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Wolverton Works, Wolverton - September 2015

Session9

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WOLVERTON WORKS - SEPTEMBER 2015

I cannot keep away from Wolverton and recently i clocked up my tenth visit since May 2014. To celebrate the occasion i got rather wet, but nothing could ever dampen my love of this classic train derp.

Wolverton railway works was established in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire by the London and Birmingham Railway Company in 1838 at the midpoint of the 112 miles (180 km)-long route from London to Birmingham. The line was developed by Robert Stephenson following the great success of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway line.

The Victorian era new towns of Wolverton and New Bradwell were built to house the workers and service the works. The older towns of Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell grew substantially too, being joined to it by a tramway and branch line (known as the "Newport Nobby"), respectively. The trams were also hauled by steam locomotives: the tram cars were certainly the largest ever in the UK and possibly the world. In modern times Wolverton railway works remains notable as the home of the British Royal Train but otherwise is very much reduced from its heyday.

As of 2013, the facility is much reduced: a full-scale train maintenance, repairs and refurbishment works is operated at the western end of the site, the central area is derelict but slated for redevelopment, the eastern end is a Tesco store with canal-side housing development at the extreme eastern end.

With the inevitable bouts of uncontrollable laughter brought about by the latest voyage subsiding, it was time to steady my machine for a few snaps.

The tune 'Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here everyday...' springs to mind:

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4. At this point i would like to say i have attempted to omit in my report the scrawls of pathetic graffiti tags, smashed windows, destroyed signs and train doors. All this damage has occurred in the last two months. A wanky 'tag' has even appeared on the long training school sign. This place stood untouched for decades slowly finding its way back to mother nature and now it is at the mercy of the local low life.

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8. This machine was still located on floor one back in May. Perhaps some of the local low life are underneath it :cry: .

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9. Passage to the Foremans Office is getting to be a bit of a challenge :eek: .

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10.

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11.

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12. A life time of ridicule. Spelling your name slightly differently will not help ;) .

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13. A first aid box would be useful here.

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That's all folks, hope you enjoyed :smile:

 

Merryprankster

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P DANIELLS!! was there a locker with D McGee on it?? very nice set dude thanks for sharing (y) :comp

 

Urbexbandoned

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Really nice shots mate, we all have those places we could go back to again and again. Thanks for sharing (y)

 

The_Raw

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That's an ace report from there, looks much better than I remember from other reports. Nice one (y)

 

hamtagger

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Good to see HMS explorer is still getting an outing from time to time. Was funny as fuck when we visited here last year :D

Quality pics mate, really like this set. You must have about 57Gb of pics from here now?

 

Session9

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Thanks you all for your kind messages!! :)

I had forgotten i'd posted this, old(er) age and a lifetime of asbestos do nothing for the grey matter :rolleyes:

Anyway :beer: guys!!

 

The Lone Shadow

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I really like this S9, there are a lot of new angles and things I have not normally seen from this place. Looks like there is still a lot to see and good to see you have a regular explore at your fingertips :D

Picture 8 & 9 are very worrying though. Machinery falling through the ground and the roof caving in at an alarming rate. I'd love to go back and see this again, but it was a death trap 18 months ago - I can't even start to imagine how dangerous it must be now.

 

urblex

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Nice one some ace shots there man (y) shame about the local yobs scrawling all over it, the same thing happened to one of my old favourites it's sad to see but at the same time it's probably the local lowlife that created a lot of my access points as well

 

Session9

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Many thanks LS and Urblex :)

Without too much urbex exaggeration speak, this is one hell of a dangerous site, only time will tell if there is much to demolish when that day comes. Anyone with a vague interest in railways will appreciate how unique this place is and so on a still day, go and enjoy her.

Note for the local low life: you may visit on a particularly windy day, when a selection of beams and machinery (god made them great and small), may land on your thick but otherwise empty (contradiction intended) heads :)

 
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Sectionate

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Brave! I haven't been here since 2009 and the floor was spongey as hell!

