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Report - - James Cond Printers, Birmingham - May 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - James Cond Printers, Birmingham - May 2017

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#1
James Cond Printers - Birmingham.

Visited with @Polo and @Salmon. I wasn't initially planning on posting a report, but as Polo seems to have the self-esteem of a 12 year old Marilyn Manson fan and refuses to post his own pictures (despite the fact they're objectively better than mine) here goes..

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Speed's external from last year showed the modernist rear elevation, so I've added a photo showing the more classically-styled office façade above, despite the fact it's utter gash.

It's been exactly one year since Speed and I first explored James Cond, and so it was nice to be able to return and see what, if anything, had changed. The short answer is very little - the inside looks pretty much as it did 12 months ago. The only real difference is that the owners of the car park that now occupies the former factory floor have made it slightly more challenging to get up into the properly derelict parts - one can no longer simply open a door from the car park and waltz into a derelict canteen, for example. Not exactly difficult though!

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History is remarkably elusive considering the size and prominence of this site, though from what I can gather James Herbert Cond (1886 - 1962) founded the company as a print works and publishers in November 1926. Over its lifetime clients included the Telsen Electric Co., the Shipping, Engineering & Machinery Exhibition, and London Transport. The company was wound up in 1989.

Since closure, the factory floor has been converted into a secure car park, though in spite of this it's unmistakably a derp - antiquated signs hang still hang from the ceiling and switchgear on the walls hints to the former use. I'd go as far as to say there's more to see in here than in many of the more 'traditional' derelict buildings I've explored!

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Even the first aid kit remains from the Cond days

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The signs should date it for you

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Beautiful deco stair turret

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The building is split into two parts - the slightly later deco extension to the rear, and the original 1920s/30s building at the front. The contrast between the stylish deco lines and the more traditional factory building is stark - these partitions seemed almost too old to belong in the place

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Lift epic

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Toilets certainly seemed to be the main event here - I've never seen so many in one place, all wonderfully dated

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Moving into the offices in the front façade - pretty empty but very antiquated

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The original main entrance, with African hardwood veneer with acid etched glass

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One of the more interesting features was a separate flat for the caretaker on the top floor - this arrangement used to be relatively commonplace, but by the time we get to them they've usually been repurposed as offices. The one at Cond is totally original - the pantry still has a marble cold slab, the fittings all scream 1930s - even the bath remains, merely hidden by a wooden shelf!

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The directors office more or less sums up the rest of the office block - empty but dated

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Interesting to see he had his own cloakroom though..

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..complete with crazy ventilation

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Cont.​
 
Last edited:

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#2
The real highlight for me was the welfare block, probably built in the 1960s but untouched since then - starting with the canteen

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With a separate 'staff' canteen (for managers and hospitality functions) off to one side

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Dated signage abounds

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Kitchens

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Cloakrooms and locker rooms:

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Sorry it's so pic heavy, but I really do rate this place - I'd even go as far as to say it's one of my favourite sites from last year. Despite being reused in places, as an all rounder its still very impressive - not many factories offer this combination of offices, canteen and factory space and certainly even fewer will be this dated.​
 
Last edited:

Polo

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#6
No way is my set better than that - I still need to look into getting a wide-angle lens! Nice report as always.

I struggled in certain places seeing as I left my tripod 50 miles away but here are a few of my photos from the day:









I definitely could've used my tripod in this place...











I was pretty disappointed with most of my photos of James Cond but I suppose some came out alright. Here's an average snap of the view looking out of one of the windows to finish it off: