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Report - BOCM Pauls, Selby. June '11

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by drhowser, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. drhowser

    drhowser Bespectacled & irrelevant
    Regular User

    Dec 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Visited with Hidden Shadow

    This was the second site of the day, and one which I really enjoyed. I loved all the old steam powered, belt driven machinery, and the riveted iron girderwork.
    Admittedly there was a certain odour to a few areas, but it didn't detract from a very pleasant afternoon.
    I think a re-visit is well on the cards for here, there looks to be some very interesting stuff on the other side of the tracks towards the live part.

    History from BOCM Pauls website

    BOCM PAULS came into being in 1992, being formed by the amalgamation of two businesses operating in the animal feed industry, but which had very different beginnings.

    Pauls Agriculture was founded in Ipswich in the early nineteenth century initially to trade in malt and barley for brewers. This expanded into trading of maize and other ingredients for horses and subsequently from the early 1900s onwards, for other animals.

    BOCM Silcock also has its roots in the nineteenth century being one of the earliest crushers of oilseeds to produce vegetable oils for the human food industries and for soap manufacture. The by-product of this process - the oilseed cake- rapidly became a rich source of protein for feeding to all types of animals.

    The manufacture of animal feeds on an industrial scale can be traced back to the early 1900s when advances in both human and animal nutrition identified the virtues of a balanced diet and the contribution that processing of certain raw materials could bring to this.The Company was a pioneer in these fields and in 1907 registered two trade marks (both of which are still in existance):-


    - the first commercially available balanced diet for laying hens.


    - this was a cooked and flaked maize product widely fed to horses, cattle and pigs.

    Both these products were based on the usage of maize which was imported chiefly from the USA. This was the beginning of the animal feed industry.

    The industry grew up around main deep sea ports for three main reasons:-
    •Availability of cheap imported cereals (especially maize from the USA).
    •Proximity to flour mills (which also relied on imported grain, mainly hard red wheat from USA and Canada). The residue from flour milling - wheatfeed - was (and still is today) one of the major ingredients in animal feeds.
    •Proximity to oilseed crushing plants. Again, these plants relied on imported vegetable oilseeds (soya from USA and South America, groundnut from West Africa, cottonseed from East Africa and the Far East etc.). The by-products from the oilseed crushing process - the "cake" was a good source of protein and energy in animal feed rations.

    Typically, one large company would be engaged in at least two of these activities at the port. Unilever, for example, in addition to the two feed mills it owned in London (through its BOCM and Silcock subsidiaries) also had oilseed crushing plants at Silvertown and Erith. Both Pauls and Unilever had feed mills and crushing plants in Hull. Other companies such as Ranks and Spillers owned flour mills in addition to feed mills.

    By today's standards, the output from these port mills was truly massive. For example the combined output of the plants at Avonmouth exceeded 1 million tonnes per year and provided employment for well in excess of 1,000 people.

    Much of the distribution from these port mills was by railway, and trains composed solely of animal feeds were a common sight (especially in the South West and around Selby in Yorkshire) up until the late 1950s. Typically, anything from one to ten trucks would be dropped off at wayside and branchline stations for collection by local merchants and thence delivery to farms. This is why the address of many traditional agricultural merchants is 'Station Road', even though the railway serving it may well be long gone.









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    Cheers :thumb

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