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Report - - Quaker Oats Factory, Southall, London September 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Quaker Oats Factory, Southall, London September 2017



AnyWeathersbubble

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Quaker Oats Factory, Southall (September 2017)

Originally built (in part) in 1939 by Quaker Oats, a company founded in Ohio in 1877. Many cereals were produced here, including Sugar Puffs (now called Honey Monster Puffs). Pet food was also produced on site. Eventually, the company moved out in about 2006. Cereal products were still made on site by Honey Monster Foods who produced Honey Monster Puffs until March 2015, when the site ceased production for good.

The site has now been sold to a property developer, with signs of ‘Catalyst Housing’ and strong warnings of 24/7 CCTV and security on site.

Two of us went for the explore, and we chose a bank holiday weekend at about 6PM in the hope of finding (or rather, not finding) security guards with a general lack of interest in their work. This did work, but there was a slight error of judgment in forgetting that dogs don’t know when it’s a bank holiday, and are just as intimidating and loud regardless of the date.

We rode down to the site, and slipped our bikes through a convenient hole in the fence, before locking them (I’m not sure why either) to an internal fence. We could see the building peeking over the shadow it left on the open wasteland, and started crunching our way along to the building. We did a quick lap of the site, following the internal perimeter fence and had a plan of scouting around the back past the security cars/hut to see what we were up against. As we crept along a river, focusing hard to see any motion in the hut, my co-explorer suddenly lost their footing and I heard the clang of dog bowl on shoe. Needless to say, I could now be a contender for the high jump in Moscow 2020 given the ease with which I laucnhed over the perimeter fence, to the anarchic soundtrack of guard dogs losing their shit.

This subtle interruption did trigger a site walkaround by a guard, who we encountered circling in the opposite direction to us with a torch. With nowhere to run, we darted under a surprisingly sparse tree, turned our backs to hide our pasty fearful faces, and hoped our dark clothing would help hide us in the shadows. I felt his torchlight flicker along the back of my gloved hands, and stood there with disbelief and an unhealthy BPM as I heard footsteps continue away from us. Other than this encounter, we were left alone for the rest of the evening.

We had found a ladder outside that let us look in the windows, and had peeked into rooms packed with industrious treasure, but found ever door nailed shut or keycarded. Just as we were thinking of giving up hope, we realized a tiny proportion of the site was still in operation (possibly for decommissioning work), and wandered back towards the security hut, and the only light in the site. Pressed against the wall, we peered round every corner like headtorched meerkats, before finding an open door to the toilets. We went in, and my co-explorer made defeated use of the facilities. As I stood there, I leant against a wall and checked my phone. Except I didn’t, because the wall was a door, and the door was unlocked. This single unassuming door led to the main storage warehouse and was our way in to the site. From here we took our photos and stayed in an excitied but relaxed state, until we left the site at 11pm.

The photos can be seen below (we went unprepared with only a goPro and phone cameras):

Catalyst housing had yet to begin work
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The initial view that intrigued me
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Our view from the unassuming entry door into the main storage warehouse (hard to get a sense of scale)
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Fully stocked engineer's workshop
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Never miss a good photo oppurtunity
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When you stood in a lit section, you could hear the hum of machinery but not see further than in the photograph below - eerie
IMG_0587.JPG

There was stil a smell of machinery and wheat in the air (good thing I'm not gluten intolerant)
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Apologies for the blurriness - the view from the workshop into the downstairs site
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According to my Uncle (an ex Nestle Technician, this would have been legacy equipment for quite some while due to H&S regs, hence the removal sign)
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We didn't check if this lift worked either
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A lone packet of sugar puffs in the centre of the warehouse
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the sign got ignored
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this sign got us interested
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I didn't touch it
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not much to say
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At the end of the explore, we also saw some old wheat grains lying around and the storage area/loading bays, but didn't want to risk flash being seen outside of the building.

We were tired and wary of setting off an alarm while security were still suspicious, so we avoided going upstairs to what looked like offices, but we did only explore one of four or five levels to this site. Our evening ended with realizing we had positioned our bikes ontop of a variety of spiky plants, which combined with sods law to mean we had a slow walk home. Our tyres were deflated but we sure as hell weren't.
 
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AnyWeathersbubble

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
Makes a good replacement to the welwynGC factory. Good report.
How easy is the entry?
Getting into the site was a walk in the park, and I spotted loads of ways in, but getting into the building itself was definitely lucky, the closer to the security huts the better in terms of unsecured doors/windows
 

zombizza

Pink
Regular User
#9
aha, I wondered what secrets this place might hold. I have been a couple of times but there has not been an obvious way in.
I think there potentially is a lot more to see here.
I took my drone close in at the windows at the top and it appears there is a fair bit of machinery still there.
Looking forward see more from this place
 

AnyWeathersbubble

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
aha, I wondered what secrets this place might hold. I have been a couple of times but there has not been an obvious way in.
I think there potentially is a lot more to see here.
I took my drone close in at the windows at the top and it appears there is a fair bit of machinery still there.
Looking forward see more from this place
It's annoyingly well secured and patrolled, with more time I definitely agree there is more to see - there were signs of some activity still going on so it's possible part of the site I didn't see is still live on a small scale. I definitely struck lucky though!
 

larveyhong

28DL Member
28DL Member
#11
Its creepy to see these photos, I decommissioned this factory as the company I worked for at the time supplied the factory all of their UPS backup systems for the plant. There is a lot to be seen, and I hope some more guys head there at a later date. All the original equipment is there which they used to Quality Test the product is still there, but not in action. Any UPS panel (including the one on this post) is a product of my old company.
I believe there is a stairway at the far end of the building by the lift which is pictured in the post, its a fire exit. By going up these stairs on the fire exit you can gain access to a lot of the production rooms of the factory. While I was there, me and my old boss were really creeped out at just how quiet everything was.
I was there around July/early August maybe? They had very few employees working there. I'm not 100% sure on this but the original honey monster statue was hidden and locked in a room which even we weren't allowed to be in. Hope any of this could be of some use. Just be cautious of activity as there might still be some but then again its mostly security.
 

xplorer.x

28DL Member
28DL Member
#12
Wow. You got inside. Got caught by secca here after setting off the sensor alarms. They chased us with a dog and cornered us off and caught us in public. Tried to detain us but we managed to get away from them in the end.
 

Daniel Watt

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#13
Went here tonight , it took us a long time to get in , but eventually we gained entry through the back fence , and down through a hole into the basement. Glad we went and done it even through they are currently filming a set over there . Very awesome place worth going to look at . Just be very careful of security and movement.
 

Killa

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#15
Awesome report.
That man riding lift was cool, never seen anything like that before!
Some old buildings used to have paternosters, guess this was a more industrial version....
 

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