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Report - Waterside Ironworks, Dalmellington - June 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Idle Hands, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Waterside Ironworks

    Next Thursday evening in a Glasgow hotel there will be a chance to snap up a piece of Scottish industrial history, as the Waterside Ironworks site – almost four and a half acres with assorted buildings - goes under the hammer at auction. The guide price? A snip at just £75,000.


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    It seems an almost derisory figure to attach to what was once the largest coal mining and iron working area in the whole of Ayrshire. But things change.


    Back in 1848 the Dalmellington Iron Company opened the Waterside Ironworks and increasingly exploited coal, limestone and blackband ironstone from the Doon Valley – the three magic ingredients for the production of pig iron. Within a decade they had even built their own railway to service the increasingly extensive and remote pits and connect the area to Ayr, and by the end of the nineteenth century eight furnaces were in blast.


    By the early twentieth century the readily available ironstone began to dwindle, leaving production dependent on Spanish imports. In 1921 the ironworks ceased operation and production turned to brickmaking, taking advantage of the extensive coal deposits still exploitable. The last of the pits to open did so in 1954, with the final one closing in 1978. The brickworks finally closed eight years later in 1986.


    Since then the once thriving valley has reverted back to its Scottish serenity, the ironworks crumbling and rusting inconspicuously by the side of the road. You can’t miss the place – the skyline is dominated by the two huge chimneys – but it’s equally easy not to notice it.


    These days it’s walkers and explorers that pass through the site rather than miners and railwaymen. Oh and renowned Scottish bike trickster Danny Macaskill, who flipped his wheels around the ruins in YouTube film ‘Danny Macaskill’s Industrial Revolutions’. Worth five minutes of your time, if you like that sort of thing.


    The Explore


    I’d spent a rushed hour here at the back end of 2012, and while it’s not the kind of place I’d normally feel worthy of a revisit, there was something I’d missed the first time: The railway yard at the back of the site. Since I was within an hour’s drive and my co-explorer hadn’t been before, we head on down…


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    The above image shows the generator house centre of shot, with the brick kilns to the left.


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    Inside the generator house. The precarious staircase was propped up by a single acrow at ground level, but the top level had nothing to offer except a rotten floor:


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    Above the brick kilns:


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    There are two chimneys still on site. This one sits beside the power station:


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    Inside the power station itself. Like the other buildings remaining there had clearly been some work done in the three years since my initial visit - not least to make them harder to access. The roof had been removed from the annex of this building to the far right, up the steps:


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    Gantry crane:


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    The next building down site…


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    From here we head for where I suspected the trains were, and it wasn’t long before we stumbled across them…


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    Looking at the heap of track bolts it seemed that the heads either had ‘S’ or ‘AS’ printed on them. Not sure what the significance of that is…


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    Rail weighbridge:


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    Gatehouse interior:


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    Nice couple of hours to be spent there. Wonder what the new owner will do with it…


    Thanks for stopping by.​
     

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Amazing location, thanks.
     
  3. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    please dont tempt me to move to Glasgow
     
  4. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    I think @The Lone Ranger posted summat up from here a couple of year back

    One of his off shore safety strolls I think ;)
     
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  5. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Brilliant stuff.
     
  6. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Some cracking photos there :thumb

    @Ojay This ones on my list of Safety Strolls, it was an other Scottish railway yard I visited.
     
  7. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks everyone :thumb

    Which other railway yard did you visit @The Lone Ranger ? I might take a look at it next time I'm up that way!
     
  8. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Awesome report and splendid pics you've got there :D

    Thanks for posting :thumb
     
  9. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    [QUOTE="Idle Hands, post: 1098004,Which other railway yard did you visit @The Lone Ranger ? I might take a look at it next time I'm up that way![/QUOTE]

    It was the Royal Deeside Railway Siddings, nr Banchory. No where near as extensive as this place, but close to a nice hospital.
     
  10. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    It was the Royal Deeside Railway Siddings, nr Banchory. No where near as extensive as this place, but close to a nice hospital.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks - I've done the Glen O'Dee at Banchory a few months ago. Wish I'd known about the sidings, I could have stopped by them on the way. Maybe next time!
     
  11. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    I wish I'd know the location of Glen O'Dee at the time, knew it wasn't too far away. Something to do next time I'm grounded in Aberdeen though.
     
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones mate :thumb
     
  13. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    I can well recommend it mate - nice location to chill out in actually.

    Thanks guys :thumb
     
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  14. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking report, We did this on our way to Inverkip. never did get round to posting up the report. We found a room full of bricks all with colliery and foundry names on etc…
     
  15. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thank you mate. I didn't see any bricks but there was one building that seemed pretty well sealed up this time.

    I never saw Inverkip - bit late for that one now unfortunately :D
     
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