Cinram Novum (Formerly CBS/Sony Entertainment UK) Distribution Centre, Aylesbury, Bucks - January 2024

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Landie_Man

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A local one to me this; one I’ve had my eye on for a while, but I let my guard down a bit and acted quickly on reports that demolition had begun on one of the Loading Bays here!

Cinram; or CBS (and even Sony) as its known as locally has seemingly gone through many different ownerships and set ups. It’s one of those sites that almost every one locally has worked at; or at least knows someone who has worked at it. I certainly know many immediate friends who have worked here over the years. A bit of a local institute in ways. I remember a family friend working here; and was able to get PS2’s for trade prices (2001 ish).

I had a weekend off in January; so headed there myself to snap away what I could. I assumed the demolition boys wouldn’t be here today, but I was wrong. I explored as much as I could; and as far as I could get (I could see the claw moving stuff about 25ft away, close enough!!!) I also had family coming over for the weekend to spend time with us after my father had an unfortunate 13ft fall off a ladder last week, not good at 67! I decided I would only spend a few hours here on that day and returned home to spend time with everyone; and came back the following day with @mookster .

I assumed it would be a fairly bland warehouse; but it actually had some interesting corridors and voids to explore and a fair bit to see. The Admin Block is quite a unique and interesting building, though is heavily modernised inside and pretty bland.

Though Autumnal looking; the photos were actually on a freezing cold January weekend (I guess my love of a touch of “warming” saturation helps with that feeling in post).


They seem to be fairly slowly chomping away at the back of it with the diggers; but the site is to become a Housing Estate, an extension to the Haydon Hill Estate in Aylesbury.

The plant; located on Rabans Lane, Aylesbury began construction in March 1978. CBS moved into this new purpose built unit in June 1980; after vacating their old 1950’s site; previously owned by Oriole's Morris Levy; which was built way back in the 50s (and bought by CBS in 1964) in nearby Aston Clinton.

CBS’ Record Pressing Operation here was operational from June 1980 to January 1991, the last pressing being Motorheads “1916” album. From then; the plant was converted into CBS’ Video Duplication Facility, and Record Pressing moved to The Netherlands. CBS Aylesbury would go on to become Sony Music Entertainment sometime in the 1990s; and then Cinram in 2004.

I think it may have mostly been used for storage after that. (I did see mentions of Tapes on some of the HVAC equipment in the attics). I also remember sniffs of it being used for PlayStation stuff at the time; but I’m not too sure what.

Cinram Novum moved onto the site in 2004. In 2017; Cinram went into administration and Utopia (Part of Proper Music Group) took over. I know many of my friends will have worked here, some for years. It closed in September 2023 and demolition is well under way.

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I actually went up this caged ladder; onto what I THOUGHT was a roof; but that roof was gone! Lucky I was on a VERY solid ladder!

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Sorry about going a bit mad with the pics! This is a large, local establishment to me and I’m glad I got to do it!

The second visit got quite interesting; the maintenance team turned up from the demolition company, unbeknownst to us, and began fixing some machinery! I thought they’d spotted me (I was taking photos of the demo side), so disappeared back inside the building and messaged Mookster. He thought I’d been collared as he had seen the guy from the demo team marching someone out who wasn’t in high vis. It turned out to be another worker we think, luckily we were not seen in the end!

All in all a good, local explore and a lot better than expected.

Thanks for looking, more at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72177720314232598/
 

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