Report - - Ardeer ICI bomb shelters and surrounding areas. | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ardeer ICI bomb shelters and surrounding areas.

David Connor

28DL Member
28DL Member
Once the site of a major ICI chemical works, Ardeer lies at the head of the Ardeer peninsula, now part of Stevenston, North Ayrshire, and was a dominant global supplier of explosives to the mining and quarrying industries and a major player in the design and development of products for the chemical and defence industries during the 20th century.
The Ardeer peninsula was the site of a massive dynamite manufacturing plant built by Alfred Bernhard Nobel (October 21, 1833 – December 10, 1896), inventor of dynamite, and founder of the Nobel Prize. Having scoured the country for a remote location to establish his explosive factory, Nobel finally acquired 100 acres (40 Ha) from the Earl of Eglinton, and established the British Dynamite Factory in 1871, and went on to create what was described then as the largest explosives factory in the world. The sand and dunes on the site provided natural safety features for the plant and workers, further enhanced by the formation of blast walls and bankings, designed to direct the force of an explosion upwards and away from neighbouring facilities, rather than sideways, which could have resulted in a chain reaction which could have spread throughout the plant.

The British Dynamite Co Ltd was formed in 1870 by Alfred Nobel to produce and market his new explosive 'dynamite'. The factory was set up at Ardeer, on the coast at Ayrshire, with production beginning in 1873. In 1876, following Nobel's discovery of blasting gelatine, Nobel's Explosives Co Ltd was formed, comprising Ardeer, and also Westquarter Works for detonator manufacture.
In 1918, several important concerns were merged with Nobel's Explosives Co Ltd to form a new company called Explosives Trades Ltd, later renamed Nobel Industries Ltd. The new combined firm produced blasting gelatine, gelignite, ballistite, guncotton, cordite, and 'safety fuse' as well as several spin-offs from the original companies.
The firms involved included Kynoch Ltd (mainly making cartridges and explosives but with several spin-off industries as discussed below), Curtis & Harvey (explosives), Eley (ammunition) and some metal processing firms such as Kings Norton Metal Co (brass and copper strip rolling and rod extrusion as well as interests in coin minting and ammunition), and Birmingham Metals and Munitions Co (rolled copper and brass and solid-drawn brass cartridge cases).
This company was one of the original members of ICI when it was formed in 1926, becoming ICI Explosives Division. In 1948, the Division was renamed the Nobel Division because by this time it was producing a range of materials which, although logically allied to explosives manufacture, were not themselves explosive in character. This included a wide range of industrial nitrocelluloses and a range of acids, chiefly sulphuric acid, together with a number of heavy and fine chemicals. Following the de-merger of ICI in the early 1990s, this company was purchased by Inabata & Company (a Japanese trading firm).
In 1926, Nobel Explosives became a founding member of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), and merged with Brunner, Mond & Company, the United Alkali Company, and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, creating a new group, Imperial Chemical Industries, then one of Britain’s largest firms.
In 2002, Nobel Enterprises was acquired by Troon Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Inabata & Co Ltd, Japan, having previously been a free standing business within ICI.

We took this route when walking from my house in Stevenston to my friends house in Irvine. Defo a really interesting route to take. Full of amazing views and history.

We managed to get a few photos but will be planning to go back. If you want to meet up and come with us then let me know.































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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Looks interesting and some nice pix but you could lose half of them as there are some doubles and some a bit random.

David Connor

28DL Member
28DL Member
Looks interesting and some nice pix but you could lose half of them as there are some doubles and some a bit random.
I know need to get back over for better pictures. Was time limited so didn't really help to be honest. Will plan it for a full day next time.

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