Report - - Wadkin Machinery/ Leicester/ July 2014 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Wadkin Machinery/ Leicester/ July 2014

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
In 1897 John Wadkin founded the company alongside his brother in law Mr W Jarvis. The company was formed following an idea to invent a machine that would be so versatile that it could carry out operations that were originally done by hand. John Wadkin titled this machine, "a pattern milling machine" The partnership was not successful and Mr Wadkin eventually left the company. Mr Jarvis then acquired the help of Mr Wallace Goddard with the intention to expand the business. Mr Jarvis became acquainted with a Greek gentleman by the name of Ionades who invented an advanced carburettor. General Motors in the US confirmed that they were interested and invited Mr Jarvis for a meeting to discuss, which led to Mr Jarvis booking a place on the Titanic as a means of travel and the disastrous result that he went down with the ill-fated liner.

This left Mr Wallace Goddard with a business in Leicester and no-one to run it. Luckily he had a son that took charge and this continued until 1927 when Mr J Wallace passed away. The 1914-1918 war saw the Government ask Wadkin for help to develop a machine that could turn out wooden propellers for the R.A.F. at a high-speed rate. After the war the demand for woodworking machinery was at a tremendous upsurge. Throughout the 1930's Wadkin extended their range and entered the high technology market and began making larger, high production woodworking machines such as moulders and double ender machines.

From the 1990's Wadkin recognised the need to develop back up service support to its machine customers, and developed a nationwide network of engineers in developing its customer response team, which still stands today offering support 365 days a year. In 2010 following the liquidation of Wadkin Limited, the intellectual propert rights were purchased by Nottingham based woodworking machinery distributors and manufacturers A L Dalton Ltd. This move brought together two long established woodworking machinery suppliers who have traded with each other for over 50 years and accumulated over 200 years experience in the industry between them. Today Wadkin continues to offer woodworking machines and specalist services to the woodworking sector from its new home in Nottingham, including new machine manufacture, spare parts, tooling and training. (History courtesy of Southside Assassin)

The Explore
Explored with Unplugged and Southside Assassin. This was the second site of the day, with Corah being the first. Entry was not as easy as we thought. We searched the perimeter high and low for ways in but it seemed pretty locked down. Then a last minute tip off from Hamtagger gave us instructions on what to look for upon a tricky entry – Thanks a bunch buddy it helped enormously. Once inside all footsteps were slow and steady, sticking only to shadows and dark corners where possible. All communication was in the form of hand signals and silent whispers as we were made aware of security patrols inside the building. As we approached a cargo door, I jokingly pressed the door control buttons to see if it still worked and to my surprise the door retracted with a very loud clanging that almost gave away our position. As the mooch went on, we evaded secca, but I noticed things like lights left on – so I felt we weren’t alone.
Overall was a really enjoyable explore albeit very nervy; the factory floor downstairs being like a large airship hanger and the offices upstairs much of it made from wood and in relatively good condition – Never have I seen a derelict building with so many windows and doors still intact. There was also some access onto the roof that was rather refreshing in the nice weather. It would’ve been nice to have a couple of suds to sip on as we went though.
The building is still quite secure in many places and I believe there were a few parts of the site that we missed because of this – A revisit sure wouldn’t go ohmiss.
On our way out, we passed a room with a door that had its windows blocked out by newspaper. Suddenly we heard a TV on in the background. At this point we decided to make a quiet but hasty exit, realising secca were in the next room. As we neared the main corridor we set off the security lights which made a sudden and loud noise, we all decided to make a break for it, laughing our arses off whilst spilling back out into the street. It was an exhilarating end to a nice explore.

[/B]The Pictures[/B]
Wadkin in the 1940’s






Wadkin present day



















I hope the photos are not too much.
Thanks for viewing my report, I hope you liked

The Lone Shadow


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nicely done mate, sounds like a whole fuckload of fun to me and great seeing those old pics to illustrate how life was in there back in the day. Wicked report :thumb


off the wall
Regular User
Lovely to see the pics of it being in use! It is a bit of a bugger to get into that place, and the fact that some parts are locked off, very frustrating. still a nice mooch though. Nice report :)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nicely done there liking this a lot. When i went i managed to trip the alarms took me an eternity to get in and about 20 seconds to get out so i fully understand your exploits too.

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Thanks everybody. Much appreciated. I seriously wouldn't mind another crack at this in the future. Mind, it looked a little inferior after visiting the mighty Corah though.

The Lone Shadow


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice ones :thumb

Ditto what everyone else has said & re the old pics :)

We still have some of the original Wadkins joinery stuff at work, unfortunately the Engineering stuff got scrapped years ago for re-badged Chinese Crap that fails repeatedly.....progress i think it"s called :banghead

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
It is a good place to visit. Downstairs is some good, historic ruined industry. Upstairs is great for wooden decor.

The Lone Shadow

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
That is one mint report you have there....love the oldie stuff and your pics...thanks for sharin' :thumb
Thanks Will! Its an honour that you think so. :thumb

The Lone Shadow


Conrod the Barbarian
Regular User
got a table saw, a thicknesser and wadkin bandsaw just like one of the ones in the picture above(the machines with the big wheels in the black and whit pic) at the workshop where i work, bloody good old fashioned rugged machinery, much better maden than most the crap on the market to day, be nice to go and have a wonder around.

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Thanks Kwan, much appreciated :thumb

The Lone Shadow