Former S-125 AA missile base. Slovakia

After seeing bits of this pop up online I thought I have got to have a little look at this site, so roll on a few months (about 12) and a drive across Europe to check it out we found ourself km at the bottom of a hill with a locked gate.


About 2km up a very nice relaxing steep hill we had made it to the 1st of the remains of the base and also into a hostile mosquito breeding frenzy.  Every 10 seconds I could feel another one biting me. We had 2 hrs to check it all out, walk back to the car and get into the city and pick up my wife and daughter.


So we just rumbled through all the woods and kept finding more and more underground buildings, tunnels and other structures all over the shot, so I just decided to photograph the stuff that interested me.


History wise there is not a great deal to on on other than ‘ Built in the early 1980’s, though originally conceived as a possible radar / SAM site as early as 1972.
It’s purpose was monitoring of air space over Bratislava and antiaircraft missiles were stored here.
Base was closed in mid-1990’



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This tunnel entrance takes you into the back of the main large storage tunnels1A8A0163-Edit 1A8A0160-Edit 1A8A0162-Edit 1A8A0136 1A8A0145


There is somebody living in here, recently lit fire and his fags were just laying there with food and water, not  a bad crash pad I guess1A8A0138-Edit 1A8A0142 1A8A0149-Edit 1A8A0150 1A8A0151

Oh look. I found Ben1A8A0153 1A8A0154 1A8A0155


Military Bunker, Sa Coma Beach, Mallorca.

When the temperature reaches 40c when you are on holiday and my idea of a heat wave is 23c it was time to hit the beach.. I already knew there was some bunkers nearby, so decided to go for a dip in the sea then go look for some of the 3 bunkers I had read about. About a 10 minute walk up the beach wearing nothing but a pair of swimming shorts I found it, so tip toeing around the shards of glass I managed to scramble around and check it all out.
This was the 1st time I had managed to use my new camera for what I had intended to do so.. And all in I am more than happy with the Fuji x30 as a little 1 too take around. I also think that my little girl will be more than happy with using it when she come out exploring with me over the summer.

Locally there are 3 reported bunkers to see, but as we all know there are more than likely more to be found.
These bunkers are defensive elements built during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) in order to stop de Republican troops from landing. These bunkers can be seen in the ‘marés’ (stone) quarry and at the entrance to Punta de n’Amer from Sa Coma beach.

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Brantham, Suffolk Industrial Sunrises

Decided to pay another visit to this site again, but this time to shoot the sunrise from on top of the roof, so that meant getting out of bed at 2am to get to the site from Norfolk to the site in Suffolk for 4am.. When we got there we were soon to discover that the main building had again been set alight in the last few weeks. Such a shame as it wont be long now till it has to be pulled down on health and safety fears. Having visited the site to shoot a short video only 2 months previously I was shocked at how more trashed the site had become, so I feel that maybe I should pop back for just one more visit, there is something cool about how you 1st get to the site and it is all quiet, and then slowly the freight trains start appearing 1 by 1, and then the passenger trains start hurtling past. I often wonder how

For the sunrise shots it was another chance to have a mess around with the Cokin Grad set that I had got to have a little mess about with, and also seem to be liking a lot as well. Think it will be a case of investing in the Lee kit soon.

After having shot the sunrise we decided to go and have a little look around and see what light was bouncing around in the buildings, again it was a great chance to mess about with the Sigma 35mm A lens._MG_4487 _MG_4501 _MG_4503 _MG_4504 _MG_4508 _MG_4511 _MG_4516 _MG_4519 _MG_4520 _MG_4522 _MG_4523 _MG_4527 _MG_4528


Thetford Forest fire

It came as no shock (unfortunately) as this sort of thing happens all to often in the summer, as the news came on saying that there was a small fire in Thetford forest.

It had been blistering hot all week and there had even been a new July highest temperature set for the United Kingdom. Summer and heath fires seem to go hand in hand, but this one would end up burning some 36 acres of forest land and also end up taking 2 days to get extinguished.

When we arrived on the site to see about taking some images, we explained our intent to the Fireman on site who was in charge and he was OK with us doing so as long as we stayed in a certain area that we said we would do so. So we walked around for the time we had before it got dark and started shooting what was left of the woodland and the new form it had become. From the look of what was left a lot of it will recover and be able to carry on doing its amazing thing with nature, but it is still upsetting to see all the wildlife that would have been there now destroyed. At the fires worst it took the resources of over 60 fire personnel to contain the fire and required the joint work of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire fire services.

