The Dalmellington Iron Company was formed in 1848 in Dunaskin, Ayrshire – a series of iron furnaces powered by a large blower house employed hundreds, but a strike in 1921 and ageing machinery led to the closure of the ironworks.
I guess I can tell this story now. Clydebridge steelworks to the East of Glasgow was founded in 1887, and in its heyday produced steel plate for many of the Clyde’s famous liners. When the M74 motorway extension was being built past the site, I took the chance to make a midnight visit.
Nipped into one corner of the giant shed, and though it was all lit up, everything was quiet. Continue reading
BASF’s plant in Paisley is about 60 years old, and was producing around 18,000 tonnes of pigments a few years ago. However it’s been downsizing, and will probably be closing completely soon. I’ve been visiting for a while – it’s still very much a live site so it took a bunch of trips to see most of the interesting buildings before they were demolished.
Rolls-Royce is a big company who make jet engines. See, you don’t get that kind of in-depth research from anyone else! The East Kilbride factory was built to cope with post-war demand for the Avon turbojet engines alongside the giant wartime factory at Hillington, but now it is the largest jet engine repair and overhaul facility in Europe. Continue reading
When Diageo closed down the Johnnie Walker distillery in Glasgow, I was in there like a shot, but when the bottling plant in Kilmarnock closed a bit later it was a trickier nut to crack – I had several goes around the beginning of the year, and got into a few bits of it, but it was very secure with loads of CCTV, 3-4 guards and even those infrared barrier things. Not fun. Continue reading
SPS was (is?) a large steel stockholders owned by Corus – their 300,000 square foot warehouse in Bellshill held over 20,000 tonnes of specialist steels for shipbuilding, boilers, pressure vessels, structural sections and loads of different types of pipe. Big boys’ Meccano, basically.
I’ve visited this gigantic white elephant before – originally built by Hyundai at a cost of over £2bn, it was to be the largest chip fabrication plant in Europe, with a clean room bigger than two football fields. Never finished, it passed to Motorola and their Freescale subsidiary, then there were plans for a solar cell manufacturer to take it over.
The brewery that refuses to die! Reports of this brewery’s demise have been going on for years, but it’s still here – not for all that much longer, though, they definitely are demolishing it this time Continue reading