Billsons Steel Services (Permission visit)

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BikinGlynn

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Iv been hanging on to this for a while now but think u guys may appreciate a look!

Not exactly a sneaky explore, I have worked for Billson's on & off for over 20 yrs, joining them part way through my apprenticeship, completing this in fabrication then going on to be an erector for them for 7 years or so. I left for a while then returned as general manager 11 years ago now!
Please don't make any attempt to enter here yourself as we still own the site, pm me & I may be able to arrange a visit if interested.

We moved production from these Sackville st premises a year & a half ago, but have been using the site for storage (amazingly its took us near enough this time to move everything useful out) but its pretty much cleared now & negotiations on its sale are in progress.

History
Billson's is around 180 years old!
yes you read that correctly, it was started as a blacksmiths in the town centre of Kettering by the Billson family, it was first registered in the mid 1800 but I have it on good authority that it was running way before this date.

The company is still owned by a descendent of Mr Billson & has recently been handed over to the youngest member of the family.

The council forcefully moved us to the Sackville St site in the 1950's as part of the town centre redevelopment.
The site was never exactly ideal being wedged at the bottom of a terrace road and opposite a school, access for 40ft artic with a 15m steel on was er interesting.

History of the building itself is a little hazy, it is believed the main warehouse was originally built for the manufacture of traction engines!
This is a likely scenario as its has very railwayesq windows & a (annoyingly) narrow tall doorway. There is no evidence of a railway ever going to this area of town either.

The rest of the buildings are a ramshackle affair of part steel workshops & wooden offices.

Its a bit pic heavy but hope you enjoy

39404904162_914c7cd98a_b.jpgIMG_6896 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

24569246697_e0816b5e57_b.jpgIMG_6958 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39435107801_70461f0810_b.jpgIMG_6891 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

27658231059_02381f454e_b.jpgIMG_6920 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565211038_7a141202ee_b.jpgIMG_6915 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

27658235799_cd03ebf958_b.jpgIMG_6921 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39404972762_a0b165d3d9_b.jpgIMG_6927 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565078288_2f276ef29b_b.jpgIMG_6884 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

27658119379_d9429bd80a_b.jpgIMG_6885 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

24569084397_90b01025d7_b.jpgIMG_6906 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

24569077217_2014169e7c_b.jpgIMG_6903 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39404909812_b0bdbf3f55_b.jpgIMG_6900 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565131448_1af48ec221_b.jpgIMG_6901 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565198008_39f02c1a92_b.jpgIMG_6912 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

24569137757_df78997296_b.jpgIMG_6914 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565215068_e169793caa_b.jpgIMG_6916 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

27658265729_852a4e3c03_b.jpgIMG_6930 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39435215681_dd8e1727d6_b.jpgIMG_6936 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

38727352694_5939bd336e_b.jpgIMG_6937 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

24569200727_df8dc0c350_b.jpgIMG_6943 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

38557343405_46a0933a04_b.jpgIMG_6949 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

25565278678_98851c672d_b.jpgIMG_6947 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

38727349144_5f677ab51f_b.jpgIMG_6952 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

38727349844_487dda5889_b.jpgIMG_6950 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

27658337809_185f325cdd_b.jpgIMG_6960 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39405017722_0e3de1bb5a_b.jpgIMG_9365 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr

39405018432_01381fa941_b.jpgIMG_6967 by Bikin Glynn, on Flickr
 

prettyvacant71

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Love these big old Victorian warehouses with the tall arched windows, hope they can find a use for it rather than it getting flattened!

When I saw them old brogues the saying "waiting for dead man's shoes" came to mind lol, especially as you said you left and then came back 11 years later as a manager:biggrin-new:

It makes a change that a manufacturing company has only moved and not shut down! Good report BG.
 

BikinGlynn

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Love these big old Victorian warehouses with the tall arched windows, hope they can find a use for it rather than it getting flattened!

When I saw them old brogues the saying "waiting for dead man's shoes" came to mind lol, especially as you said you left and then came back 11 years later as a manager:biggrin-new:

It makes a change that a manufacturing company has only moved and not shut down! Good report BG.

Unfortunately the building is not listed, however the developer we are in talking to does want to save the building & convert it as it stands. Everyone local agrees it needs saving its a large part of the towns history!
 

Dmc68

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Just spotted this, I used to work there back in the 90's, started off on the saw under the stairs, then worked my way on to the 7.5ton lorry delivering steel, also got to play in the red crane.
 

BikinGlynn

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Just spotted this, I used to work there back in the 90's, started off on the saw under the stairs, then worked my way on to the 7.5ton lorry delivering steel, also got to play in the red crane.
sent u message.
 

Hayman

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Good set of pics. The overhead travelling crane looks suitable to be dismantled and used elsewhere - perhaps at a heritage railway workshops. The "New Hoisting Co Ltd" name is very 'Ronseal' - "Does exactly what it says on the tin"!

What did the numbers on the machine tools in IMG_6397 (118 710 (3), etc) refer to? Is that a specialist lead acid battery in IMG_6943?
 

olympus51342

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Brilliant. Love the old avery scales and stick welder very old school but i bet both still work oh and the herbert pillar drills
 

BikinGlynn

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Good set of pics. The overhead travelling crane looks suitable to be dismantled and used elsewhere - perhaps at a heritage railway workshops. The "New Hoisting Co Ltd" name is very 'Ronseal' - "Does exactly what it says on the tin"!

What did the numbers on the machine tools in IMG_6397 (118 710 (3), etc) refer to? Is that a specialist lead acid battery in IMG_6943?
These are the speed settings on the dril heads. It's got 4 separate tapper shank drill heads that u can set a different speeds so u could have one for drilling & "say" one countersink
The other thing you refer to is an old Oxford oil cooled mma welder
Brilliant. Love the old avery scales and stick welder very old school but i bet both still work oh and the herbert pillar drills
Yeah absolutely u can't kill them old welders
 

Hayman

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These are the speed settings on the dril heads. It's got 4 separate tapper shank drill heads that u can set a different speeds so u could have one for drilling & "say" one countersink
The other thing you refer to is an old Oxford oil cooled mma welder

Yeah absolutely u can't kill them old welders
Thanks for the info, as usual! I've seen the name Herbert on machine tools in many old factories.
 

night crawler

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I take it you were one of those guys I remember riding the girders up on the to erect the frames of the building we moved into in Oxford. Interesting old place that.
 

BikinGlynn

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I take it you were one of those guys I remember riding the girders up on the to erect the frames of the building we moved into in Oxford. Interesting old place that.
Lol, that was the sort of thing I did back in the day.
The guys all moan these days but they have never had it so easy
 

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