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Report - Wallerscote Island Soda Ash Works – Northwich – Sept 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by sho, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. sho

    sho 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited by Sho and Mole.

    We had been meaning to visit this site for some time and after driving past it again last week we decided that the time was now. On our approach to this infamous site of massive scale quirkiness we were greeted by all manors of hellish sounds coming from inside. Trying to ignore the disconcerting purging and groaning going down, we carefully assessed the outside and slipped in quietly.

    The site has been covered quite a bit before. We were unfortunate to have not witnessed the old neighbouring parts which were demolished a couple of years ago after 20 years of dereliction. However we were certainly not disappointed with what this last remaining segment had to offer..

    The History.

    John Brunner and Ludwig Mond were industrial chemists. Their company was originally formed in 1873. They built Winnington Works in Northwich, Cheshire and produced their first soda ash a year later. They used brine solution, ammonia and limestone to produce sodium carbonate in pure form, and with fewer by-products using the solvay process. They chose Winnington because it sits on a bed of salt 600 feet thick, is fairly close to the Buxton limestone quarries and had good transport links.

    By 1881, the partnership was well established and became a limited company, producing 200,000 tons of soda ash each year. Brunner Mond established themselves as the country’s biggest soda ash producer and continued to expand. In time, Brunner Mond & Co. provided virtually all of Britain’s soda ash, and became the world’s largest alkali exporter. Wallerscote island Works was completed in 1926. An almost bizarre like construction of silos and huge metal sheds although all were integral parts of the original structure. The company later became part of ICI which is now owned by Tata.

    Sodium Carbonate is a widely used in industry for casting and glassmaking. It is commonly used in chemistry as a base and an electrolyte. It is also used domestically in detergents, dyes and toothpaste as well as tasty sherbet sweets!

    The Pics.

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    Inside is a huge Escher-esq climbing frame, constantly supplying you with new hidden snow covered views and walkways at every height and angle. The lighting is colourful yet bleak and atmospheric making for a truly moody and apocalyptic experience.

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    Mole goes to work.

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    The beast within.

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    Brain ache.

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    Control room still live.

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    Might take my snowboard next time.:D

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    Escaping before darkness falls.

    All in all a wicked explore. If you haven’t seen this yet, go and experience it for yourself.

    Thanks for looking. Sho.
    :thumb
     
    keat_expo likes this.

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