Web
Analytics
Report - - Ardeer Nobel Explosives.. Scotland 2018 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ardeer Nobel Explosives.. Scotland 2018


Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
I had wanted to visit nobel explosives for ages now, its only a short drive from the girlfriends and I had never been. So whilst up there she had to work so I decided to have a day there myself as she had been to the power station before. So I was up early, made some sandwiches and I was off. It was the power station I wanted to see originally, but as I delved further in I started realising there is so much to see here other than the station. Everyone who goes makes a beeline for the power station, and its understandable. But I wanted to see more, so I got the power station done first then headed off in search of what else I could find. This place had got a bit of a hold on me, well it actually become an obsession for me. I had spent hours looking at maps pinpointing all the bits in the woods looking at old photos, looking at videos and old reports. Inspired by Ben Cooper who done lots of work about ten years ago documenting the site. Lots have been demolished since his early reports but still lots to see. So I found the woods were I was going to find stuff, well no amount of studying can prepare you for the scale of the place, it spreads all over the place. Having to fight through bushes and trees and gorse, sand dunes and loads of barren paths I started to find things. Nine hours later with aching feet and cut to shreds by all the overgrowth I was back in my car happy with what I had seen. I have no idea what a lot of the stuff here was used for but it was so interesting..Nobel works was set up in Ayrshire in Ardeer in 1870 by the founder Alfred Nobel, it was not actually him who raised the funds for the works but two local men who raised the 24,000 pounds needed. It specialised in dynamite for quarry and mining work, later for military and civilian use. It later merged with the newly formed ICI, the company offered good terms and conditions compared to many other companies. But it was dangerous work, with many accidents over the years and lots of fatalities. The site at its peak employed 13,000 people and had a dentist and bank and travel agent, also its own train station and buses. With a massive change in work and production being moved elsewhere lots of the site became derelict, ICI Nobel still exist there as a company but on a smaller scale. It was said that the Ardeer works was the bane of the German airforce and when you wander around you can see why. Massive sand dunes and hills and woods hiding everything and large buildings with gorse and and other plants grown on top to disguise them. There is so much history online if people want to divulge more like I did. I find it ironic that Alfred Nobel was the founder of the Nobel peace y, but created such destructive things capable of killing a lot of people. He said himself "My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be destroyed, they shall abide by golden peace"


First up is the safety fuse testing building.

922362


922363


922364


922365


922366


922367


Lots of the original lights still ha g up which is nice.

922368


922369


A small block a short walk away from the fuse testing building.

922370


922371


922372


922373


The fertilizer works. The fertilizer was a big ingredient in explosives.

922374


922375


922376


922377


922378


The testing labs. These are the most heavily trashed as easy to get too along with the power station.
Here the testing and development of explosives took place. With rooms with viewing slits for observation. And high speed cameras were used in here to film the explosions in slow motion.

922379


Test mortar pendulum.

922380


922381


922382


922383


922384


922385


922386


922387


922388


922389


922390


922391


Continued..
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Away to the side of the labs hid up is a small ruined building that some old concrete plinths to hold a generator or some other piece of machinery maybe.

922392


922393


922394


922395


922396


922397

Again hidden in some more bushes is this quite interesting little room.

922398


922399


922400


922401


Old toilet block with some nice tiling.

922402


922403


922404


Now we start getting off the beaten track. And when you get in the woodland there is loads of these little tunnels with tracks in them. Obviously to move stuff around the site. I found these interesting and looked in lots of them.

922405


922406


922407


922408


922409


Deeper in is this test area. These were surrounded by huge concrete blast walls.

922410


922411


922412


922413


After coming out of that bit I spotted this small shed in the trees. Expecting just an empty sheds d I was surprised to see it was a little rail shed to store the little locos with the tracks still inside.

922414


922415


922416


Here was some large underground room with blast walls.

922417


922418


Another rail tunnel but this had a little room with concrete plinths.

