Return to Wallerscote …

… and elsewhere.  The fuses had been lit and could not be extinguished. All that remained was to observe the speed of the spark, and the size of the explosions – Michael Lewis – The Big Short (2010).  A quote out of context and some wishful thinking – it would good to imagine big bangs but I suspect none were involved. I assume Wallerscote Island soda ash plant was dismantled in a methodical, tidy whimper. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that these images were taken in June 2016, October 2016 and April 2017 respectively, the speed of destruction is remarkable.  Faced with such a monstrosity, the first question that springs to mind is “where the hell do we start?”:

The transformation is so complete that, from some angles, this stretch of the Weaver is beginning to resemble the Canal du Midi 😉

And yet, carry on south along the Trent & Mersey Canal and another TATA site is a reminder that not all heavy industry has disappeared from the Northwich landscape:


  1. restlessjo · April 15, 2017

    You portray the landscape so vividly, Robin. I rather prefer the ‘Canal du Midi’ stretch, but I suppose it’s jobs.

    • northumbrianlight · April 16, 2017

      Thanks Jo – there is a strange magnificence to these industrial landscapes. My first holiday jobs were at ICI Trafford Park and I grew quite fond of the smelly, steamy place 🙂

  2. socialbridge · April 15, 2017

    Hard to believe that change could come as fast as that. What happened to all the people who used to work there?

    • northumbrianlight · April 16, 2017

      Remarkable isn’t it Jean – demolition on this scale takes some skill. Given that the site will eventually host 3000 homes, it begs the question you raise – not only what happened to the people that used to work there but what will the expanded population do. It fascinates me – with so much industry gone, what is everyone doing.

      • socialbridge · April 16, 2017

        3,000 homes! That’s almost beyond imaging.

  3. J.D. Riso · April 16, 2017

    Now that’s a huge void left behind. For the better? I guess that’s up to the residents to decide.

    • northumbrianlight · April 16, 2017

      One of the locals we spoke to was very dismissive of the plan to build houses on that site – he had worked there and claimed that some of the early chemical disposal practices were very suspect. Not sure the gardens will flourish 😉

  4. petergreyphotography · April 18, 2017

    I like the second picture very much. What a wonderful, and strange, structure and what a nice photograph. I enjoy (old) industrial buildings a lot. To many have been demolished. The few still standing are now considered monuments in my country 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · April 18, 2017

      Many thanks. I agree with the sentiment – there is something to be said for preserving these monuments to endeavour and industry, The problem is that we are a small island and there is also as much to be said for building on brown sites rather than green. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment,

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