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Report - Pilkington Tiles - Poole, Dorset - Jan 2011

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by high voltage, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. high voltage

    high voltage 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    After much deliberation here is our first report, we’re not photographers just a couple of geeks who have an interest in our local history and feel that with the forthcoming demolition of some important local sites it is time we got a report up.
    A little history;

    Poole has been famous for its pottery making since the 1800s, with the clay being extracted locally in Hamworthy. However over the years all but one of the local potteries have been demolished, with the most recent demolition being that of the Poole pottery on the east side of the quay (to make way for the eye sore housing development “dolphin quaysâ€￾). The only remaining pottery site is on the west side of the quay, known locally as Pilkingtons.

    Established in the late 1890s the pottery site at Hamworthy was originally known as Patent Architectural Pottery. However this was brought out by the Carter family who owned the other local pottery. The Carter pottery has a deep history, famous for its decorative floor and wall tiles, all of which were made at the Hamworthy site. Many examples of these unique tiles can still be seen in the architecture around Poole.

    It was largely due to Poole’s pottery industry that a power station was constructed on the site adjacent to the Hamworthy pottery in 1954. However with the decline of industry in Poole, the power station was decommissioned and was demolished in 1993. This site has been empty ever since and is currently allocated for redevelopment.

    The Carter family continued to own the Hamworthy pottery site until 1964 when the company became part of the Pilkington group. Since then Pilkington tiles have been producing tiles on the site, until June 2010 when Pilkington went into administration and all but eight of the staff were made redundant.

    With the imminent redevelopment of Poole town, a third of the town centre is due to be rebuilt in the next few years including the pottery site, it was only right that we needed to pay our respects to the famous pottery. So under the cover of darkness and balls of steel off we went.....

    The site has a clay storage area that links into a clay preparation area. These pictures do not do the metal clay storage towers justice, they are about 6 storeys high.

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    Next to the clay preparation area is the main oven area, also these shots do not do the size of the ovens justice. They are about 100 yards long, and there are various ovens and drying rooms. The whole site was manually operated with the tiles being transported on narrow gauge railway type system with winches.

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    This office seems to be where the production was managed, it was still managed manually with the wooden board on the wall being of the layout of all the ovens and all the mini metal pieces represent individual mini trolleys the tiles go through the ovens upon.

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    The next area is the goods dispatch, which is an empty warehouse, but with some lovely tiled offices with some retro relics.

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    There are other various works buildings around the site.

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    There is the factory shop but this was a bit of a disappointment compared to the rest of the site.

    There are various small offices, locker rooms and general control rooms around the site which could supply a report in their own right!

    I could put so many more pictures, and I feel there is so much left out, but I hope this gives a good feel of a place. Thanks for reading.
     
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  2. Billy Southern

    Billy Southern 28DL Member
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    I worked here back in 08-09 in the sorting room. Some of my happiest memories were formed in this place, I would love to see more pics :)
     
  3. mw0sec

    mw0sec 28DL Full Member
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    I used to play in a local group, The Organisation (formerly The Grasshoppers). Terry the vocalist, worked there when I seem to recall it being Carters Tiles. We used an area near the kilns for evening practice. Always nice & warm and the comforting sound of crickets chirping away in the background.
     
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