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Report - Lister Petter Factory Works, Dursley - 2014

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by huey, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Inspired by Speeds excellent report. Originally explored solo but rudely interrupted..wasn't going to go back but was persuaded by the mighty Clebby to return with an open mind and now really glad I did. Re-visited with Ourtcloud,after a tentative reccy looking for the cleanest way in, the UK's most hygienic explore duo made a plan-after changing shoes and a quick wash of hands we were off!


    THE SITE

    Located in Dursley this once gigantic site sprawled its way across the valley,dominating the landscape and district-at one time employing 5000 people in its foundry,machine shops,maintenace department,works service,training building,pattern shop,labs,shearing factory,woodware factory,engine factory,outbuildings,its own fire station etc etc.Back in the 1800's this place wasn't a big part of Dursley,it was Dursley.
    Today about 90% of it has gone,demolished in June 2002,only the southern end of the factory survives.


    THE HISTORY BIT

    Robert Lister founded the company in 1867-it quickly grew thanks to the mans vision and business acumen.Production then was varied-anything from milk churning and farming equipment,tools,cleaners,chain harrows etc even making shell cases for both world wars.In the 1890's a pivotal decision was made-Lister brought the manufacturing rights to new dairy equipment from Mikael Pederson,the business took off like never before.
    At the turn of the century despite a successful woodware company and shearing business they diversified and started making engines-within years they were globally reknowned for quality and built extra factories in Nymphsfield,Wooton-under-Edge and Cinderford.
    Lister himself was a philanthropist and make several nice gestures to his staff-regular day trips to the seaside,terraced houses built for them,bath houses,a 'fine welfare system' was developed and its own medical centre built.The social club still survives today.So,with a caring boss,fair working conditions,an excellent reputation for quality and a full order book,how did things go so wrong?

    THE MODERN HISTORY BIT


    The woodware business was a big success,making oiled Burma teak benches and waste bins for the council,amongst other things.The shearing part was run separately whilst they concentrated on the engine side-petrol diesel,generators,gearboxs,all was developed,made and tested in house from scratch.A nice touch was all engines were painted a Brunswick green (British racing green.)In 1965 the company merged with Hawker Sidderley,a huge fire in July 1983 destroyed over 125,000 sq feet of equipment and buildings.The company then built Drake House on the site (which is still in use by another admin company today.) The company ambled on until 1986 then mergered,this time with a rival company and became Lister-Petter. Despite cutbacks,waves of smaller redundancies and various business plans the writing was on the wall.By 2000 they sold 92 acres for £15 million 'to help safeguard the future.' Seems this senior management decision wasn't fully initiated or completely understood-several managers left as very wealthy men and the staff and company were left to rot.
    Mr Madell was one of the former directors who left with a large package and immediately came back as a freelance consultant.He arrived at the factory in a brand new £180,000 Ferrari and probably without any trace of irony what so ever,told of more cutbacks and gave another wave of workers their notice.Contrary to his own opinion is undoubtedly a raging twat.An insolvency company was called in,the business going into administration and staff had to go to the government to get any kind of redundancy payout.The union leader stated at bthe time 'You have to run a business very badly with such a strong order book to get into this kind of trouble.'
    A sad end to a british success story and 140 years of local history.

    [​IMG]


    Nice 1960/70's shot
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    The Priory,used by the directors and admin
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    and today..
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    The railway despatch shed and sidings,demolished 1970 allowing the new buildings to be built
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    Grinding the shears combs and cutters
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    Engine erecting shop
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    and today...
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    The original shearing building
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    The big fire,the sites own Dennis fire engine helped the local brigade
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    Main building is vast-2 bay automated stacker crane is huge
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    Would have held hundreds of steel crates like this
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    part of the engine/gearbox assembly line
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    One of the many soundproofed engine test cells
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    Boiler house porn
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    After a quick snack,rest and cuppa it was off to the labs and office areas..
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    ..reaveals the usual left behind confidential paperwork and things..
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    ...and boxes of excess.
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    If you've made it this far,well done.Some general shots
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    A nice gesture from the people of Dursley regards Mikael Pederson-really the man whos invention started the whole business. The Dane moved over to Dursley to oversea production when he sold the idea to Lister,fell in love with the place and lived in Long Street,still carrying on inventing things like the pushbike with a hammock seat,using triangulated lightweight tubing (in 1894!),patenting various things but ultimately after his third divorce moved back to Denmark a bankrupt recluse.He died alone in 1929.
    The people of Dursley thought this was wrong,so after a fund raising campaign in 1995 his remains were exumed from their unmarked grave and re-interred in Dursley cemetery where he lies today,a plaque commemorating his life and many achievements.
    Thanks for looking.
     

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  2. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Nice report! However, don't think it's the best idea posting pics of the laptops... :S

    Nice site and pics. :thumb
     
  3. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Ha,did think twice about that pic to be honest...
     
  4. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    They shouldn't have left them behind then.

    Cracking report as per.
     
  5. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Great report mate! I'll get my pics sorted and added to the thread.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the laptops they were completely fucked, most of the components removed and a big sticker on the back of each reading 'Motherboard Fried'
     
  6. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    They are probably knackered! Good to see some details. I didnt realise they did wood work too! Science lab benches and the like by the sound of it??
     
  7. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    I believe so mate,the more I research about the place,the more I learn....it really was a vast place and a way of life for bloody decades. Should never have down down the pan.
     
  8. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Very nice mate, best so far :) :thumb
     
  9. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Good report that. Looking at that accounts summary, they were in big trouble.
     
  10. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    It's better to start your own thread mate. Generally, all replies get deleted when the thread gets archived.
     
  11. knighthawk

    knighthawk 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Nice report like place
     
  12. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Ok, will do that then.
     
  13. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Thanks for the compliments guys,will keep em coming...
     
  14. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Mmmm,nice!
     
  15. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Lister Petter Factory Works,Dursley,2014

    Just been told by Ourt,most of the engine side stuff has been removed...be quick before its all memories
     
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