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Report - Curtis Fine Paper Mill, Guardbridge, Fife - May 2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by BenCooper, May 11, 2009.

  1. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    The mill at Guardbridge, near Leuchars, has been producing paper since 1873, when William Haig (of the Haig whisky) converted a distillery site to paper manufacture. The mill was originally a general paper producer, but lattery it specialised in security papers used for financial and official documents.

    The worsening economic situation has hit all the Scottish paper manuafacturers hard - see my previous reports from the Inverkeithing and Carrongrove mills - and Curtis fared no better, going into administration in July 2008. The site is currently in the hands of KPMG, who are slowly selling off the equipment, but almost everything remains for the moment. It's a great chance to see a mix of modern and antique mill equipment.

    First up, the boiler house:

    3520143400_99a7bd6414.jpg

    Inside, three lovely Thompson boilers:

    3520213840_6719a45091.jpg

    The control panel is very similar to Carrongrove's:

    3520179746_4e46ba802d.jpg

    Higher up, a rather unnerving walkway gives an excellent view of the plant from above:

    3520254846_5faa6e8eff.jpg

    The walkway leads to the fueling hoist - coal would have been stored in the pit on the left, and hoisted up to be dropped nto hoppers under the steel plates on the right:

    3520267020_d1f18f9f35.jpg

    Out of the power plant, and onto the mill itself - first, some huge rollers in a storage shed, which look like they're going overseas:

    3519478659_6bbfa32800.jpg

    Then ink mixing drums and pumps:

    3520338158_bcc46b9b08.jpg

    With a soundproofed control room:

    3519566565_d9b02fa73b.jpg

    An ink mixing thingy:

    3520400328_b047f63071.jpg

    Arty ink pot shot:

    3520405872_816284020f.jpg

    And lots of cool pipework:

    3519639971_ca3f42c12f.jpg

    Then onto the paper machine halls:

    3519649199_04e5eef329.jpg

    The machines have just been turned off - everything is still live:

    3519675517_12f9683976.jpg

    Confusingly, the machines I found were labelled 4, 5 and 6 - I didn't find 1, 2 and 3, and I can't even work out where they were:

    3519710617_9845ec3b8c.jpg

    An old picture on the wall next to machine no. 6:

    3520533844_9858f53f15.jpg

    Onto a series of connected storage sheds - now mostly empty of stock:

    3519735887_0c702eeb19.jpg

    Though still with some beautiful massive clocks:

    3519753183_b205463fac.jpg

    If you're a fan of antique fire doors (like me) this place is wonderful:

    3520583456_12ee9e8a62.jpg

    At the far end, there's a staircase - this is nearest the security post, and it's near here I played a fun game of "hide from the footsteps":

    3519760721_764e85665d.jpg

    Heading back to the modern packaging department:

    3519821189_c26ea2e601.jpg

    Wrapping turntables:

    3519828629_3a009d1c0a.jpg

    One carton of paper sits on the conveyor:

    3520678132_5c7b82c023.jpg

    An antique barrow:

    3519902627_27b33c8ac3.jpg

    The fire control post is a mix of old:

    3520784826_8875d570c8.jpg

    And new:

    3520795360_ea83953c23.jpg

    There's some nice old lab gear:

    3520805400_206c991a62.jpg

    And another view of the mill - just after this, I met the security guard, who showed me out :rolleyes:

    3520000505_5b1bf1946a.jpg

    Some panoramas:

    3520824120_edb756c474.jpg

    3520848712_ecde7223b3.jpg

    As usual, there's lots more in my Flickr set...
     

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