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Report - Fullers Earth works Redhill - September 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Gromr123, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Gromr123

    Gromr123 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Despite Fullers earth works being one of the most reported locations in my local area for years, I still didn't get round to properly exploring it till yesterday. I was initially put off visiting after seeing the infamous video of the angry security guard with a dog that was doing the rounds on Youtube last year or so.
    As it turns out security seems to have become non-existent now.

    We got there late afternoon to catch the last few hours of the day. Entering from the woods at the back we quickly found our way into the guts of the building. The place is an absolute maze of stairs, ladders and walkways.

    The years certainly have taken there toll on the fullers because its sketchy as hell. Ascending up the rusty metal stairs and platforms I was taking special care to tread only supporting beams in hope the metal grills hold my weight.

    We kept going up and up until we made it to very highest platform. Stopping to admire the surprisingly good view, there was a sense of total bliss. Part of the appeal of Urbex to me is using it as a form of escapism from the worries of the world, a way to feel detached from civilisation, even for the briefest periods of time.

    Eventually the night took hold and we made our leave in the dim light.

    I enjoyed Fullers far more than I thought I would. Apart from the unshakable feeling that I could plunge to a rather painful death through a rusty floor plate at any time.


    History

    A greyish, mineral-rich clay, fuller's earth is well-known for its absorbent qualities and has many uses ranging from powder cosmetics to 'mud' used for drilling oil wells. Its best known use however is as cat litter, of which millions of bags are sold every year. Most of this is now imported from the Americas but until recently, fuller's earth was quarried from the Lower Greensand strata at Woburn (Beds.), at Baulking (Oxon.) and at Redhill (Surrey). On the Redhill deposit, the most successful quarry operating at the turn of the century was the Copyhold Works of the Fuller's Earth Union Ltd, established c.1860-70. Initially supplying the woollen trade, demand later shifted to the growing chemical and commodity sector with customers in the 1920s-40s including the Southern Oil Company Ltd, British Glues and Chemicals Ltd and Price's Patent Candle Co.

    In 1954 the works, by now employing 780 men, were bought by chemical company Laporte Industries. Production was stepped up to meet increasing demand and a large factory consisting of kilns, granulators, blungers, silos and transit systems on several floors was built. A large quarry existed to the east and in the 1970s this strange landscape stood in for various alien worlds in the BBC's Doctor Who series. In the 1980s, the Copyhold site was sending loose earths and packaged cat litter around the world. By 1995, however, due to falling profits it was announced that the company would close 10% of its 100 plants. Copyhold fell victim the following year and the Laporte Group was broken up with the majority share sold to an American private equity firm trading as Rockwood Holdings Inc. After the production lines were switched off, the 119 acre pit was purchased for use as a landfill site by Biffa Waste Services and continues to take waste from across Surrey. The factory was for a while used as a waste transfer station but this too was abandoned at some time in the last four years and the site is now derelict.






    As there are so many reports on Fullers earth I wanted to at least try and photograph it a little differently, so I went a bit made with the fish eye lens :p

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    There was running water and the foul smell of sewage here :eek:

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    asimm98 and Springypeach like this.

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice work, I'm surprised it's still there tbh
     
  3. asimm98

    asimm98 28DL Full Member
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    These are awesome. Don't know if anyone's into video games, but the penultimate photo looks like one of the radio towers in Far Cry 3.
     
  4. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Has the room of tins gone?!
     
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