ICI Nobel Explosives Part II

A second visit to see more of this huge site. First to the very overgrown Gunpowder Section, and in a concrete incorporating mill in the woods I found three edge mills:

Edge runner mills were only used for gunpowder which wasn’t made seriously after WWI, so they’re pretty rare – the Waltham Abbey museum only has a replica, so to find three mint ones is remarkable.

The mills were driven from below – the motors are mostly gone, and frogs swim in the pools:

Next on to the derelict power plant, which provided steam and electricity to the entire site:

The control room is a bit small and skanky:

Another big Hopkinson gauge, just like the one at Carrongrove:

Now on through the woods, and fighting through acres of spiky gorse, to a detonator test building – I think this one went off a bit too violently…

A building with water-cooled storage cylinders – not sure what this is for:

Then this machine – I think it was for some kind of drying as it had heaters and a gas supply:

Onto the testing laboratories – this is like a wee street, with each building containing a different testing machine:

On the far right, you can see a large test mortar – this faced a set of rails which probably had a moving target:

In the middle black-painted metal building, another test mortar:

Next building along, and some high-speed plate cameras for capturing explosions:

The bigger building at the end faces a test area, viewed through a blast wall with viewing slits:

This building had a bunch of offices with stacks of plans (mostly for high-speed cameras it seems), and shelves and shelves of plates from the cameras.

There were also some test samples:

Finally, onto a lead casting workshop:

Go to the next installment…

All images:


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