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Report - Nash Mill, Hemel Hempstead, May 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

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    Introduction

    One of my biggest complaints about living in the Home Counties’ is that there is naff all industry down here; and what little there is, is poor.
    Nash Mills in Hemel Hempstead was therefore a welcome relief. Despite being a little trashed and not as large as her northern counter-parts, she played a crucial role in the establishment of the modern paper industry and provided me with a good evening out.


    History

    There has been industry on the site since the Doomsday, when a corn mill belonging to the abbey at St Albans was recorded. However the paper mill which we see today started life in 1811 when wealthy paper manufacturer John Dickinson bought the site, having purchased the neighbouring Apsley Mill 2 years earlier. Dickinson brought about a revolution in the paper making industry, much as the northern cotton mill owners had done a few decades previous. Before Dickinson paper mills had been small enterprises, producing paper of variable quality and at high prices, Dickinson realized it would be far more economical to mass produce paper and distribute it all over the county; Nash mills was perfectly suited to this, having a prime location next to the Grand Union (and later the London-Birmingham Railway).

    Dickinson soon built up a reputation as a producer of good quality consistent paper, and tough thin paper for Samuel Bagster’s Pocket Reference Bible. Nash Mills was also pioneered the production of fine rag paper on electrically driven machines.

    The site at Apsley was closed in 1999, later Dickinson’s was bought out by Sappi and finally ceased paper production in 2006, bring to an end 920 years of industrial activity on the site.



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    Regards,
     

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