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Report - - W.H.Shaw Ltd, Dobcross Works, Diggle, Lancs, July 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - W.H.Shaw Ltd, Dobcross Works, Diggle, Lancs, July 2019



HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
1. The History
W.H.Shaw Ltd is located at Dobcross Works. The centrepiece is the Grade II-listed Office Building of the former Dobcross loom works, known locally as “The Cathedral”. Built in 1890 for Huchinson and Hollingworth in a Gothic style, it is revered for its 4-stage clock tower.

The loom works themselves date back to 1860. The main chimney was built in 1863 and was subsequently enclosed. A number of the original buildings burned down in 1875, then a larger works was erected on the same site and extended between 1890 and 1900 to provide the main area of the factory. The company was a world leader in the manufacture of textile machinery and the "Dobcross Loom" was exported worldwide in the late 19th century.

Most of the original buildings were demolished from 1912 onwards, with only occasional elements still remaining from the original works due to losses suffered in a large fire circa 1925. From 1920 and over the next ten years saw some serious reconstruction work that included the building of the water tower. A new large building was built to the north in two stages in 1910 and then in 1920 on the site of the former Wrigley Mill.

Aerial shot of the mill from 1926:

WH Shaw Ariel
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The buildings were used for munitions in World War I and for making parts for Russian submarines in World War 2. More recently the site was subsequently used as a pallet works (WH Shaw) between 1969-2006 (reputedly one of the largest pallets works in Europe) and more recently used for an injection moulding business.

In 2015 WRT Developments Ltd submitted four different planning permission requests to demolish the existing buildings on the WH Shaw site apart from the listed office building and clock tower and link bridge. The plans then detailed the construction of the new Saddleworth School. The applications were approved in April 2016, with work start later in 2016 and conclude in 2018. However, at a judicial review by the High Court quashed all four permissions on one ground; committee members did not address the “additional financial, educational and construction burdens of keeping the Uppermill site to avoid the substantial harm of the heritage asset”. The plans were resubmitted in January 2018 and the £19m 1,500 pupil school came a step closer to happening when the Environment Agency lifted their objection to the school on the basis of an unacceptable flooding risk. A new planning application, again with four proposals, was considered in February 2019 with all four applications were approved unanimously by the committee ten years after the plans were first mooted. Despite the approval, as at July 2019, the site remains abandoned.

2. The Explore
Been wanting to come here for a while so good to finally explore this place. Explored with non-forum-member Gazza. It’s a big site so getting in isn’t a massive issue. Secca seem to have given up the ghost but there is a concerted effort to keep the clocktower building sealed up. Had a good hour looking round the industrial goodness this place has to offer. It’s a mishmash of different buildings and some are more interesting than others. One thing that did strike us in the older bit of the factory was the amount of pigeon carnage. Not sure what has led to this. Weirdest moment of the explore was when I heard someone around the corner from me. Assumed it was Gazza. Then this random bloke with a screwdriver walked past me and muttered something to me in a foreign language, then just disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. Saw nothing else of him.

So, the clock tower eluded us this time. It’s a shame as it is the most beautiful building externally and internally.

3. The Pictures

Did I mention the bonus tunnel under the canal?

img1758
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Diggle 04
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The first thing you see from afar:

img1832
by HughieDW, on Flickr

On-site we go:

img1771
by HughieDW, on Flickr

This building didn’t have a lot to offer:

img1773
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1774
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Or this one:

Diggle 05
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The famous bridge:

img1776
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1779
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Diggle 07
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the very big chimney:

img1778
by HughieDW, on Flickr

A tempting yoink opportunity. Resisted.

img1782
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The best bit of the site:

img1783
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1785
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1786
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Just externals sadly:

img1788
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1803
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Into the main bit of the factory:

img1789
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Diggle 10
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Good advice:

img1793
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Lonely is the first-aid cabinet:

img1798
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And that tunnel from the inside:

Diggle 11
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Factory floor:

img1802
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1804
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1806
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And up to the older bit of the factory:

img1808
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not the second wave of punk Oi band:

img1809
by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
CONTINUED:

Gotta be organised:

img1812
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1813
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1814
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1816
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1819
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1820
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pipetastic:

img1821
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1829
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1822
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1823
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Electrix:

img1824
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1825bw
by HughieDW, on Flickr

by HughieDW, on Flickr

Diggle 14
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The water-tower:

Diggle 15
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Diggle 06

by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1830
by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Good effort updating the history, about time the school moved to this location. The clock tower will remain.

Nicely covered, shame you missed out on the clock tower, but still a nice mooch :thumb