I'd already been out once, and was in Selby when SammyDoubleWhammy called. He and Clough had just ditched an attempt at something else and were looking for something to do in York. Now, It's a well known fact that since tourist season at Terry's died down and the demolition crews moved in, York has little to offer to the hungry derp enthusiast in comparison to other Yorkshire cities such as Leeds or Bradford, but there are a few bits and pieces dotted around, one of course being the remnants of the OTP depot, of which barely any of the old plant kit remains, even compared to 2 years ago, and another which I've known about for a long time but, somewhat pathetically in hindsight, had never attempted. A sizeable mill building, the sole remnants of the Rowntree factory, located on the wasteland attached to the main NestlÃ© site which once produced Smarties. The site has cameras, and having snuck around the main live factory one night with Dempsey I expected at least half-decent security. Nevertheless, I suggested it and the guys both agreed it was worth a pop, even though it was getting late in the day. Half an hour later I met with Sammy and Clough just up the road, and we were in luck. As soon as we were past the fence an access point presented itself. We checked it out and it seemed good to go but the LLS (Leeds Lazy Sods) delegation decided they'd like to have a sniff round the corner to see if the door was open. It wasn't, but no matter. 10 minutes later we were on the roof.
Rowntree's was first founded in York in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who bought a chocolate company from the Tuke family. In 1869, he was joined by his brother, the philanthropist and famous face of the company, Joseph Rowntree. The original factory was in the centre of the City of York, by the River Ouse at Tanners Moat, but was relocated in 1906 to Haxby Road in the north of the City. The Company merged with Mackintosh's in 1969, to become Rowntree Mackintosh. Rowntree was responsible for such chocolate favourites as Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero, Fruit Pastilles and Black Magic, while John Mackintosh and Co. produced Rolo, Munchies, Caramac and Quality Street. The same year, Hershey entered a licensing agreement with Rowntree Mackintosh to introduce Kit Kat and Rolo in the United States. The company went public in 1987, and was the subject of a takeover battle between NestlÃ© and Jacobs Suchard in 1988. NestlÃ© eventually won control with an offer valuing Rowntree at $4.5billion. The takeover was controversial, as NestlÃ© was effectively protected from similar takeover attempts under Swiss law. After the NestlÃ© takeover, the Rowntree chocolate ranges began to use the branding "NestlÃ© Rowntree", before eventually the Rowntree name was dropped from the packaging altogether, except on Rowntree's Cocoa and the famous "Fruit Pastilles" and "Fruit Gums". In September 2006, it was announced that the manufacture of Smarties was to be moved abroad, causing 646 job-losses at the York factory.
It was a bit shit, but I never expected anything better, and enjoyed it more than I thought. The floors were to me the most impressive features, rusting hexagonal metal tiles, big weird stains, pools of tar, you knows. Explored the whole thing in a weird order, got very confused. Offices were rammed full of clutter, blueprints and kit, but for some reason I didn't take any photos in there, I was too busy looking for diagrams of machines . Shot on Kodak Gold 200 from the pound shop, developed at Tescos, hence the absolutely filthy grain. Fucking gay Kodak.