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Report - - Bowaters Sack Factory, Ellesmere Port April 2024 | Industrial Sites |

Report - Bowaters Sack Factory, Ellesmere Port April 2024

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grumpy sod
Regular User
I've wanted to see this place for a long time, ever since it first cropped up on here. However it was a long way away in an area I've not visited for many years so was somewhat put on the back burner, until recently when a decision was made for a fairly impromptu trip up to the north west with this being top of the list of stuff we wanted to see.

The factory opened in 1951, the main factory barrel roof with all of the glass windows was built to catch the rising sun bringing natural light into the huge factory, so less electricity was used to light it. The factory was specifically designed so that reels of paper came in at one end of the factory, the reels were printed, tubed and then sewed or bottomed in the main factory hall, before going out as completed paper or plastic sacks. The factory had its own printers, maintenance department, canteen and office staff and at its height employed over 400 people. It was purchased by Papropack as an order book buyout, kept open for the minimum amount of time but ceased production in April 1997. The site was sold to Manisty Wharf in 1998. The building is now spilt into 4 separate sections, some housing active businesses, the abandoned part was the main factory hall and offices.

We arrived pretty early in the day but as we rolled up I quickly spotted a truck parked at the entrance gate and a guy opening it up, shortly followed by him driving in and wandering around at the end of the site. Not wanting to risk getting rumbled and, deciding he was probably just doing a dump-and-run at one of the operational businesses that were otherwise closed for the day, we left and checked out a couple more places nearby in the hopes that when we returned he'd be gone and the site would be quiet. Thankfully, an hour or so later on our return he was gone, the gates were locked and after a brief brisk walk across the open ground we were in the factory with not a soul to be seen on site.

I loved this place, it's probably my favourite location I've done all year (out of the precious few I have managed to do!). It may be totally empty other than the old tonne bags and mounds of rock salt that were being stored inside, but the decay is fantastic and other than all the broken plate glass windows there really isn't a lot in the way of vandalism. Give me something like this over a minty fresh location every single time and I'll be in my element.

Anyway we spent a couple of hours or so inside, took all the shots we wanted and left with no troubles, afterwards finding out that trying to get lunch at Cheshire Oaks retail park at midday on a weekend is a really bloody bad idea.

A good day out, and just what I needed as I've been somewhat in the exploring doldrums this year with a lot of other life stuff going on to occupy my mind and time.




























Thanks for looking...​


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Great set of pics mate. Some of the nicest decay I have seen in recent times I think. I need to make the trip up there to see it, but in the same boat as you - very far away! Agree re the point about preferring decaying places over mint ones, always makes for better pics too.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Really like this. The decay and nature do make excellent photos. The peel and old signs are excellent