The History of Soda Ash Works
Founded by a couple of chaps named John Brunner and Ludwig Mond in 1973 they began producing soda ash about a year later. They used brine solution, ammonia and limestone to produce sodium carbonate in pure form. I understand that at its peak the factory produced 200,000 tons of soda ash a year meaning that the Brunner Mond company became the largest producer of the product in the country and the worlds largest alkali exporter. Wallerscote island Works was completed in 1926. the construction consists of silos and huge metal sheds although all were integral parts of the original structure. The company later became part of ICI which is now owned by Tata. Sodium Carbonate is a widely used in industry for casting and glassmaking. It is commonly used in chemistry as a base and an electrolyte. It is also used domestically in detergents, dyes and toothpaste as well as tasty sherbet sweets!
An unplanned spur of the moment visit with Mars Lander, neither of us had even been to this location, I’d had it on my to do list for a while and if I recall Mars Lander called me to suggester for a late afternoon adventure… Off we went to the destination, arriving well before sunset only to waste a good hour or so figuring out what we needed to do for access… Sun had just set when we got in and the artificial lights of the factory really made for some great photos, in fact I’m glad we lost than hours light to catch the place at twilight. Much fun was had in the factory / warehouse areas, which are fully powered and there’s all sorts of banging and machinery sounds… maybe not quite so abandoned.. I’m not sure.
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