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Thread: Wolverhampton and Dudley Brewery, Langley Maltings - September 09

  1. #1
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    Default Wolverhampton and Dudley Brewery, Langley Maltings - September 09


    This trip was originally powered by a walk in the sunshine, and a Gregg's Sausage roll... Although by the time I got there it was more along the lines of torrential rain and drenched clothes.

    Not to be put off, I found my way inside and had a nosey in the first couple of rooms before hearing footsteps on the floor above, followed by some heavy banging. Just as they went quiet, I thought it'd be a "great" idea to throw my lens cap across the wooden floor, which turned out to be rather loud. I let out a little "d'oh" and carried on.

    A bit more mooching and I soon discovered that there were quite a few workmen on site, working on things. So I had fun avoiding them, including some close shaves where I saw hi-vis coming and darted into a handily placed kiln.

    Some history;

    The maltings were built in 1898 for Showell’s Crosswell Brewery, the site of which is nearby. They replaced/rebuilt the maltings destroyed in a fire the previous year, 1897, when a naphtha lamp had accidentally been overturned. (BJ 1897 December, p 898.) A detailed description of the new maltings designed by Messrs Arthur Kinder & Son appeared in The Brewers’ Journal for January 1898, page 40. Some of the details are worth noting including that Mr T. Swift, manager of the malting department assisted in the arrangements within the maltings. The screening, cleaning and carrying equipment was provided by Messrs Boby (of Bury St Edmunds). The power was provided by electricity. Like many maltings they suffered a fire in 1922 when a kiln (No 6) was destroyed. It was eventually rebuilt, over fifty years later in 1977 near the canal. The maltings were bought by Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries in 1944 from Showells for £12,000.

    The maltings were built to take advantage of the canal, and the railway was nearby. Originally the canal was use for the delivery of barley but eventually only rail was used. There was a siding from the main line. However, since World War II all the barley has been brought in by road, and the malt is taken out by road, too.

    Traditionally malting is a hard labour but skilled job and has always been undertaken by men but during the World War II it is known that women worked the maltings. In 2005 they are worked by 11 maltsters and 2 foremen 7 days a week and every day of the year.
    And some photos of the site from 2005 before demo started: http://www.breweryhistory.com/2005_W...leyPhotos1.htm

    It's a shame how much appears to have gone from looking at the photos above, but there's still plenty to see. And glad I did before it's too late, as the workmen seem to be closing in on the historic interior.







    Oven door to Kiln 3.



    Inside Kiln 3.





    Inside Kiln 2.









    The geezer in that digger walked RIGHT past me. He had a bad cough.











    Drying house Control panel.



    Top floor of the drying house.



    I think this was the office.





    It would have been rude of me not to do a little tidying up. Place was a state in parts. ;)


  2. Thanks given by: Phantex
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  4. #2
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    some great pics. nice one

  5. #3
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    Great Report and photo's so much to see. Nice of you to sweep the place up for them ;)
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."
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    Mate, utterly mint, not seen this one before! I'm a Wolves lad from birth, so I'm amazed I never knew about this one!! Nice work as usual fella!

  7. #5
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    Some great photos there, looks like there's lots to explore :)

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    There is! It's one of the easiest explores I've done, and I went mid-shift with a fair few construction workers around. Go out of working hours and you're quids in, well worth the venture.

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    So utterly gutted about this one. Super cool report on an amazing looking place. Well done on documenting it mate. Good stuff:)

  11. #9
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    Well done on documenting this when you did. The photos are superb. Living local to this iconic building, I've always wanted to see the inside. The power of the internet prevails once more.

    I went down there this morning,to take more photos veiwing it from the road. I didn't go onto the site. Luckily the gap between the two Matling houses has protected the two smaller kiln roofs.

    Its a traversity and a sad loss to the local Brewing history.
    Last edited by Rew570; 11th Sep 09 at 11:03. Reason: Want to add the last statement

  12. #10
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    Some great shots there fella, particularly like the insides of the kilns.
    Glad you got in there in the nick of time, another bit of our heritage lost - cheers for posting.

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