We had hoped to get there and get some shots of the sunset and the damage that had been done, but due to the location and other woodland around the site, this was impossible, so we settled for the images that you will see below.

Cheers for the company Darren and Ian

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Old Cottage. Helhoughton, Norfolk.

Found this site while on the way to visit RAF west Raynham with my photography assistant last year, completely forgot all about it until the other day, and then decoded to swing by it and take a closer look.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the property there is not a lot to go on other than it would seem that the owner had something to do with the local estate and he was an active person within the local community judging by what few possessions had been left behind.

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RAF Sculthorpe. Norfolk. 2012-2015

Thought I would post up all my images from this site I have taken over the years, you will then see why It is one of my favorite sites to jolly around. Nothing like a nice relaxed explore where you don’t have to worry about getting busted. For me the main attraction is the tell tale signs of both the UK and American services sitting side by side and you can still see some of that in a lot of the images.

History Thanks wiki

World War Two

RAF Sculthorpe was built as the second satellite airfield of RAF West Raynham a few miles to the south, the first being RAF Great Massingham. Work was begun in the spring of 1942 and the airfield was laid out as a standard RAF heavy bomber airfield with concrete runways, dispersals site, mess facilities and accommodation. Much of the construction work was completed by Irish labour working for the construction company Bovis.

As work was drawing to a close in May 1943 the first squadrons started to arrive, the first being 342 (Lorraine) Squadron of the Free French Air Force within 2 Group from RAF West Raynham. This squadron operated two flights of the Douglas Boston aircraft along with some Douglas Havoc aircraft for training, 342 Squadron stayed until 19 July 1943 when they moved to RAF Great Massingham.

On 20 July 1943 the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force moved in with No. 487 Squadron RNZAF and No. 464 Squadron RAAF taking up residence with their Lockheed Ventura aircraft having moved from RAF Methwold before converting at Sculthorpe onto the De Havilland Mosquito. On 20 September 1943 21 Squadron moved in from RAF Oulton, also with Mosquitos to form the Sculthorpe Wing (140 Wing). The Wing stayed at Sculthorpe completing more than 100 missions before departing for RAF Hunsdon on 31 December 1943.

In January 1944 100 Group Royal Air Force No. 214 Squadron RAF moved in with Boeing Fortress aircraft for use in electronic warfare support of Bomber Command to be joined by crews from the USAAF 96th Bomb Group from RAF Snetterton Heath, known at Sculthorpe and thereafter as the 803rd Bomb Squadron of the USAAF. In April 1944 the 803rd and 214 Squadron departed for RAF Oulton leaving Sculthorpe empty for its redevelopment as a Very Heavy Bomber Base with the work not being completed until the spring of 1946.

Cold War[edit]


North American B-45A-1-NA Tornado Serial 48-010 of 86th Bomb Squadron at RAF Alconbury. This aircraft is now on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Douglas B-66B-DL Destroyer Serial 55-0309 of the 84th Bomb Squadron.

KB-50J of the 420th Air Refueling Squadron refueling 2 Republic F-105D’s from the 36th TFW, Bitburg ABWest Germany.

Sculthorpe was refurbished for USAF use during the Berlin Crisis in 1949 and then later, in 1952, it became home for the 49th Air Division (Operational) and the 47th Bombardment Wing, who were to stay for a decade. The 49th Air Division maintained operational control of the 47th Bomb WG and the 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing which provided tactical nuclear weapons support to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Later the 81st Fighter-Bomber Wing was provided a nuclear capability and assigned to the operational control of the 49th Air Division.

The Soviet Union‘s enormous conventional force in eastern Europe posed a major problem for NATO due to the Soviets maintaining high personnel levels after World War II when most of the American and British forces had demobilized.

To counter this Soviet threat to western Europe, NATO decided to expand their tactical nuclear force by introducing the North American B-45 Tornado to the UK. The US Tactical Air Command had about 100 of these four-engined jet bombers, each capable of dropping five tactical nuclear bombs. In the summer of 1952, the Pentagon decided to deploy the 47th Bomb Wing to Sculthorpe from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The movement of the 49th AD, 47 Bomb Wg and the 20th FB WG was the first unit deployment since World War II.

