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Report - Brunner Mond Soda Ash Works - Winnington - June 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Speed, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    First off thanks for clicking on this thread! I know the title breathes fear into the heart of any self respecting 'tour derp hater' but this report shall be a little different! Since February 2014 the tourbus has been pulling up on the wrong side of the road in Winnington. This is when the production of Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride at the plant ceased and left a good 75% of the place a giant walk in industrial playground.

    The plant at Winnington and its sister at Lostock have produced Soda Ash through the Solvay process since the 1870s. The company became part of ICI in 1923 but when that split in 1991 it went back to the Brunner Mond name untill a take over by Tata in 2006. Soda Ash has a multitude of uses but probably best known for use in the glass industry as a flux and as a major component of washing powders. in 2013 it was announced that Soda Ash production on site would cease with Sodium Bicarbonate becoming Winningtons sole product. Lostock would continue to produce both Soda and Calcium Chloride. The reason for closure was cited as being due to increased gas prices making the lower profit margins made on the soda product unsustainable

    I first visited the works in 2007 when a large section of dereliction that is now becoming a new housing estate was the main attraction. At the time If you took the bridge over the river onto Wallerscote island you entered the distribution plant area which remained 'semi live' as a storage area for 1 ton bags of Soda. As far as i know not much changed until recently with plenty of people seeing fit to continue to visit this well documented section for 'HDR fun' time and time again, apparently not even venturing into either of the excellent bath house type buildings to be found mere yards away from plant?

    With this in mind we started our mooch in old faithful. More or less as i remember it but now without power (or soda for that matter) Security circled the derp hot spot repeatedly, apparently scaring away the pair of manfrotto hugging, camo trouser wearing,'IM AN URBEXER' types we spotted on the river bank path.

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    It became apparent that since i was last in there my attitude has definitely changed quite considerably and the site that back in 2007 seemed 'a bit meh' to me now seemed top banana. I hunted down epic sign after epic sign and had great fun poking in and out of the various bathrooms and workshops you just dont see on the usual Wallerscote reports. 'Gentlemen, Please do not throw tea leaves out the window' Possibly the best sign ive ever seen while exploring yet despite hiding on the fringe of this apparent UE hot spot id only ever seen one photo of it before. Absolute madness!​

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    bhg likes this.

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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    So anyway after wandering that bit for a while we decided that if this was good then that fecking huge bit next door must also have a good chance of being good too... This is logic right? No? We took a wander over there not really knowing what to expect, we had little idea what bit might be dead and what might be full of men but in reality i don't think we really cared too much. We trotted up a nice section of abandoned railway and across the carcass of the not so long ago demolished power station (yeh, good work there UE community, good work :( ) climbing in the side of the rail loading bay. All went well. There were no men. Lots of big machines, lots of very old abandoned industry, tall buildings with good views.. Didnt see any one with a manfrotto and camo pants either thank God!


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    #2 Speed, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  3. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Now onto the workshops, offices and amenities. Not all of this part of the site was accessible. It was made p of a group of amazing half timbered buildings which excited Clebby muchly. The main block seemed to have been a Canteen at one time but had since been used as workshops. Interesting for sure.

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    Last stop was the tallest building on site for some epic views over the plant and the rest of Cheshire. Can you spot the sister works at Lostock, Jodral Bank Telescope and that demolished power station i mentioned?

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  4. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Bet you look back at that tractor shot and just wish you had rattled a few brackets of for some home grown eye ball rape ..

    Nice report speed the second half of which really is a banging looking place
     
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  5. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    It used to be a lot more lively a few year back over the road :D
     
  6. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up!
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    Fuck, wish we'd looked further over when we did the derp power station the other week now! Cracking work lads.
     
  7. WhoDaresWins

    WhoDaresWins Let's do this
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    Can't believe we skipped this in favour of the nearby derp power station. Stunning report as always.
     
  8. darbians

    darbians 28DL Regular User
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    Now that is rather splendid.
     
  9. darbians

    darbians 28DL Regular User
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    Am form Narrrfalk and got a manfrotto (which I hate) Am specialist in track'errrrs.
     
    Wevsky and clebby like this.
  10. drhowser

    drhowser Bespectacled & irrelevant
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    Shame the power is off, half the fun used to be panicking when the hp hoses vented somewhere behind you.
     
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  11. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    this place looks immense! lovely shots too!! nicely done!!
     
  12. TranKmasT

    TranKmasT We're Earth explorers
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    Terrific stuff.
     
  13. Raz

    Raz 28DL Regular User
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    Good stuff mate :) some belting shots there
     
  14. Maniac

    Maniac rebmeM LD82
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    Nice one Speed, as usual. :-)
     
  15. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    You found a beeb!
     
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