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Report - Royal Ordnance Chorley

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by AndyM, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. AndyM

    AndyM 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    This place has fascinated me for some time, if nothing else for it’s sheer size. The site was over 900 acres and when built just before WW2 had 1500 buildings, 25 miles of railway track and 50 miles of road! Since the war, the site has only been in partial use, and has really been run down since the early 90’s. [​IMG]
    A decision was taken by BAE Systems (who by then owned ROF) in the mid 90’s to redevelop large parts of the site and these have been cleared and the land reclaimed. This has now been redeveloped with business and housing and as I moved nearby recently, I took the opportunity to explore.

    ROF still use the South West corner of the site, although this will close by the end of 2007. Quite a bit is visible from roads and pathways alongside, although there are a lot of security cameras along the perimeter. MoD Police used to be based here, although I don’t know whether this is still the case. So internal exploration is out of the question, for the moment at least.

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    Of more interest is the North East corner. Here is the old Power Station which according to the History of the Royal Ordnance Factory Chorley book, was in use until the 1990’s. Adjacent to it is what looks like a fairly recent boiler, although this is open to the elements - it may have had a temporary structure round it, hard to tell. The main power station appears to have been gutted, but is still standing. The area is fenced off – on one side by the original barbed wire tipped steel wall, and the other by temporary fencing which is in a questionable state. Interestingly, there are BAE Systems signs on the new fencing, which makes me wonder why this bit of the site is still standing when all around has been cleared and new housing is getting nearer and nearer. Further south, also fenced off are more former ROF buildings and what could be bunkers from the look of Google Earth Pictures.

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    Visit 2 was on the other side of the fence, under the cover of fog! The insides of the power station are completely gutted, and appears now to be a storage area for gravel, which seems a weird reason to keep it standing. Other than that, there was nothing worth seeing.

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    Behind the power station is complete devastation, whatever was there was on some fairly substantial foundations, but has been demolished into extinction, I would guess it was some kind of mechanical plant or storage equipment for the power station.

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    Wandering about showed up a pipeline and valves, I imagine this was a water supply for the power station. Also still present, is one of the strange little pill box style fortifications that dot the site.

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    Other buildings, also trashed inside.

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    The crane had also moved, and lost part of it’s gib.

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    Newer boiler plant

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    All in all, I ended up coming away puzzled – why is this place still standing? Why are they storing gravel in it? How come the site behind has been demolished but not cleared? Why the hell is there an ancient crane abandoned there? Do BAE still own this bit of the site? Why is the new power plant still on site and not cut up for scrap when the rest of the metal was being cleared?
     

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