The squadrons of the 47th Bomb WG were:

Due to a shortage of space at Sculthorpe, the 86th BS operated from RAF Alconbury as a detachment of the 47th. In addition to the B-45 squadrons at Sculthorpe, the 47th’s sister wing, the 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing with the nuclear capable North American F-84G “Thunderjet” were transferred to RAF Wethersfield in Essex.

From 1954 to 1958, the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron also flew the reconnaissance version of the B-45 known as the RB-45. The 19th TRS was assigned to the 47th Bomb Wing from May 1954 to December 1958. When the 19th began to re-equip with RB-66’s during 1957, its RB-45’s were transferred to other squadrons of the 47th Bomb Wing.

By 1957, carrying 10,000 personnel it was the biggest USAFE base in Europe. In May 1958, the re-equipment of the 47th Bombardment Wing began and Douglas B-66 Destroyers began to replace the B-45s. With this equipment change, the 47th’s squadrons was redesignated Bombardment Squadron (Tactical).


During 1960–1962 the 47th also performed air refueling missions assigning KB-50J tankers to the 420th Air Refueling Squadron from 15 March 1960 to 22 June 1962. The KB-50s were specially equipped with two General Electric J47 turbojet engines that enabled the tankers to match the speed of the faster jet fighters during refueling; however most of the KB-50s were more than fifteen years old and were too slow to refuel the faster tactical jets of USAFE. The 420th ARS was inactivated on 25 March 1964.

In 1962 Project Clearwater halted large scale rotational bomber deployments to Britain with Sculthorpe, along with RAF Fairford, RAF Chelveston, and RAF Greenham Common, being turned over to USAFE for tactical air use. As a result, the 47th Bomb Wing was inactivated on 22 June 1962. A number of the aircraft were reassigned to the 42nd TRS, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at RAF Chelveston and modified with the Electronic Counter-Measures tail system. With the inactivation of the 47th, Sculthorpe was put under the command of the 7375th Combat Support Group, the 7375th was later replaced by the Detachment 1, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing .

In spring 1982 units from RAF Coltishall moved to Sculthorpe while the runway was resurfaced

During the spring and summer of 1983, units of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing deployed to RAF Sculthorpe because their home station, RAF Lakenheath was having its runway resurfaced.

During the summer of 1984 the F-4E and F-4G squadrons from Spangdahlem AB,West Germany operated from RAF Sculthorpe to allow runway re-surfacing at Spangdahlen to take place.

During most of 1988 and part of 1989, deploying C-130 units from the 463rd TAW (Dyess AFB, TX), the 314th TAW (Little Rock AFB, AR), and the 317th TAW (Pope AFB, NC) were forced to operate from RAF Sculthorpe due to runway resurfacing at RAF Mildenhall.

In August 1989 the TR-1A squadron from RAF Alconbury operated from RAF Sculthorpe whilst Alconbury runway was resurfaced.

Present day

The airfield became inactive at the end of the Cold War. During the mid 1990s the entire technical and domestic site was sold to The Welbeck Estate Group by Defence Estates. The domestic married quarter site comprised a sizeable number of single storey ‘tobacco houses’. The housing estate was renamed ‘Wicken Village’ and following refurbishment the houses were sold. The remaining technical site including barrack blocks, PX, church, guardroom, gymnasium, community centres and extensive storage and industrial units were sold to a single purchaser and there is now a fledgling industrial park. The Welbeck Estate Group went on to acquire the nearby technical and married quarter estate at RAF West Raynham which formed just part of 36 estates acquired from Defence Estates.

The airstrip area remains in military hands, officially as an army helicopter training area, and there are exercises about twice a year. Demolition work on the hangars began in March 2009.

The only buildings that remain are: The Control Tower, The Fire Station buildings (Next to the Control Tower) & a small half moon concrete shelter (Now used by a farmer for machinery & equipment storage – there are up to 2000 cows on the grass areas)


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2 year old explorerIMG_9195

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Our escort of the site from this tripIMG_9215

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Trowse Pumping Station. Norwich, Norfolk.

A day spent just checking out leads for new sites with Davey , and we decided to swing by here. We had looked plenty of times in the past to no avail. Not expecting much we walked around to the door even though we spotted 4 men looking at the building and were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the back door was wide open, with only my camera tripod and 35mm lens in my hands we nipped in quickly and took a load of photos. We then heard voices getting close, so not wanting to get locked in we made our way out, to be asked the usual what you guys up to. 2 minutes later the guy was cool with us being there, so I hurried back to the car to get more camera gear and carry on shooting away. About an hour later the owner needed to lock up, so we left happy at the fact that a site I had wanted into for a number of years had now been ticked of the to do list… And also very happy to be heading home for a shower to get rid of the stench of pigeon crap.

