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Report - - Pyrex Glass Making Factory - Sunderland Dec '08 | Industrial Sites |

Report - Pyrex Glass Making Factory - Sunderland Dec '08

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Northern Exposure

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Pyrex has a very long and established history of glass-making in Sunderland. The Patented rights to this revolutionary heat resistant material were bought by a Mr Earnest Jobling and transformed the companies fortunes into that of one of the most successful glass manufacturers ever. The success can be likened to the manufacturer 'Hoover' whereby all heat proof glass is affectionately known as Pyrex when really it is a brand name.

The site itself was split into two areas, Pyrex and Corning. They were once part of the same company but diverged some time ago.

Unfortunately Cornings operations were moved oversees and for various reasons Pyrex closed for the last time in December 2007.

This has always promised to be a premier urbex site however, despite attempts from myself and other locals no-one (to my knowledge) has managed to get inside. The Cornings side of the site was demolished was swift and there are no traces of the buildings other than the huge pile of rubble awaiting processing into hardcore. The Pyrex site is now partly demo'd and is only a shadow of it's former self. It is sill pretty awesome though :D

The footballing arena in the distance


Slightly to the right of Queen Alexander Bridge is the well known 'Ship-in-a-Shed'


Most of the offices are bare but still worth a look around. The rising sun made for some strange light


The extent of how big the site used to be


Main Stairwell


The only piece of Pyrex left


The Drawings Room. OMG! There is four large storage chests full of schematics, plant drawings, structural plans, the list goes on.




Plus some more Drawing-Draws full too


Then into the main process hall :eek: :eek:


I read Raddog saying in a recent post about a site being an 'Industrial Cathedral' well, here is an 'Industrial Organ' to suit




Into the control room


Large bank of controls


The 'Boost Control Panel'


and finally, a small shard of glass ejected from the huge kiln


All in all a very enjoyable 5 hours inside.

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Pyrex Glass Making Factory - Sunderland -Report Dec '08

Walking around the top of the huge "Tank 10". Threaded bar is screwed through rows of vertical girders to clamp the oven together. Presumably the gas/oxygen fired furnace had quite a bit of internal pressure. At the other end, some large holes have been knocked through the fire bricks. As tempting as it was to go inside and have a walk about, the likelyness of there being asbestos inside ruled it out, we wern't geared up for it.


And more of that fantastic "Tank 10 Control Room":




There. What I lack in photographic skill, I make up for in sheer bulk. This is a fantastic site.
Big thanks to Northern Exposure for letting me tag along.
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Northern Exposure

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Pyrex Glass Making Factory - Sunderland -Report Dec '08

I revisited this place over the weekend with Dave, the aim was to see any area's I'd missed first visit and to get some better shots of the drawings. It was always going to be more of an explore than a photography session so don't have many to show. In addition, the demo is moving very swiftly and from both ends of the site. I would give the drawings room 1 - 2 weeks max. The other end has less time,


The wall to the rear of the huge kiln / glass mixer is now gone, as are the sheds behind.

We did find some superb and very well stocked storage areas with vast amounts of kit.

On with a few pic's;

This was complete a few weeks back


Large negative promotional shot


These were cool, they appear to be the original moulding from which the casts for Pyrex dishes were made


Finally, a selection of drawings;