922419


922420


Continued..
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Heading into prob the most overgrown bit which was horrific on a rare very hot sunny Scottish day was this bit concrete structure. You could still see the belts and cogs out back. The machine pits are empty and flooded.

922421


922422


922423


922424


922425


The black powder mills a massive concrete construction with two levels to it

922426


922427


922428


922429


Next I head over the old quarry and down a long road that takes yo to this bridge that takes you to a separate part of the site. It felt like you were on an island here with the river between you and the main site.

922430



There was lots of these drying houses here.

922431


922432


Then we get to the bunkers. Again there was loads of these but they are identical. Most are so overgrown you can't get to them. Lots of testing rooms in these.

922433


922434


922435


Heading back over to the main site. To a large open area. More tunnels and lots more buildings.

922436


922437


These buildings were huge.

922438


They seemed to go in forever.

922439


922440


922441


922442


922443


922444


Back in the woods again and I find another building which looked like it was a bit newer.

922445


922446


922447


There was lots of old pipes running through the woods, but these had all been called off during the clean up in the nineties.

922448


Continued..
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
As I approached the power station I thought I heard the sound off a digver in the distance. As I walked up the slope I could see someone sifting sand with the digger. I did not want to miss going in here after waiting so long to see it. So I waited till he went off to load the sand in his bucket and quickly dashed across to the rear of the building out of site. In power station sizes this is a small one. And it has been smashed up a bit and stripped of valuable stuff. There are two turbines but one had been hoisted down on the lower floor. Apparently it was lowered long after the station shut. Easy to strip I wonder and get it out. The station created enough power to feed the whole site with pipes going underground

922449


922450


922451


922452


922453


922454


922455


922456


922457


922458


922459


922460


922461


922462


922463


The boilers really are a thing of beauty in here and by far the best bit.

922464


922465


922466


922467


922468


922469


922470


922471


922472


922473


922474


922475


922476


922477


922478
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thank you for this report - having worked for a German company competing with ICI Nitrocellulose- Nobel Industries is / always will be a part of me, even if I never got to see it
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Thank you for this report - having worked for a German company competing with ICI Nitrocellulose- Nobel Industries is / always will be a part of me, even if I never got to see it
Thank you. Must be interesting if you worked for a company doing similar stuff.
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thank you. Must be interesting if you worked for a company doing similar stuff.
Some history of the German Company at https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/Wolff_Walsrode and in their archives they used to have a British map from WW2 showing things like which railway lines to bomb at the request of Nobel industries. Now owned by DOW of USA I think the archives have been dispersed within Germany
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Some history of the German Company at https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/Wolff_Walsrode and in their archives they used to have a British map from WW2 showing things like which railway lines to bomb at the request of Nobel industries. Now owned by DOW of USA I think the archives have been dispersed within Germany
Very interesting read. I have a Bayer crop science near me. It's crazy how Nobel gave instructions on what to bomb. Some serious competition there.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Wow, you stumbled on so much, what a fun and interesting explore. Cracking report, what a site. So much great research too. 9hrs and only half covered, sounds like a perfect explore to me. I didn't expect so much reading the title. Definitely comprehensive and a winner :thumb
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Wow, you stumbled on so much, what a fun and interesting explore. Cracking report, what a site. So much great research too. 9hrs and only half covered, sounds like a perfect explore to me. I didn't expect so much reading the title. Definitely comprehensive and a winner :thumb
Thanks Jane. I had a few bits of interest pinned. But until you are inside the grounds do you realise the size of it and how much is hidden. Lots of little bits which I like as more exciting when you spot them.
 

Gradge

28DL Member
28DL Member
Today was my first visit to the old Ardeer site since I tried as a kid to get near the place. Totally blown away by the size of the site and the weird array of buildings all over the site. Having been brought up very close by in Pennyburn I recall the bangs which were presumably the explosives being tested in the 70's and 80's.
It is fantastic that others more knowledgeable than I are able to describe what went on in the various buildings. Obviously a highly specialised facility.
Didn't manage to access the power station today but will certainly get there soon.
 

Similar threads


Top