Report - - Hepworth Refractories, Storrs Bridge Works, Sheffield, July 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hepworth Refractories, Storrs Bridge Works, Sheffield, July 2019


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The Visit

I’ve been visiting this place on and off for years, since I first came across it on a jog down the valley. Each time I came down there was a different bit open to nip into for a look whilst the security men were looking the other way in their little hut. At one point there were on-site generators to keep the CCTV and motion sensors running, although these measures seem to have been scaled back in recent times. There’s a number of reports on here from over the years and if you rock up for a quick wander round you’d be forgiven for thinking it's just a load of empty warehouses. Which, to be fair, is mainly is. However, there's some other nice bits to be found if you look hard enough and are prepared for a little monkey business. Although this has been derelict for years it's been ages since any of it was actually demoed.

Although I have taken a number of pics here over the years I've never bothered posting a report, so I thought I'd return for a visit with my film camera to cover the most interesting bits of the site all in one go. Most pics here are film (Kodak ColorPlus 200 and then Ilford HP5+ 400 home dev when I got too trigger happy) with a few digital pics thrown in. As I've said, there's lots of empty spaces here - many of which feature some nice graffiti by local artists. However, I'll focus this report on the other bits and pieces that often get overlooked - at least more recently. (All pics were taken in July this year, except for the one big chimney pic)


There's a nice old-school pic of the works from 1965 here: https://flic.kr/p/BwwT5
Most recently used by Hepworth Refractories and Carblox, Storrs Bridge Works was previously home to Thomas Marshall and Co.

Carblox, who occupied the site in the 70s, made carbon blocks of different sizes for steel furnaces. One ex worker reports:

'Carbox (carbon blocks) was part of the Marshalls group - manufacturing very large - and heavy - linings for the teeming process within the steel industry. The site was in Bradfield Dale - alongside the River Loxley - where damage took place in the 1864 Sheffield flood- but it`s now in a ruinous state. The carbon based materials used were largely bitumen, tars and , worst of all, graphite dust! This stuff festered in my lungs for a full six months after I left...'

(Source: https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/308331-anyone-remember-carblox-loxley/ )

Most recently used by Hepworth Refractories and Carblox, Storrs Bridge Works was previously home to Thomas Marshall and Co.

Although there's very little about Hepworth's to be found online, the factory is said to have closed in the late 90s (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loxley,_South_Yorkshire#cite_note-ganister-9 )

In 2006 the site was bought by Bovis Homes. However, their plan to put 500 new homes on the site was defeated by local opposition who suggested that the local area was not able to sustain this kind of growth (source: https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/158222-loxley-college-and-hepworth-development/ )

In 2018, conversations started again about possible uses for the site - likely to involved housing but at a scaled back level from the earlier plans. URBED have been appointed by Patrick Properties Ltd to help prepare a scheme to inform a future planning application on the the Former Hepworth Refractory site in Loxley Sheffield. (source: http://urbed.coop/projects/former-hepworth-refractory-loxley-sheffield )

The photos

The chimney...

Not a fan of heights generally but I’d not climbed this before so it had to be done. Pics are digital as I wasn’t farting about with film at height. First pic is taken near the top - look at how warped that ladder is.




I couldn’t get a decent pic to show how high the chimney was this time as the trees had grown around it, so here’s a pic from earlier in the year...


The Kilns

Half of this section was demolished years ago, but there's still some of the long kilns remaining.









The changing rooms / ents block...





A clocking in machine...


And some data cartridges...


The Long Workshop




I’d never seen in here before, overgrown and hidden away in the middle of the site...



The Shower Room Lockers

My favoruite part as it's just so photogenic, and the fact that it's fairly well concealed means it's still relatively untouched.





I love the stickers on this locker that seem to be stickers that they used to give kids at the dentist for being brave...




As I said, there’s more bits that I’ve not covered here but this hopefully gives a decent impression of some of the best bits of a site that been around a very long time...


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