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Nobel's Explosives. Ardeer - Sept. 2009

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BenCooper

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Another visit back to the enormous Ardeer site, this time to have a look around the wooded area that contained the gunpowder works. First, though, I passed through the nitroglycerin section - it's a bizarre landscape of steep hills, tunnels, berms and these corrugated-iron blast walls:



Nitroglycerin was transported along open lead-lined troughs - it just ran down under gravity as pumping it would be a really bad idea. In the above picture you can see the remains of a bridge which carried the NG over a train line - and some of the wooden trough supports are still in place:



Right, onto the blackpowder works, and an incorporating mill (I think):



Next, in a very heavy-duty bunker with camouflage netting still in place, a huge hydraulic press, probably used for pressing gunpowder cake before incorporation.



Onto a powder magazine - there used to be dozens of these, each inside it's own berm, but the lightly-built buildings have mostly gone leaving only the ring of soil. This one, unusually, was still intact, and even had the markings on the floor where boxes were stacked.



Next, the testing station, and the detonator labs - there were shoes scattered everywhere. In explosive factories, workers wore rubber or leather overshoes to prevent sparks.







Onto the ballistic mortars - I've photographed these before, but I can never get enough of these:

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A new find, though, crammed in the back of a drawer - a slide-rule for working out the power of an explosive from the angle of the ballistic mortar.



In one room of the labs is box after box of glass plates - most are not that interesting (high-speed images of explosions) but some are very cool - with a portable lightbox I went through every box. A few examples:









Nearby, a detonator and a set of warning flags.



Then a long walk northwards to investigate some crescent-shaped buildings on the satellite view - they turn out to be test-firing cells. The first one is for testing rocket motors.



The next one, I think, was for testing quarrying charges - this was a plastic tip of a charge.



Finally onto a building I'm not sure about - it's got a blast wall on three sides but the fourth is lightly built, it has what could be presses in it, driven by belts in a narrow chamber behind the wall.







Loads more from Ardeer in my Flickr set...
 
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krela

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Just pasting the url of the flickr page will not make the image display.

See this post: [ame]http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showpost.php?p=54025&postcount=10[/ame]

Oop never mind, you fixed it as I was typing this lol.

Interesting site. :)
 

BenCooper

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That's not what I'm doing :)

This forum used to accept standard BBCode - now, it only accepts BBCode in capitals, and it doesn't accept nested code. What's even more confusing is that it works fine when you preview the post, but not when you submit it.
 

krela

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That's not what I'm doing :)

This forum used to accept standard BBCode - now, it only accepts BBCode in capitals, and it doesn't accept nested code. What's even more confusing is that it works fine when you preview the post, but not when you submit it.

Hmm really?

It should work now, there was just a bit of code breaking it which I've removed.

The auto-parser thought your code was a video from flickr for some reason.
 

BenCooper

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Yup, I experimented a bit. it doesn't like code that's not in caps, and it doesn't like nested code (an img inside a url) - it just strips out the inside bit and leaves the outside. I'm not sure why it does that funny thing with Flickr links.

Edit: Aha, cheers :)
 

smiffy

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ah well whatever the technicalities of posting ....
......that looks like the kind place to spend an entire day mooching....... .really great stuff mate!
.....never heard of it before.or at least can't remember hearing or seeing it before !
Once again ....cheers !:)
 

BenCooper

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Thanks :)

I have reported on Ardeer before:

[ame]http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=11178[/ame]
[ame]http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=11621[/ame]
[ame]http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=12106[/ame]
 

smiffy

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My apologies Ben.....I don't get that much spare time nowadays to mooch through what everyone has been busy posting...looks a great ol place .........cheers :lol:
 

night crawler

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Brilliant, I love the plate shots and it gives an idea as to what the first photo would hav elooked like when in use.Hope you took more of them:)
 

Sabtr

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This place never ceases to amaze me. The methods employed in explosives manufacture are surreal - lead lined channels to convey glycerine by gravity!

I reckon that if you return again you will find even more - a bit like weeding a garden. :mrgreen:

Nice post. Thanks for sharing. :)
 

diehardlove

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really love this seen so many documenties on this place and nobel,nice to see it now,need to get here asap as love it really do
 

BenCooper

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This place never ceases to amaze me. The methods employed in explosives manufacture are surreal - lead lined channels to convey glycerine by gravity!

Yes, it's a strange mix of incredible caution and what seems to be recklessness. The glycerin was nitrated in a water-cooled vessel, with a thermometer very carefully watched by an operator - he sat on a one-legged stool to make sure he didn't fall asleep. Even a tiny knock could set off the nitroglycerin, so everything was lead-lined or made of ceramic to prevent explosives - yet it was poured 8 feet into a tank, and once it was mixed with 'guhr to make dynamite it was kneaded like dough and pressed into cartridges.
 
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