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  1. I wasn't quite sure whether to stick this in military or industrial, but it's more of an industrial site that was used by the military so here it goes. This was my last explore of my American trip, on my last full day in the country and after driving around Trenton having a few fails and being totally sketched out by how much of a massive craphole the city is we plumped for an easy guaranteed in. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD for short) was constructed in 1953 directly adjacent to Trenton Mercer Airport and was used by the US Navy to test jet engines, alternate fuels, turbines and engine starters until the facility closed in 1998 due to a relocation to Tennessee. Two thirds of the site was demolished with the land handed over to a homeless charity at no cost, but as yet nothing has happened. What is left is the closest you could possibly get to a secondary Pyestock, with three test cells still in situ and the huge power plant building which at one point would have held two rows of eight turbines/exhausters to provide enough power to rival that of Pyestock's famous Air House. Sadly the turbines are no more, with just the plinths left but it's still an impressive space. Having kicked myself for missing out on a return to Pyestock with my decent gear during it's final days, I had known about and wanted to see this place for ages so it was great to see what was in essence Pyestock's little brother across the pond. The few bits of pipe left on the outside of the buildings are even that same evocative shade of light blue which made Pyestock's pipes instantly recognisable. Thanks for looking, more here https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/albums/72157659895110111 I hope you've enjoyed my selection of things from across the pond, all I have left to bring you now is a compilation of the seven or so locations I didn't get enough photos from to warrant separate threads and I'm all done! I'll be back over in the springtime all being well.
  2. Pianoforte Supplies (auto parts division), Roade - May 2015 History In 1910 a London floor polishing paste firm known as J. Masters&Co began the manufacture of of their paste on a site nearby the railway tracks along the small village train station. J. Masters & Co closed after just 12 years in business and was purchased by a former employee named C.T. Cripps. In 1923 Cripps founded Pianoforte Supplies Ltd which was solely dedicated to the production of castings and fixtures for Piano manufacturers and also successfully produced fair quantities of fixture parts for automobiles. In 1933 the factory suffered from severe fire damage and was soon rebuilt that year. During WW2 the factory went into full time production creating spare vehicle and aircraft parts as part of a contribution to the war effort in Britain. During the 1960's employment peaked with the factory employing a little more than 1,800 workers. This was however short lived and when the railway station of Roade was closed in 1964 and Pianoforte began a slow journey into gradual decline. In 1980 the factory ceased to production of piano parts altogether, though one side continued to produce parts until 2011. The explore The planned activity for the day was having a look at what is left of the northern section of the Bedford to Northampton railway. We started off having a wander around the yard of a factory making track machines which uses a short length of track to test them under load. A walk along the mostly removed track situated in substantial thorny jungle revealed an abandoned warehouse used as a B.R. welding school, complete, sadly with pikey attachment. And so onto our next stop: The Northampton and Lamport heritage railway. Now, being a warm May Saturday, we had made an assumption the railway would be open, but no! Our confusion was not helped by a guy repairing a B.R. brake van with broken palette wood. It was clearly time to have a good mooch around the real ale section in the (busy) station pub next door. Next on the itinerary, Blisworth to catch up with an old friend and enjoy another brew. BUT wait, i thought, isn't Roade on the way... Explored with a non-member and non tripod, as i could not be bothered to trek back to the car. 1. 2. Not sure what that yellow thing is. The sight of it nearly brought up my Chicken and Mushroom slice. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Rover 400, i believe. The collapse of Rover and the supply chain was staggering - at least 30,000 jobs were lost almost overnight. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Any better ideas workers, to calling an ambulance perhaps? 15. Chemicals and pigeon ploop, the perfect eau de toilette. 16. Acid pickle. Isn't that what you get for woofing down a sarnie made with a dollop of that overpriced homemade piccalilli your distant relative bought for you six years ago at Christmas? 17. Sadly, Rover were. 18. Red light, shepherd's delight (or something not remotely like that) 19. 20. One of my favorites of the day. Very much enjoyed this one and still more to cover. Work has started in the car park opposite, so i guess her time is limited. And we never made it to Blisworth!
  3. Visited a while back with Mr Dan Explores after failing a site local to me. Some of you may remember my report and photos of the Piano Parts making side which closed in 1980. The site sits in the English town of Roade, Northamptonshire https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/sets/72157650519160101 This more modern section of the site continued the production of vehicle parts until 2011. The site seems to have been used in more recent times for Police Training but still retains some of its interesting features, such as a Laboratory. In the 1960's the factory was thought to have approximately 1,800 workers. Sadly; a few years larer the closure of Roade railway station caused the factory began to slip into decline. This was probably the third outing of my new 50mm lens which I have since fallen in love with. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/sets/72157652282835508