Web
Analytics
Report - - Jeld Wen, Lowestoft, September 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Jeld Wen, Lowestoft, September 2020


KPUrban_

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jeld Wen - The company

Jeld Wen is an American company dating back to just before 1960 with the founder Richard Wendt. Richard "Dick" Wendt had learned to manage a manufacturing business from his father, an executive of Caradco, who sent him to Oregon to help run their millwork plant (Millwork being a building material traditionally produced at a wood mill such as doors or windows).

A few years down the line the Caradco company decided to sell the Oregon plant and Dick Wendt along with 4 of his business partners decided to purchase the factory and assets starting as their own business named Jeld-Wen. The factory's workforce was at 15 employees but within a couple years the plant was eventually able to afford new manufacturing facilities offering a wider range of material choices such as vinyl and metals like aluminium. The resourcefulness and reliably to make a quality product allowed Jeld Wen to grow rapidly in the 70's and 80's using a method known as vertical integration allowed them to purchase suppliers allowing costs to be lowered and ultimately increasing their profit to reach heights of $350 Million profit by 1989.



The 1990s saw the company expand across the globe reaching the UK. The Lowestoft plant, covering around 14 Hectares (Roughly 34 Acres) of land right next to the port, was taken over from the Rugby Joinery around 1993 and into the control of Jeld-Wen.
The Lowestoft plant continued operation way into the 2000s Until news in early December 2009 soon saw the demise of the plant. A recent drop in the construction industry meant that the company had to cut costs to save money and shortly after the news was announced the plant would close after Christmas leaving the plant disused and the 194 workforce redundant.

Since closure the plant has stood mostly dormant, a small business operates out of one of the former sheds but apart from that the only life on site is security.
There have been several plans for the site and as of recent a project to place 800 homes (no surprise there) on the site seems the most likely fate.

The Visit

The former joinery has been closed for over a decade now which meant the chance of much remaining inside slim.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see the work still existed as the last I had seen of it was way back from 2015, when the world was still normal. The key area of interested was the chaos of pipework near the main workshop connecting boilers, silos and exhaust systems to the whole plant. Once over the fence a walk through a mix of open areas and sheds began, easy pickings for a patrolling security team. Eventually we could relax a little hidden under the maze of pipe work. Attempts to get into the main workshops were not only hopeless but useless as a glance from a gantry through a high window revealed nothing layed within.

The other main area of interest here was the wood drying ovens (?), but at the time of the visit we didn't know what to expect.

I'll start with a series externals, compiled of rushed phone shots and camera snaps.

890763


890762


890761


I'll start off with the pipes.

Secca, lurking in the distance.....
890765


890764




890747


890750


890752


890754


890751


890753


And the Ovens.
890746


890758


890759


The main workshop, albeit more of an external.

890757


Whilst wandering round the maze of pipes I found myself in a small area full of ventilation equipment and boilers.
890756


890755


Anyway. That'll be all folks!​
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
What a maze, reminds me of a game, nicely covered. Those fan shots are great. Well done dodging secca. :thumb
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice mate. I like the boiler house. You commented on my photos from my visit last year though. I was pleased to see it was still all there.
 

Jane Doe

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Loving all them pipes ... great set of photos and agreeing with Jane and jtza that fan shot is a beaut :)
 

bikebouy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi nice pics, theyre not ovens but timber drying kilns, producing Kiln fried timber. The pipes are for dust extraction and the dust and waste was posibly reused to fuel on site boilers buy burning it, reduces landfill and waste.
 

KPUrban_

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Hi nice pics, theyre not ovens but timber drying kilns, producing Kiln fried timber. The pipes are for dust extraction and the dust and waste was posibly reused to fuel on site boilers buy burning it, reduces landfill and waste.
Ah right. I was split between calling them ovens or dryers. Thanks for the info, much appreciated.
 

bikebouy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ah right. I was split between calling them ovens or dryers. Thanks for the info, much appreciated.
The big open sided sheds are to keep the timber dry but allow an air flow around the timber, but to a slightly higher moisture content than the kiln dried stuff, the large silos would be full of wood dust/chippings stored to use to heat water and the kilns.

Sure Jeldwen bought out John Carr another old joinery manufacturing company, now a lot of doors etc come from Brazil , china, and europe, and most are chipboard or MDF cores with a veneer on the outer faces, and theyre crap as the veneer lifts over time, Jeld wen and John Carr was all proper timber and well made..
 

bollockmaster

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The big open sided sheds are to keep the timber dry but allow an air flow around the timber, but to a slightly higher moisture content than the kiln dried stuff, the large silos would be full of wood dust/chippings stored to use to heat water and the kilns.

Sure Jeldwen bought out John Carr another old joinery manufacturing company, now a lot of doors etc come from Brazil , china, and europe, and most are chipboard or MDF cores with a veneer on the outer faces, and theyre crap as the veneer lifts over time, Jeld wen and John Carr was all proper timber and well made..
Agreed, I used to take loads (lorry trailers) out of John Carr and Jeld Wenn at the Doncaster and Handsworth sites. Really well made stuff but bloody expensive. Both Donny and Handsworth sites long gone of course.
 

Top