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Report - - Britain's paper mill well pump house, Churnet Valley, Apr 2021 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Britain's paper mill well pump house, Churnet Valley, Apr 2021


mingerocket

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I've been meaning to check out this little pump house for some time but it's always been surrounded by a swamp making it impossible to get to. This is probably why this pump house is the most intact of the many others in the valley. Recent drainage work by the farmer and the unusually dry weather have meant I could finally reach it.
This part of the valley has many strange brick buildings and remains of pipe bridges, pipework and lumps of concrete that seem out of place in a field full of cattle. Having spoken to a local farmer I'm told that these were borehole pumps that fed water to the long since demolished Britain's paper mill. The old guy told me that the now swampy field used to be good land that made for cracking hey making until the factory closed and the pumps were switched off resulting in the water table rising back to its pre factory level.
A nice steady explore except the need to cross the extremely sketchy pipe bridge (hanging on by the skin of its scrote) over the river. To be honest the pipe is holding the bridge up rather than the other way around and the whole thing swings about like something off of Takeshi's Castle.

History.
Brittain's Paper Mills with the Caldon Canal in the foreground. A paper mill has stood on this site at Cheddleton since 1797, when the paper was made by hand. It was built by the pottery manufacturer William Adams to produce tissue paper for transfer printing in the ceramic industry.

In 1855 Thomas Brittain succeeded G.H. Fourdrinier and Sons who had operated Ivy House mill at Hanley. The Foudriniers had been instrumental in introducing machinery into the paper making process. In 1890 Mr. T. A. Brittain formed an incorporated company and bought the paper mill at Cheddleton. In 1906 all paper manufacturing was moved to Cheddleton and the Hanley Mill specialised in paper finishing and coating. At its peak the Cheddleton Paper Mills employed 1,200 people. Brittains played an important role in paper manufacturing history, developing special processes which were patented, allowing the production of multipart transfer papers for the ceramic industry, the paper used for bibles and specialist papers used in the production of electronic components which, until the invention of the transistor, were controlled by export laws.

Brittains Paper Mills at Cheddleton closed in 1979 but.

I have also found borehole reports for this and other Wells in the valley. I will attach some old scans for this well which is identified on the map and documents as well 20 although the control panel is marked well 24? Maybe the old panel failed and was replaced or maybe the apprentice was given the job of labelling the Wells.

By no means an epic explore but I do love a good pump house.
Hope you enjoy the pics

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Now back across the shitty bridge
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Avoiding this rusty death trap - a paper thin rusty steel lid covering a pit full of water and valves/pipework
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