed a shadow of its former self. Where we had once been able to rummage in cupboards finding dressing up kits of the company mascot all you could really do now is walk around and take photos of smashed up milling equipment in the dark.. I guess it was still good but not at the level it once was. I again turned back before seeing anything new and that was that. I kind of chalked it off as dead and gone really.

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    Fast forward to 2016 and i have a free day in Manchester to explore. I hadn't planned to go back but my first few leads were a fail and i thought what the hey while im out in the hills i may as well swing by. After all i had that inkling i mentioned earlier. Boy im glad i did!

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    Now dont worry ACID- REFLUX im not going to try and claim 'first' with any of this as i know full well the whole mill was explored by the original guys who went there in late 2007 and i can't believe everyone since has had their heads totally in the sand too but i can say the boiler house, turbine hall and canteen buildings here are 'lesser spotted' at best or at worst i can say i've failed to see a single photo from them apart from the one or two posted in the original reports over 8 years ago! All i know for sure is i was delighted not only to find they were still there intact as the rest of the mill was on day one but also that they are so good they have totally pushed this place back up the UE league tables with me. It is simply stunning, the stuff we dream of and one of the best finds ever.

    The Main Mill - Early 2008

    I wont bore people with too many photos of the main mill building but as i look back i realised i never actually posted a report on here back then and most others from the time are now just dead links. At the back of the building it was all manufacturing with rows of big 'death star' 'potcher' vessels and Bartrums beating machines to boil and beat the pulp. Further towards the front there were a pair of small paper making machines and if i remember rightly the modern extension on the side of the original mill had another large machine with distribution and packing facilities too. For me the best part however was the front office block. This was all locked up back then but with a little lateral thinking we managed to get into most of it seeing the aforementioned dressing up kit but also boxes and boxes of old photos, a full stocked drawing office, medical room and several decent mess rooms, even back then when a lot of older factories with that sort of thing were still around it really was top notch!​

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    Turbine House - 2016

    Now back to present day i found my way into the former turbine hall building. Unfortunately the turbines were removed long before closure and the building reused as storage for spares and general bits of junk but it wasn't the end of the world. On the top floor i also found an area that appeared to have been used to cut the cardboard tubing that the paper was wound onto.
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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Boiler House - 2016

    Now the turbine hall was ok but when i popped my head through into here my jaw really did hit the floor. It was stunning. 4 boilers quietly decaying away, the sun streaming through the skylights onto an epic control panel complete with Hopkinson gauge (you just know you're in an epic place when one of those pops up!), even the sound of the water rushing through the gully ways under the floor was great.

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    Canteen - 2016
    Last up the former canteen block. Obviously this closed way before the main mill and it had been used to dump a variety of different stuff but that wasn't really a bad thing. Underneath it was all still there, dining rooms, kitchens, stores, bathrooms all epic and the junk wasn't bad either. The whole building felt like it had been plucked straight from the 1940s and has to be the best factory canteen out there.

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    Theres a few other buildings on site that im yet to access but after seeing this i hope maybe the next visitors to the site will atleast try to nail those too. Happy mooching!


     
    #2 Speed, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  3. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    I'm always busy at the worst times :(
     
  4. BrainL

    BrainL 28DL Full Member
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    Nice report, good to see some new areas :)
     
  5. Fudge

    Fudge 28DL Regular User
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    Nice.

    The turbine room is the only bit i ever got in, really liked it.

    Also stumbled upon an old land rover hidden behind a big industrial curtain somewhere near that canteen building.
     
  6. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    Top, as per.

    I'd ought to get my arse into gear and see this really, like so many others.

    And this - 'Without The Urbex Blinkers' Got to say I've always preffered the proper in-depth, detailed and somewhat out of the 'box' reports like this one myself, Urbex is overated. Problem is, when it's been done this well, it seems pointless putting your own version up!
     
    ledgehammer likes this.
  7. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Bottom line is most people go to see what they have seen online but i go to see what ive not. It makes my mind boggle that places as good as this go relatively unnoticed considering the traffic that's gone through the mill barely10 feet away.
     
    stranton and The Lone Shadow like this.
  8. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Very nice and always good to see pop up :thumb

    Been a couple of years since I last popped in, no real excuses as I live less than a mile away, shame I didn't know you were up as I'm often strolling past. If the 1st photo was taken on your recent explore I even know which day you were there :D
     
  9. Dempsey

    Dempsey The Human Turbine.
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    Lovely. I bet you were a little gutted to find the turbine hall empty, that place would have been colossal.
     
  10. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    What a nice set of pics and a great report :thumb
     
  11. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Impressive report as always - If anybody can explore a place to the nth degree, you can :thumb
     
  12. ledgehammer

    ledgehammer 28DL Regular User
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    nice one, great to see it early on different stages - some very nice features, crisp snaps too...

    If you haven't done it, its a must - secca are about but avoidable - tried to seal us in lol...
     
  13. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
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    Yeah, boiler house is nice here. I liked those pokey rooms on the other side of the empty hall too. That Fletcher's archer in the canteen is good too - can't recall seeing any photos from in there crop up before.
     
  14. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    man great report seeing tons ive not seen before, unfortunately when I went access was no where to be found looked for an hour and then secca saw us keep meanng to get back there and finally do it when my leg heals
     
  15. Lil'Legs

    Lil'Legs 28DL Full Member
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    Really nice pics you got there. Looks like still a good explore!
     
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