Report - - British Sugar, Bardney, Lincolnshire – August 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - British Sugar, Bardney, Lincolnshire – August 2020

Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Err, can someone tell me what the bloody hell happened here? A big portion of the site has been closed nearly two decades and yet in that time no one seems to have bothered having a proper look around. There have been quite a few threads posted in the past, but no reports have been put up for the past five years! It was stuck in leads a couple of years ago but for whatever reason nothing seems to have been done. Now the site is well under demolition. Amongst the rubble and twisted metal, I found a log sheet for the powerhouse, showing there were three turbine sets – I’m pretty bloody annoyed everyone somehow missed these and I can’t find any photos of them online. Along with this I also found the battered remains of a chain-grate stocker, it appears to have been installed in the early 80s, an unusually late date for this technology. This kind of thing pisses me off quite a bit, there has been plenty of time for someone to have made a thorough effort, but it’s just another one on the list of sites which hasn’t released its full potential.

In 1925 Henry Beacon began to investigate the prospects of constructing a sugar beet factory in Lincolnshire. By the end of the year sufficient acreage had been found to grow the sugar beet but unfortunately a lack of capital resulted in the abandonment of hopes to construct a factory ready for the crop of 1926. The Lincolnshire Beet Sugar Company Ltd was established in 1927, with construction of the factory in Bardney beginning shortly after, to commence operation in October of that year. Due to high demand for sugar beet cropping in the area it was decided to construct a sister factory in Brigg, now demolished. Sugar beet was primarily supplied by rail in the early days of the site, with up to four trains, each pulling between thirty and forty wagons a day during the season. Beet was also delivered by road and barge. Transport by water ended in 1950 and the railway services ended just over twenty years later. In 1936 all thirteen independent sugar- producing companies were merged to become The British Sugar Corporation Ltd, with the name changed to British Sugar in 1982. During the Second World War German and Italian Prisoners of War were brought in to work at the site, from the nearby camp at Potterhanworth. The buildings were regularly extended and updated over the decades, but many of the early building were still in use right up to closure. In early 2001 it was announced that the factory would close, with the last load of beet arriving on the 30th January, some operations, including the packing plant would continue. In 2011 an application for demolition was submitted, but it wasn’t until early 2019 that machinery moved in to tear down the disused buildings.


Old postcard of the factory, probably dating from the 30s (image from tuckdbpostcards.org)

The Explore
I stumbled across one of the old reports from here a few months ago and was quite surprised the site still seemed to be intact. I visited earlier this month with Prettyvacant. Part of the site is still active as a packing plant and whatever, along with the large concrete silos. Most of this report features the main process building, constructed in 1927. Asbestos removal is currently underway on the top floor but most of the machinery is still intact, although very little of it dates from the early years of the factory. There is some great decay and the whole building feels very dated, there is certainly quite a lot still to see. After this we ventured around some of the other sections where demolition was well underway, it made for some cool shots I guess but I would have very much preferred to see it all intact.

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A similar view of the site today, showing the tall chimney of the powerhouse, limekiln and large 20s processing building

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The ground floor was fairly dark with not a lot to see

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Looking right up to the top of the building

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On the first floor is a nice control panel. I really liked the gentle uneveness of the quarry tile flooring

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Beet slicers, there were once five of these machines but three have been partly dismantled

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A pair of Cherry Tree Machine Co laundry machines with mash presses behind

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Control panel showing a process diagram

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The entrance to the labs, showing the logo of British Sugar

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The labs have long been stripped

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I really liked this area, all the pipes and decay were great

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The top floor of the building, showing rotary vacuum filters and asbestos removal sheeting

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Large evaporators on the top floor

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Glass bricks are always a nice touch to these kind of buildings

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Vacuum pans, where the liquid was boiled and crystallised

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Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
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Looking towards the main building from the site of the powerhouse

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The admin building is a great little piece of 70s brutalist architecture, it still seems to be in use by demolition contractors so we didn’t try and venture inside

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Animal feed rotary dryers, dating from 1927

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Grearing for one of the rotary dryers

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The other end of the feed dryers

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Bucket elevator

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Remains of the chain-grate stoker

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In amongst the concrete silos

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Looking up

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Thanks for looking
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Staff member
Err, can someone tell me what the bloody hell happened here? A big portion of the site has been closed nearly two decades and yet in that time no one seems to have bothered having a proper look around.

This kind of thing pisses me off quite a bit, there has been plenty of time for someone to have made a thorough effort
Alright Speed lol :rolleyes:

Good work all the same, better late than never I guess :thumb

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Great report, smashing photos. Youve covered it really well, some nice bits left still, liking this:thumb. Yes its a shame nobody reported for 5 years. There are some YT vids from drones, I dont usually watch them..Prehaps they show it in all its glory before demo started, it looks like it.

The Amateur Wanderer

28DL Regular User
Regular User
I was very surprised to find that it was only installed in 1982, thought we could have missed out on some 50s epic at first. Two Simon Carves boilers were installed in 1965, along with a pair? of 4mw turbines, then in 1983 a 10mw turbine was added.
Sounds tasty mate, definitely missed some epic if not as old as expected!


Got Epic?
Regular User
Dont remember the power house being any good tbh. We saw nearly the whole site over a couple of trips and it didnt really register at the time, cant find any photo of any of it. Im guessing a 80s turbine wasn't really of interest back then! Good place tho, just another one on the long list of places people would make a lot more of today but certainly we did this place more justice than 100s of others that just got totally ignored.

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