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Report - Wheatsheaf Works, Leicester December and June 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Yorrick, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
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    Went out to buy a Christmas tree and ended up on the roof of this place.

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    History
    When it opened in 1891, the Grade II listed Wheatsheaf Works was the largest footwear factory in the world.

    Built by the Midlands Co-operative Wholesale Society and with space to employ 3,000 Leicester workers it had the ability to churn out two and a half million pairs of shoes and boots every year. A second building was added soon after to provide extra storage.

    The area was at the centre of much commercial activity and its iconic clock tower could be seen for many a mile across south Leicester.

    Once noted for its modern electric lighting and ducted heating system, the factory formed the backbone of the city's industry (sic).

    Unfortunately, as the face of world manufacturing changed and with the emergence of the Asian markets, production at the site became unprofitable and the factory became redundant and fell into disrepair after manufacturing ceased in 1985.

    An ambitious 5 year plan is underway to convert the building into 131 “stylish and modern homesâ€￾. Demolition of the later outbuildings to the rear, and construction of about 15 houses has already taken place.

    Also a new mechanism has been fitted to the clock – it is now running for the first time in many years and it chimed for the first time on June 12th.

    Explore
    Back in June, after hearing that the clock worked, I really wanted to see it. So I put on hi-viz and walked in carrying a “toolâ€￾ bag. I got a few shots before getting caught in the clock tower. The bloke was alright once I said what I was doing. He said I should have asked but he let me take a couple more (poor) shots on the way out. I didn't think it was worth sharing at the time. Now it's got some scaffolding with minor views over rooftops I'm still not sure but it's all I've had time for for ages so...

    So this week Eeka came home after finishing uni and said we should get a Christmas tree. On the way to Homebase she said we should go past the Wheatsheaf and see what’s happening. 10 minutes later we were at the top of the scaffolding that surrounds the smaller building..

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    I can see my house from here!

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    Leicester University main campus

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    These are the new houses built on what used to be the rear yard.

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    A couple of internals of the smaller building.

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    And my shots from back in June. The airsofter’s stuff all over the place kind of detracted from the scale a bit.

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    Thanks for looking.

    Y
     

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