This is still a live site, and is right on the edge of Whitstable harbour. It was really just for fun this so I didn't get my Tripod out, hence the photos aren't brilliant, but I thought I'd post them anyway. Whitstable gravel works is owned and operated by Brett aggregates, and has been for about the last 100 years. Production is in full swing still even after all these years!
It's been a long time coming this, I've had my eye on this place for years (literally) just waiting for the right time to crack it. Well the time was right this weekend!
After several recces of the site over the last few months, and a close study of the plans we were ready to give it a shot. The origenal plan was to do it in a week or so's time, but Shadow and me decided to stop on our way to Nottingham, as we were driving virtually past it on the way it seemed rude not to - it was well worth it! Just a shame we were pushed for time as the light was fading and we also needed to get back on the road if we wanted to get to shadows house at anything resembling a decent hour so we only spent about an hour on site. I had already explored the tunnel on the site with CaveZombie a few months ago, and the tunnel door which was wide open when we visited is now welded shut, so just as well we grabbed the chance to look at that when we did!
The CEMEX plant at Halling is the last of the cement works on the Medway to close. While the main production plant closed in 2000, a small team has continued to grind clinker (cement in lump form) brought in by road from elsewhere. The clinker grinding operation is now planned to end when CEMEX UK opens a new 1.2 million tonnes per annum grinding and blending facility on the Thames at Tilbury. I believe the tilbury plant came online late in 2008 (or at least it was scheduled to) which makes the facility at Rochester redundant - although when we were looking round the site some of it did look very live still. However a vast majority of it is being cleared by demolition crews.
The plans are, yep you guessed it, houses! 550 of them to be precise. For those who are interested there's more information on the CMEX website. http://www.cemex.co.uk/su/pdf/Cemex_Panels.pdf The developers have had to reduce the number of houses from the origenal 700 they wanted to build to 550 due to local objections. The planing permission was only formerly applied for in September last year as stated in this document for those that like to read these things; http://www.medway.gov.uk/ddc20080903r.pdf so it's going to be a while before development startes properly I think.
Anyway, on with the photos;
1. The plant looms out of the distance
2. As you get closer you realise how massive this place actually is.
5. Inside the buildings, the lights are still on
7. The cement rotory kiln all still in place, just as I hoped!
9. Look up and this sight greets you, pipes, tanks, valves and switches all over the place
15. Underneath the massive rotory kiln
16. Cimmney closer up - it's 375 feet high - took me friggin ages reading a 1974 planning document to find that information. I don't think it's climbable thou, or if it is I don't know where the ladder is!
There's a lot more of this site to see, but we just didn't have the time to do it on this occassion. We saw the main bit thou which was much more complete than I thought it would be given it's been standing for 8 years+ now. There is also a 600 metre long tunnel on site, which used to have a conveyor running through it. The door to this has now been welded shut, but if you want to see my photos from inside it that were taken a month or so back when the door was still open, they're here viewtopic.php?f=12&t=842
Thanks for looking!
Tower brick and tile company is a lovely little explore tucked away in the small village of Selborne. It's very isolated, with interruptions only from the occasional passing car and the swarming birds in the field opposite.
The Brick and Tiles company have been producing hand made bricks at this site since 1872, with production finally ceasing on the 6th of November 2009 when the company went into administration.
Since then there have been attempts to breathe life back into the brickworks, however all unsuccessfully.
There were plans to turn the factory into a clean eco-friendly factory by using a anaerobic digester in order to generate the gas required to power the site.
Unfortunately plans for this were refused in August of 2009. (Waste-to-energy plans at Selborne brickworks refused - BBC News)
After attending a wedding, nothing was better to break up the niceties of suits, dresses and canapes then getting mucky and dusty on an good explore half way into the long drive home (It was pretty much on route anyway!).
The weather was cloudy and slightly foggy, but it wasn't raining and it wasn't freezing so we had no complaints.
Overall a pretty chilled explore with a surprising amount of equipment and machinery left and intact. As described by Mookster, this is very much a mini Clockhouse Brickworks, although getting in was far far easier.
It's a shame we rushed round here a bit, as it's one of those places you could happy spend a few hours exploring. A small factory brimming with character and interesting relics of its former years.
I did laugh at this
In here is the most impressive porn room I've seen so far.
A big poster of how it used to look in its former days I assume?
One of a few Drying ovens.
Looks like a big chemical drum leaked onto the ground. Not sure exactly what it was, but I didn't really want to find out.
I'm not really sure, but this looks like it could be a press used for forming the bricks/tiles.
I was told about this place by some pensioner explorers who loved the street art around Sheffield, set off the week after to have a look for ourselves. Set in a lovely little village, not much left inside now but some amazing street art in there!
The water works was built in 1913 to filter and treat water taken from the Dale Dike (the cause of the 1864 great flood of Sheffield),and Agden reservoirs in the nearby Loxley Valley. The water works was cutting edge technology in it's time and it even had the first telephone to be installed in Bradfield back in 1930 apparently.
In 1974 the Yorkshire Water Authority took over and then during the Thatcher government some years later, the entire UK water industry was privatised with the Water Act of 1989. The pumping house at Lower Bradfield was abandoned in 1994 when a new pump house and processing plant was built Further down the Loxley valley. According to the locals the building attracts unwanted visitors and is a constant eyesore and a morbid reminder of Lower Bradfields grim past.
The only small remaining hints of the buildings past
Now some stripped out rooms..
And finally, some of the best street art I've ever seen...
Oh.. and a fun looking pigeon