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Report - Grimsby Ice Factory - March 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by The Amateur Wanderer, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    The Great Grimsby Ice Factory

    Introduction:


    This is a place that I've had on my radar for at least two years now, but it's been one of those that has always been pushed to one side and set back for one reason or another, until now! I had made an attempt at this back in January however passing traffic and secca patrols seemed to be non stop and no obvious access made things a little harder... Big thanks to The Lone Ranger and Catbalou for pointing me in the right direction way back in January though, was a massive help and meant that I was finally able to achieve my goal of getting up close and personal with those 5 mighty J&E Hall Compressor Units!

    History:

    Plenty of history regarding this place, but if my ramblings bore you feel free to skip ahead to the images as I'll be adding information relative to the images as we go anyway!

    The Factory was opened on the 7th of October 1901 as a joint venture between the Grimsby Ice Company and the Grimsby Co-operative Ice Company. The Grimsby Ice Company was initially founded in 1863 by local fishermen to import ice from Norway to help them preserve the fish that they caught, by 1900 however it was obvious that they would have to begin to source ice from elsewhere as the for ice, what made matters worse was that the Norwegians began to charge more for exporting their ice and the supply of ice was unreliable... Hence the need for an ice factory at home.

    The Original Refrigeration Plant on site where 4 steam powered Pontifex horizontal double-acting ammonia compressors which would operate at 50rpm. These where powered by vertical, triple-expansion steam engines, the steam for these engines where generated from six 30ft long Lancashire boilers.

    A few changes where made between opening and 1931, changes such as the superheating of the Lancashire boilers and the purchase of a few more bits of kit from the Linde British Refrigerating Company however the majority of the facility stayed the same... Until 1931 when a modernization program under the direction of F A Fleming MBE, who was the General manger at the ice factory at the time was put into place. The program included the installation of four J&E Hall Compressors and Metropolitan Vickers Electrical equipment, replacing the Old Pontifex Compressors and Steam Engines. The specification for the new plant demanded an output of 1,100 tons of ice per day under ordinary working conditions, and by utilising the existing tanks without increasing the number of cans. The use of steam was to be entirely dispensed with and means to be provided for heating the thawing water without the use of electrical heaters. Much as today, this had to be achieved with equipment of the greatest efficiency.

    On the 10th of October 1931 the first of the Compressors from J&E Hall arrived in Grimsby by rail to be placed in the Generating Hall where the old Steam Engines once stood. The four ammonia compressors, each having four cylinders would operate at a speed of 250rpm and each compressor was directly-coupled to a 600bhp, 6,000V motor by Metropolitan Vickers.

    During the 1950's a 5th J&E Hall Compressor was purchased along with the appropriate 'Met Vic' Motor to go with it and they where housed in their own specially built extension, a seventh water tank was also built as the demand for ice went up.

    Sadly the high demands for ice where short lived, episodes such as the cod wars and the general decline in the British fishing industry led to several units been shut down by 1976, and in 1990 the factory closed it's doors and shut down. Today it is owned by Associated British Ports and is left derelict, although preservationists have tried to save the building, their efforts have sadly so far been in vain. Even though the place makes a great opportunity for us explorers I would like to think it would be saved eventually as the factory is now a unique survivor of a now otherwise extinct industry, that said, I do have my doubts...

    Pictures

    The Exterior:

    [​IMG]

    The Ice Factory pre 1931 when it was steam powered, there's no actual record of when the chimney was demolished.

    [​IMG]

    The Generation Halls:

    Then... Showing off the old Cole Marchent and Morely steam engine, and Linde Compressor

    [​IMG]

    After the installation of the new J&E Hall Units in 1931.

    [​IMG]

    Now...

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    And the younger Unit 5 all on its own...

    [​IMG]

    Not forgetting the Metropolitan Vickers Gear...

    [​IMG]

    The Pump House:

    I don't have much info on this area other than it's obvious purpose and the fact it's powered by Met Vic Pumps and electrics.

