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Report - YCL, Hunslet. January 2008

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Saxofilis, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Saxofilis

    Saxofilis 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    The Yorkshire Chemicals Limited redundant premises have hosted many visitors since the company went into receivership, some humble, others not so. Regardless, the eight acre Hunslet site is now once again an active one, only this time it is demolition operatives present preparing the site for a Gladedale Group development known as 'The works'.
    Gladedale Group purchased the site, along with the twleve acre premises at Kirkstall Road, in March 2006 and presently Demolition Services Limited are making good progress clearing the site.

    I made several visits to these sites during the Summer of 2007 and for some reason always felt intrigued by Sheds 46 and 47, the tall manufacturing building at Hunslet. I made a couple of return visits during January 2008 becasue I like it, I wanted to have a play with the Fuji 6500, and really, becasue it has always been a gift of an easy explore.

    This is the 46/47 shed. 47 shed was ajoined onto shed 46 during a project in 2001. It only has four floors, and I seem to think it is known as a 'top down' plant, where the process begins on the fourth floor and as the product makes it's way down different preperations and reactions are done before the final product appears at the bottom floor. The demolition people are present 7 days a week during daylight hours with some people living on site, so only a night time explore was possible.

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    The entrance to the shed is the other side of these gates. There is a list of safety rules next to the door, Hunslet was a COMAH site, which basically means the operators had to think of every possible dangerous occurance with materials and processes on sit, no matter how remote the chances, and documant a contingency. But the main hazards of this site, I thought, were falling through large holes in the floor and emerging round a corner and straight into someone carrying a large cable stripping knife.

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    Once inside, it is a simple matter of making your way up the stairs to the roof. I have used two staircases in this building, one is dangerous, with handrails missing and lost pigeons diving about.

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    On our first visit, it was a moment of relief to find that the access door to the roof had been left broken and we had the roof open to us. It's a nice roof, very sturdy and wth good views of Leeds. There is also a few machine rooms and chemical tanks up here, and Pyridine and his pals seemed happy.

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    I took the chance to have another look at the machine rooms. There is refigeration compressors, ventillation, lift and bore hole water treatment.

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    I think this is a sand filter, for preparing the bore hole water for plant use.

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    Extractor room;

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    I think this was some sort of counterbalance mechanism. Never worry though, it's just one of four floors of equipment of much mysterious equipment;

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    Inside the refrigeration compressor house. The other side of the viewing window was the control room.

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    it's reported that around the Hunlset site a blast zone was in force until 2001 (possible shed 47 construction connection). This meant that no planning permission could be granted for residential property. A condition of sale of the chemical works land was that there would be no more chemical production on site. The future of nearby industrial sites, such as Carlsberg Tetley, is perhaps less certain now since they stand between this development, 'the works' and other high value existing residential and commercial developments. The development value of the Yorkshire chemicals sites is thought to be around £500 million
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    I never got many pictures from inside the building during the Summer. The avaialble light was wrong for the camera I had then, even in daytime. Besides, I could never tell what to get pictures off. The floor was just a mess of pipework, vessels and a good pile of cable insulation. With this in mind, I attempted a couple of long explosures, which turned out poor;

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    The scaffolders had set up a gin wheel through the fourth floor maintenace access doors. These large doors would have been used to lift in replacement machinery, such as motors. When open, there is nothing below and a mobile crane would have been brought it. Shed 46, ank kistkstall road 's' shed, had permanent lifting beams set up from the roof. The most likely use of the gin wheel is to aid asbsestos removal, which recently began. Anyone else planning a late visit may want to bear this in mind.

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    And so that probably wraps up shed 47. The demolition team have cleared much or Kirkstall and are making progress at stripping out the two larger buildings.
     

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