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Report - - CEMEX Floors Cement Plant, Rochester - Jan 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - CEMEX Floors Cement Plant, Rochester - Jan 2020


Kidney

Weirdy Beardy
28DL Full Member
Pass this site quite often on the way home from work, have always thought about giving it a try and had planned the route in however had considered the site too far gone to prioritise plus it has been done to death in various stages of its lifecycle on the forums over the years. Didn’t think there was that much I could add!

Have always had a strange affection with this location and have fond childhood memories of passing this place during its blue circle days on family days out being in awe of the famous 45m deep “Blue Lake” which gets its colour from limestone contained within. Unfortunately I was just getting into exploring when the demo crews moved in and missed out on what would seem a very good explore of the main site and associated conveyor tunnel which looked awesome!!!

This large former cement works site, as with other locations has now sadly had 550 timber framed “affordable houses” bestowed upon it renamed “St Andrews Park”…..if you consider a £400k starting price affordable and is part of the reason why my former 40 minute commute now takes an hour and a half. :mad: Anyway I’m digressing…..

Brief History

The Blue Circle (Now CEMEX) cement plant in Halling, Rochester (Cuxton), was once one of the largest concrete production sites in Kent specialising in creating concrete floors, bricks, paving and other cement themed construction materials. However, the main production was wound down in 2000 as production was moved to Tilbury and the site entered decommissioning. A small scale operation remained grinding clinker (concrete lump form) imported onto site but by 2009 all production had ceased.
CEMEX have kept a small scale presence on part of the site manufacturing concrete flooring and staircases, however I’m unsure how long this will be the case, developers are slowly starting to put the squeeze upon the site. A small part of the original site remains at the rear in the form of two of the concrete silo buildings and production house. Most of the site around these have been cleared and it appears these silos are ready to be pulled down. Presumably this has not happened yet as they are an environmental (and therefore costly) nightmare being full of cement dust and cladded in asbestos cement.

The Explore

Visited with @LashedLlama

After casually talking about this site we finally came up with a date to visit on a chilly Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t put much thought into the planning of this explore and basically rocked up. Has presumed it was too far gone and was going to just get a bit of long exposure practice in on the roof.
My original entry method was deemed to impractical, @LashedLlama pointed out an alternate route in. Unfortunately a game of cat and mouse is currently going on with entry points being crudely sealed as soon as they are spotted. This theme continued throughout the explore so had a few challenges to overcome, the low point being crawling along a rickety conveyor belt covered in bird crap suspended 30ft in the air only to find @LashedLlama had taken a leap of faith and jumped the railing.

Although not the best out there I was surprised as to how much equipment was left behind and this actually turned out to be a good explore. Although I have a facilities management background I’m not a subject matter in all things cement but managed to identify the conveyors, rotary packaging machine and various extraction systems. Plus I encountered two friendly pigeons who I spent a few minutes petting.

Our main concern with this site was that the office lights were still on and the high level CCTV camera with IR covering the site. Most of the explore was spent using red light on the head torch so any one monitoring wasn’t aware of our presence. We developed a good “buddy buddy” method for light painting. Unfortunately the high level camera was to be our partial downfall. We decided to chance it getting out and use the path of least resistance….the main gate. We found this locked and headed back quickly through the live site, my focus all the time being on the IR camera up top. Whilst quickly gathering our thoughts as to the best way to leave I was totally oblivious to the CCTV camera right next to my head until a loud “whir” was heard and realised there were two IR beams pointing right at me.
Unsure if this is being monitored remotely but not taking our chances the explore ended with the fabled words “fucking leg it”:D

On with the holiday snaps

Views of the Medway from the roof of the silo's
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Peek-a-boo! Presumably part of the original distribution area.
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Base of the main plant, was careful not to use our torches for this and utilised the light from the floodlights
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The ROTO-PACKER, used to package up the concrete into consumer sized bags.
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Couldn't work this out, presumably the base of the silo, was a cute office inside.
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Said cute office! Proper solo love den this one! :wanker
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A small section of the conveyor system
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An alternate view of the ROTO-PACKER facility
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Funnels from the silo's I think. Looks cement filling type equipment anyway!
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Part of the extract system
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Plant in the roof space, presumed part of the LEV?
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Cheers for making it this far!
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice use of light and as I said previously the dust on the equipment makes this place look quite beautiful in a weird way. :thumb
 

Kidney

Weirdy Beardy
28DL Full Member
Nice use of light and as I said previously the dust on the equipment makes this place look quite beautiful in a weird way. :thumb
Cheers, oddly enough I seem better handling images in darkness than I do waggling a torch :D

Totally agree with you but is the same problem I have in chalk tunnels. The light just reflects back at you and burns out your photos.
 

Kidney

Weirdy Beardy
28DL Full Member
Smashing report there mate, really captured the night well. Definitely a lot more left of it than we assumed there’d be, awesome shots there, need to get myself a wide angle haha. We’ll get back out again soon aye :D
If you had been sensible and bought a Nikon you could have borrowed mine
 

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