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Report - Rolls-Royce Main Works, Derby - August 2010

thompski

Leggy brunette
28DL Full Member
#1
A few years back, I made a half hearted promise to document Derby's surviving abandoned industrial concerns and to some degree I think I've managed to fulfil this mission.... with one key exception. 'Royces' as its known by it's Derby employees, is the largest company in the East Midlands and produces products for aerospace, marine and energy sectors, employing locally tens of thousands of people in the process at its head offices and two factories in Derby and another in Nottingham.

So significant is RR in Derby, It's often joked amongst people in the city that everyone knows somebody who works for Royces, though I've yet to meet anyone in Derby who doesn't know somebody working for them :)

Rolls-Royce was formed following a meeting between Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls in 1906, and opened its main factory in Derby in 1908, having chose the town over several other industrial centres thanks to Derby corporations offer of cheap electricity and land. In 1914 the factory began producing air craft engines. Rolls-Royce is perhaps best known design and build of the Merlin engine, which powered the Hawker Hurricane's and Supermarine Spitfire's which fought during the battle of Britain. These were developed here, however built at RR's factories all over the UK.

The Main Works, also known as the Nightingale Road Works is the oldest of Rolls Royce's factories in Derby and closed in 2008, and demolition recently began. Sadly I was a little bit too late however managed to get a few shots and find a few bits of interest.

'Marble Hall' in 2009, still very much secured and thankfully not due to be demolished... very grand inside apparently!
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Derby was fairly fortunate to avoid any significant bombing raids during World War 2, however a single Junkers Ju88 launched a surprise raid on Derby in July 1942, skimming over the factory firing its machine guns. The damage was thankfully minor and these bullet holes were preserved as a reminder.
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The basement was littered with various IT related documents and detritus
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And a 1960s calculator..
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Rotary Hearth Furnace...
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Back to work Jimothy...
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The spirit of Royce marches on.
 

burker

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Hi Thompski, I was wondering if I might use some of your photos for a research project I'm doing on the lights from Rolls Royce. I'll credit you of course :)
 

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