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Report - Morlands Tannery, Northover - June 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Yorrick, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
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    For centuries Somerset has been important for rearing sheep.
    Much of the wealth that created Somerset’s churches in the middle ages came from wool.
    Associated with this are tanning and the manufacture of sheepskin rugs.

    The business that was eventually to become Morlands was established in 1822 in Street.
    By the 1860s the business needed bigger premises and moved to a tannery at Northover, Glastonbury.
    In 1870 a new partnership between James Clark (as in Clasrk's shoes, based just up the road at Street),
    his son William, and John Morland, James’s son-in-law, was formed, with John Morland bringing new capital into the business.
    The firm, Clark, Son and Morland, went into production in 1871 with sixty-five employees.

    In 1906 Morland’s introduced sheepskin motor rugs and footmuffs for passengers in motor cars.
    Footmuffs were kept on the floor of the motor car and took both feet.

    By 1919 Morlands slippers were in production. In 1922 some 12,000 were sold.

    In 1925 the firm became a public company.
    Overshoes, designed to be worn over motorist’s ordinary
    shoes, were a popular product.

    In its heyday Morlands was the largest tannery in Europe, with factories in Glastonbury, Highbridge,
    Redruth and later Yeovil, each week tanning 36,000 skins, which were purchased from all over the world.

    During the Second World War Morland’s made flying boots (sic) for the Air Ministry, and skins for other firms to make into flying clothing. [I guess they mean boot's Aviator's, not boots with wings and propellers!]
    The technical advances made to meet Ministry specifications lead to improvements in the quality and appearance of the products so that with the peace the demand from the civilian market increased.

    After the war the firm concentrated on fleece lined leather footwear. Acquiring skins of the right type
    and quality became more demanding as production increased.

    The market demanded a greater range of styles and colours and the business grew in the post war
    years, and with A.J. Baily and Co. Ltd, Morlands became Glastonbury’s largest employers.

    However in a changing market and under pressure from foreign manufacturers Clark, Son and
    Morland Ltd went into receivership in 1982. A new company under the direction of Baily’s was set up
    to make lines formerly made by Morlands but this itself closed in 1992 and tanning ceased and the building fell into disuse.

    My Visit

    So, I was working on the build up of a nearby, horribly commercial festival of performing arts,
    I had a long day and checked in to my hotel at way past midnight. Woke up in the morning and saw
    this from my bedroom window.




    [​IMG]



    Okay. So I’d seen it in Styru’s report from the previous week and Wellingtonian’s report from last year and knew I was staying over the road.
    I planned to get back a bit earlier on my second night so I could go for a wander, but I got back way after dark again and the place was crawling with kids, running round the yard and yawping from the top floor windows.
    I headed to the vodka instead, deciding to try again on my third and final night.

    Got back just before dark, went straight in, set up to take my first pic and had total torch failure.
    Standing on my own, in an empty building I actually felt ashamed of myself.
    What a freaking noob error.
    As this was my last night, I resigned myself to taking some crap, grainy, long exposures.
    I didn’t think they’d be worth sharing, but there must have been more light than I thought.
    Now I come to look they’re not much worse than my usual.
    WB is maybe a bit off from my norm.
    Anyway.
    Enough salsa wiffling.
    Have some pics.



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    Thanks for looking

     
    #1 Yorrick, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    The Wombat, mw0sec, KM_Punk and 2 others like this.

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  2. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Good to see. Snaps look good to me :thumb
     
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  3. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers mate :thumb
     
  4. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah....very nice report and fab pics :thumb
     
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  5. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Love it mate, those glove patterns are amazing.
     
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  6. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Come out fine those mate :thumb
     
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  7. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Lovely shots :thumb
     
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  8. camoe

    camoe 28DL Regular User
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    Awesome images,

    Theres just something so awesome about rusting metal, peeling paint and old enamel light fittings
     
  9. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
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    I know, and all the tiny leather covered buttons....that I failed to capture!

    Cheers mate
     
  10. Sbc

    Sbc 28DL Member
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    Sad to report, part of the building was hit by fire last night with 3 floors and the roof gone. image.jpeg
     
  11. Pest

    Pest Read comics and sleep all day, = no worries
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    Vandals! :wanker
     
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