Report - - W H Shaw - Dobcross Works - April 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - W H Shaw - Dobcross Works - April 2017


Exploring with Bob
Regular User
When I was growing up in a neighbouring village, for a time I used to hang out around the abandoned railway buildings just before the Standedge tunnels and the surrounding areas. I’d pass W H Shaws with pallets piled high and wonder about getting in the yard. Not really bothered about the inside back then, more the piles of pallets. I guess it stood there not terribly unlike like Willy Wonker’s Chocolate factory if Willy Wonker made wooden pallets. Fast forward to now and finding access is a little like discovering a golden ticket, except without a pass to the glass elevator, (which if we are following through with the analogy probably means I got syphoned off early for being less than wholesome, possibly like Augustus Gloop getting stuck in the tube. Which is kinda reminiscent of me getting through some of the narrower access).

And that is broadly the history of the place. It made wooden pallets. Its recent history is a little more controversial. The local council wants to build a new school to replace the very old and dilapidated Saddleworth School on the Dobcross Works site, but some of the people living in Diggle really don’t. They have recently won a Judicial Review of the local council’s decision to build the school on that site, because it contains a grade II listed office building and bridge. The council did not give that enough thought (well any actually if you read the judgment). So presently the fate of the site is uncertain.

The site is made up of four areas. There is the grade two listed building and another building with canteen to the right of it (if you are approaching the buildings from the main road). There are then two significantly larger buildings behind.

Building with the Chimney

This was by far my favourite of the two, because it contained a nice mix of rooms; some cavernous and industrial, a couple that were more like workshops, the odd room with some remnants of the people who worked there and their lives at some and some filthy shit tips.

The ubiquitous shot of the main room


The boiler gleaming in the sun.


Not sure if this is a sign of hipsters holding raves or if left over by the previous occupants.


Underneath the boiler level is another great industrial warehouse. I like the idea of something that is old, but still unwrapped and never used.


In the same area. I don't know if this is a local explorer's idea of comedy gold (and if it is, it is very good) or just incredible irony, because I know Wiggett were in here at some point (in which case it is still very good).


My favorite room of the whole explore, not least because it still contains some details. I'm not sure if the blue that it coming through the windows is purely the blue sky in the brilliant sun shine or possibly because of the type of glass as well, but I like it alot.


Close up of one of the windows with an old overcoat and some head phones. Moar bluez.


Batoyle was bought out in 2014 and made lubricants. I would have loved to have been in one of their marketing meetings, because you know there was always that guy who wanted to start the adverts with a batman reference and if there wasn't, they should have employed me.


The Grade II Listed building and the bridge. There was no access to this area sadly.


Our names were not down and we were not getting in, so a quick shot of the tunnel instead.


Building Two

There is a lot to this building. An overground industrial section and pockets of spaces beneath, including a garage. There is an office section in the main industrial space, that has been trashed by someone at some point and there are now traces of misspent youth adding to the degradation of the site.


Looking back across the expanse from the other side. You can just make out the pile of office furniture at the far end between the yellow pillars.


This area is made up of a network of large industrial units and some smaller spaces. There are piles of small plastic beads about and I have read that they also did plastic injection moulding at some point. It might seem a little barren and bleak at it stands mostly empty.


But there are a few interesting features dangling about.


The explore was with new member @DanUE17

It was a huge place and will no doubt be a pace I pop back to try and capture some shots of the many things I missed. This is just a small sample of my images from the first excursion.

Hope you enjoy the report.

Last edited:

Baggy trousers

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Explored this a few years ago now.. went back again last year to do a bit more of it and the place was full of contractors!! Has it all gone quiet again? You've managed to see some bits I missed out three years ago! Was the giant pallet still there next to the entrance to the bridge??

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Nice report, it always surprises me this place doesn't pop up more often as it's a pleasant stroll, twice as big now the other half is now no longer occupied :thumb