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Report - Britvic Soft Drinks Factory - Chelmsford, Essex - January 2017

Supersonic

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
History

Britvic started its life in the mid 19th Century with a chemist in Chelmsford, Essex making homemade soft drinks & in 1949 his range of soft juice drinks were being launched under the name of 'British Vitamin Products Company'.

In 1954 the British Vitamin Company is sold to Vine Products Limited and thus the Chelmsford Factory is born which at the time was one of the largest fruit drink processing factories in the UK. The company carried on trading under the name of British Vitamin Company until 1971 when the company officially changed its name to Britvic.

In 1977 the popular drink 'Britvic 55' was launched into bars, clubs & pubs and was designed to be an alternative non-alcoholic adult soft drink.

In 1986 Britvic obtained licence to bottle and produce 'Tango and R.Whites lemonade'.

In 1987 Brtivic saw one of the biggest and most important developments in the companies history when it was awarded a 20 year bottling agreement with Pepsi and 7up for UK production.

In the late 20th century Britvic acquired Robinsons and in 2000 it launched 'Fruit Shoot'.

In 2004 the license with Pepsi and 7up was extended for a further 15 years and In 2005 the company was put onto the London stock exchange and is now the 2nd largest soft drinks manufacturer in the UK.

The Chelmsford Factory mainly produced Fruit Shoot & J20 - it closed its doors for the final time in 2014 with a loss of 230 jobs, bringing a 60 year end to the production of soft drinks in Chelmsford.

Today

The site has been bought by a development company who have proposed plans to build a retail park on the site which will be named 'Clock tower Retail Park'.

The reasoning behind the name comes from the iconic Britvic Clock tower that is located at the back of the factory site and has been a landmark in the Chelmsford skyline for a number of years.

Demolition started late December 2016 and began at the back of the factory by tearing down the production warehouses.

The new design will include a new M&S and Aldi supermarkets along with 5 other un-confirmed units.

Behind the new concept will house 3 industrial units.

The Explore

Britvic has been a explore i've been wanting to do but also didn't want to do mainly because i knew the place had been stripped of all its machinery and was just a bare shell.

I had been in the factory grounds before, we spent about 45 mins looking around but left because we decided the only way in would have to be the roof and we knew it wasn't worth the hassle of doing that.

I drive past the factory on a nearly daily basis and have always wondered what it was like inside. On one drive past just after Christmas '16 i saw lots of JCB's had turned up at the front of the site.

As the New year rolled in i saw a post of Facebook of the demolition that had began on the factory and it looked like the construction company weren't wasting any time getting rid of this place!

The highlight of the explore has got to have been the clock tower. Testing my luck i wandered over to it and asked @DRZ_Explorer 'What are the chances of this thing being unlocked' and to our surprise it was.

DRZ led the way and was soon at the top, after some persuasion i plucked up some courage and started climbing.
What greeted us at the top was a breathtaking view of the Chelmsford Skyline we spent about 15-20 mins up there and 99% of that time was me shitting myself (if you haven't guessed, i hate heights!)
But never the less, climbing the Britvic clock tower has now been crossed off the list!

We took a few visits and each lasted about 3-4 hours, the first visit we ended up not even using the torches because we knew the security hut was only the other side of the warehouse. When we left i drove past and to my annoyance the security weren't even there! So me and DRZ decided a re-visit was on the cards!

The other visits we decided to use our torches because we knew there wasn't anyone there apart from us.
Although being right next to a main road we were careful, we didn't really fancy any unwanted attention.

The place is heavily stripped so there isn't really much variants in the photos. Although we did find some labs which was cool.

Enjoy the pics!

Explored with @DRZ_Explorer

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DRZ shining me with his torch from the clock tower!

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Inside the clock tower

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And finally the view from the top - Thanks to DRZ for this photo!

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Last edited:

Dave563

Some things are best left untouched!
28DL Full Member
#5
Been waiting for ages to see some more pictures from this place! I work next door so it's nice to see the inside rather then seeing the outside all the time. Good job guys! :)
 

CureForPain

Definitely not a Cylon
28DL Full Member
#8
I don't know what I expected a soft drinks factory to look like...but not that! Great photos despite the lack of cool machinery, did the office areas seem pretty much untouched?
 

Supersonic

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
I don't know what I expected a soft drinks factory to look like...but not that! Great photos despite the lack of cool machinery, did the office areas seem pretty much untouched?
Yeh. Apparently the machinery was gone on the day of closure, apparently! Office areas were just empty shells I'm afraid apart from the odd sign blue-tac'd to the wall. The ones by the main gate have no walls or ceilings anymore.
 

Dave563

Some things are best left untouched!
28DL Full Member
#10
Been proper gutted out then! The outside doesn't give anything away does it, up until now with the diggers being there
 

Dave563

Some things are best left untouched!
28DL Full Member
#12
Yeah was good to see them, and the odd couple of j20 bottles :p
 

Dave563

Some things are best left untouched!
28DL Full Member
#13
Don't suppose there was any drinks laying around the place was there? Ha
 
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