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Author Topic: Northfleet Paper Mill  (Read 14235 times)

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Offline AlanH

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2014, 10:30:08 »
After finishing my apprenticeship at Blaw Knox I worked in both the Imperial Paper Mills at Gravesend and Bowaters at Northfleet for contracting companies installing machinery.
Huge places which employed many hundreds of people most of which would only be seen as they left at the end of the day. :)
AlanH.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2011, 16:36:51 »
Hi MC. Would that have been Sittingbourne or Kemsley Mill that you train hopped? Sentinel S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

MC

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2011, 14:23:46 »
Hi I used to work in the Paper Mills in Kent, back in 1955 to 1959 ish.     First worked in Empire Paper Mills on number 4 machine, making 'Plus Fabric'. Then went to Imperial Paper Mills working in the Lab. this was a building next to The White House.(offices), our building down stairs was a pump house then upstairs was our Lab, not the best place when the pumps below were running.trying to weigh  pulp/paper/chemicals on a balance. not good. I used to hop a steam engine to get around the site. Then moved to Horton Kirby Paper Mills for 18 months.  Then joined the family business selling paper, Blackfriars Paper Company. so then I was buying paper from all these mills, including Northfleet Paper Mills. mainly dealing with there London offices,up to the early 70's.    its nice to see photos of these places on the net. have lost touch with people I knew back in these days....MC

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 20:07:14 »
Having grown up living in Chartham I have fond memories of walking past the mill almost every day when growing up. We used to wait until they were getting toward the end of a roll, when it was down to about 2 feet in diameter, and scrounge the remanent tracing paper. They used to cut it off with a hand held circular saw. I drove past yesterday and it is still working but the mill houses are boarded up and the warehouse looks semi abandonded. The whole mill used to have a coat of paint every few years but it looks like it was last painted in the early 1980's. I spent many evenings playing pool and bar billiards in the social club, a mate worked at the mill so got in that way. Happy days now long gone. Blast these computers as the did away with the need for decent tracing paper. S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 19:40:44 »
My father and I worked at the Chartham Paper Mill (Just outside Canterbury) in the 60s.

The mill was famous for producing what was then the best quality tracing paper in the world.  Tracing paper was made on the No.1 machine which had special heated cylinders called MG cylinders.  They were about 20ft in diameter and were part of the secret of producing the high quality tracing paper.  The partly dried paper was kept in contact with the highly polished cylinder surface for longer than normal due to the large circumferance.  The felt that held the paper against the roller was very thick and was under hign tension.  The paper then went through a 'size' bath and then into a final MG cylinder. 

I worked in the Quality Control LAb and then onto the No.1 machine.  Despite the enormous size of this machine it was operated by only four of us on each shift. Everything was manual and keeping it it running was a real art - no computer assistance in those days.

My Dad worked in the finishing department as senior reelerman until his retirement.

No.2 Machine ran alongsongside No.1 and produced greaseproof paper at high speed.

Later on No.3 machine was built.

Machines 2 and 3 are still running but No.1 has been dismantled I'm told.

The mill is quite picturesque being set in maintained grounds/gardens with rivers running through.

John

exopper

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 11:25:56 »
I worked from Group offices at Bowater Northfleet in the late 1960s when Bowater operated a newsprint mill and with US Scott Inc, the Andrex tissue mill. Bowater also had an extremely fancy Group R&D centre in the Northfleet hole at that time.

I have also done time at Sittingbourne, Kemsley and Mersey Mills, not to mention the Packaging factory at Gillingham during early 1970s when the imperious union SLADE held the company to ransom. Mind you the other unions did well for themselves too. The litho printing machines had a crew of five when only three were needed, but the extraordinary thing was the machine minder was a different union from his crew!

Incidentally, given all the [past] Bowater paper mills, the Dartford and Maidstone mills, and the delightful little one at Chartham, doesn't all this history merit its own PAPER industry thread?

broadsword

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 18:34:07 »
Yup Tesco it is.

Can't remember the security guys name at the moment but can see him in my head.
See my new thread in Factories.

seafordpete

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 13:57:22 »
Is the Bowaters plant still operating at Rainham at the bottom of the link road? 
Hasn't this been Tesco for about 20 yrs?

Offline mmitch

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 13:49:25 »
I worked near the Kimberly Clark mills at Aylesford until last December and it was reduced to one part, with the site over the railway line closed.
mmitch.

Offline AlanH

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 09:29:38 »
Is the Bowaters plant still operating at Rainham at the bottom of the link road?  I used to have a beer with their head of security in the late 70s in the Queens Head at Wigmore. Nice bloke an ex Royal Marine I think.
I also worked (and I use that word loosely :)) at the tissue mill at Aylesford (I think) which was then 2/3rds owned by Kimberly Clark and 1/3 owned by Reeds.
Are any of these places still operating? Please let me know.
Thanks.
Alan.

Offline stewyrey

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 01:31:20 »
My Grandfather worked at Bowaters till the mid 70s, then moved
to Sittingbone to work at the mill there

  stewyrey.

AnDy

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2010, 00:33:14 »
Yep, bowater/scott was the old name, they were taken over by Kimberly Clark in the mid 90's.

Offline mmitch

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 10:40:38 »
There is still the tissue mill there. It's the only industry left. The old Bowater Thames mill was used for warehousing until it burnt down some years ago and rebuilt again as warehousing again I think.
mmitch

Offline AlanH

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Re: Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 07:46:07 »
Was that the Bowaters mill Andy? I worked for Walmsleys who made a lot of that type of machinery back in around 1966 after finishing my apprenticeship at Blaw Knox.
I also worked for a company named Lakers at the Imperial Paper Mill just down the road on a strip down and rebuild of a papermaking machine.
Can't help with your queries though, sorry
Alan.

AnDy

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Northfleet Paper Mill
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 03:16:04 »
I did some contracting work there some years ago when they used to make the multi-coloured tissues, incredible inter-leaving machines, are they still in use?, they were on the top floor and each machine had it's own 10"? roll of paper, the machine(s) stretched the whole floor space :-)

 

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