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Report - Lafarge Cement Works - Wiltshire - April 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Idavoll, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Idavoll

    Idavoll Who?
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    This was a pre-Bristol Meetup mooch with @END-PROC, @Seffy and @WhoDaresWins. Coming from the local area we all know about the old cement plant - for years the chimney would be puffing out grey smoke every morning and I know lots of people who were employed there so it was nice to go in for a look around.

    History (Ganked from the interwebs)

    The cement works were opened by Blue Circle in 1962 with a second kiln being added in 1965. In the early 1990s, Blue Circle invested more than £21 million in improving efficiency, safety and environmental performance at the plant, which included a new £2 million central control building.

    The fossilised remains of a Jurassic pilosaur were found at the plant’s clay quarry during a joint excavation by Bristol Museum and Bristol University.

    In January 2001 Blue Circle announced a £3.1 billion merger with French building materials group, Lafarge, which saw the group become the world’s largest cement company. Soon after the merger the plant began to burn tyres at the plant, which caused uproar among residents in the town who believed the fumes would have a detrimental effect on people’s health.

    In October 2003 burning tyres and faulty machinery caused two fires within the space of four days at the factory. One anonymous resident, whose home in Newtown overlooks the cement works, said at the time: “These fires are becoming a regular occurrence rather than a rare incident.” The demise of the plant came swiftly when Lafarge announced it was axing half of its 130 workforce due to 'operational costs and market conditions' in September 2008. Just before Christmas the cement works was forced to recall 2,500 tonnes of cement over fears it contained high levels of a chromium VI, which can cause skin inflammation.

    Then on February 5 Lafarge revealed operations at the plant would cease in April with only four members of staff being kept on for security.

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    Cement still showing the Blue Circle logo.

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    The "iconic" Westbury chimney - the ladder has been cut off quite high up and there are multiple cameras pointing towards it...just FYI.

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  2. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Nicely done, and so soon after touching back down in this country too! Bits of this place felt pretty Pyestock-esk, thought that was cool. Might go again with a camera this time... :p
     
  3. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Loved this place, never really got around all of it but got absolutely filthy. If you don't get dirty you're doing industrial derps wrong!
     
  4. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    haha, had such a funny experience here the other year with DHL. Nicely done!
     
  5. Idavoll

    Idavoll Who?
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    I had the images ready before I flew out but I had only just posted a report and didn't want to post too many at once and see too pro. ;)

    It was bloody filthy!!
     
  6. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Just letting you all know, I was here about a week ago and triggered a loud tannoy saying "go away" or similar.... so just be a bit careful about going to the east side. Watching from outside the site though, didn't see anyone turn up to investigate. Country to what my son later told his friends, we weren't chased off by helicopters.
     
  7. WhoDaresWins

    WhoDaresWins Let's do this
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    I'm sure me and EP wouldn't mind a revisit with you if ya do ;)
     
  8. Idavoll

    Idavoll Who?
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    The site is still live but in a limited capacity. They no longer produce concrete here but Lafarge still have their trucks come and go and security is still present; we clocked a guard making his rounds when we arrived.

    In recent years they had trouble with people breaking in and stealing materials and metals so I had been told the security do have a heavy handed approach if you're caught.
     
  9. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Decent stuff :thumb
     
  10. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely captured, you have some really nice shots there,
    I like the chimney :thumb
     
  11. soulfez

    soulfez 28DL Member
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    Can confirm the police get called out if the tannoy alarm goes off :L no helicopter, instead an angry police dog greeted us
     
  12. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the info. It all helps.

    Just to clarify.. my son made-up the story to his friends about the helicopters - he is only 8 and was actually saying to his friends that he is James Bond. Hmmm.. we had a narrow escape it seems. Maybe I shouldn't take him to places like this. I will enrol him into some after-school clubs such as the pottery club instead :-)
     
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