Pilkington Sandwash Plant Sept 19

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Jun 7, 2014
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Been done many times this one but its awfully photogenic,

St. Helens Crown Glass Company was formed in 1826 by John William Bell with capital raised from three wealthy families who lived in the area.

The Pilkington Brothers started this process of extracting sand deposits at Rainford in 1880, The site is still filled with old machinery including a sketchy railway bridge, watch/lighting towers and crushing machines from when the plant finally closed in the late 1960's.

The plant was used for processing sand destined for the Pilkington glassmaking factories in St Helens. Its function was to produce material of consistent quality, which meant getting rid of oversized or undersized particles, blending different batches, and washing off surface-bound iron impurities which would otherwise make the glass too green. The sand itself came from various nearby sandpits on the Lancashire plain. The plant closed sometime during the 60s.

Thanks for looking


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May 14, 2018
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I was travelling around Sri Lanka in 2016, looking at many railway sites, both in use and derelict - hard to tell the difference sometimes! At the loco sheds in Colombo I found this chap sifting sand on a very non-industrial scale. It was for use in the locomotives' sandboxes. From very much the beginnings of railways, the way to stop slipping driving wheels was to drop sand onto the rails, by way of the boxes that held suppplies of it on the engines themselves. A lever in the cab opens the pipes, and the sand falls onto the rails in front of the nearest wheels, often assisted by steam or air pressure.


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