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Thread: NCB Coal Research Establishment, Stoke Orchard - Various Dates '09

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    Arrow NCB Coal Research Establishment, Stoke Orchard - Various Dates '09


    You may have seen photos from the same dates in previous reports but these are my best and I think this sums up the site better than my others.

    I have visited this huge site, just north of Cheltenham in the snug little village of Stoke Orhcard, four times and every trip revealed something new. A bit of history to begin;

    Opened in 1950 by British Coals Jacob Brownowski, the CRE's main objective was to improve the efficiency of burning coal, whilst also trying to keep emissions down. In its later years, the CRE ventured into producing crude oil from coal, but unfortunately the process was expensive and inefficient and so never caught on. However, the method did actually produce oil and the CRE housed an experimental 1970's Ford Torino that run on this new oil. The Coal Liquefaction facilities are still located on the site, run down and derelict, and were operational until the last days of the CRE. The scientists working there obviously though they could make the process economically viable.

    When the British Coal Industry was privatised in 1994, the government refused to fund the CRE, and so it closed its doors. Almost all of the site remains, with just one building being converted into a trading estate, which still houses a division of the NCB.

    On with the pics...

    This was the loading bay of the largest building on site, which is most visible due to it's large chimneys...



    Inside the loading bay, there is a large cavernous space with lots of rooms off the side, pipes up above and staircases going in all directions...



    Upstairs, there were several huge hoppers that fed down into the loading bay, allowing coal to be loaded on/off vehicles...





    These hoppers had there own control room to operate flow etc...



    It was really fun pressing every button, but then again, I have always been childish...



    This large spherical cage really confused me. It wasn't until I spoke to someone who used to work in this building that I learned it was a large thermometer. Two electrical terminals fed into it and this somehow measured temperature. There were lots of these scattered around the place...



    Yet more pipes...



    Leaving this building, I found another building split into offices, labs and a large machine room. This was in the machine room; I would not want to get my tie caught in that...



    Off the machine room was a "coal sorting room". The person I spoke to who used to work here said coal was delivered in blue tubs visible in the bottom left corner. It was then placed on the machine visible under the plastic flaps. The trays with different sized holes that are stacked against the machine would be fitted, and then the machine would shake violently. The different sized lumps of coal would filter through, leaving large lumps on top and tiny grains below. Kind of like an industrial seive...



    Inside one of the labs was a delicate system of pipes and valves, presumably for the gases being burned...



    Inside the largest building on site were these funky doors. I want them in my house...



    It's a great place and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

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  3. #2
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    Default First Aid


    Anyone think that the company wanted people to know where the first aid room was lol

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    these pictures have been posted before lol.....thought someone had done a new visit,
    iv been and its a bloody mazzive site lots to see tho the site is still very busy with workers and people driving in and out the site!

    i need to get my pictures on soon once i find the memory card they are on haha

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    Default


    Nice shots, looks like a great site to explore
    ‘I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying’ – Woody Allen

    http://www.kingsleyscottphotography.co.uk

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    If I'm not mistaken, planing permission has just been granted to knock the whole place down and build a million (probably) houses there. The locals are actually pleased about this...

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonedwardscam View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, planing permission has just been granted to knock the whole place down and build a million (probably) houses there. The locals are actually pleased about this...
    Yeah I think so, don't know if it's been granted though. killergibbo, these photos are different to the other ones ;) and part of the site is still used by a company called CRE ltd so on weekdays there are lots of people around.

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    Default


    Quote Originally Posted by KrYptiX View Post
    Anyone think that the company wanted people to know where the first aid room was lol
    What gave it away? :p


    Looks like an amazing site, you've documented it well.


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