 

MAX

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These photos make me really sad! :cry:  I worked in this sawmill during the latter years of my time in Wolverton Works between 1980 - 1989. Life here was great looking back on it, back then I had so many friends and especially the guys I worked with on Bob C's gang. We did a variety of work in the sawmill from repair work to new build stuff. On Bob's gang we mainly did repair work and the odd foreigner (private job). I can remember like it was only yesterday how sore my fingers were after sandpapering graffiti off carriage doors panels not to mention the dust that got up your nose. I liked the laminating press best of all, I like a big tool!! At break times sometimes we used to heat up meat pies under the laminating press, mind you it was a risky practice and you couldn't take your eye off it it too long in case some clown pulled the lever and your pie got crushed!! Come to think of it I have fond memories of pretty much everyone I worked with in the sawmill except maybe Bob, he made my life hell at times, I was a chatterbox. Mind you I can forgive him I suppose, he was only doing his job as 'charge-hand', R.I.P. Bob.  

If anyone here is interested...

Photo No: 8 above is of a Drum Sander, I/we used this to sand large items like plywood partitions (vestibule ends) door mouldings or anything too big to do by hand, I even sanded my coffee table in it one night, cough cough!!  :D

Photo No:9 above is incorrectly labelled 'the foreman's office', this wasn't the foreman's office, it was where several Fitters worked sharpening various machine tools. There was a similar room half way down the sawmill on the opposite side called the 'saw sharpening room' where several more Fitters worked sharpening giant band-saw blades and circular-saw blades.

Photo:15  was the actual 'Foreman's Office'

Photo: 18  this photo shows the lower basement floor which was the same level as the canal running along the outside wall. This basement level wasn't really used for much during the 9 years that I worked there except for storage. It also housed the belt drives for a number of the saws above including a suction plant to take away the sawdust from those machines. Part of this suction equipment can also be seen clearly in Photo:8. During the war this basement level also doubled as an air raid shelter and one of the old style 'thunder-box toilets' (plank over a can) can still be seen in one of the earlier photos.

I'll do my best to label any future photos, so keep um coming guys. I'd love to see more shots taken from the room behind the roller shutters next to the foreman's office, this is where I worked.

 
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hamtagger

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@MAX thanks for that information mate, was really interesting to read especially having visited the place myself for many hours with @Session9 :)  

 

Session9

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@MAX thanks for that information mate, was really interesting to read especially having visited the place myself for many hours with @Session9 :)  


Very much second that, information like that is invaluable.

It's a fascinating site, ten visits now, talking of which, I need to invest in another vessel :)

 

MAX

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@hamtagger Thanks buddy, much appreciated! The photos you guys submit on this site are a real trip down memory lane and no doubt those of use who worked there will be as shocked as I was to see the sorry state of disrepair of the buildings. Makes me feel quite old looking at them, I can still remember this place when it was fully operational. I was only 24 when I left for pastures new, I'm now 51. My username 'MAX' was also my nickname when I worked in the sawmill, I had a spikey hair cut and my mate Mark thought I looked like the TV character 'Max Headroom' LOL!! I was also in Wolverton Works Fire Brigade lovingly dubbed 'Trumpton'  after the hit TV kids series of the 70's. The Fire Station which is now a music shop can still be seen if you take a walk along Stratford Road by the side entrance to Tescos. 

 

Session9

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@Session9 Thanks buddy, lol.., if it were still operational I'm sure we could have built you a new vessel, better than those blow-up ones for sure!!  :D

Incidentally I just found another site which shows some of Wolverton Works when it was operational, some nice shots here: https://mark-beal-tmd.smugmug.com/WolvertonRail/Wolverton-ZN/


I can well imagine a hand built Wolverton Works vessel would be the business! :)

Thanks for the link mate, fascinating archive,  particularly those Eastern Region EMU's 302, 309's etc - magic. What was the APT doing there?

I remember the 1988 open day, a new 90 and lifting demonstration's with a MK1. I walked of course that day, into I think, the empty shops where Tesco now stands.

 
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