A single red brick pumping station built around 1909 he work with the Rivers Wensum and Yare. It has workers cottages next to it that are in a very traditional Victorian gothic style. It finally stopped working when a newer more complexed site was built to the South East of the site just a little further along the river. Many of the great features of the site have now sadly started to go due to vandalism and natural deac, but the current owner of the site is now looking to sort out the site and get some sort of use out of it.

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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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Norwich Cathedral

It was 3 years ago now when I picked up somebody in my taxi and he happened to mention he had just been to a meeting about scaff going up on the cathedral (and nearly every other church in Norfolk) in order to restore the roof and carry out essential maintenance. So me and my matey decided to go and have a look at it.. The 1st night we popped down mainly to recce it and nearly got up, but soon discovered we would need a sling to let us pull ourselves over the stupidly high fence. So we headed off into the dark of the night and on the way out ripped my trousers on the spiked fence :( So we popped back the next night, crept around the homeless person living under the blue tarp and made our way up, and as soon as we had got up we were rather happy that we had, but also disappointed that we had not taken out factor 50 suntan lotion and sunglasses, as it seemed every HPS light was trained directly onto us… We did not fancy getting spotted walking about so we kept to the shadows due to this having just been in the newspapers that week, and we figured if they thought we were interfering with it, it would be a lot of bother. So we made it up to the highest point of the scaffolding then packed up our camera gear and scooted of into the darkness of the night, just as they were locking up the gates for the grounds, so all in a great night with great company.

Norwich Cathedral of the Holy and Undivided Trinity was founded in 1096 by the first Bishop of Norwich, Bishop Herbert de Losinga, as penance for buying his Bishopric from the King five years earlier. In order to create his new cathedral, priory and precinct, Bishop Losinga acquired land at the centre of the ever growing town of Norwich. The land already contained the churches of St Michael Tombland and Christ or Holy Trinity church, and the homes of many Norwich townsfolk, but all were swept away to make way for the cathedral. Although the cathedral then took on the dedication of one of the demolished churches, the intrusive beginnings of cathedral and priory did not bode well for good relations with the citizens of Norwich.
Inside, the cathedral is much more impressive. The founder Herbert de Losinga had the cathedral church and cloisters designed as a whole. The first phase of building was begun at the eastern end of the church so that the essential ecclesiastical elements of the church were in place and it could be consecrated as soon as possible. This phase, up to the fifth bay of the nave and the tower to the top of the church roof, was built in Quarr stone from the Isle of Wight and was completed by 1119 when Losinga died, never seeing his design fully realised. The western portion of the nave, the remaining nine remaining bays and upper storeys of the tower, were completed by Bishop Eborard in Caen stone brought from France and Barnack stone from Cambridgeshire. The whole church was built in just fifty years.

At its completion the cathedral was the largest building in East Anglia and measuring 141m (461ft) long and, with the transepts, 54m (177ft) wide. The church has the second longest nave and the largest and most beautifully decorated Norman tower in England. It also had more patrons than any other cathedral in England. Today the building still retains its almost entirely unaltered original Norman ground plan, despite the havoc wreaked on the building over the years by devastating gales, fires, riots and wars.
Just twenty-three years after the completion of the building, in 1169, the first disaster befell the cathedral. Lightning struck the tower and set fire to the building. The chapel of St Saviour at the eastern end of the cathedral was particularly badly damaged but repairs were soon made by Bishop de Turbe. Lightning struck again in 1271 but damage was minimal as a rain storm doused the fire. Such luck was short lived as one year later, during the riotous conflict between Norwich citizens and the priory that resulted in the building of the Ethelbert Gate, the citizens set fire to the cathedral precinct. The timber roofs and timber furnishings caught fire and the repair work meant that the cathedral could not be reconsecrated for six years. The remains of a consecration cross dating to the 1278 reconsecration can be found on the north wall of the nave in the fifth bay from the west.

