Report - - Grimsby Ice House - April 2012 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grimsby Ice House - April 2012

The Lone Ranger

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The Grimsby Ice House


The Ice Factory was built by the Great Grimsby Ice Company Limited and first opened in 1900, extended later in 1908 by consulting engineer W F Cott. The buildings are approximately rectangular on plan, with a passageway cutting diagonally though, which formerly carried a railway. The building is believed to be the earliest remaining ice factory in the UK, and possibly the sole survivor from this period complete with machinery.

The factory originally housed steam powered ammonia compressors, however these were replaced during a modernisation and expansion programme in 1933 when 5 new compressors were built by J&E Hall of Dartford Kent, powered by 5 generators built by Metropolitan-Vickers of Manchester. These five compressors and generators remain in-situ and are both the largest and oldest of their type in the country, running until 1990 when the factory finally closed. The building in now Grade II* listed.

At its prime it produced 1,270 metric tons of ice every 24 hours. Water was taken from local bore holes and placed in moulds containing brine. When the ice was required conveyer belts took the three-hundred weight blocks to a crusher. The crushed ice was then taken by another conveyer belt to the quay side where it was dropped into the fish room of the trawlers via a chute. At a later stage cement mixers were converted to deliver the ice.

The Ice factory was a complete unit employing up to seventy people. The unit was manned 24 hours a day, every day of the year. (Thanks in the main to Hiddenshadow for the plagiarised history).

The Ice House was also used a film set for the 2007 film Atonement; not seen it, but even though the film crew was there for a fair lenght of time the building only apeared briefly in the film.

Not too sure why this is in non-public viewing, but will follow the previous trend with reports.

My Visit

Been after seeing inside here for a few years now, and have had one aborted attempt before. Luck was on my side as I was in Grimsby for a couple of days; having seen Hosts recent report was keen to have another crack myself (Cheers Host for my telephone tour as well).

A latish finish meant I didn’t have too much time to explore, but soon found the way in. A quick mooch around what was probably the offices took me into the smaller half of the complex; it quickly became apparent that the floors throughout the buildings had well past their sell by date. After a quick text and some reassurance I carefully made it into the main building and the best bit. I have included a couple of images from a previous visit to the buildings across the road.

Great to see that a few more people have been in there recently; just wish I hadn’t been so busy with work so my report is following up at the rear!


The Ice House


First image after making it inside and looking at what was the offices, I don’t get bored of tiles in building like this.


After sneaking through a small hole the huge expanse of the lower floor of the smaller building hits you, not much machinery in here, but it is a vast rotten space.


After negotiating the rotten floors I ended up at the other side looking back.


On the way I passed the remains of something with very big teeth; a lot larger than a cat or a fox, possibly a large dog? As I was alone my hackles stood up as I had a flash back to the film ‘The Descent’ if some small man had jumped out in a white paper suit I’d have dropped my camera and would have ran screaming from the building. (note - must not watch that film again).


After heading up some very nice cast iron spiral stares you get an excellent view of the lower floor; plus a good vantage point to check there are no short white man like things following you :)


This is the upper floor in the smaller building, the best is yet to come.


A quick trip over a rickety link bridge I arrived at the upper floor of the main building. Again a huge open space, but with some interesting features.



Now for the interesting bit, lots of pigeon crap, but some great machinery.




I took lots of images, but quite liked this control panel.


Passed a few what would have been pressurised tanks on the way back out, the steel gratings around here looked as if they were present until you stood on them, alas they were just rust held together by spiders webs!


The last image is from the link buildings across the road, looked as if this is where the ice ended up and probably where the catch was sold? It must be worth a mooch, but so far not had any joy.


Well that’s it, a fantastic place, and glad I managed to pop inside.


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