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UK Terry's Chocolate Factory - York - September 2014

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History

Terry's was a chocolate and confectionery maker in York with a history dating back to 1767. This factory opened in 1926 and became known as Terry's Confectionery Works. It was buil in an Art Deco style and included a distinct clock tower. Here new products including the Chocolate Apple (1926), Terry's Chocolate Orange (1931), and Terry's All Gold were all developed and produced onsite.

With the onset of the Second World War, confectionery production was immediately halted. The factory was taken over by F Hill's and Son's of Manchester as a shadow factory, to manufacture and repair aircraft propeller blades. With the factory handed back to the company post-war, production was difficult due to rationing and limited imports of raw cocoa. As a result, in 1954 production of the chocolate apple was phased out in favour of increased production of the chocolate orange.

In 1993 it was taken over by Kraft Foods. From 2000, the company brand was changed from Terry's of York to simply Terry's, reducing the company's links to the city. Production was also scaled back, with just UK products and Terry's Chocolate Orange, Terry's All Gold and Twilight made for the international market. In 2004, Kraft Foods decided to absorb Terry's, switch production of remaining products All Gold and Chocolate Orange to their own factories in Belgium, Sweden, Poland and Slovakia, and close the plant.

The factory closed on 30 September 2005, with the loss of 317 jobs. The factory was bought by developers Grantside, renamed The Chocolate Works, and in February 2010 planning permission was given for a £165 million redevelopment of the site as a mixed-use of residential, commercial and leisure. Redevelopment started in 2011, with removal of asbestos, followed by demolition of non-scheduled buildings in early 2012.

Our Visit

I jumped on a last minute coach from London with extreme_ironing on hearing news that construction work at Terry's has upped the pace recently and now has 24 hour security in place. We were a bit apprehensive about making such a long trip with the possibility of failure but both determined to see this place before it's demise. Thankfully our trip was well worth the effort as we managed to access the admin building, the factory and the old clock tower. Security always seemed to be one step behind us as we watched them nosing around each building after we'd moved onto the next one. It really is an amazing site, the admin building full of Art Deco features was a joy to explore, a real life Willy Wonka factory if you like. After 6 hours on site we headed off into the night for a well earnt curry and beers before hitting another of York's gems.

The Pics

Looking towards the main factory from the roof of the admin building, we had to stay low at this point as security was wandering about below us....

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The ground floor of the admin building, everything decorated in Art Deco style....

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Art deco detail

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The Safe Door

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Logo on the inside of the safe

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The grand entrance hall

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The stairs, lost count of how many pics I took in here....

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Stained glass dome window above the staircase

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Office

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The manager's office overlooking downstairs

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Detail

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On top of the clock toweer

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Construction site next door with York Minster in the distance

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Looking down over the security hut with the factory to the right and admin building on the left

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Behind one of the clock faces

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Factory doors

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Not much to see inside the factory except long empty rooms like this

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The walls and windows are still pretty impressive for a factory though

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Watching security's movements over in the admin building

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The racecourse next door

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The clock tower from the top of the factory

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Night starting to close in

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Extreme Ironing chilling in the window frame waiting for security to finish his rounds below

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Thanks for looking

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That's one hell of a stunning building, the colour in the wood paneling, the construction of that grand staircase, they really knew how to construct a thing of beauty!, such pride in every little detail!!

Thanks for a top share !

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Cheers guys, yeah the admin building really is something else and so nice to see something constructed in such a unique fashion with a style of it's own :thumb

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