Report - - Cincinnati Machine Tools, Birmingham - October 2015 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cincinnati Machine Tools, Birmingham - October 2015


Is this the future?
28DL Full Member

“It may be American-owned, but the UK management makes it clear that development of the new product range has been an all-British affair. We have full responsibility for market analysis, design, production and marketing of our products…” (Bloxham).

Cincinnati was original a small engineering shop based in Ohio, America. The company was founded by Fred Holz during the 1870s and from thereon it continued to prosper in the machine screws and thread taps trade. The company soon managed to enhance their milling machines technology and further developed the company to such an extent that it was considered to have been one of the largest companies in the USA. Subsequently, the demand for their wares rose significantly across Europe, particularly in the UK, which was at the time considered to be one of the world’s central hubs for industrial activity. A number of factories were later constructed across Europe, in Birmingham, France and Holland. Cincinnati Machine Tools became widely known as a ‘safe buy company’, since they were able to offer machines attuned to local needs and appropriate spare parts and service organisation.

The main Cincinnati Machine Tools factory, and headquarters, in the UK was constructed in 1957 and since that time dominated Birmingham’s skyline as a well-known landmark. In 1971 the UK site was renowned for introducing the 2MK milling machine; a machine that was widely exported to many other countries. According to the Urban Splash website, the inside décor of the building was pure 1950’s style, with a hint of American glamour: there is plenty of marble, terracotta and terrazzo, alongside various pieces of lavish artwork. Unfortunately, despite its success, the factory closed in 2008 as demand for machines had fallen considerably in the UK. At its peak the factory employed over 2000 employees, however, at the time of closure there were fewer than 90. It is rumoured that production was moved to China, where industry continues to thrive. During its final days, Tom Keogh, a regional officer for engineering union Amicus, promised to challenge the termination of Cincinnati Machine Tools, suggesting that “they will not be getting away quietly from this”.

Our Version of Events

Next on the agenda, after our brief stop-off in Stoke, was Cincinnati Machine Tools in Birmingham. We’d heard that the place was a former industrial giant, so felt the need to go pay homage to its former greatness. With an army of security crawling all over the site, we found access to be an interesting affair, but they still didn’t stop us from having a quick poke around inside. They did eventually prevent us from exploring any further though, and we were forced to leave with them hot on our tails. Despite their attempt at blocking off all the exits, or heading us off at the pass; however you want to put it, we managed a stealthy escape and all survived to explore another day. Unfortunately, because there was so much secca, we didn’t manage to explore the whole site; I’d say we made a mere dent in the whole thing. Nevertheless, what we did manage to see was absolutely amazing and the remains of the décor certainly didn’t disappoint at all.

*Please note, we weren't able to visit the entire site, only a little bit. I figured we'd share it anyway.

Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do, Rizla Rider and Husky.

Cincinnati Machine Tools Back in the Day


Inside Cincinnati



1: The Jazzy Walkways


2: One of the Main Corridors


3: Good Safety Habits


4: More Corridor Goodness


5: Dummy


6: The Main Reception Area


7: The Map of Europe


8: Looking Towards the Front Door


9: One of the Offices


10: Open Plan Office Area


11: The Cafeteria


12: More of that Flooring


13: Upstairs Corridors


14: A Taste of some of the Elaborate Artwork


15: The Conference Room


16: Paying Attention


17: More Artwork


18: The Director's Penthouse


19: The Boardroom


20: The Kitchen in the Penthouse


21: Leftover Supplies


22: Former Living Room


23: The Bedroom


24: The Roof Terrace



Is this the future?
28DL Full Member
Did you set the bells off? Looks like you saw most of it other than the theatre
Nah, just happened to catch a glimpse of secca wandering around, then more appeared in vans as we were leaving. Not sure how they knew we were there. A bit disappointed about not getting a shot of the auditorium like, but shit happens :(


off the wall
Regular User
Not sure how they knew we were there.
maybe they spotted you from the dome cam in that last picture you took :D

I missed the theatre when i went too, tried to find it but the bloody alarms were annoying me by that time so i gave up.


Is this the future?
28DL Full Member
maybe they spotted you from the dome cam in that last picture you took :D

I missed the theatre when i went too, tried to find it but the bloody alarms were annoying me by that time so i gave up.
Yes, we had thought about that. Was pretty sure it wasn't working, but who knows? Maybe they turned it back on with the increase in visitors of late :thumb


redxrag on instagram
28DL Full Member
Recently been here. Was a great place. Caught a glimpse of security once we left and got in the car ;)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just popped a report on from here... seen secca ourselves as redhunter says.. we didn't hear any alarms either so no idea how they are being alerted, must be a camera or maybe silent PIR somewhere possibly?