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Report - SSI Redcar so Far Oct15-Jan16

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Bunk3r, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Bunk3r

    Bunk3r 28DL Memb3r
    Regular User

    Jun 6, 2007
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    As I've been exploring these things I wasn't sure about how best to tackle putting a report up, at first I didn't want to put a report up that was too slap dash, and now each time I go back to the site its just becoming more clear that there's too much stuff left to, and a report of it all would be huge and its going to be like forever until I've seen it all, so I figured I just throw up some of my fave pics from here so far. I know there have been jokes about tourist trails etc, but I remember back when every man and his dog was exploring the likes of High Royds and no one seemed to get sick of so many reports as there's a new slant each time so hopefully we can all continue to enjoy this one for some time.

    First off I will starts with the condolences to those at loss from the loss of this site, its too close to home to not comment on. An industry cant just be propped up to keep people happy, but letting something like this be replaced with substandard steel imported from China which is sold at a loss because they have over produced because their economy has slowed down raises all kinds of questions for the future of our industries.

    Teesside is well known for its Steel making. Following many year of mining ores from the hills in the 1920's Dorman Long was set up, the company was a major steel producer later diversifying into bridge building. In 1967 Dorman Long was nationalised, along with 13 other British steel-making firms, becoming subsumed into the government-owned company British Steel.

    The fame of Teesside's Dorman long steel spreads beyond just the fine Teesside Transporter and Newport bridges, its portfolio heads north to the Tyne bridge, north again to the Forth Road bridge, in fact, it goes right round the planet including the Sydney harbour bridge.

    I'll start this report at the site of the South Bank coke ovens which is home to the landmark Dorman Long Tower and nice big dirty coke ovens used to turn coal into the high purity high carbon fuel coke used in steel making. A point worth noting is last time the site was 'mothballed' the coke ovens (Southbank and Redcar) stayed operational, this time they have been purged with nitrogen with the expected result of them collapsing in on themselves inside. Likewise there was a ex-worker on the radio saying last time he shut the furnace down he filled things with anti-seize etc, this time it was more a case of turn off and go home. Nails have been well and truly hammered into the coffin.

    Anyway enough of the history etc you probably want the pictures. I headed out with @AJ, things were going pretty smooth on site, we'd kept our eyes on security without them knowing of our presence, we'd successfully past the buildings etc which had lights on with the potential for a worker stepping out any second (still need to get back to these, but having seen a worker step into them later on our visit, now wasn’t the time). There were workers on the lower parts of the oven too ruling them out for this visit and meaning we needed another route up. We were about to head up then security were doing rounds again, we hid, they parked up next to us. Long wait. Time past then we headed up as planned.

    View of the site from the bunker also looking over to the Dorman long Tower (that tower has been out of use for longer)

    View of the coke ovens from the tower/ Bunker we went on:

    The coal from the bunker is fed into this behemoth which goes on the tracks over to feed the ovens (had to hide in this for a while as security was doing his rounds on the ovens -wasn't fully expecting that)

    Feeds to the ovens, there are 88 ovens split into two batteries of 44, each oven 5 metres high.

    On to the Redcar site to the Blast Furnace, I really wanted to get on this. The live reports from Dempsey, Brickman and co back before it was mothballed last time still blow me away. For whatever reason I didn't get to it last time it was mothballed. This time my goal was to do it before it was cold, and that was achieved, it wasn't red hot but it was warm, and there was a nice heat raising from the chimneys on top.

    Here's a picture from part way up the furnace, the humongous gas holder on the left holds blast furnace gas, the smaller (but by no means small) one on the right holds coke oven gas. The gas from these processes is used further down the chain in steal making, e.g. for heating furnaces to reheat the iron/steal, and to feed the on site power station. This view looks out towards the coke ovens (shown in-between the gas holders), this is different coke ovens to the ones pictured above, they were further down the road (I've not got on the Redcar ones yet). to the right of the gas holders is the by-products plant which cleans up the coke oven gas, in the background is the materials handling wharf.

    November was a windy one, this was a a very cold and windy night, rain had set in whilst we were on our way up. Here AJ had gone back up top to dry out his gloves on the heat raising from the chimneys. Then he returned back down for what is now our standard mid exploring picnic consisting of lucozade and trail mix.

    In the belly of the beast, it was toasty warm down here. which was nice with it been a cold night out

    No Ultra wide angle on my compact so I Took a panno on top, stitched it together, here it is:

    As I mentioned there is a power station on site of the steel works, using the blast furnace gas and coke oven gas, = Turbines:

    and more Turbines:

    I found some overalls and hard hat, came round the corner heavy footed so AJ thought he had been rumbled, classic. He has a picture of me dressed up somewhere

    Nice to see someone do a tidy job of connecting the panel:

    Turbine Hall:

    Looking out towards the boilers:

    Control room didn't disappoint:

    Onto the Gasholder, driving over it wasn't the clear skies I would have liked but fog, oh well.

    Looking down on the coke oven gasholder, helps put the size of where we were in perspective:

    Looking out over the Tees at the industry on the other side (we do still have some industry left):

    They have started turning the lights out on the blast furnace now, again a bit gutting for taking photos, but it came out better than expected so another good night

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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

    Nov 15, 2005
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    Lovely stuff. Last picture is great. Sometimes less light is more.
  3. stranton

    stranton the subterranean explorer
    Regular User

    Jun 3, 2011
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    spot on, :thumb
    Summit of the blast furnace 100% darkness now some nice views tho.

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 19, 2013
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    Enjoyed those mate :thumb

    The sites that keep on giving ;)
  5. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Sickness that lot :thumb
  6. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
    Regular User

    Mar 10, 2009
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    Stunning pics there mate. It looks absolutely amazing.
  7. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Aug 24, 2014
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    Sad to see how much economy has had on the industry. Real nice set of pics, 2nd from last pic is pretty cool and the control room I'd have to agree with you. Nice report mate :thumb
  8. BillAnd

    BillAnd Badass dare devil gangsta
    Regular User

    Jul 19, 2007
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    love it
  9. Dempsey

    Dempsey The Human Turbine.
    Regular User

    Nov 3, 2006
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    Awesome mate. I remember everyone having to travel to europe for this kind of stuff a few years ago! Now look at it; turbos, powerstations and steelworks!

    If I'm up in the region I'll raise you and we'll give it a look in if you fancy it?
    AJ and Speed like this.
  10. Bunk3r

    Bunk3r 28DL Memb3r
    Regular User

    Jun 6, 2007
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    Glad you like it folks.
    yeah its crazy how spoilt we are up here at the moment. Yeah give us a shout when you're next heading up to see if I'm free.
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