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Report - Metalbox Factory, Worcester - April 2014

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by PopPunkJamie, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Visited with clebby. History also shamelessly taken from his report...


    Well over 100 years ago, a local tinsmith, William Blizzard Williamson, founded a sheet metal works in Providence Street, and called it the Providence Works. It was small but it became the base of operations for Metal Box's biggest money -spinner in the UK, for at Worcester (Perry Wood), the firm made up to two million open top cans a day to carry vegetables, fruit, beer, beefsteak, puddings and dairy cream. The Providence Works was amalgamated with a number of other UK can and tin box makers under the Metal Box Co. Ltd. trade mark name in 1930, to fight terrific competition from American high speed production, but Metal Box was founded nine years before.

    In the old days, Providence Works produced travelling trunks, cash boxes, baths, general tinware and camping washstands for expeditionary forces. A special line was the beautiful Judge's and Barrister's Wig Boxes, and Worcester people may have seen the replica of the original F.A Cup which was stolen from an Aston shop window after the Villa had won the Cup. In 1885, George Williamson, son of the founder, invented and patented the cutter-lid tin, familiar to older readers who brought their favourite brands of cigarettes in 'round fifties'. On this device the British export trade in cigarettes and tobacco was built. Cigarettes packed in this way became familiar all over the world, and Williamson Patent Worcester was embossed on each tin.

    After the 1914-18 War, the business took a new turn. The cutter-lid patent ran out and large tobacco firms started to make their own. The founder's grandson, G.Williamson, decided to extend the metal printing side of the business instead. But the factory still needed another product to replace the business lost by the patent expiry. To meet the growing need of the late 20's, the first high speed food can line was installed. It soon became apparent that the Providence Works was too small, and a new factory was built at Perry Wood, in 1931. The Prince of Wales, late Edward Vlll, visited the plant, which by then was producing up to a half million cans a day.



    Not the most inspiring place to photograph but still has a few points of interest left before it's all cleared out. All a bit too modern for my liking but it was good to see something different from the usual manor houses etc. Photos are somewhat similar to clebby's, I also struggled to really capture the place as I was only expecting this to be a reccy so didn't bring my tripod.


    I also failed to get any external shots, so I stole these off the internet....

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    Internals

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  2. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Good find mate, looks well worth a visit to me :thumb
     
  3. Tobin22

    Tobin22 28DL Full Member
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    Nice bit of traction there! Love that second pic
     
  4. merryprankster

    merryprankster formerly oakleyframer
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    Living in worcs I Can't not really can I! Nice report bud, take it the forklift was dead?!
     
  5. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Nah man I think it had keys in but I didn't dare start it as the place wasn't technically derelict
     
  6. Robbo

    Robbo 28DL Full Member
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    wow.! what a find.!
     
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