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Author Topic: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet  (Read 29981 times)

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medwayboy

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2010, 10:33:51 »
Did anyone see Top Gear last week. I'm sure it was these chimneys that crushed the car in the program...  ?

Offline mmitch

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2010, 06:55:37 »
When I worked at Blue circle I had to take that model up to London for an exhibition.The chimneys unscrewed! There was another of the quarries,the washmill buildings etc.
mmitch.

Offline Glen

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2010, 01:42:07 »
I was mooching round the Chantry Heritage Centre in Gravesend the other weekend and came across a model of the Northfleet cement works. It's had a bit of a bashing over the years as one of the chimneys is missing  :) (before they were blown up).....



The river is to the top of the picture.

This one is taken from the side angle.



By the way, the Chantry Heritage Centre (in the grounds of Gravesend New Tavern Fort) is
 open at weekends in the Summer and well worth a visit. Admission free. Lots of old photos of Gravesend and Northfleet, bits about local industries, General Gordon etc.

Glen


Offline mmitch

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 10:39:56 »
I had a look by the shore gate at the old Bowaters end recently. The public footpath was still closed 'for safety reasons' I wonder how long this will be the case? In the past Blue Circle tried and failed to get it closed when works traffic was much more intense.
mmitch

Offline mmitch

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2010, 18:44:44 »
First post.  I worked at the old Bevan's works. In 1969 we were clearing the site before work started on what was called the 'New Northfleet works' The geology dept drillers told me they had found bedrock and that was where the 550' chimneys would be built. We couldn't believe it!
Mike Mitchell.

Offline Glen

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2010, 23:06:49 »
Some pics of the demolition taken by a friend of mine from Rosherville...















Glen

teapotcharlie

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2010, 10:51:51 »
Hi Glen,

Your quite correct. Chalk is mixed with clay in the slurry before being burnt. It came from a quarry in Ockendon, Essex. We often helped with the instrumentation out there. I remember the banter between the Essex boys and us Kentish lads about the land being flat in Essex and hilly in Kent. Comments like, ' When God dug the river he put the spoil in Kent'. You can guess that's not exactly was was said. I never found out if the clay was mixed at the quarry in Bean or at the Northfleet site.

I watched the chimneys go down on Sunday morning. Quite sad even though I have not worked there in 22 yea
rs but as my first real job I felt an affinity for the place. So little of the site remained I had a job telling which bit went where. End of another era, beginning of the next.

Clive

Offline stewyrey

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2010, 20:45:31 »
Just watched Monktown Malc's BBC link,
I bet Fred Dibnagh would have made it more entertaining.
Be intresting to see how the development comes off,
these drawings only cover upto the red lion wharf (old power sta.)
but theres more to come.




  stewyrey.

marshhopper

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2010, 17:23:30 »
We made it there, roads were rather crowded......but as expected. Quite scary seeing them go, and sad too at the loss of yet more industry. Although, as well as the promised housing and leisure stuff, they will also be building an aggregates port, so not a complete loss. Also, I messed up my picture taking and only got a before, and after shot ..... oh well. Bit annoyed with myself as I'm not sure when I'll get the opportunity again. Dad was quite unmoved about it all. The construction work he did was of course, many years ago, and really, it's served it's purpose. Originally he didn't seem that bothered about seeing it as he said he'd seen that sort of thing before!!

Monkton Malc

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 17:09:23 »
There is a video on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/8591717.stm


seafordpete

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 19:11:39 »
When I had a part time job as security at Southfleet station , by then a Blue circle yard, the clinker was trained down to the works at Cuxton or Halling for grinding and bagging. In answer to Glenns question, clinker is chalk and clay mix.

Offline Glen

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 17:04:37 »
Hi Teapotcharlie- excellent inside information. You have put flesh on the bones so to speak  :) Was the chalk mixed with clay at all? I thought they used to pump clay slurry across from Essex or was I dreaming?

Glen

teapotcharlie

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 14:11:57 »
Blue Circle cement, Northfleet

I worked at BC, Northfleet from 1976 to 1987, firstly as an electrical apprentice, the as a qualified electrician and then I retrained as a instrument technician. The factory originally had 6 kilns which were very long steel tubes that rotated slowly and sloped down away from the river. Slurry was pumped from the quarry just outside Bean into round tanks at Northfleet. From there it was pumped into the back end of the kiln (the river end) where it turned into clinker by the time it got to the hot end. The clinker was then passed to the grinding mill building, where 2 small and 4 big grinding mills which were effectively large steel drums full of ball bearings crushed the clinker and mixed it with gypsum. The inside was split into sections with holes that were smaller than the balls that section contained. The racket they made would probably fail Health & Safety these days. In the early 80's kilns 3 & 4 were removed to make way for a press plant. It takes a lot of energy to heat slurry into rock so the press plant squeezed water out of the slurry in between large plates. Kilns 2 & 5 used this 'cake' instead of slurry. Not long after that kiln 1 was commissioned followed by kiln 6.

The large building you can see from Northfleet high street was the back of the kiln front end or clinker block. It contained large fans that blew crushed coal into the kilns using a long tubular gun. Below the fans housed the conveyor system that transported the clinker. It was very hot and dusty down there. To the west of the clinker block was the workshops of the fitters, welders and electricians plus the stores and further towards the river was the grinding mill building. Between the grinding mill building and the main office block/ river front was the 6 slurry tanks. You can get a feel of the layout of Blue Circle cement, Northfleet works from multimap.com and using this postcode: da11 9ha

The railway line came into the factory through a tunnel to the east, dropped the coal into an automated conveyor system on the east side of the clinker building, went around the factory and exited through a tunnel on the west side. Shift workers were allowed to park their cars on the factory side of the rail line but occasionally the train would arrive at shift changeover and block you in. The trains were very long and there was only one car crossing point and they moved very slowly when unloading.

I could more or less tell what was going on by the output from the chimneys, during startup more than usual 'steam' would come out of the chimney and when only kilns 2 & 5 were running you could tell if one was down. The chimneys served as a landmark for miles around.

They were happy days and I was told "Lad, you have a job for life, we've been making cement around here for years". Nobody counted on MP's opposition to quarrying and the fact globalisation would enable other countries to make it cheaper. The first shipment of Greek cement was tested in the lab at Northfleet and found to be as good as ours but no one admitted as much.

All the best
Clive

Offline stewyrey

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Re: Demolition of Blue Circle / Lafarge Cement Works Northfleet
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 00:56:15 »
hi glen,
 
thought you might like this 1930s veiw
and the health&safety.

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=879


  Stewyey.

 

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