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Report - Pianoforte Supplies (auto parts division), Roade - May 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Session9, May 19, 2015.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    History

    In 1910 a London floor polishing paste firm known as J. Masters&Co began the manufacture of of their paste on a site nearby the railway tracks along the small village train station.

    J. Masters & Co closed after just 12 years in business and was purchased by a former employee named C.T. Cripps.

    In 1923 Cripps founded Pianoforte Supplies Ltd which was solely dedicated to the production of castings and fixtures for Piano manufacturers and also successfully produced fair quantities of fixture parts for automobiles.

    In 1933 the factory suffered from severe fire damage and was soon rebuilt that year.

    During WW2 the factory went into full time production creating spare vehicle and aircraft parts as part of a contribution to the war effort in Britain.

    During the 1960's employment peaked with the factory employing a little more than 1,800 workers. This was however short lived and when the railway station of Roade was closed in 1964 and Pianoforte began a slow journey into gradual decline.

    In 1980 the factory ceased to production of piano parts altogether, though one side continued to produce parts until 2011.


    The explore

    The planned activity for the day was having a look at what is left of the northern section of the Bedford to Northampton railway. We started off having a wander around the yard of a factory making track machines which uses a short length of track to test them under load. A walk along the mostly removed track situated in substantial thorny jungle revealed an abandoned warehouse used as a B.R. welding school, complete, sadly with pikey attachment.

    And so onto our next stop: The Northampton and Lamport heritage railway.
    Now, being a warm May Saturday, we had made an assumption the railway would be open, but no! Our confusion was not helped by a guy repairing a B.R. brake van with broken palette wood. It was clearly time to have a good mooch around the real ale section in the (busy) station pub next door.

    Next on the itinerary, Blisworth to catch up with an old friend and enjoy another brew.

    BUT wait, i thought, isn't Roade on the way...

    Explored with a non-member and non tripod, as i could not be bothered to trek back to the car.

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    2. Not sure what that yellow thing is. The sight of it nearly brought up my Chicken and Mushroom slice.

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    7. Rover 400, i believe. The collapse of Rover and the supply chain was staggering - at least 30,000 jobs were lost almost overnight.

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    14. Any better ideas workers, to calling an ambulance perhaps?

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    15. Chemicals and pigeon ploop, the perfect eau de toilette.

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    16. Acid pickle. Isn't that what you get for woofing down a sarnie made with a dollop of that overpriced homemade piccalilli your distant relative bought for you six years ago at Christmas?

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    17. Sadly, Rover were.

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    18. Red light, shepherd's delight (or something not remotely like that) :)

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    20. One of my favorites of the day.


    Very much enjoyed this one and still more to cover. Work has started in the car park opposite, so i guess her time is limited.

    And we never made it to Blisworth! :)
     

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  2. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Some lovely photos there :thumb
     
  3. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Nice shots , looks interesting :thumb
     
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