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Report - Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by UrbanDuck, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    The History

    Trafford House in Basildon, Essex was the former Ford Motor Company Ltd UK headquarters for 32 years - spanning 310,000 square feet over eight storeys.

    Ford moved into the building (originally named Station House) in 1977 - the same year the Fiesta was launched in Britain. It was renamed Trafford House after the Trafford Park plant in Manchester where the Model T production had started in 1911.

    It boasted many onsite facilities including a large canteen, gym, hairdressers, bank and medical centre – typical of a prestige head office of its day.

    The site officially ceased operations in 2005, although the last of the staff from the Purchasing team remained until December 2009. All functions the building previously performed were redistributed across the Dunton and Warley sites in Essex.

    Outline planning permission was originally granted by Basildon Council in 2011 for 359 flats and 10 stories of retail space, although development plans fell through and the building remained empty.

    According to an article dated July 2014, Criterion Capital has bought the building for around £15 million from RMD (2000) Trafford Ltd and has submitted plans to develop flats and retail space. As it stands, no obvious activity is happening to suggest any work is starting yet.

    The Explore

    Accompanied once again by my fellow exploring buddy Boomstick84, we initially did a comprehensive reccy in July however this didn’t uncover any obvious points of entry. All doors were locked tight and previously broken windows all securely boarded. There was 1 possible point but it would have been a ballache to execute.

    Not wanting to admit defeat – I stubbornly returned to the site several times until finally a previously sealed point had been kindly ‘loosened up ‘ by someone else. Don’t you just love it when that happens! We set a visit date, and headed over early evening – making a quick entry due to limited cover from the general public.

    Inside, the site is vast and whilst most office floors are pretty much stripped, the sheer scale of the place is amazing – from one end to another is almost as far as the eye can see. Condition wise – everything is fairly pristine, save some broken glass on the lower floors which is clearly the work of some local scrotums.

    Power is still randomly on in parts of the building which was spooky at times – even some of the lifts are still on! We tried to send one on its way without luck! The toilets in many parts looked very clean – one still had an automated light come on when we walked in which was a surprise!

    The canteen area was impressive with a massive kitchen area behind and lots of different kit plus a number of cold store rooms.

    The showcase of this site is definitely the roof – standing 8 stories high and with different sections that are easily accessed. On our first trek up there it was still daylight and in full view of surrounding apartments so we planned to return once night had fallen. Sadly this was prevented by very heavy rainfall and we had no means to keep our kit dry!

    We finished on the ground floor which was much more interesting than the upper floors – including areas like the medical centre and bank (sadly with ATM machine missing).
    The most bizarre thing about the site was that we only managed to find 1 Ford logo in the entire place.

    After about 3 hours of uninterrupted exploring (except for many crazy ass pigeons) we managed to let ourselves out an easier way than we got in, then headed for a much needed bite to eat at a local curry house! A great trip overall, and somewhere we will hit again for some better roof shots.

    Due to the explore being early evening and light being limited – forgive some of the shots which are pretty poorly exposed (coupled with the fact I’m a numpty photographer anyway).

    1. Outside.
    [​IMG]

    2. 60s style thermostat. For some reason I loved this.
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    3. Canteen shot.
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    4. The buffet was looking dire.
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    5. One of many kitchens.
    [​IMG]

    6. One of about 3 cold store areas.
    [​IMG]

    7. One monster of a coffee machine.
    [​IMG]

    8. Office shot. Trendy carpet and great 60s style storage heaters.
    [​IMG]

    9. Lift cable/motor room.
    [​IMG]

    10. Roof shots
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Boomstick84 trying to get a shot off in the pouring rain!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    11. Office shots
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    12. IT / Server Room
    [​IMG]

    13. Outside / Courtyard
    [​IMG]

    14. Lifts (still on)!
    [​IMG]

    15. Long Corridors
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    16. Telephone numbers
    [​IMG]

    17. Telephone circuits.
    [​IMG]

    18. Gym disclaimer
    [​IMG]

    19. Gym Door Sign
    [​IMG]

    20. Telephone – the only item found with a Ford logo!
    [​IMG]

    21. Maintenance Area
    [​IMG]

    22. Showers
    [​IMG]

    23. Hairdressers
    [​IMG]

    24. Bank with missing ATM.
    [​IMG]

    25. Never-ending stairwell
    [​IMG]

    26. The dirty side of urbex (found in the courtyard outside)
    [​IMG]

    27. Cheese!
    [​IMG]
     
    Jordanchinkbmx likes this.

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  2. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Nice one mate!

    Props for doing the extra groundwork and finding us a way in, was an enjoyable explore. Just a shame the weather couldn't have held out a bit longer for us.:D

    Nice work on the report too, looks like you got all the good stuff covered! :thumb
     
  3. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Cheers buddy. That roof is calling for a clear (and dry) evening!
     
  4. Len F Eaton

    Len F Eaton 28DL Member
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Supperb. many memories. I was House Manager of Trafford House ( Facilities Manager) From 1980-1985..
     
  5. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Great shots there lads nice place..
     
  6. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Thanks :thumb. Hopefully all good memories! Definitely a shell of its former glory now, but still an interesting building with great views from the roof!
     
  7. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    Re: Report: Ford Motor Company former HQ, Trafford House Basildon – August 2014

    Thanks! Sadly it's locked down solid now so glad we got in :thumb
     
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