Nobel explosives,the dynamite works..Scotland

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Mikeymutt

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I have wanted to visit nobel explosives for ages now,its only a short drive from the girlfriends and I have never been.so whilst up there she had to work so I decided to have a day there myself as she had been to the power station.so I was up early,made some sandwiches and I was off.it was the power station I wanted to see originally,but as I delved further in I started realising there is so much to see here other than the station.everyone who goes makes a beeline for the power station.and its understandable,but I wanted to see more.so I got the power station doe first then headed off in search.this place had got a bit of a hold on me.well it actually become an obsession for me.i had spent hours looking at maps pinpointing all the bits in the woods looking at old photos.looking at videos and old reports.inspired by Ben Cooper who done lots of work about ten years ago documenting the site.lots have been dem0lished since his early reports but still lots to see.so I found the woods were I was going to find stuff.well no amount of studying can prepare you for the scale of the place,it spreads all over the place.having to fight through bushes and trees and gorse,sand dunes and loads of barren paths I started to find things.nine hours later with aching feet and cut to shreds by all the overgrowth I was back in my car happy with what I had seen.there is still more to see here and I will go back.i have no idea what a lot of the stuff here was used for but it was so interesting..Nobel works was set up in Ayrshire in Ardeer in 1870 by the founder Alfred Nobel,it was not actually him who raised the funds for the works but two local men.who raised the 24,000 pounds needed.it specialised in dynamite for quarry and mining work.later for military and civilian use.it later merged with the newly formed ICI.the company offered good terms and conditions compared to many other companies.but it was dangerous work,with many accidents over the year and lots of fatalities.the site at its peak employed 13,000 people and had a dentist and bank and travel agent.also its own train station and buses.with a massive change in work and production being moved elsewhere lots of the site became derelict,ICI Nobel still exist there as a company but on a smaller scale.it was said that the Ardeer works was the bane of the German airforce and when yo wander around you can see why.massive sand dunes and hills and woods hiding everything and large buildings with gorse and and other plants grown on top to disguise them.there is so much history online if people want to divulge more like I did.


First up is the safety fuse testing building.

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Lots of the original lights still hang in the buildings which is nice to see.i do like the old lights in buildings

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A block a short way from the fuse testing building

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he fertiliser works.i ca only guess fertiliser was heavily used in explosives.as we all know people have made crude fertiliser bombs.

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The testing labs.there was several buildings here used for the development and testing of dynamite.with rooms with viewing slits for observation.And high speed cameras would be used in here to film the explosions in slow motion.

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Test mortar pendulum

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Away fro the labs is some small buildings this one has some old concrete plinths.maybe to hold a generator or something

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fighting through some bushes I found this interesting room at the back of a building

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A toilet bloc with some nice tiles

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Now we start getting off the beaten track.and when you get in the woodland there is loads of these old tunnels with tracks in them.Obviously to transport goods around the site.i found these interesting and looked in loads of them

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Deeper in I come across these giant concrete walls.with some interesting bits in

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After coming out I spotted a shed in the trees and thought I would go to look.expecting just an empty shed I was surprised to see it was an old rail shed to store the carts or mini locos for the lines.the tracks still in there.

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here was some underground room surrounded by blast walls

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Some random trashed building

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Another tunnel.this had a concrete room with little platforms

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Heading into another bit of the woods was this big structure.in the front was lots of cogs and wheels and sticking out the back was the spindles from the cogs.there was a water pool at the end.maybe to cool something down.an interesting building.

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The black powder mills.a massive concrete construction with room up and down.

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SO next I head across an old quarry down a long road to this bridge which basically takes yo to a seperat part of the site.almost feels like an island on there

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there was lots of these drying houses on there

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Then we have the bunkers there was loads on here everywhere you look.but they are all the same in side.most are so overgrown you cant get to them.its basically a corrugated iron cover with lots of rooms coming of them for some sort of testing.

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Coming back across the bridge is another large area full of more buildings.here is another tunnel.yet loads more of these

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And here we have the cordite press houses.similar to the bunkers in the fact that they are similar but deffo more interesting.

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These things were just to long.

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Back in the woods again I find another tiny building which looked a bit newer

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A bit of old signage

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There was lots old pipes running through the woods but these have all been capped off now during the clean up in the ninties.

