It was Mookster's report that put this on our radar, although I did see it's been done before in '09 without much change since. It still amazes me how many sites are out there right under our noses waiting to be checked out.
Although most of the place is stripped it still took a good few hours to walk round. We found a large metal door that was shut then had masking tape round the edge. Maybe this leads to the underground section?? this was the only part we didnt see.
Walking round this place just made me want to be there when it was in operation, the noise must have been incredible in the boiler room, and the power usage off the scale!
History (shamelessly ripped from wiki)
Harrison and Sons Limited was a major worldwide engraver and printer of Postage stamps and Banknotes.
The company was established in 1750 by Thomas Harrison and it obtained its first Post Office contract in 1881. The company won the contract to print the single colour United Kingdom Edward VII stamps in 1911 after the Post Office decided not to renew its contract with De La Rue. Initially, using printing machines manufactured by Timsons of Kettering it went on to produce most of the British stamps over the 60 year period from the 1930s until the 1990s, including the first UK stamp using the photogravure method in 1934 and the first photogravure commemoratives in 1935 for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The first UK Christmas issue in 1966, on the specially designed Jumelle press, was also printed at Harrison and Sons. They printed their last British commemorative issue, referred to as ‘Queen’s Beasts’ issue, in 1998. The stamps actually being printed one year before they were issued to the public.
The company (abbreviation H&S) also printed stamps, banknotes, passports and gift vouchers for over 100 other countries from 1881 until 1997 when it was acquired by De La Rue security printers.
Harrisons had made significant inroads into De La Rue's banknote business - hence the DLR take-over. Some Directors and senior executives from Harrisons; such as Roger J Edwards, Chris R Hume, Brian P Janes and David J Johnson, were kept on for a short period of time before being made redundant.
De La Rue took over the site in 1997, and took over the printing of banknotes and stamps at it's High Wycombe site before it closed in 2003. De La Rue are still an operational company printing banknotes and papers for many banks worldwide, as well as producing travellers cheques, passports, driving licenses and vouchers.