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Report - - Rank Hovis Solent Mills, Southampton - February 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Rank Hovis Solent Mills, Southampton - February 2019


Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
History
The mills were proposed by Joseph Rank, the founder of Rank Hovis McDougall on some of the 200 acres of reclaimed land, set aside by Southampton Railways for industrial development. When the building was completed in October 1934 it was the most modern flour mill in the country.


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Old photos of the mill dating from 1934, before the construction of the second silo

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The buildings suffered considerable damage on the night of 30th November 1941, the worst night of the Blitz in Southampton, with the flour mill and warehouse being completely destroyed.

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Two aerial views of the mill dating from 1947, showing the bomb-damaged sections and the silos before reconstruction of the destroyed areas. Only the eastern section of the building was damaged during the raid, the wheat storage silos and a flaking mill were undamaged and are intact today. The front of the building was rebuilt after the war and the mill was back in full operation by 1950.

The flour mills were remodelled internally in 1990 to their current layout. In august 2014 a fire broke out in the roller mills on the second floor, but the building was saved due to the in-built sprinkler system. At the beginning of October 2018, Hovis announced plans to close the mill by the end of the year.

The explore
I first became aware of the building early last year when casually looking for stuff on Google Maps and it looked capable of holding epic. After seeing that Hovis were planning to close the mill at the end of the year I couldn't wait to visit. However when I researched the building a few months later I couldn't find any information confirming the buildings closure. I wanted to revisit Fawley for the fifth time to see how demo was progressing and knew I had to try this place beforehand. Visited with @jsp77 and prettyvacant71. First impressions of the building were positive with only a couple of cars outside and no signs of activity and when we made it inside it became obvious that closure had taken place with many of the offices empty and the covers removed from the roller mills. Internally the building can be a challenge to navigate and although we spent over 8 hours inside, we still must have missed a few parts and didn't get any sleep that night.


The Warehouse

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Mather & Platt fire doors dating from the time of reconstruction after bomb damage

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Seals Floor (Level 5)
This was the top level of the mill building

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G Mill seals floor

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F Mill seals floor

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Sifter Floor (Level 4)

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Purifier Floor (Level 3)


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Spouts Floor (Level 2)

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F Mill spouts floor

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E Mill spouts

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G Mill spouts
 
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Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Roller Floor (Level 1)

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G Mill roller floor

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F Mill roller floor

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E Mill roller floor

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Level 0
can't remember what this level was called

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Silos

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Old Silo, ground floor

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Middle Silo ground floor

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Old Silo top floor

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New Silo top floor

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Old Silo exterior

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Looking towards the warehouse with E Mill on the left

Power House
I got really exited when I saw a room labeled 'Power House' on the plans found throughout the mill. Tragically the generator had long since gone but it was still a wonderful room with some lovely tiling.

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Other stuff

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Cookers in one of the mill buildings

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Workshops

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Kitchen

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Thanks for looking
 
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mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Awesome...awesome awesome awesome, I was wondering when someone would crack this.

So much pipey goodness, not seen so many pipes since I was in a gigantic grain elevator in the US of A.
 

dweeb

Super Moderator
Regular User
I was about three quarters of the way down thinking "meh" and then saw that shot of the name on the roof!! Amazing to see tiles too that I did not expect!

Missing the hardwood machinery I have come to expect from Mr Rank's mills, but I actually wouldn't mind seeing it for myself.

A well compiled report, and beautifully shot :)
 

Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Stunning report needs about 5 years of decay for me.
Yeah I did feel a bit too clean but at the same time I imagine they'd strip out some of the machinery before then. Plus many of the rooms have no natural light so it's best done with the lights on.
 

Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
I was about three quarters of the way down thinking "meh" and then saw that shot of the name on the roof!! Amazing to see tiles too that I did not expect!

Missing the hardwood machinery I have come to expect from Mr Rank's mills, but I actually wouldn't mind seeing it for myself.

A well compiled report, and beautifully shot :)
I was hoping for it to be a bit more like Rank Hovis, Hull or Spillers, Waterford but it's one of favourite explores non the less
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Regular User
Well done mate, did wonder if it had closed yet. Glad you got it done before they turned off the lights as after that they tend to be a bit shit in a lot of bits.
 

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