British Xylonite, Brantham, Suffolk

When you ride on that train from Norwich to London and you go through that derelict old industrial site, well this is it.. One of those places I have wanted to visit for ages.

British Xylonite (BX) Plastics was a former plastics engineering and production company. The company was one of three subsidiaries of the
British Xylonite Company established by 1938. BX Plastics made xylonite (also known as celluloid or ivoride) and lactoid (also known as casein) at a plant to the south of Brantham in Suffolk, on the north bank of the River Stour across the river from Manningtree in Essex. The company was liquidated in 1999.The British Xylonite Company had been established by English inventor Daniel Spill in 1877, with American investor Levi Parsons Merriam.[1] It established factories at Hackney Wick and Homerton, in East London, and then expanded to Brooklands Farm near Brantham in 1887 and Hale End near Walthamstow in 1897.[2]By 1938 British Xylonite had established three subsidiaries – BX Plastics, Halex and Cascelloid. [3] Halex was based in Highams Park, Hale End, in North London and made finished goods (including table tennis balls). Cascelloid had been acquired in 1931, based in Leicester and Coalville, and made toys. Cascelloid was later renamed Palitoy and sold to General Mills in 1968 and then to Tonka 1987, which was acquired by Hasbro in 1991.Distillers acquired a 50% interest in BX Plastics in 1939, and Distillers then acquired the rest of the British Xylonite group in 1961, merging it into a 50:50 joint venture with Union Carbide’s Bakelite company in 1962 to form Bakelite Xylonite in 1963. [4] Distillers sold its 50% interest to BP in 1967, and Union Carbide’s European interests were acquired by British Petroleum in 1978, including the remaining Bakelite Xylonite plants.

The Brantham site had been sold in 1966 to British Industrial Plastics, a subsidiary of Turner & Newall, who were in turn acquired Storey Brothers of Lancaster in 1977. The company became Wardle Storeys in 1984. The site finally closed in 2007 and has remained empty since.

 


The visit.
Yet again I manage to find myself out with the camera looking for little odds and sods to photograph and it was blowing a truly crazy gale.. The weather was lovely and made it a great day to be ticking of this place I had been meaning to get to for the last 5 odd years I had known about . Highlight of the day had to be finding the goldfish in the concrete reservoir. Unfortunately we only had time to do one part, but it’s all cool as it means one day while passing we can drop by again and bring some fish food this time.
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