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Report - The British United Shoe Machinery Company, Leicester, a round up.

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by dweeb, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    With the rapid demolition of large portions of the site I thought I would amalgamate my reports of different sections of the sprawling works and combine them with some recent demo pictures.

    Leicester was once only second to Northampton for shoe manufacture in Britain. BUSMC manufactured machinery for the shoe making trade. Another division of the company, "IVI" made nails and buckles for shoes. The works was emormous, and was greatly enlarged in the 1930's with the addition of a large concrete building, which dominates the surrounding rows of back to back housing.

    The BUSM closed in the early 1990's, but IVI hung on until 2007. They have not folded completly, but moved to the former home of Frank Pollard drilling machines, in the Corona works. I suppose with the decline of the shoe industry in N'hampton and Leicester the works never had a future really. As with all these industrys, pottery, hosiery etc the industry itself ending has a knock on effect to machine makers and other smaller firms. BUSMC was a huge employer, and the industrial estate it's works became must have seemed like a token gesture against the old firm, which boasted many welfare and leisure perks for their employees.

    The works... note the large portion that crosses the road, which is long gone today!
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    IVI in full swing
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    Workers of days gone. I found this behind a filing cabinet
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    The apprentice training school. Note Sam Fox on the wall:thumb
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    The huge 1930's factory

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    Wartime camoflage still visable on one of the older parts of the works
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    The work's fine concrete tower and chimney
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    One of 4 boilers in the powr house
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    Old sinage in the 1930's works
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    #1 dweeb, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009

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  2. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Continued...

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    The nearby wolsey works, from BUSM roof. Now demolished
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    Even the work's instruments were embossed with the company name
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    Under the 1930's addition are some of the best preserved air raid shelters I have ever seen, with painted signs so fresh the pencil lines are still visable.

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    And some views from that fabulous tower...
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    And today, with demo in full swing.

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    beautiful IVI enamal sign buried in the rubble
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