I remember visiting the "Bureau Central" a fair few years ago and noticing the massive steel works next door that the offices were once the headquarters for. The entire works seemed to be abandoned, although the old office block had clearly been out of use for a lot longer. We added it to the list of places to check out and then forgot all about it.
A few years later we found ourselves back in the area and I noticed the massive steel works that dominate Florange once again. This time around I was a lot more interested and we went for a drive around. It looked great, so added it to the next trip map. A couple of trips later, we'd had two visits to cover the place relatively thoroughly.
The late nineteenth century saw rapid developments in the production of iron. Areas with an abundance of iron ore benefited from the expanding industry and large plants were constructed. The blast furnaces and steel works in Florange is one such example, with massive expansion taking place in the early twentieth century. The first blast furnaces were built at the site in 1906, and later a huge steel works to convert the iron into steel.
In total, six blast furnaces were built at the site. During the 1970s three of the six blast furnaces were refurbished, and their capacities increased. The other three furnaces were decommissioned and later demolished.
The blast furnaces and steelworks while they were in use
One of the oldest remaining parts of the site is a huge hall with 1919 emblazoned above the main entrance, which now contains a set of turbo-blowers for injecting high-pressure air into the blast furnaces. The hall would have originally contained an array of classic industrial machinery including mechanical blowers and alternators similar to those found at Power Plant X in Luxembourg. Electricity generation on the site ceased in the 1950s when Richemont Power Station took over, running on the blast furnace gasses produced by a number of steel works in the region.
Production of iron and steel ceased in 2012 when the last remaining blast furnaces at the site were mothballed. It was announced the two blast furnaces would be maintained so they could be restarted if market conditions improved in the future, but were permanently shut down the following year.
Now, the steel works and blast furnaces lay dormant, slowly rusting and being reclaimed by nature. Wagons stand still in the rail yard surrounded by overgrowth, the steel works silent and the furnaces lifeless.
Let's start off where it all started off. The Bureau Central, the main offices of the Wendel empire.
Exterior of the old office building. Not bad, eh?
The interior has seen better days
Many rooms and corridors had glass blocks in the ceiling to let natural light through to lower floors
The Blast Furnaces
Workers at the blast furnaces, pictured in 1952
Blast Furnaces viewed from the rail yard
Coal wagons lined up below the blast furnaces
Base of one of the blast furnaces
Inside a blast furnace building
Inside another blast furnace building
Exterior with the water tower in the distance
View up a blast furnace
Wagons under a blast furnace
The blast furnace control room had been modernised
Turbo Blower House and Workshops
The blower house is where the turbo-fans are located. They were responsible for blowing the huge amounts of air required by the blast furnaces. This cavernous building would have once housed a set of classic engines for blowing the air, along with a power plant, all of which was removed in the 1970s.
Turbo-fan sets 1 and 2
There was one blower set for each blast furnace
Side view of the huge blowers
The green motor for fan 3
Historic control panel from when older machines were used
The machines this panel controlled were removed a long time ago
Newer control room for the turbo-blowers
Turbo-blower control room
Railway and Coal / Iron Ore Delivery Area
The steelworks had its own station for the delivery of coal and raw materials such as iron ore which would be emptied into hoppers below. A lot of wagons are parked on the tracks.
Wagons parked in the delivery station
Track over the coal and iron ore hoppers with blast furnaces behind
Nature is starting to reclaim the tracks
Blast furnace and wagons
Trains would drop their content directly into the hoppers below
The steelworks took the pig iron produced by the blast furnaces and converted into steel.
Historic photos of the steelworks, pictured in 1952
Sign in the steelworks
View along one of the many long sections
View down the steelworks
View in the opposite direction
Work area between machinery
Ladles lined up in the ladle bay
One of the ladles tipped up
Wider view of the ladles
One of the work bays
Another work bay
Crane lowered in one of the bays
Furnaces for melting iron and scrap
Track for moving ladles
Electromagnetic lifting gear
The mill is where the steel products are finished off and rolled or shaped into their final forms.
Plant in the rolling mill
Plant in the rolling mill
Lifting gear in the mill
Crane hooks in the mill
Tracks leading to mill equipment
Accidental selfie with a "HFX" sign. In keeping with the other European steelworks known as "HF4", "HF6", "HFB", etc. I initially called the place HFX. It's actually the abbreviation for "Hauts Fourneaux", the French plural of Blast Furnaces.
Margaret Beaven School is a grade II-listed building that was built in 1885 and was designed by Francis Doyle.
The house was originally called Eddesbury, it was supposedly the last sustainable Victorian house that was built in West Derby.
It was once occupied by Danson Cunningham a friend of Margaret Beaven who was Liverpool's first woman lord mayor.
Since the school shut down 13 years ago, the building has been used for filming purposes.
It was reported that in May 2018, there was a large fire that ripped throughout the building, we don't know which parts of the building have been damaged as we have not been back since.
After driving past this place a few times previous to our visit, we decided to have a look online to see if anyone had visited the site before us and unfortunately we came up empty-handed. After realizing this, we took it upon our selves to go down and try gain access, it took us 3 visits before we finally found an entry point. The access point was hard to get through as it was awkward and a tight squeeze.
The front part of the building is boarded up and is alarmed, we did manage to gain access but the alarm was unbearable so we decided to just leave it. Once we left, we hung around to see if someone would show up and they did.
Overall, the explore was well worth it even though we didn't stay to get pictures of the main building.
On the outskirts of Fishburn lies the derelict Winterton hospital. Winterton hospital used to be very big however most of its buildings were demolished and this part is the only building that remains of it. All of the windows are boarded up however when we got there it looked like someone had pulled the entire doorway off causing the whole thing to open making an entry so easy. Inside the building is in terrible condition, (similar to St. peter's) with collapsed floors, wallpaper peeling, water damage etc. We also didn't realise at the time that the building had asbestos but luckily we had masks so make sure to bring one if you're planning on going inside. We were unable to access the top floor due to the floor being so bad so we only got photos from the corridor as we came up the stairs. That all being said, winterton hospital does have a lot of history and it is a shame to see it left in such a poor state.
Just off the A66 in Darlington, there is an abandoned farm called Little Burdon farm, it has been derelict for at least a decade. It consists of different buildings being from a farmhouse to old barns or stables. There's really two farmhouses, a red brick one and a more modern white house. It also looks like some refurbishment/demolition has taken place but again has been held off or abandoned. The farm was built around the 1830s and is grade 2 listed. There is no security here and is easy to get into all of the buildings. That being said the buildings are indeed derelict so some floors are dangerous and can't be accessed. In the white house building, part of the upstairs floor has been removed due to the refurbishment works but has been left standing as it is. It also looks like the rooms have been stripped out and all electrics and gas pipes have been removed.
This small family crypt was built by a bavarian count in the middle of the 19th century. Burried are his wife and their son who died at the age of 17.
Unfortunately vandalism stops at nothing. 99% of graffities in LPs are crap. In this particular case the creator outed himself to be 100% idiot! 😖😂
DSC02610-Bearbeitet-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
DSC02603-Bearbeitet-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
DSC02605-Bearbeitet-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
DSC02606-Bearbeitet-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr