Finally found the time to write this one up. Back in November we saw Speed stick up the first report of this colossus, and we immediately figured out the next evening that we could make it out to Dagenham to have a look around. The site itself has a large importance in the UK history of car making and is considered iconic. Already back in November huge amounts of the site had been stripped already, and by now must be well and truly devoid. Warning - this is picture heavy and word light. I also managed to take all of my shots on a disgustingly high ISO. Oops.
We only managed to see the stamping plant. I think that's what this is. It's a huge site, and we didn't even see half of it.
Visited with Adders, Gabe, Monkey and The Raw.
Some history from wikipedia (much more detail on this page):
Ford Dagenham is a major automotive factory located in Dagenham, London, United Kingdom operated by the Ford of Britain subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. The plant opened in 1931 and has produced 10,980,368 cars and over 37,000,000 engines in its history. It covers around 475 acres and has received over £800 million of capital investment since the year 2000.
Vehicle assembly ceased at the plant in 2002 but it continues as a major production site with the capacity to assemble 1.4 million engines a year. In 2008 the plant produced around 1,050,000 engines and was the largest producer of Ford diesel engines globally. It was announced in October 2012 that the stamping plant at Dagenham would close in Summer 2013 with the loss of 1,000 jobs. Employment at the plant peaked at around 40,000 workers in 1953, and following specialisation to engines only will be approximately 3,200.
Entry was easy, although once inside we separated slightly and I was sure that I'd heard a guard on the outside, and we made our way further in to the site.
Insert white van man joke here.
Every chamber was vast and had huge pieces of machinery. We split up and started making our way around, taking our photos.
This corridor was absolutely huge. Made for a nice page 3.
The corridor led to the main attraction, a ginormous atrium over several levels, with huge great presses. I understand that it was a pressing shop. I think - I'm no mechanic.
Some of the machines had already been stripped out in November, and we later found out that about £100,000 worth of metal had been stolen in the last year by the copper fairies.
This blog was bought to you by John Smiths.
It was around this point that a security car drove into the atrium. Cue most of us taking cover for a while, before it disappeared.
These were the ends of the gantries, on the far side of the atrium.
At this point we decided to head to the lowest point of the atrium, which can be seen in the photo above.
Bits of solder covered the floor here.
The theme of huge machinery continued.
Around this point time was getting on, and Monkey and I decided to leave the others, and head for the last train. That decision went well for one of the groups, and the other may have heard the word 'tasers!'.
Thanks for reading.