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Report - - Torrington Dairy Crest, Great Torrington, November 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Torrington Dairy Crest, Great Torrington, November 2020


parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi all!

Been a good few years since I've written a report of actually explored anywhere so feeling a little bit new, I'm aware that this one has been done to death and I'll be honest, there's not a great deal to see, but it's still a nice little explore and a good one to get back into it with as it's a very easy one too. I'll try to keep this brief as there's a vast amount of history on other posts and my report is likely going to be a bit pic heavy. I'll also preface this with the fact that this explore was very much on an impulse and so I only had my phone with me, but the plan is to go back with the camera and see a bit more of it at some point as we didn't spend ages there!

History
The factory was founded by Robert Sandford in 1874 as the Torridge Vale Dairy and Butter Factory and situated on the site of the former canal in Torrington following the introduction of the railway. For a number of years the business was steadily expanded and by 1951 was being supplied milk by around 50 local farms, peaking at about 1850 gallons of milk per day. The majority of this was produced as cream or butter and supplied to businesses as far away as London. The business continued to grow over the years, eventually being associated with Cow & Gate LTD in the early 1930s. During this time there was an emphasis on the production and output of 'home grown food' as part of the war effort, as well as the export of such goods due to the high demand for them. By the late 1940s a larger factory building was completed, equipped with more modern machinery and five large boilers and newer engines, and again in 1979 the business was expanded yet again, this time under the name of Dairy Crest Foods, Torrington. Milk churns were no longer to be used following this expansion and now all deliveries were to be in bulk. A major rebuilding programme began, with £5.3 million invested into it. This would allow the entire process to be carried out on a continuous production line, controlled by a computer, making the factory now one of the most modern of it's kind.

The factory later shut in 1993 after a series of hardships following the introduction of milk quotas in 1984. Farmers had also begun to give up milk production during this time as a result of the introduced milk quotas, meaning that supply was slowly becoming more difficult for the factory. A significant number of other milk factories during this time also closed, for similar reasons, however Torrington managed to keep it's factory going for longer, due to the size of it. There were several attempts to introduce more profitable items into the milk factory, and although they were successful, the factory was seen as too far away from any major markets. Part of the factory was also severely damaged by fire in 1993, also contributing in it's eventual closure.

The factory has mostly sat empty since the early 90s, and any attempts at planning applications on the land have been mostly unsuccessful, with nothing seemingly happening with the building or the land it's on. The site itself is huge and riddled with asbestos, and it's now become a hotspot for boy racers and graffiti 'artists' for the most part.

The Explore
Like I mentioned earlier, this explore was definitely an impulse. Upon finishing my food shopping for the morning and finding out a friend I was talking to was also bored, we decided "sod it, let's go" and we had met up there within the hour. Being a lot colder than expected and wearing my Vans rather than any decent shoes for exploring, we decided to set foot inside, just for a quick look. The quick look seemed to turn into a good hour or two and we barely went near several of the floors or rooms just because we weren't properly prepared to do so. In fact, we missed so much that there's already been a plan formed to go back tomorrow with the cameras, but that's not set in concrete just yet. There really isn't a lot to see unless you like graffiti tags and peeling paint here, some nice touches with some remains of old machinery but what there is is limited as it's all been removed over the years, and I'm not here to write a TripAdvisor review on the place either! There are some rooms that we stumbled across by mistake that are well worth the visit here, however. Looking at other reports we seemed to have missed a great deal of these as well so that'll be on the list for tomorrow if we do set out again, with some better shoes this time. Access to the building is incredibly easy, any local authority has seemingly given up on boarding it up or repairing any fences, there are multiple places where you can just walk in, and even the occasional dog walker doesn't seem to pay any attention to it now. The site itself, like I said, is huge and to explore it thoroughly you'd probably need a few hours, there are several parts where it can feel like you're just walking in circles, and although the majority of the building is now a shell, there are some rooms that are far from empty, and you could honestly spend hours just sifting through the things in those.

So, easy enough to get in, we just walked in through one of the doors and tried to figure out whereabouts we actually were in the building. Some graffiti in there is brilliant, both artistically and just for it being your typical graffiti. The plan is to get the photo of me standing next to the word 'anal' in green paint on the family Christmas cards this year I think ;). Besides that nothing particularly notable, walked into an artist who was working on a piece and left him to it. Have now also discovered that I'm apparently terrified of dark rooms and doors being slammed when it's windy, so that added a bit of excitement to the day. Enough with the words now though, I'm sure there'll be more to come when I have chance to do a proper explore, and hopefully some better pictures.

