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Report - Sittingbourne Paper Mill, Kent, Sept 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 21, 2008
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    Hey Guys,

    The Explore

    This was site number 7, which myself Gina and Cogito visited on our ‘Trivial Pursuit’ road-trip of the south east. We also met up with AndrewB and Dicky21 for this site.
    It was coming towards the end of the day, and we decided to follow up on the recent rumor that this place was undergoing demolition. The light was fading fast and the site was active with demo crews and workers, but we decided to risk it as this would be our only chance, and the water tower was just too tempting!

    Anyone who knows me, knows I have a slight fear of heights, and had it not been dark, I would have struggled to make it up the open ladder and stairs of the tower, but I’m so glad that I ‘faced the danger’ and did it!


    There has been a paper mill on the site since 1769, and in Sittingbourne since 1708. In fact Sittingbourne is still home to a large mill at Kempsley just to the north. In 1863 the site was purchased by Edward Lloyd and started to greatly expand the works up to 1890. The mill also saw a change in the materials used to make paper, from cotton to straw pulp and latter wood pulp. The mill reached its height in 1912 when it produced 2000 tonnes a week, employed 1200 and housed 17 rolling machines.
    During the war production was turned over to manufacture of munitions transportation carriages and ‘drop fuel tanks’ for aircraft, which were made of paper and resin.

    The water tower was built in 1961, however by then production was already falling in favour of the larger site at Kempsley.

    The last reel of paper was made at 09:32 23rd January 2007


    The only rolling machine we found:

    Demo clearly underway:




    Finally made it up the tower:

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