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Well here goes a first report on here since i joined in 2013, completely forgetting i had created an account so please accept my delayed apologies for being inactive... I visited this place in 2014, so a while ago now... hence why the pictures are how they are . After an epic road trip up north, we returned to our hometown and had an opportunity for something we had been working on for a while. Exhausted from lack of sleep and driving many miles, we were not going to miss this window of opportunity and visited the place before it was no longer doable. Really not sure on the history of the place, possibly built as wine vaults? Unable to find any records of it to be honest, it was really a right place at the right time thing. I believe it was at some point used as a youth club, then left vacant for a number of years and last i heard it was a gym. Unsure of the current situation, would like a revisit with the new camera and glass but beggars cant be choosers eh!! Visited with non members JDY and xcon2icon. Access at the time was a walk in the park, and ive not seen it posted before so hoping its something that isn't the monotonous same old stuff for people to look at either, despite the lack of decent pictures!! Really not the most exciting evening, no security, no nosy neighbors, no drama! Thanks for looking!!
November 2013 This was a quick visit with little time available, which was handy as the place is tiny. All that I have managed to find out about this place is that it was a reservoir built to service the East Ashford Union Workhouse. In 1837, the East Ashford Union erected a workhouse on the west side of Kennington Road in Ashford. It was designed to accommodate 350 inmates and the architect was John Whichcord of Maidstone whose plan was based on Sir Francis Head's model courtyard design. Sorry about the picture quality. Ash res by dualster, on Flickr Ash res (2) by dualster, on Flickr Ash res (1) by dualster, on Flickr
Bit of a last minute explore, have looked at the site a few time before, but security and the fact it is rail land put me off, so i decided to have a chat with the security man and he said fine as long as we dont go inside any of the buildings.....i must have missed that last bit . Had a good look around but its all much the same, huge long rooms with cranes at the end, a huge carpet of bird crap and a nasty smell lol. Sections have been converted for use as small industrial units. Not a huge amount of info on the site apart from it was built in 1847, replacing a yard that was originally in New Cross, London. The works employed about 600 people in 1851 increasing to about 950 by 1861, and around 1,300 by 1882. A bit from wikipedia: In 1853 the Locomotive Superintendent James I. Cudworth built the first of ten 'Hastings' class 2-4-0 locomotives there. In 1855 these were followed by two freight engines. (An unusual feature of these was a dual firebox, each side fired alternately.) Over the next twenty years, Cudworth built 53 freight locomotives at Ashford and around 80 larger ones with six foot driving wheels, plus the first eight of his sixteen express passenger locos, the 'Mails', with seven foot drivers. He also produced four classes of 0-6-0 tank locomotives. In 1878 James Stirling, the brother of Patrick Stirling of the Great Northern Railway took over and introduced a deal of standardisation. He believed in the benefits of the bogie and produced a class of 4-4-0 with six foot drivers and his '0' class freight with five foot drivers. He also produced over a hundred 0-4-4 tank engines, and in 1898 the 4-4-0 'B' Class. The first Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Superintendent for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway was H.S. Wainwright who produced a series of successful and elegant designs at Ashford. Wainwright's tender engines built at Ashford included 0-6-0 freight locomotives of the 'C' class, and the 4-4-0 passenger engines of the 'D' and 'E' classes. His tank engines built at the works included the versatile and long-lived 0-4-4 'H' class, the larger 0-6-4 'J' class and the diminutive 0-6-0 tank engines of the 'P' class. Wainwright was followed by R.E.L.Maunsell, who introduced the ultimately unsuccessful 'K' class 2-6-4 mixed traffic tank locomotives (which were later rebuilt into 2-6-0 tender locomotives), and the useful 'N' class 2-6-0 mixed traffic locomotives in 1917. However, more of the 'N' class locomotives were produced at the works, and parts for 'K' class locos that were assembled by Armstrong Whitworth of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1942 the works also built twenty of the Bulleid 'Q1' class 0-6-0, the remainder being built at Brighton Works. During the later war years the works also built a number of the LMSR Stanier type 2-8-0 freight locomotives for the War Department. The last of the 639 steam locomotives built there was LMSR 2-8-0 No. 8674. In 1937 it was involved with in the English Electric company in the construction of three experimental diesel-electric shunters and after the war, Ashford works continued manufacturing a further series of 350 h.p. 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunters. Under British Railways Ashford works built the first two of the Southern Region prototype 1Co-Co1 diesel electric locomotives of the D16/2 class numbered 10201 and 10202 in 1951. In 1962 all locomotive production and repairs were moved to Eastleigh Spot Mr Security