CWM Coke Works

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Reaperman

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This has been a favorite haunt for Dave and myself since our early road trips in 2005 and its about time I stuck a post up here. The CWM Coke works has a section on our Industrial Britain website which can be viewed here: http://www.industrialbritain.co.uk/locations/coke/tour.html

The coke works itself was built in the 1950's though I believe Coke was produced here prior to that. The site was built and Operated by the NCB until privatization, when it was bought and operated by CPL Industries until it closed in 2002. CWM was presumably surplus to requirements as a result of overcapacity for coking coal in Europe. CWM was also desperately in Need of modernization, and technology's such as combined power generation that would have extended the life of the plant were thought too expensive.

Architecturally the site could be considered to be unremarkable, unless like me you happen to be a fan of the wonders of utilitarian design, Reinforced concrete and all! CWM stands out not so much for architectural merit so much as for its scarcity as a large scale heavy industrial structure. Sites like this have disappeared in large numbers over the last 20 years, often being reclaimed only a matter of months after closure.

Up until now the clearance and reclamation of the site seems to be going at a pretty leisurely pace. However during recent visits we have noticed signs of sample taking and some smaller tanks had been cut open. There was also some new temporary fencing around the cooling towers which may suggest that clearance work may be staring to get underway in the near future.

The Cooling towers are actually Listed grade 2* which has been one of the factors that has slowed the demolition work until now. Sadly it would appear that after recent planning decisions the cooling towers will be demolished like the rest of the buildings. It seems that Like the rest of Britain welsh planners are determined to remove all traces of our industrial history.


Photos,

Coal Loading Gantrys & Tower



Chimney & Battery from beside the quenching area



On top of a coking battery



View to Settlement Tanks: Ammonium, Tar and bitumen and other byproducts where refined.



Control desk in a Larry car.



Locomotive which moved hot coke to the quenching tower,



Coal Silo,



Stairwells nr showers,



Oventops,




Its worth pointing out that this place is a death trap, Ive put my foot trough floors that looked solid and crumbled to nothing. If you attempt to go remember to watch your step.

I'm sure other people will post there photos up, But if anyone has any queries on what went on here i'm sure Dave and I will try our best to answer them. :)
 

Foxylady

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Stunning photos, Reaperman. They really capture the feeling of dereliction & the 'death of industrialisation'. Know what you mean about utilitarian design; great stuff.
Cheers for that.
Foxy :)
 

krela

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Few of my pics, every time I've been there it's been drizzling. I guess that's the valleys for you.















More photos in the CWM gallery.

This place is scheduled for demolition and has planning permission for barrats boxes. Would you want to live on land that contaminated?

It's a fascinating but very dangerous explore, it's very easy to fall as some of the floors have holes that are covered with plywood then have a layer of coke / coal dust on them so you can't tell. There's also large areas of buildings full of carcinogens, but thems the risks, now you're educated and can make your own decisions :)
 

Lightbuoy

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Thanks for the pics chaps :)

Flamin' Planners -sometimes they show no backbone when it comes to big developments! :mad:
I hope that some of the site is retained, not so much to admire, but so we have some physical evidence of our industrial past.
Think it's important to keep examples from our past, especially to show how we've moved on and how technology has improved (we now have wind / wave / solar power for example).
That Coal Silo looks very threatening -reminds me of "Brutalism" architecture from Germany in the pre-war period.............errrm, sorry about that -rambling on a bit again! :eek: :rolleyes: :lol:

Lb:cool:
 

Ether

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This looks a great place, love the picture of the rusted tanks.

I might have to try and make a trip to wales for a look. Is there much else around this site if i was to go for a weekend etc ? would i need a weekend just to explore this one, it looks massive.
 

Simon-G

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Hi Reaperman

These are stunning photo's with an excellent report. :) I think it brings it home how dangerous some of these places can be.


Thanks

Simon-G :mrgreen:
 

sheep2405

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This place is amazing, I want to go back up there and have another look, possibly in the night or dusk so I can get some low light photo's.

S
 

nursepayne

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Sorry to drag such an old thread back up but I just got back from visiting CWM over the weekend, having just arrived home I rushed to see who else had been there and your pictures are fantastic, they really capture the mood of it.
I could have spend a week in there, there are so many diffrent angles and tiny little hidden bits the exploring is almost endless:)
 

Reaperman

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Sorry to drag such an old thread back up but I just got back from visiting CWM over the weekend, having just arrived home I rushed to see who else had been there and your pictures are fantastic, they really capture the mood of it.
I could have spend a week in there, there are so many diffrent angles and tiny little hidden bits the exploring is almost endless:)


Thanks, CWM is a location that remains special to me, A place that keeps me coming back always taking away something new from each visit. I look forward to seeing some of your recent photos.

Joe
 

dave

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Cracking set of pics guys it reminds me of the South bank coke ovens at South Bank near Middlesbrough (still operating).
 

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