Report - - British Xylonite/Wardle Storeys, Cattawade - Dec 2011 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - British Xylonite/Wardle Storeys, Cattawade - Dec 2011


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Visited back in December with one of my friends before seeing in the new year. We had visited earlier in the year but had no camera as it was away for repair. Been rather lazy of late to upload them but here they are :)

Bit of history (yoinked from http://www.highamsparkwarmemorial.co.uk/history.php)
The British Xylonite Company could justifiably claim to be the first British firm successfully to manufacture a plastic material in commercial quantities. Xylonite, better known by its American equivalent of 'celluloid', was invented by Alexander Parkes and first displayed in 1862 under the name of 'Parkesine'.

The original site being small and unsuitable, it was decided in 1887 to buy land at Brantham on the Suffolk bank of the River Stour and erect a purpose-built factory; finished goods continued to be made at Homerton until 1897 when a new factory was built at Hale End near Walthamstow which also housed the head office. Other types of plastics were introduced, and in 1938 the British Xylonite Company became a holding company with three subsidiaries.

The Distillers Company took a half-interest in 1939 and bought the entire Group in 1961, but in 1963 it formed part of a new grouping called Bakelite Xylonite Ltd. Several sales and mergers took place in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Brantham site operated under the name of Wardle Storeys and until recently manufactured limited quantities of xylonite using traditional processes and equipment. The company went into liquidation in January 2007.
The whole place is pretty much a wreck now due to several arson attacks but still a nice little wonder. Big thanks to WillFinch36 for the guided tour, who we bumped in to on the way in. Seems to be a lot of 'traffic' down there as I have bumped in to quite a few explorers.