Report - - Turner Brothers Asbestos & Textiles - Rochdale - November 2012 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Turner Brothers Asbestos & Textiles - Rochdale - November 2012

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Turner Brothers Asbestos & Textiles - Rochdale
Inc. TBA Ballistics/TBA Electro-Conductive/Telford Rubber


TBA was one of Greater Manchester's oldest firms and was forced to leave its hometown after more than 100 years. TBA Textiles Ltd has been based at the Turner and Newall factory in Rochdale since 1875. But the developer which owns the site has told the firm to leave by May 2012. The Rochdale site was the birthplace of the modern asbestos textile industry and headquarters of the T&N worldwide empire until 1948.

The site of the old Turner Brothers asbestos textile factory at Spotland upon which plans for developing a housing estate of 650 houses is currently being considered..

Turner Brothers Asbestos (TBA) were pioneers of asbestos material fabrication, and developed spinning and weaving processes. Production commenced in the early 1870’s, and it ended in the Spodden Valley in the mid 1990’s.

The world’s first asbestosis victim was Rochdale TBA worker Nellie Kershaw in 1924. The first mesothelioma cancer victim recognised by T&N was Spotland worker and resident William Pennington in 1936. The link between lung cancer and asbestos exposure was confirmed by a study of Rochdale TBA workers in 1956.


Researchers have uncovered documents that prove the asbestos and insurance industries knew about the dangers of the deadly fibre for many decades. Factory Inspectors in 1898 warned about the working conditions of asbestos workers. It has been suggested that the story of the asbestos industry is one where known facts about health and safety were suppressed for the sake of profit.


TBA Electro Conductive Products Ltd is a specialist manufacturer of high quality electro static protection (ESP) and electro magnetic interference (EMI) shielding products. The product range is primarily intended at supplying both materials and finished products for electrostatic protection and EMI RFI shielding within a broad range of industries. Their product range largely falls into four family groups: static control, EMI/RFI gaskets and seals, conductive polymers, and conductive coatings and metallising.

TBA Ballistics manufactured protective clothing for the emergency services and armed forces.

Telford Rubber has been providing a specialist service to industry of granulating and powdering virgin rubbers and elastomers for inclusion in compounds for applications as diverse as brake linings to gaskets for over 25 years.


After playing about in a local culvert; Ojay mentioned a huge site nearby which may be possible, off we shot and were soon wandering around the huge complex.


Our first attempt to get in found us very close to the territorial call of a lesser spotted pikey going about his business, so after a quick retreat we found another way in. First thing to greet us was this recently burnt out car.


Onwards and upwards we passed this lift motor room on our way up to the roof.


Sat on the roof the full scale of the site hit home, I couldn’t do it any justice even with my wide angle lens! It was all adding up to be a good explore. Back in the main building we soon found flooded floors from where the pikeys have stripped out the water pipes.



Back down on the lower floors we past through vast workshops with the odd bit of equipment left in them.


These scales proved who ate all the pies!


We then found the offices of TBA Ballistics, you could spend ages in here looking through all the leaflets, drawers and cupboards.


The guy in this office was a bit of a photographer, not sure if the image was taken on this site, but not a bad capture.


TBA Ballistics also made flame retards, was lucky enough to capture one here.


Back to wandering around the offices and factory floors.




Some rooms still have plenty of interest to see, the place hasn’t been fully stripped as yet.




At this point we had obviously gone full circle as the gentle tap tap of the lesser spotted pikey started up again from through the hole in the wall.


We retraced our steps and visited some of the outbuilding before heading off for a well earned kronie or 2.

All in all a quality Sunday afternoon stroll around a huge site.

Hope you enjoyed

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