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Report - ICI Nobel Explosives Factory, Ardeer 25/01/10

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Rookinella, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Rookinella

    Rookinella I should have danced all night
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited with BenCooper, OT, Dweeb, Raddog and Minnen Ratta.

    Oh dear! No deer at Ardeer=gutted! With a lack of venison on the menu, we settled for some bombs. We went to Ardeer on the last day of the roadtrip having arranged to meet BenCooper at 10ish because he said he was flexible. I interpreted this as being super gymnastic so after three hours of silliness in the car, we half expected him to be doing back flips in lycra in the car park of Morrisons. Disappointed with lack of back flips, we started the trek over monster evil Christmas trees which are apparently called "gorse".

    We wandered around for hours, crossing sand dunes and ducking under razorblade bushes feeling very apocolyptic and cool amongst the deserted plains. There was much prodding and poking of artifacts within the buildings, accompanied with big wide eyes and grins. What a fantastic day! Cheers to the flexible BenCooper for sharing this awesome place with us :thumb

    Nobel Enterprises is a chemicals business based at Ardeer, near to near Stevenston in North Ayrshire, Scotland. It specialises in nitrogen-based propellants and explosives and nitrocellulose-based products such as varnishes and inks. It was formerly ICI Nobel, a division of the chemicals group ICI, but is now owned by Inabata & Company, a Japanese trading firm.

    Nobel Industries Limited was founded in 1870 by Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel for the production of the new explosive dynamite. Ardeer, on the coast at Ayrshire, was chosen for the company's first factory. The business later diversified into the production of blasting gelatine, gelignite, ballistite, guncotton, and cordite. At its peak, the factory was employing nearly 13,000 workers.

    In 1926, the firm merged with Brunner, Mond & Company, the United Alkali Company, and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, creating a new group, Imperial Chemical Industries, then one of Britain's largest firms. Nobel Industries continued as the ICI Nobel division of the company.

    ICI Ardeer was commonly known locally as the 'factory' or the 'Dinnamite'. At the time the company generally provided higher quality employment regarding terms and conditions and pension rights than other local firms. The Ardeer site was almost like a community, and there were so many people employed there that a bank, travel agent and dentist were at one time based on the site. The former Western Scottish Bus Company provided tens of buses per day to transport the workers to and from the site, and until the mid 1960s there were even two trains per day to transport workers to a station within the factory.

    In the late 1960s construction began on a nylon and nitric acid plant, but this had a short life, closing down just 12 years later.

    In 2002 the division, now named Nobel Enterprises, was sold to Inabata.

    On 8 September 2007 a major fire was reported at the site when 1500-1700 tons of nitrocellulose, stored in an open area, caught fire. There was little property damage and no serious injuries.


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  2. Rookinella

    Rookinella I should have danced all night
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