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Thread: Blair's Engine Works, Stockton, May 2008

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    Default Blair's Engine Works, Stockton, May 2008


    Visited the remains of a huge complex on the north edge of Stockton with MissFish and Mykal as a followup to the discussion in https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main...ead.php?t=4733 My earlier assumption that it was part of the North East Railway was only partly correct - the railway owned the engine shed to the far north-west of the site.

    The site seems to date back to Victorian times or maybe earlier, initially as a 'steam engine manufactory' according to a map from 1860. Later maps show it as being a locomotive works. I am pretty sure this is Blair's Engine Works, a facility which built marine engines and locomotives, but have been unable to confirm it. If you look at the remains of the massive iron columns in my photo you'll see they match up with those in the 1901 interior shot of the works and maybe that is evidence enough. According to Stockton Council's site the works closed in 1933. A North East Railway, latterly the LNER, depot was to the far west of the site but has all but vanished.

    Copyright on these images belong to old-maps.co.uk and Stockton Council. Hopefully they won't mind them being used in this context, but if they do then I'll remove them.








    Apologies for the quality of this shot but I was standing in the middle of an A-road at the time. The ornate 'balconies' may have been decoration only. The wall has a number of bricked up entrances.




    There once was a coal depot here and these are the coal drops. The concrete piers carried the rail track over a series of bays where it either went direct in to vehicles or was bunkered for future use.







    These massive columns are visible in one of the contemporary shots above.




    Foundation for some large piece of machinery.


    'The Hole' - a vast sunken area where a reinforced concrete structure once stood. It would easily hold four football fields, now all reduced to rubble.


    One of the few clues to what this place once was: a piece of light gauge rail, embedded in tarmac.




    Standard gauge rail a few yards away:


    The odd looking lines are buried rail track under more recent tarmac.




    One of the few structures still standing was this retaining wall. Height is in excess of 15'.


    The base pad for a large tank. The lack of a containment bund suggests it might have been a water tank.


    A stream runs through the site. This wall is part of the tunnel which carries it. Access to the portal looks tricky.



    This is probably one of the most comprehensively trashed sites I've been to, but the scale of it is simply staggering. It must have been very impressive when it was standing.

    A word of warning to anyone who fancies a look: the scrapyard adjacent to the site, formerly the coal depot, has seen the attentions of the scrapman or pikies in the past few weeks. All the accessible metal has gone and the building roof is very unstable after the visitors took out the steel beams with a gas torch. Next time we get big wind I think the roof will be down.

    The other word of warning is that this is in the district of Stockton called Tilery: it is a pretty rough neighbourhood, more so at night.
    Last edited by Geordie_Jon; 18th May 08 at 04:12.

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    I love these kind of mysteries when there are just a few clues left dotted around. Excellent research and write-up, G_Jon. Love those coal drops and the metal columns. Good stuff! :)
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    The first shot looks to me like it was the remains of a building rather then a wall. When they knocked down parts of the BR Works in Derby in the 1990s I remember the walls fronting onto the main road were left for some years. I think the stone bits on top were window ledges, I bet it was a real nice building at the time.
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    Something I found while looking for history on this place was a journal of a man who served his apprenticeship at this works. I thought it was fascinating. Those who like social history will probably enjoy it: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/...tml/D1_D2.html

    If nothing else the working hours and conditions he describes should make us grateful, even on the bad days. :)

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    great research! always wondered what it was, but didn't fancy getting out of the car anywhere near that area LOL, as for pikies, its a worldwide crisis now, they are nicking fricking everything! in the ukraine they got a government ordered crane, nicked an entire heritage steam loco, drove it to a scrappies then scrapped it, got away with it too

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    Fascinating. :) The site looks "hammered" to say the least! I love it when you look round sites like this and then something like that huge iron column shows itself. Thanks for sharing.

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    Oh I'm glad you put up a report up as I havent had chance!

    I need to re-do my pics really, I tried out a new post-processing technique and it only really works for the odd one or two images. So there's only a few I like:






    Was really good to meet you mate, get yourself over onto the North East forum!

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    Hi MissFish,

    Just waiting for an invite ;) Send me a pm if you have some info.

    Was good to meet you guys too, shame the site was so totally devastated or it would have been a perfect night. The HDR / apocalypse look suits this place rather well.

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