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Report - Williamson's Fire Equipment, Nee Hardware and Ironmongery Nov 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by dweeb, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Williamson's was a small business who in recent times specialized in fire fighting equipment & conveyor systems. However digging into the soggy mush of paperwork it seems they were originally a tool, hardware and ironmongery retailer.

    The sign on the front of the shop boasts the business was established in 1920, but the building has clearly been used as an industrial premises prior to that date.

    Part of the sprawling site has clearly originally been homes, as ancient tatters of wallpaper and picture rail still cling to the walls. This part reminded me a lot of G.S.Smart's in Birmingham, where the furniture from the houses was cleared out and nothing whatsoever was done other than begin to pile stock up in the rooms. Looking at the rooms now it is very difficult imagining a family gathered round the fireplace!

    By far one of the most interesting features was the stables at the rear of the building. These can't have been used post war, but still retain the mangers, wooden partitions, water troughs and cobbled floors. There was even the remains of a horse collar / loinery rack in the adjacent room. I'd say they are fairly unique to an industrial site like that of Williamson's

    Upstairs is rather George Barnsley esque, with tiny rooms packed full of shelves, some hand made, some made of stacked packing crates. One can only imagine the weird and wonderful stock that has sat on these shelves over the years...

    The offices were packed full of shelves and filing cabinets, bursting with trade catalogs from the 2000's right back to the turn of the last century. Sadly the slate thieves have gone to town on the place, and the water has turned them all to mush :(

    I did enjoy the seemingly pointless tiled passage, which looks as though it may have been a trade counter at one point. Art tiles were never cheap even a hundred years ago, it seems rather odd to have gone to so much expense on such an odd sliver of the building!

    One could literally spend all day in here, there is odd little things to look out strewn in every corner of every room...

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    Original staircase from one of the former houses, with typical Victorian stenciling.
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    Living room from the same house
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    Another former front room, note the wallpaper
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    "Buy English Cord"!!
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    Staircase to nowhere... obviously this building used to be a little higher!
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    Collar rack in stable
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    God Dweeb, why don't you piss off to some tile collector's forum!!
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  2. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Goof effort :thumb

    Just wondering why you are saying the stables can't have been used post war? I didn't live in Oldham at that time, but remember horse drawn carts being used in the 70's. Many of the industrial Northern towns used horse and cart, partly for the novelty/advertising. Think Thwaites Brewery in Burnley, J W Lees Brewery in Oldham still use them every now and then, possibly just brought in these days though for special occasions.
     
    Coolboyslim likes this.
  3. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Yeah I guess I could be wrong about that... Generally motor transport had replaced horses by the end of the war, but as you say I'm sure some firms still used them. I think the horse drawn drays breweries use are more of a marketing gimmick rather than an economic way of moving beer about!
     
  4. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    They have forums for collecting tiles ? suppose i shouldn't be surprised. Looks like there's still plenty of interest there and you had a good rummage.
     
  5. Styru

    Styru Admin
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    Nicely written as always - to quote Blazing Saddles:

    "God darnit, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore"
     
  6. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Some fine details their mate…
     
  7. Pest

    Pest Read comics and sleep all day, = no worries
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    Those tiles in the last set of photos are absolutely stunning!
     
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