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Report - - Sawston Paper Mill (Spicers), Cambridgeshire - April 2024 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Sawston Paper Mill (Spicers), Cambridgeshire - April 2024

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dansgas1000

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Introduction
Myself, @KPUrban_ and @Wastelandr met up several weeks back to cover a few places around Cambridgeshire, the primary motive of the trip was to visit Mullard’s Observatory but we also spent a few hours at this old mill site. I mentioned it to KP as I found it on OS Maps a while back, he recognised it and had already been so he was the tour guide for this one!

Information & History
The history of this site traces back to the 1600s where paper was first produced here at a small capacity. The buildings were owned by several firms during the time of operation. These include Togwood from 1807, Edward & Sons, Reed P&B and later on Spicers from 1917 until closure. An online source suggests part of the site closed in the seventies but much of the site was still operative until about 2015, history is patchy here, I am not sure whether it still operated as a paper mill between the 1970s and 2015, or whether it was repurposed.

The original part as it appears on 1900s OS maps:

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The site has two main parts: the original set of buildings to the south, which have been largely modernised, and a newer set of warehouses, factory space and offices further north. Some of the northern parts have been redeveloped and some of the derelict parts sit on an active site. The larger part was later used by stationery company John Dickinson which was bought out by Spicers in 1996 until the company moved from this site to Red Lodge in around a decade later.

The Explore
We checked out the older part of the site first, it was pretty bland for the most part, but some of the other buildings were interesting such as the squash court and the large house on site which had been converted to office use. The newer parts were much more impressive with large sprawling warehouses and factory floors. I’ve always been a sucker for large empty industrial spaces and this one impressed me. To get to the newer John Dickinson section we had to walk directly past an active security hut but nobody bothered us and we were in and out undetected.

Photos

Most of the buildings in the original section are fairly dull due to being well-stripped and modernised.

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Swifty moving onto some of the other buildings in this part. KP pointed out the old squash court in the trees which I’d have probably missed if he didn’t mention it. For many years there was an annual fete and sports day held here with squash being one of the main activities.

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The converted house-like building, I’m under the impression this would’ve been where the higher executives of the company would work:

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Moving up to the other section of the site revealed a large office block with John Dickinson branding:

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Entering this large factory space excited me a bit, it reminded me slightly of the main factory floor at the Jeld Wen timber yard in Lowestoft:

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I enjoyed this little engineers workshop:


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A lot of the rooms around here gave off a nice old industrial vibe with the colours and decay and was one of my favourite parts of the site:

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CONTINUED…
 

dansgas1000

28DL Regular User
Regular User
A vast warehouse section which looked like it was used for storage, loading and unloading:

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The following were my favourite features of the entire site, a number of these large pipes and pumps for the sprinkler system:

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Alongside this sprinkler setup was this beautiful old air compressor manufactured by Buckinghamshire-based B.E.N Patents Ltd:

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Finishing up with a few other parts of these buildings, for the sake of comprehensiveness.

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Thanks for looking!
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice set. Yep agree the sprinkler set up is very photogenic. Like the external of the big house/offices. Nice chunky chimneys on top there.
 

Wastelandr

Goes where the Buddleia grows
Regular User
Nice comprehensive report, did well to cover all that as there was a lot of different buildings around. Quite liked the fact they were all just left sitting there to wander round.
 

Exploring With Pride 🌈

Exploring with pride in more ways than one
28DL Full Member
A vast warehouse section which looked like it was used for storage, loading and unloading:

28.jpg


29.jpg


The following were my favourite features of the entire site, a number of these large pipes and pumps for the sprinkler system:

30.jpg


31.jpg


32.jpg


Alongside this sprinkler setup was this beautiful old air compressor manufactured by Buckinghamshire-based B.E.N Patents Ltd:

33.jpg


34.jpg


Finishing up with a few other parts of these buildings, for the sake of comprehensiveness.

35.jpg


36.jpg


37.jpg


38.jpg


39.jpg


Thanks for looking!
Nice pics I don't recognise some im guessing they were parts of the second site close by unfortunately when we approached the security guard rushed out and told us to leave 😂
 

Exploring With Pride 🌈

Exploring with pride in more ways than one
28DL Full Member
A vast warehouse section which looked like it was used for storage, loading and unloading:

28.jpg


29.jpg


The following were my favourite features of the entire site, a number of these large pipes and pumps for the sprinkler system:

30.jpg


31.jpg


32.jpg


Alongside this sprinkler setup was this beautiful old air compressor manufactured by Buckinghamshire-based B.E.N Patents Ltd:

33.jpg


34.jpg


Finishing up with a few other parts of these buildings, for the sake of comprehensiveness.

35.jpg


36.jpg


37.jpg


38.jpg


39.jpg


Thanks for looking!
The pipes and sprinklers area looked great beautiful old machinery and dials
 

dansgas1000

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice set. Yep agree the sprinkler set up is very photogenic. Like the external of the big house/offices. Nice chunky chimneys on top there.
Thanks Jane, I didn't pay much attention to the chimneys you'll be disappointed to know, but looking at the image they are quite nice!

Nice comprehensive report, did well to cover all that as there was a lot of different buildings around. Quite liked the fact they were all just left sitting there to wander round.
Cheers mate, yeah there was a nice variety. I'm glad we went to the newer bit as I preferred it a lot to the older section.

Nice pics I don't recognise some im guessing they were parts of the second site close by unfortunately when we approached the security guard rushed out and told us to leave 😂
Cheers ah that's a shame, we must've been lucky as walked straight past the hut no bother, and I'm 90% sure someone was inside too.

I wondered what the deal was with this place, I had meant to pop in last year but we ran out of time sadly.
Worth a look for sure :thumb

Double Mather and Platt box.. used to be one of those in EVERY industrial explore at one time..
Always nice to see - they do seem a lot more uncommon now for sure.

Very nice, I’m a sucker for large empty spaces too.
There's just something about them isn't there!
 

ExplorinWithAustin&Thomas

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This one was a return visit for us after we went the first time someone opened the security hut door and asked what we were doing, I maintained we had broken down and needed some help with some water to top the car up 😆

We came back the following week and parked far away across the fields, nipped across the train track and went in through the back.

Great photos, you brought the places out really well 👍
 

dansgas1000

28DL Regular User
Regular User
This one was a return visit for us after we went the first time someone opened the security hut door and asked what we were doing, I maintained we had broken down and needed some help with some water to top the car up 😆

We came back the following week and parked far away across the fields, nipped across the train track and went in through the back.

Great photos, you brought the places out really well 👍
Cheers, I must admit I was surprised to walk past the hut unnoticed, I was expecting to hear the door open and an "oi" or something similar but thankfully not!
 
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