Shoreham cement works..Sussex

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Mikeymutt

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This is one place I had always wanted to see but never did. Me and man gone wrong had tried it a couple of years back with no luck. But this time we were a bit more lucky. We spent a good four hours here. Till we heard a shout and a security man telling us we had to go. Thankfully we had just finished and had a nice easy way out the front gate. It was nice to finally get to see one of the original exploring industrial giants.
We started off in the motor hall. Then the silo area, then finally the rather grand rotary kiln area.
Shoreham had been a quarry since the 17th century working with chalk. Lime was processed in traditional kilns. These kilns would burn the chalk at high temperatures to make like. The process would take a long time from the burning process to cooling down. As the demand for cement grew the Beeding cement co started to build a large cement works. The company changed hands a few times and ended up being the British Portland Cement co. The company grew and buildings and chimneys were built. A tram track was built to transport chalk.
The whole plant in as originally powered by gas and electricity. A new wet mill and washing plant was built and driven by a gas engine to drive it. Parsons steam turbine and two compound condensing engines was used to power a 400hp engine to power the wet and dry mills. The company extended more and more especially in the late 40s. They then installed Vickers Armstrong rotary kilns. The first of its kind in the country. One of the original kilns was kept but shut down in 1967 after it was deemed to labour intensive. The plant at its height employed 330 people in 1981. And producing 250.000 tons of cement a year. The works closed in 1991, I gather one of the main reasons was the escape of dust from the rotary kilns causing pollution in the surrounding area.

The Motor Hall

Was nice to see the motor hall. The generators would power much of the plant in the building. Shame it has been tagged and the metal thieves had been in here. I guess this was long before the company that is in here now was there.

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Cement Mill

The cement mill is stripped out. Apart from some large hoppers.

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Silo Area

We took the long trek up the conveyor to get in the silo area. I ain't seen much from this area for some strange reason.

The conveyor motors still sit at the top to transport the chalk on the conveyors from the silos to the mills.

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The ground floor was my favourite part but silence was needed due to being so close to the security hut. I really liked the concrete arches that supported the silos. And the years of chalk added to the white effect.

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Continued..
 
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Mikeymutt

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Rotary Kilns

The kilns are really quite a site to behold and can see why so many want to see them. Measuring a massive 350 feet long and a diameter of 10 feet, the slurry would be fed into them from feeder pipes at the quarry end of the building. Then coal blown into them and heated up to a whopping 2,500 farenheit. The resulting clinker was dropped down into cooling tubes. This was to prevent dust escaping inside but meant that dust was escaping outside.

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verdigris

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great pics, glad there was only one example of graffiti 'art'
If I remember correctly, the exterior is quite spectacular, definitely a local landmark.
Didn't it used to belch out lots of white smoke ?
 

Mearing

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Rotary Kilns

The kilns are really quite a site to behold and can see why so many want to see them. Measuring a massive 350 feet long and a diameter of 10 feet, the slurry would be fed into them from feeder pipes at the quarry end of the building. Then coal blown into them and heated up to a whopping 2,500 farenheit. The resulting clinker was dropped down into cooling tubes. This was to prevent dust escaping inside but meant that dust was escaping outside.

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Thanks for that, interesting and comprehensive, as you say the rotary kilns are impressive. I was employed by Blue Circle Cement Co at Dunstable as a draughtsman/engineer in the 60s. At times the inner brick lining inside the kilns would break down the kiln be stopped and the guys would have to go inside and reline it and it was HOT! Cement dust was always a problem despite attempts to reduce it, a lot of it coming from the yard & general spillage.

Great pictures thank you.
 

Hayman

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It is not often I see something from my youth. I was born in Sussex and know the general area well. As with other local industrial sites - Hastings gas works comes to mind - it was just part of the scenery. We'd drive by it, thinking nothing more than that. Great pictures. You can taste the dust! Thanks a lot.
 

Mikeymutt

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great pics, glad there was only one example of graffiti 'art'
If I remember correctly, the exterior is quite spectacular, definitely a local landmark.
Didn't it used to belch out lots of white smoke ?
I think it did belch more dust than smoke. Thank you very much. There is more graffiti in there then you think. It's from years ago when it was left wide open.
 

Mikeymutt

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Thanks for that, interesting and comprehensive, as you say the rotary kilns are impressive. I was employed by Blue Circle Cement Co at Dunstable as a draughtsman/engineer in the 60s. At times the inner brick lining inside the kilns would break down the kiln be stopped and the guys would have to go inside and reline it and it was HOT! Cement dust was always a problem despite attempts to reduce it, a lot of it coming from the yard & general spillage.

Great pictures thank you.
Thank you kindly sir. I can imagine it was quite an interesting job. Not sure I would want to be the workers who had to go in to them kilns though. I think no matter how much you try to contain the dust it does not happen totally.
 

Mikeymutt

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It is not often I see something from my youth. I was born in Sussex and know the general area well. As with other local industrial sites - Hastings gas works comes to mind - it was just part of the scenery. We'd drive by it, thinking nothing more than that. Great pictures. You can taste the dust! Thanks a lot.
Thank you very much. It's shocking how many places we prob just drove past years ago
 

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