ICI Nobel Explosives Part VI

A fun stroll in the woods, with some friends – big concrete things, little machine things, secret paths and comedy “run away!” moments – what more could you want?

All images:


7 Responses

  1. Hi Ben,
    Like many others I have been avidly viewing your Bishopton series. But I have enjoyed the ICI Nobel set just as much. There’s a little more history and your ‘finds’, such as the building plans are superb.
    I’ll be back to keep on checking your excellent research. Thanks for your efforts.
    Regards Russ

    PS: Is your book of Bishopton digital or a paper copy?

    1. Thanks Russ 🙂

      That’s what I find fascinating about both locations – Bishopton was very secret, it didn’t even appear on OS maps until the year 2000, and there’s not much documentation, but much of it is almost untouched. Nobel’s was a commercial company, so there are brochures and documents galore, but the physical remains are fewer (and rapidly being destroyed).

      The book is a proper paper one – printed on demand – though it covers Nobel’s as well…

  2. Ben,
    I discovered your photos of Ardeer today after looking for some info on ROF Bishopton.

    My father, Archie M McDonald, was Plant Engineer in Ardeer factory from about 1962- 1967. I was never in the factory itself, but I remember a few occasions when he was telephoned out of hours to deal with some problem or other, including the occasion when 3 workers died in an explosion.
    We were all relieved when he retired from ICI.

  3. Ben very interesting, both sites, Bishopton and Ardeer. I have always had an interest in these places particularly Bishopton. Have you ever found any official documentation pertaining to the site? Also do you think the explosive act still applies? I know they still have security but it is a big site.


    1. The explosive act (MSER 2005) definitely still applies – it will, as far as I know, until the Health & Safety Executive certify that the site is explosive-free. So yes, it is criminal trespass to enter.

      The only documentation I’ve found about Bishopton is the info in the planning applications on the council website – some of it is very detailed, however, and that’s what I used to make my maps. Apart from that thee’s some information in the book “Dangerous Energy”.

  4. Excellent work Ben, pity there wasn’t a building to keep some of this old equipment before its destroyed and lost forever
    Great photograph record, well done

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