Repair work continued well into the fourteenth century and several additions were also made to the cathedral and the buildings within the Close. One of these additions was a wooden spire, erected in 1297 on top of the Norman tower. Unfortunately the spire was to be the cause of yet another disaster when it was blown down by severe gales in January 1361 or 1362. The fallen spire badly damaged the presbytery and this allowed Bishop Percy to bring more light into the presbytery by rebuilding the upper half with the soaring windows that we see today. Unlike the west front of the cathedral, Percy thankfully ensured that the design of the new windows married easily with the earlier Norman architecture below. The spire was also rebuilt but this time in stone. The spire was rebuilt but in 1463 it was damaged by fire. Bishop Goldwell rebuilt it again, this time in brick with a stone facing, and it survives today as the second highest spire in all England. At 96m (315 ft), only the spire at Salisbury Cathedral is higher.

When lightning struck the spire in 1463, the nave was severely damaged when fire spread throughout the wooden roofs. Evidence of this and later fires that ravaged the cathedral can still be seen on some of the stonework in the walls, the stone having turned pink through the heat of the fires. In the 1460s Bishop Lyhart took substantial measures to stop such fires ever taking hold again and completely replaced the nave roof with a beautiful stone vault, adding the spectacular west window to light the beauty of his roof and its colourful bosses. It is astounding that having gone through such a turbulent history Norwich cathedral and its Close survives to this day, let alone in so much of its original Norman splendour. When marvelling at the cathedral buildings’ unique survival it is worth noting some of the more unusual features. In the nave there is a large brass font. This was once a boiling pan used at the Nestlé chocolate factory that stood on the site of what is now Chapelfield shopping mall. The font was given to the cathedral when Nestlé closed their factory and moved from Norwich in 1996, the 900th anniversary of the foundation of the cathedral. There are also two curious barley-sugar twist piers in the nave. These represent the original western extent of the first nave sanctuary and the location of the nave altar. The piers two bays east are also barley twist but they are now concealed by a later covering. On the north side of the sanctuary a small chapel to Norwich’s own saint would have stood. St William would have provided the cathedral with a source of revenue from visiting pilgrims.

And a little bit about why the Scaffolding has come to be there.
Repairs to the nave aisle roofs at Norwich Cathedral will commence in February following the award of a grant from the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund, a partnership between the Wolfson Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.

The £20,000 grant, plus generous supplementary funding from the Friends of Norwich Cathedral, will enable lead work repair to the roofs to take place along with the installation of trace heating which will prevent the build-up of snow and ice which can lead to consequential flooding on an area of the roof above important parts of the Cathedral’s organ.

Speaking on the project, The Reverend Canon Jeremy Haselock, Precentor and Vice-Dean of Norwich Cathedral, said, “We are hugely grateful to the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund and the Friends of Norwich Cathedral for enabling us to get on with this vital work. Major expenditure on the repair and rebuilding of the organ lies ahead in order to ensure the continuation of its important role in our daily offering of prayer and praise. These organ repairs would be foolish indeed without weatherproofing the gallery chambers where a major part of the instrument is located.”

Major projects planned at the Cathedral also include updating and replacing the Cathedral’s interior lighting. The lighting scheme, anticipated to cost £1.5 million, will involve replacing the current outdated system with new sustainable technology that will not only assure the Cathedral’s future as a place of prayer, a renowned centre for liturgy and worship and a flexible venue for major cultural events, but also reduce power consumption and annual running costs, which currently exceed £4,000 a day.

Norwich Cathedral’s organ is the fourth largest in the country and an integral part of the Cathedral’s fabric and daily work, used for worship, recitals and concerts. The refurbishment of the 60 year old organ will cost an estimated £1.5 million and will involve redesigning its layout and replacing poor quality and badly voiced pipework with new ranks.
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Thames steel

When the Steel mill closed in 2012 I knew there and then that I wanted to get inside it and check it out. But little did I know that due to my lazy ass and work schedule it would be 2 years later when I would walk in the door and my jaw would drop on the floor in pure amazement of the scale of the site. How had I managed to neglect this big industrial monster that was only a short drive away from Norfolk. So nice one to Wevsky for the map 2 years ago lol

When we were walking around it was just amazing that the amount of dust was there,the wind was howling through the site and the sun beaming in through every available nook and cranny creating some of the best light beams I have ever seen. After around 4 hours of covering half of the ground floor and the 1stfloor we decided that we would head off to our second location and make sure that we came back soon for a re-visit.

In January 2012 the site all of a sudden shut with the loss of 350 Jobs. The site had previously been sold to Al-Tuwairqi Group (ATG) in 2002 when its previous owners went into liquidation. But obviously things did not improve.
There are now rumours in the local press that part of the site could open as a rolling mill by the summer of 2015 creating 120 jobs.
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