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Report - Pine End Works (again), Lydney - 07/11/2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by clebby, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
    Regular User

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    Oh my god, I love this place.

    Ok fine, it's not as big or as epic as Pyestock but it doesn't pretend to be. But if people only ever went to Pyestock none of these smaller, but certainly not small places would ever get cracked.

    It's an incredibly photogenic site, chock full of original features and great machines, as well as having a filthy rich history to go with it. This was my second visit, and it surprised even me how much we missed last time - and I thought that was epic! http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=43878

    As I covered the (massive) history in my last report, I'll make this brief. Constructed by the Government in 1940, it was built to produce technical aircraft and marine plywood for wartime requirements. It was known as a "shadow factory", meaning it was built in secrecy so that goods vital to the war effort could continue to be made without such a high risk of bombing. To preserve secrecy it was known as "Factories Direction Ltd",then it was taken over by two of the countries largest timber producers, William Mallison and Sons Ltd. and Gliksten Plywood Limited. It then name was changed to "Mallison-Denny (Lydney) Limited".

    During the war it was used to produce wooden aircraft panels for the Mosquito fighter-bomber and the Horsa assault gliders used in the D Day landings. In the 80s three inch thick rubber and grit surfaced plywood made at Pine End was used in a refubishment of Tower Bridge. It also supplied plywood to the Admiralty, the MoD, British Rail, vehicle manufacturers and boat builders. Something known as "Hydroboard" was produced at Pine End as well. It was a "chemically impregnated densified and compressed plywood" used in nuclear shielding in power stations. In its last years it became part of the Brooke-Bond Group of Companies, operating under the name "Lydney Products". We found documents in the building suggesting that it closed in 2001 or thereafter.

    If you want to see interior pics view my July leads and rumours thread here; http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/...ad.php?t=41828 To be honest I'm surprised such an historical and interesting site hasn't been explored by others - seriously get down here, there are plans to bulldoze the lot soon.

    Unfortunately, Paskey was busy today so I had to make do with Da-Mop and Mrdemeanor. Anyway, here's what I saw today. First up, a massive factory floor, twice the size of the one we saw in October, which we totally missed last time.

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    The floor was punctuated by some of the machinery left behind after the factory closed its doors.

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    I have no idea what this is, but it had a lot of belts and a very large motor...

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    ...as well as some funky dials! :gay

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    This appeared to be some kind of tank, attached to the dust extraction ducts.

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    There used to be two of these machines; now there is only one, leaving a gaping void in the floor. All that remains of the other one is a few bits of metal, strewn across the floor outside.

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    The one left behind had a great control panel though.

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    The doors between factory floors are heavy wooden sliding affairs, which look the original ones fitted in 1940. Dweeb would like this; all of the signs in the building were original - be it for the toilets, employee motivation or like this sign on the doors...

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    There was a darker factory floor through the door, but it contained some epic machinery. This one must have been 10 feet high; I don't know what it is, but the sign indicated it was some kind of press.

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    This one was definitely a press - 1000 tons to be precise.

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    "John Shaw and Sons
    (Salford)
    1000 Tons"


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    More control panels with lots of buttons to press...

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    This machine consisted of a large carriage with spinning blades and motors, that was on rails and could be moved over a cutting board about 40 feet long. I love this place.

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    The main stores, where African hardwoods would be delivered after being shipped across the Severn estuary from Avonmouth.

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    Unfortunately, the only thing left in the stores is the fire extinguishers, ironically in storage.

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    Oh, and a retro Toyota fork-lift. :cool:

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    The roof. There was lots to see and explore, but this photo does not do justice to the size of the place. The large pipes were part of the dust extraction system, and these in turn led to some silos where sawdust would be stored until collection.

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    Back inside, and the staff locker room. Dirty old men :rolleyes:

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    And finally, one of the epic surgery rooms on site...

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    ...and we found more of the paperwork. There were filing cabinets full of the stuff, dating from as early as the 1960s.

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    It's a great place, well worth the visit; I would recommend it to anyone.

    Cheers :)
     
    #1 clebby, Nov 7, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009

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