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Report - Robert Fletchers Paper Mill - Greenfield, Oldham - January 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Skudge, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Skudge

    Skudge The One & Only.
    28DL Full Member

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    Okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk been meaning to hit this sometime since I caught wind of it. Not too bad neither considering my old man doesn't live to far from there.

    History again shamefully stolen from DrHowser.

    History

    [HR] [/HR]
    The history of Fletchers as a business can be traced back to 1829 and a company called Ralph Crompton & Nephews Bleachers and Papermakers in Stoneclough. A young Robert Fletcher began working there in 1830 and was quickly promoted, becoming bleaching dept manager and eventually manager of the whole operation.

    The last of the Cromptons, Roger, left Fletcher the principal trusteeship and the option of succeeding him in the company. On Crompton's death Fletcher did just this, building the business until his death in 1865 when it passed to his sons John and James Fletcher, who in turn passed it to their sons John Robert and James.

    In 1897 the business was incorporated as a Ltd company, employing two hundred staff, eventually rising to around a thousand. The Stoneclough site had seven machines but produced a fraction of the eventual output of the three at Greenfield.

    The Greenfield factory opened in 1921 on a site where milling in one form or another can be traced back to 1780, producing first wool then cotton.

    Fletchers continued to be successful through to the late 1990's when increased pulp and energy costs combined with a financial downturn saw the business begin to struggle. In 1997 the turnover was around £17m with shareholders funds of £9m. By 1999 this had dropped to £8.2m and £4m respectively. To try to save the business the Stoneclough site was closed in 2000 with the loss of 120 jobs there but the production of 50 more at Greenfield.

    This wasn't enough to save Fletchers though, in July 2001 several creditors applied for a winding up order resulting in the overnight closure of the factory.
    [HR] [/HR]

    My Visit
    So after putting this off for about 3 month and no one wanting to do it with me :violin. I finally got round to doing it, but late in the afternoon so didn't have that much time to snap pics. So as it comes me and my dad set about going to Dovestones (the little area that it's contained in). As we get there we're scouting access but couldn't find it for shit. Had to walk around twice just to find it.

    As I was walking round I spotted a few PIR's but didn't seem as they went off so I wasn't too bothered. Finally found access and got into the main building and instantly loved what I seen. Not many people are into derps but I seem to be into anything really and particularly loved Fletchers because it's in the original state it's been in since it's been abandoned.

    Anyway got in and it was Pidgeon shit galore all over the machines. Thought fuck it, I'm here I'll start snapping. So half way through snapping my dad has a wander and because the sites that big he decides to get lost! So half of this visit was trying to find him, half taking pictures. Didn't even get to have a real look :(.

    After about half an hour I give up looking and thought he's gone back to the car, turns out he did. Got a phone call off him saying watch out there's secca looking for you. Said how do you know and he said he got caught him self..lol. So decided to stay in there an extra half an hour, within that half an hour I spotted the security guard 4 times. At one point he was standing right above me (hold breath haha) but luckily he didn't spot me. Thought it's about time I fucked off. Well overstayed my welcome even though I didn't have one in the first place :rolleyes:. A re-visit is definitely on the cards though.

    Anyway on with the pictures.

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