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Report - Hickson & Welch Fine Chemical Intermediates - Castleford, Nov 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by jST, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. jST

    jST LLS.
    Regular User

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    This enormous former Chemical production plant is located on a 175 acre site punctuated by the meandering River Aire and a part of the Calder & Hebble navigation. Hickson & Welch were an organic fine chemicals producer and contract manufacturer who focused on agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, pigments, explosives (boom) and detergents.

    On the 21st of September 1992 an enormous explosion from within a Toluene still tank killed 5 workers which, expectedly, contributed to the eventual slow demise of the site. This semi-demolished, chemical infused wasteland has now lain dormant since 2003 when a Private equity company who promised to keep the plant open, and assured unions there would be no job losses bought it... However, as soon as the contract was signed they sacked all 300 employees, asset stripped the company and sold the site to a developer.

    Housing is proposed for the site and demolition was in full swing until last year when it was halted due to planning concerns over land contamination... duh!

    Visited with KooK in the fading light of a chilly, early winter’s afternoon. Had a bit of a job finding access but perhaps that was the incorrect manner of our approach (i.e - we didn’t have a dinghy) Anyhow, it seemed that we barely scratched the surface of this immense site due to fading light and taking so bloody long to get in. What we saw were intense banks of control panel porn, pipez... pipez everywhere, chimneyz, bridgez, bottlez and smelt - almondz... Expect further photos at a future juncture - Here’s what we got on this visit:

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    Lots of Control Panels.

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    Some still live, this one was flashing on like a goodun.

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    Finally - the two chimney brothers.

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    Thanks for having a look. :thumb
     

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