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Report - - ICI Nobel Ardeer, Ayrshire - The Good Stuff - June 2009 | Noteworthy Reports | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - ICI Nobel Ardeer, Ayrshire - The Good Stuff - June 2009



BenCooper

Mr Boombastic
Regular User
I won't go into the history of Ardeer - once the world's largest explosives factory - again, as I covered it in my previous reports. Previously, I just skirted the borders of this huge (and still partly live) site, yesterday I ventured to the heart...

First to the very overgrown Gunpowder Section, and in a concrete incorporating mill in the woods I found three edge mills:

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Edge runner mills were only used for gunpowder which wasn't made seriously after WW1, so they're pretty rare - the Waltham Abbey museum only has a replica, so to find three mint ones is remarkable.

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The mills were driven from below - the motors are mostly gone, and frogs swim in the pools:

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Next on to the derelict power plant, which provided steam and electricity to the entire site:

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The control room is a bit small and skanky:

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Another big Hopkinson gauge, just like the one at Carrongrove:

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Now on through the woods, and fighting through acres of spiky gorse, to a detonator test building - I think this one went off a bit too violently...

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A building with water-cooled storage cylinders - not sure what this is for:

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Then this machine - I think it was for some kind of drying as it had heaters and a gas supply:

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Onto the testing laboratories - this is like a wee street, with each building containing a different testing machine:

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On the far right, you can see a large test mortar - this faced a set of rails which probably had a moving target:

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In the middle black-painted metal building, another test mortar:

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Next building along, and some high-speed plate cameras for capturing explosions:

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The bigger building at the end faces a test area, viewed through a blast wall with viewing slits:

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This building had a bunch of offices with stacks of plans (mostly for high-speed cameras it seems), and shelves and shelves of plates from the cameras.

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There were also some test samples:

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Finally, onto a lead casting workshop:

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As usual, there's lots more on all my Ardeer visits in my Flickr set...
 

BenCooper

Mr Boombastic
Regular User
There are several test buildings with the slit windows - from memory, the camera and power supply are in a room next to one of the smaller test rooms, so they've been moved a little bit, but not much. The smaller test buildings are self-contained - the explosive is tested in a reinforced room - but the largest has a long corridor of viewing slits that look out onto an open area:

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Ordnance

Moderator
Moderator
For those not in the know Dangerous Energy is a book;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1850747180/?tag=networkmechan-21

I think English Heritage and the Waltham Abbey Trust who now run the South Site as a visiter centre are aware of the Ardeer mills examples, but they are not the type as used at Waltham, but I feel one should be preserved at least none the less.
 

BenCooper

Mr Boombastic
Regular User
Some more from another potter about last weekend - this is Africa House, it was the South African pavilion at the Glasgow Empire Exhibition, moved to Ardeer to be used for offices, but now a gutted wreck:

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A large storage building, with nothing of interest inside:

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Test bays behind a blast wall:

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A battery detonator:

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A high-speed rotating-mirror camera:

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Health and safety goes a bit far:

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Another set of labs:

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And a sales room with some target samples and display boards:

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