As I said before, I only had my phone with me today so some of these photos are not as brilliant as I'd have liked, but we'll get some good ones next time hopefully! Apologies for the pic heavy report now, this is turning out to be a lot longer than I had planned, so thank you for reading :)

Some photos from outside first





Inside the main building




I believe this room with the red ceiling was a dining room of sorts, there was a kitchen in the next room that I managed to forget to photograph.






This room was a particular favourite, definitely wanted to skate here today!


More stairs...




Started to get a little more interesting around this part of the explore





Didn't hang about in here for long as it absolutely stunk of old milk, and my past experiences working in shops were getting the better of me today...


Back into the other room again




I wish I could convey the genuine excitement I felt when I found this in this post as well!





Thank you for reading!
 
Last edited:

Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
Certainly some photogenic features IMO. You've done well, especially as it's been a while since your last report. Smashed it :thumb
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Certainly some photogenic features IMO. You've done well, especially as it's been a while since your last report. Smashed it :thumb
Thanks very much! :D yeah definitely somewhere worth a visit, it's an interesting place even if there isn't a great deal there! Nice easy explore too :thumb
 

Shaun

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Interesting pics, out of curiosity, am i right in saying is this the place that explorer died last summer?
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Interesting pics, out of curiosity, am i right in saying is this the place that explorer died last summer?
Thank you! I'm not sure to be honest, I only live up the road and hadn't heard anything about that happening, so it may be elsewhere, but I could have totally missed hearing about it somehow as well knowing me!
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Great report. Some nice photos there. Liking the windows with sunlight, and that curved staircase with window blocks so retro. Great coverage. I take it you explored with @KrazyBiker . :thumb
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great report. Some nice photos there. Liking the windows with sunlight, and that curved staircase with window blocks so retro. Great coverage. I take it you explored with @KrazyBiker . :thumb
Thank you so much! The curved staircase is gorgeous, and the room with the red ceiling is a favourite as well! We didn't actually, didn't see anyone besides the artist I mentioned when we went in so must have just missed them! Must have been popular there yesterday :D
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Still worth a look. Some interesting features still and some decent graff. So good effort.

Passed it on the train a few times but never got the chance to have a look.

Didn't a young lad sadly fall through the roof to his death here a few months back?
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Still worth a look. Some interesting features still and some decent graff. So good effort.

Passed it on the train a few times but never got the chance to have a look.

Didn't a young lad sadly fall through the roof to his death here a few months back?
Definitely! Decent little explore too just because the site is so huge really! I keep hearing about that young lad as well sadly, have just had a look and that was at the Dairy Crest in Totnes, so not this one but could definitely see something similar happening here unfortunately, the place is in such a poor state and there are certain areas in there that I wouldn't even bother going near really, not worth the risk at all!
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Definitely! Decent little explore too just because the site is so huge really! I keep hearing about that young lad as well sadly, have just had a look and that was at the Dairy Crest in Totnes, so not this one but could definitely see something similar happening here unfortunately, the place is in such a poor state and there are certain areas in there that I wouldn't even bother going near really, not worth the risk at all!
You're very right. Getting mixed up with Totnes. Apologies...
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
You're very right. Getting mixed up with Totnes. Apologies...
No worries at all! Both Dairy Crest sites and the towns have similar enough names, easily done :) was more confused about how I hadn't heard much about it being from near Torrington!
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Thank you so much! The curved staircase is gorgeous, and the room with the red ceiling is a favourite as well! We didn't actually, didn't see anyone besides the artist I mentioned when we went in so must have just missed them! Must have been popular there yesterday :D
Thats a shame, you probably missed each other, its always nice to bump into another explorer.
 

parki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just a little update to this thread to save me posting a whole new one as I’ve finally developed some 35mm film photos. Generally speaking these photos are not my best efforts and were taken on a crappy point and shoot camera from the 90s, but the lighting seems to have turned out nicely so thought I may as well add on to my previous post.
Nothing too special but it’s something different so hey ho ;)











Thanks again for reading!
 

Attachments

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice addition. Film can be hit or miss. Thats the beauty of waiting to see what we have. Like these.
 

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