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Report - Edison Swan Cable Works, Lower Lydbrook. Dec 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by wellingtonian, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Edison Swan Cable Works

    Met up with Seffy and tumbles in Brizzle and enjoyed a pleasant drive through the Forest of Dean to the site.
    As we walked around the perimeter fence on the bank of the river Wye, it became clear that the site is massive. This is the view from the front of the factory.


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    And on with a little history, pinched from the web as usual:

    In 1912 Harold J Smith purchased land at Stowfield and erected The Lydbrook Cable Works. The First World War provided a number of contracts with employee numbers expanding from 40 to 650 with double shilfts being worked. With the end of the War, came a slump in business, and in 1920 the Official Receiver was brought in ending Smith’s connection with the Factory.

    The business was bought in 1925 by Edison Swan Electric Company. With the greater resources avaialable the plant at Stowfiled further expanded, and was well placed to help with the Second World War possessing one of only four machines for making lead alloy tube needed for P.L.U.T.O. – (Petroleum Lines Under The Ocean), which allowed fuel to be supplied to the Allied invasion force on the Continent from Britain. In the late 1940s,

    Edison Swan was swallowed up by the Associated Electrical Company. Integrated with the Siemens Cable Works at Woolwich the Stowfield Factory at its height employed approximately 1,100 people. The Cable Works came to an end in 1966 when the Factory was bought by Reed Paper Group, which in its turn was taken over by a Swedish Company SCA. The factory finally ceased to be used around 2003.

    Once access was gained, tumbles pointed us in the direction of the admin block, by far the most impressive part of the factory


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    Next we moved to the factory floor where this used to happen:

    Cables coated in a lead protective sheath like the operation PLUTO cables were manufactured in hydrolic presses like these. A reserviour of molten led fed the presses and as it solidified it was extruded around a mandrill to form a pipe, a hollow mandrill was used through which the manufactured cable was fed at the same rate inside the lead piping which contracted snuggly arround the cable.

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    Of course it's now been stripped of all machinery


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    Next we got busted by the nastiest secca guy ever, with his evil dog, and had a short exchange with the South Glos rozzers.
    This was unfortunate as we had a lot more of the site to see. Gonna have to go back at some point now :rolleyes:


    Thanks for looking :)​
     

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