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Report - - Manisty Wharf factory (Cheshire, Sept, 2017) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Manisty Wharf factory (Cheshire, Sept, 2017)



urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
A decaying factory, close to the M53 near Ellesmere port - the part explored is outlined in the satellite image below. The two sheds at the top are currently active salt and sand stores and the two sheds at the bottom are being used by an aggregates company. The factory next door is active, making packaging.

I have been unable to find out anything about this place except that the last occupation appears to have been around 1994 - for now this site is just called the ‘Manisty Wharf factory’. It comprises a block of offices and huge hanger-like sheds which contain nothing much except rock salt in piles and bags. There are few clues as to what was made or distributed from here except several mention of ‘reels’ - could be wire, film, anything.

This is quite a fun place to explore - plenty of rooms, things to climb, a roof to inspect etc. My favourite parts were all the office rooms growing ferns, a bit like Victorian glasshouses. My limited photographic skills don’t really do justice to the colours here.

















































































If anyone wants to visit this then maybe they should bring along some wildflower seeds to sow on the soggy carpets - 'take only photographs, leave only flowers' has a ring to it..
 
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Yorrick

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#4
Looks a good wander.

I have been unable to find out anything about this place
It was Bowater Sacks Factory. Taken over or renamed Papropack Ltd and disolved in 2000. They made cartons and boxes.
They were a subsidiary of Mo & Domsjo (UK) Ltd (now called Holmen) A Swedish business that makes pulp from trees and recycled paper and card.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#5
Looks a good wander.
It was Bowater Sacks Factory. Taken over or renamed Papropack Ltd and disolved in 2000. They made cartons and boxes.
They were a subsidiary of Mo & Domsjo (UK) Ltd (now called Holmen) A Swedish business that makes pulp from trees and recycled paper and card.
Thanks for that!
May I ask how you find this stuff out?
I keep on coming across this problem with buildings for which google gives me nothing.
 

Yorrick

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#6
You really think I’m going to share thirty years of Astro physics, aerodynamics and aerospace engineering?

Oh..... wait...... this isn’t rocket science.....?

Start with a Land Registry map enquiry. In this case it gave the name, but more often than not with abandoned buildings it says something like “land to the North East of Netherpool Road”. However it will usually give you a postcode or address that you can Google.

The local council planning department website often turns up a name or even history of names. I didn’t look this time as most of their websites are slow and clunky, and I already had a name.

If you’ve got the name of a limited company then Company’s house Webcheck will often have info and dates. In this case, maybe as it’s a subsidiary of a Swedish company, I didn’t find anything.

Once I had the names the first page of Google had the other details -

Someone’s LinkedIn profile said he had worked for Papropack, formerly Bowater Sacks until 1996 etc.

When you get into it, it rarely takes more than a couple of minutes.

FYI the building next door (possibly just the end nearest the M53) is Saica who do indeed make paper.

(I think the building next door) It used to be Bridgewater Paper Mill and I think I remember seeing a couple of reports on here from the period when it was closed in around 2010?
 
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urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#7
Thanks - evidently need to pull my socks up with this stuff...

I'd kind of given up on the Land Registry, but in this case it does indeed give an address. For most of the things I've found it just says land to the whatever side of and I don't feel inclined to pay to see what it might be.

The local council planning application page also turned out to have a (sort of) clickable map that brings up useful info.

Maybe your searching tips should be in the FAQ (maybe there is already something there but FAQ doesn't seem to work, admins?)
 

host

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#8
Another nice report, despite its lack of epic turbines i quite like palaces like this. I'll put it on the list with the other one close by..sorry double post.
 

Mark Stores

28DL Member
28DL Member
#9
Brilliant photos and well done with the research! I worked there for 20 years and turned the lights out when I left. The whole site was originally owned by Bowaters and was sold bit by bit until all the separate factories were owned by separate entities. The sack factory pictured, opened in 1951 (the phone number used to be 051 355 1951) The main factory barrel roof with all of the glass windows was built to catch the rising sun bringing natural light into the huge factory, so less electricity was used to light it. The factory was specifically designed so that reels of paper came in at one end of the factory, the reels were printed, tubed and then sewed or bottomed in the main factory hall, before going out as completed paper or plastic sacks for chemicals, foodstuffs or anything else for that matter, right at the other end. The factory had its own printers, maintenance department, canteen and office staff and at its height employed over 400 people over three shifts. It was a hugely successful producer of paper sacks which were exported worldwide. It was purchased by AssiDoman (owned by MoDO) from Bowaters, then purchased by Papropack as an order book buyout, kept open for the minimum amount of time then closed, with the loss of all jobs. The factory ceased production in April 1997, stripped of all machinery (some going for a short time to other Papropack sites and a lot of it, printers, tubers and bottomers being sold to factories in Turkey.) The site was sold to Manisty Wharf in 1998. The building is now spilt into 4 separate stores and the main factory hall and offices have fallen in to the sad disrepair you see in the photos above. The main reception you can see with 'Enquiries' on the window. There is also the old surgery (with the green curtain, some pictures of the paper laboratory, the ladies toilets, Managing Directors office (with the tree in the middle of the floor) Glue plant (big metal tanks) Print Shop offices (metal staircase) General Stores (Blue caged areas and lots of cables, where I was the Stores Manager) and the Accounts Office (Trees throughout and power poles from the roof to the floor. I remember Jack Barton & John Pyke putting those in - great electricians). Brilliant memories and the procedures and pay there were well ahead of their time. The people who closed it down then went on to oversee the closure of the other Papropack factories in the UK, Hull, Ayelsbury, North Wales, and Dundee. The managers imported from Hull who closed them all down then moved on to another Sack Manufacturer who, unsurprisingly ended up with the majority of the UK sack production. I hope they are happy of denying hundreds of a living. Fortunately, good unions got good payouts but I am pleasantly surprised the factory is still standing. I did get told that he Barrel roof is somewhat unique and 'someone was' was trying to get it listed by English Heritage. Apparently if this happens they cannot demolish. In the meantime not repairing it means it will become unsafe and will need to be demolished for H&S reasons which will mean the huge site can then be redeveloped. I have been back, and some of the signage, wage collection times and fire evacuation procedures did bring memories back and although sad to see, still think it would make a great concert or studio site. The phrase 'Leave only flowers...' is sufficiently poignant.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#10
Many thanks for the info and background on this place. There was so little left it was not obvious what it did, although I probably should have paid more attention to the signage - the mentions of 'reels' now makes more sense (extra photo below along with the developing barrel roof forest)

 

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