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Report - - Hi-Finish Casting Limited, Birmingham - May 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Hi-Finish Casting Limited, Birmingham - May 2017

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#1
Hi-Finish Casting Limited - Hall Green, Birmingham.

Visited with @Salmon and @Polo.

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Fair to say I'm struggling to find much in the way of history about this place. I've established that Hi-Finish was founded in 1920 on a different site, and specialised in the manufacture of high pressure die castings and surface coatings. Their client list included Bentley (think those 'flying B' motifs and chrome air vents) and Jaguar (including those ludicrous prancing bonnet motifs that old men insist on having), although they appear to have become insolvent in around 2008 with a loss of 42 jobs.

Perhaps more interestingly, this specific works was originally part of the Rootes Group empire (of Sunbeam and Hillman fame), under the guise of their 'Special Products Division'. A few relics of the Rootes days remain, most notably a couple of abstract murals in the lobby and canteen, though other than this I can't find much else. I can't even be sure of the age of the buildings, though at a guess I would say late 50s/early 60s.

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I was initially rather disappointed with the works - the main factory floor itself is totally stripped and very derelict - however upstairs things began to improve, and by the time we left I felt very content with what we'd seen. As usual the explore was made all the more enjoyable by the challenging access - the main gate is nothing more than a narrow road between two houses, and within seconds of our arrival one of those meddlesome old farts with nothing better to do had emerged from his house and started eyeing us up, forcing us to rethink..

Like I said, downstairs wasn't anything to write home about

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And again, like I said, things drastically improved at the top of the staircase, starting with some nicely dated offices

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The directors office - very original:

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Including a fitted cocktail cabinet

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Interesting to see that the boardroom walls had been removed, but the furniture was left in place - someone literally saw more value in saving a plywood partition over that shitty 80s crap

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In the foremans toilet - note the splashguard (!)

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Cyanide stores

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The highlight for me was the canteen, which is surely one of the wonderfully depressing places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. The windows on all 3 sides stare bleakly at a mossy brick wall no more than 6 feet away.

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Nicely dated though!

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Next to the main canteen, a hospitality suite/managers dining room with more of that fitted cabinetry

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And this abstract fibreglass mural, a hangover from the Rootes days and adorned with the names of the various brands that belonged to the group (Sunbeam, Humber etc.)

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Ta​
 
Last edited:

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#15
Where is this place? Going to go today!
What annoys me is that it took more effort for you to log in and post your comment than it would have done to search 'Hi Finish Casting' on Google.

Ask yourself why it's called urban exploring, and then ask yourself whether you think it's the right hobby for you. If you can't even work something as simple as that out, I'd suggest it's probably not.
 

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