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So that's it from ardeer.i will deffo go back as there is more to see in the woods and it was so overgrown.and lots on the south costal bit.i still have the power station to post at some point.i find it ironic that Alfred Nobel was the founder of the Nobel peace prize when he created such destructive things capable of killing lots of people.he said himself though in a quoute,his explanation
'MY dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions,as soon as men will find that in one instant,whole armies can be utterly destroyed,they shall abide by golden peace'
 
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UrbandonedTeam

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I didn't realise the power station and the explosives were different things, thought the power station was to power the explosives factory buildings.
 

Mikeymutt

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No you are right the power station was to provide power for the buildings with pipes running all over the place.just most people visit the station.this is just a report on the works.the station is a report on its own
 

smiler

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Oh man that's good, bloody epic explore Mikey, when did ya say your goin back? I'll chip in with a bottle of iodine if it helps, Loved It, Thanks
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Sadly; brilliant though he was in blending one of the most unstable, basic explosives with a simple, naturally occurring solid to produce stable and handleable dynamite sticks, Nobel was a very bad judge of human foibles and character - give man a weapon that he can use on his neighbour, without harming himself and he will use it. The harnessing of the atom as the ultimate weapon, and the horrors produced by the first uses in war of the properties of this fundamental part of the structure of our world, has meant that mankind has needed to 'own' this dreadful destructive power, but also has continually tried to push the devil back into the box and shut the lid.
 

Pincheck

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still lots to see but the mortars and lab damage i believe was the owners trying to deter the number of people visiting the site as the live site was probably being tripped as it has a motion monitored fence as well as the Dome cameras. They have also had usual idiots in the way of pikeys and vandals visit the site. which is why the power station has its entrances back-filled with sand was a nice place to see and still is. Spent a lot of time back here in 2008. If visited during the change of seasons it can still throw up unseen before items. Nice report mate
 

Pincheck

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was 2 of your high speed camera's (note plate still in place ) Mikey 2009
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The ballistic mortar that has been cur off by owners
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Smaller and heavier one removed sometime after 2012 which was last time i visited here to show someone around
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Mikeymutt

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Oh man that's good, bloody epic explore Mikey, when did ya say your goin back? I'll chip in with a bottle of iodine if it helps, Loved It, Thanks

Thank you smiler.you do try to look after me ha ha
 

Mikeymutt

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Sadly; brilliant though he was in blending one of the most unstable, basic explosives with a simple, naturally occurring solid to produce stable and handleable dynamite sticks, Nobel was a very bad judge of human foibles and character - give man a weapon that he can use on his neighbour, without harming himself and he will use it. The harnessing of the atom as the ultimate weapon, and the horrors produced by the first uses in war of the properties of this fundamental part of the structure of our world, has meant that mankind has needed to 'own' this dreadful destructive power, but also has continually tried to push the devil back into the box and shut the lid.

I never realised this place had anything to do with the development of the atomic bomb.prob the most horrific invention man has created
 

Mikeymutt

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was 2 of your high speed camera's (note plate still in place ) Mikey 2009
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The ballistic mortar that has been cur off by owners
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Smaller and heavier one removed sometime after 2012 which was last time i visited here to show someone around
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Thank you pincheck.i never realised that the labs had been trashed by the owners.thats quite sad.always nice to see the cameras.no longer there now sadly.srill plenty too see though.i need to go back in winter.i did see the same piles at the power station
 

Dirus_Strictus

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I never realised this place had anything to do with the development of the atomic bomb.prob the most horrific invention man has created

It didn't. However; no matter how good the intentions were of the original inventor of a process or finder of new properties of matter, other members of mankind are sure to cock it up. Once Nobel opened the box - well people of my age have seen first hand the consequences! Yet; thank heavens it was not some of the present day heads of state who opened the box first - the world would be a much more dangerous place.
 

Mikeymutt

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Thank you all.i was here ages.spent about nine hours in total..so basically nobel was the catalyst really for modern day bombs.although I swear explosives were around before him.
 

krela

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Thank you all.i was here ages.spent about nine hours in total..so basically nobel was the catalyst really for modern day bombs.although I swear explosives were around before him.

The Chinese have been using gunpowder since the 9th century, and first used it in warfare a century or so later. So yeah, 800 years or so before Nobel came along and cooked up some dynamite.
 
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