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Report - - AEI Henley's Cable Works - Northfleet - November 2010 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - AEI Henley's Cable Works - Northfleet - November 2010



Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Ive been exploring a long time and have seen lots of things missed, both personally and as a community, but this place must go down as one of the all time epic failures. This massive site would have had it all, history, decay, artifacts. If what remains is anything to go by it would have most probably been one of the best manufacturing sites of our time. Big misses like this have been cropping up all too readily lately, Mansfield Metal Box last weekend made be a bit angry but that closed a matter of months before demolition. If my sources are correct alot of this place was closed in 2005 and work didnt commence untill the beginning of 2010, thats aleast 4 whole years just sitting there, surely someone would have driven down to the Northfleet dock area in that time?? no? Maybe its not appropriate to dole out the blame as this place really isnt too far from me and yeh i should have definatly driven down there at least once in the last 4 years too, even on the off chance, but i cant help think its all a sad reflection on the state of our little community today. So let this be a plea to everyone to go out there and look for places like this, dont just go to the places you see on here all the time. Cancel you bullshit 'Farewell West Park' trip and go to places you have never been let alone seen, check out those chimneys on the horizon or that strange looking object on flash earth. If everyone who posts on this forum gets their ass in gear and does it we will never miss a place again, guarenteed!

With that out the way lets take a look at the stuff they didnt demolish in January.

Its hard to find a concise history on the site but i from what i can gleen form exploring and verious wesites it manufactured submarine cables that would have been loaded straight onto cable laying ships docked in the Thames. Its worth reading this site..

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1857.0

W T Henley started a cable works in Gravesend in 1906 having moved from North Woolwich. In 1959, W T Henley & Co was taken over by the AEI conglomerate. AEI was in turn taken over by industrial giant GEC in 1967. Finally in 1997 the cable operations were divested to T T Electronics.
Whats left..? basicly, Henleys offices, research labs, power house, a single manufacturing block and what looks like the 'loading shop' as i would call it, where the cables would have been loaded onto ships.. The peir cables would have been loaded from also remains.

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Henleys Offices


This looked amazing from outside but was a little bit of a dissapontment internally. Its a great deco building with a nice staircase but otherwise gutted really..

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Research Labs

The most amazing tiled frontage defiled long in the past, the irony is those windows were not even in use at the end of its life. this building contained verious labs and was very old but was, again, pretty stripped!

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Power House

This is where it started to get good, its only a small one and has been slightly modernised but the marble control panel is something else! I was so excited to see it my photos fail majorly.. Its such a shame the copper theives have had their way with it..


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Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Cable Sheds

Im not sure what the exact name for this building would have been but it seemed apparent that it would have been the final stop for the cables before they were loaded onto thier waiting ships. Looking at some of the pre demolition pics it looked as if this part was replaced by a more modern building at some stage and could easily be part of the original 1906 works.

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Manufacturing Block

This was the largest block left over and housed manufacturing areas, offices, workshops, labs and best of all quite a bit of STUFF! at last :p

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Got Enamel? :eek:
 

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Kent-Al

28DL Member
28DL Member
#3
Great to see these pictures, I worked there for a year back in 77/78 and my dad spent his whole working life there. He worked in the powerhouse/boiler room and would check and log all the meters every few hours. The big round things in the cable shed were for coiling up the cable before it was loaded on to a cable ship. The cable used to come into the room through the roof and I spent many night shifts coiling it up by hand using a huge metal hook. Once the cable was ready it used to go back out of the roof onto the ship. Would love to see any pictures of the Old Sun pub which was on the river front by the factory. That was where we used to go for a beer after finishing our shifts.