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Report - Corah Hosiery Plant, Leicester-Feb 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Punk, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Punk

    Punk Maple Syrup Baron
    Regular User

    Sep 29, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I had a few hours to kill in Leicester so I decided to have an explore and this is what I found. I researched afterwards, interesting history, sorry its so long.

    Corah Hosieries was founded in 1815 by Nathaniel Corah in Leicester. In 1830 the name was changed to N. Corah and sons when Nathaniel Corah’s 3 sons joined the company, two years later however, he died aged 51. Dispite this, the company went from strength to strength and needed to expand. First they went to Granby street next to where HSBC is. Then in 1865, they built a 4 acre factory near St. Margaret’s church on St Johns Road. Nathaniel’s two eldest sons, John and Alfred, were present when John Harris Cooper laid the foundation stone on 13th July 1865. The original building was designed by architect William Jackson and was the first factory to have integral steam-derived power. By 1866 there were over 1,000 people working at the St Margaret’s factory. At first the campus stretched to the Canal in the north, but by 1941, the original building had had 19 extensions taking up any available land.

    The most famous employee who worked here was Mr Curry, using the skills he had learnt as an apprentice, he set up a bicycle manufacturing business in a small building near the Clock tower at belgrave gate. This grew into the Curry’s National Electrical Retail Chain, it continued to sell bikes until the 1960’s.

    The downfall of Corah started in the sixties with changes in fashion, retailers demanding high qualities etc. Eventually, after downgrading the factory over the 1980’s and 1990’s, Corah closed in the late 1990’s

    The building became St. Johns business centre, having a Martial Arts club among other things. Unfortunately in April 2012, the building was victim to an arson attack. Due to another major fire elsewhere in Leicester, fire crews from all around Leicestershire battled through the night to extinguish the inferno.

    This is my first solo report. It’s literally a minute’s walk from the main bus station in Leicester, near the main road in from Loughborough and the central ring road. A bit unnerving compared to my previous reports as parts of the site, unharmed by the fire, are still in use. The site itself was a mess. There were loads of pigeons and I mean absolutely shit loads. At one point it seemed, every time I went round a corner, a group of pigeons suddenly flew away, making me decorate my underwear. In some of the rooms there was so much bird shit on the floor (please observe pic 22),the ammonia hits you right in the back of the throat. The place is intoxicating though, I kept thinking to myself “don’t outstay your welcome†but the longer I was there the longer I wanted to stay and explore. There is so much there and I didn’t even see the whole place. Great explore, I’d recommend it. :thumb

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