    [​IMG]

    Fresh Water Pump Controls

    [​IMG]

    Whilst in the Pump Room I also came across this area, note the wooden barrels stacked up on top of the small building, these will have been made and repaired by the onsite cooper who was employed full time here at the Grimsby Ice Factory. A real self sustaining business.

    [​IMG]

    Ice Production and Preparation:

    In the next few shots we'll see the Ammonia Storage Tanks, where the completed Ice Blocks where crushed and inside one of the large refrigeration tanks...

    [​IMG]

    Amonia Tanks...

    [​IMG]

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    The completed Ice Block would emerge here, strangely enough in warm water...

    [​IMG]

    Here they would be slid across the floor toward the crushers, then onto the conveyor's and over to the fish market !

    Admin and Drawing Room...

    There's not a lot to see in Admin other than this rather nice tiled staircase... Worth a look though!

    [​IMG]

    The Drawing Room, there's still a few remnants of drawings and related documents, but they disintegrate when handled sadly...

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    A room with a view!

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    The Boiler Room:

    This is where those six Lancashire Boilers would have stood

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Rooftop:

    And Finally a couple on the roof to finish off of with!

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    [​IMG]

    Looking over the conveyors and on to the Fish Market.

    And that's all, I'll be uploading more onto my flickr soon, here's a link to the groups website who are trying to preserve the place, take a look if you're interested: http://grimsbyice.co.uk/

    Cheers for Reading :thumb
    TAW
     
    #1 The Amateur Wanderer, Mar 18, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015

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  2. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
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    Aces! Very through & informative, excellent photography, inside out, out side in, up side down & down side up! :thumb Keep this up & you'll have to change yer screen name to " The Professional Wanderer " ! :D Have a :brew on me! ( just got to come over here to collect! ;) )
     
  3. mrwhite

    mrwhite 28DL Regular User
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    lovely report mate, looks amazing this place
     
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  4. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Beautifully shot and really well written..one of the best reports I've seen of this place.
     
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  5. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Nice report! I dont remember seeing that Admin staircase when we went.
     
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  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    I remember the admin staircase, but not the plans.
     
  7. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Lovely, best report I've seen on the place
     
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  8. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Very nice that, glad you managed to make it in.
     
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  9. Arcaned

    Arcaned Dirty Donker
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    Cracking report. Looks like there's a huge amount of bird poop in there. Very nice photography none the less :thumb
     
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  10. Fairdo's

    Fairdo's 28DL Regular User
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    Very nice, some of the best pics from there I've seen....
     
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  11. LINESHAFT

    LINESHAFT 28DL Full Member
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    Great report. Looks like those engines could still be started
     
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  12. Simon J Sanigarr

    Simon J Sanigarr 28DL Full Member
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    Nice one am local to this! would not mind haven a a look
     
  13. Hydro

    Hydro 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report mate, hopefully ill get over there soon and take a look.

    did you go over the conveyors into the fish market? i may try :thumb
     
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  14. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers everyone, glad you all enjoyed the report and photo's!

    Speed - The Staircase is over in the other building across what was Parker Street, it's down the yellow spiral staircase and tucked away behind No.6 Ice Tank in the General Offices. If anyone wants a copy of this map by he way feel free to nick it, I found it useful although it is the 1931 set up.

    [​IMG]

    The Lone Ranger - Thanks mate, and cheers again for the help!

    Arcaned - It's like bird shit city in there! Next time I go I might take a brush and some polish, give the machinery a little clean haha

    Seldom Seen World - Cheers, it's well worth a look mate, got to be one of the best industrial locations around in my opinion, quite hard to find 1930's machinery like that in such good nick! I ran out of time before getting chance to take a look at the market sadly, although I don't think I missed much, you can see most of it from the road.
     
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  15. Simon J Sanigarr

    Simon J Sanigarr 28DL Full Member
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    I live 10 min walk from this place but not on how to access ;)
     
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