Monday, 24 September 2007

Bridon Wire Works - 22/09/07

Visited the old wireworks on Ambergate near Belper with Havoc on our Derbyshire day trip. Rolling up in Matlock Bath, Havoc, feeling the need to resample the manky chicken burger that made me feel slightly dodgy down the hole last week, went for second helpings, it didn't get any better, the lad'll never learn... :->

In 1876 Richard Johnson and Nephew opened the wireworks, he had a place in Manchester as well as Ambergate and employed about 1000 workers and specialized in telegraph and fencing wire, wire rope, tinned mattress wire, etc, at one point the company had tendered for an order of 3,400 tons of wire to form the main cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, in the late 1860s.

The ex-Bridon Ropes and Johnson and Nephew site has been vacant since the wireworks closed 11 or 12 years ago.

In its heyday it employed 500 people. It was taken over by the Bridon Group in 1990 and closed in 1996 with the loss of 120 jobs. LB Plastics have since bought the site, currently employing 50 people making plastic doors.

There is a public right of way through the site and most of the disused buildings are accessible, the sheds where the rope and wire was manufactured were incredile, in terms of scale, rather empty, and a bit grubby underfoot, but nevertheless, it made for an interesting mooch.

We did have a quick look at the 'live' part of the site, making our way through the woods, sadly to no avail, cue comedic exit as I slide graciously under a gate, much to the bemusement of Havoc and a couple of dog walkers: 'we're just taking pictures, honestly, lol'. Righto. Here's the pics.


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Steve said...

Good shots! You captured a pikey in the last one? (havoc looking for chicken burgers) LOL ;- )

I'm liking the intros and detail going into this new blog!

Mendoza said...

That pikey was following me round all day, his eyes lit up when he spotted some old wire lying around!!lol

Havoc said...

Ill Pikey you two slack jawed banjo playing hill billies lol.