Tullis Russell Papermakers, Glenrothes, Scotland

Tullis Russell Papermill Scotland

Dating back to 1804, Tulis Rissell was a papermakers in Scotland. The mill contained large production lines for making paper.

Visited June 2016  UK Markinch / Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland Closed

This was one place I had high-hopes for, with over 200 years of history the mill had plenty of potential for classic old industrial goodness, but progress has done its thing and most of the older buildings have been replaced with new. Don’t get me wrong, it was a big and interesting place with plenty to see, but just lacked the character of many of the other old mills around the UK. The production areas were very modern and almost fully intact, but the older parts that were still standing appear to have been stripped out and cleared many years ago. The oldest areas of the site were demolished in the early 2010s to make way for a biomass power station.

Tullis Russell Papermakers - Power station chimneys and the main building through the trees
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Power station chimneys and the main building through the trees
Aerial view of the site in 1931 with Auchmuty mill towards the top, Rothes mill bottom left and the powerhouse on the right​
Aerial view of the site in 1931 with Auchmuty mill towards the top, Rothes mill bottom left and the powerhouse on the right​

History of Tullis Russell Papermakers

The first paper mill in Fife, Rothes Mill, was established in 1804 on the banks of the River Leven. Robert Tullis founded the company that would later become Tullis Russell in 1809 and built the Auchmuty Mill on land adjacent to Rothes Mill, and by 1836 had acquired Rothes Mill as well.

Work started on a power station in 1912 to provide electricity and process steam for the paper works. This project was completed in 1914 and the building was enlarged in 1921.

The site was steadily expanded over the years, and in 1979 the company opened its fifth paper-making production line.

In 2011 substantial damage worth £1 million was caused to the paper mill in a series of fires which lasted almost 24 hours. At the height of the incident, 40 firefighters were battling the flames. A 31-year-old man was jailed for three and a half years after pleading guilty to wilful fire-raising.

It emerged in 2014 the company had sold 126,000 tonnes of paper, recording a turnover of £124.6 million but suffering a pre-tax loss of £3.4 million. The company had sustained losses totalling £18 million over a five year period and by 2015 had no option but to call in the administrators. 325 employees were made redundant.

No. 5 Paper Machine

Machine 5 was the newest and largest of the paper making machines at Tulliss Russell

Tullis Russell Papermakers - No. 5 Paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – No. 5 Paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Complex roller system in the paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Complex roller system in the paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Rollers from above
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Rollers from above
Tullis Russell Papermakers - More machinery to one side
Tullis Russell Papermakers – More machinery to one side
Tullis Russell Papermakers - View across the main belt
Tullis Russell Papermakers – View across the main belt
Tullis Russell Papermakers - The main roller section of the machine is covered by an enclosure
Tullis Russell Papermakers – The main roller section of the machine is covered by an enclosure
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Close-up of the rollers
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Close-up of the rollers
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Control panel with rollers behind
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Control panel with rollers behind
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Inside the roller enclosure
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Inside the roller enclosure
Tullis Russell Papermakers - No. 5 control room
Tullis Russell Papermakers – No. 5 control room
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Side view of No. 5 paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Side view of No. 5 paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Local control panel
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Local control panel
Tullis Russell Papermakers - View from the other side of the manchine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – View from the other side of the manchine

The machine was split between two levels, next we see below the machine

Tullis Russell Papermakers - Lower level of the huge machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Lower level of the huge machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Lower level of the huge machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Lower level of the huge machine

Numerous pieces of ancillary equipment were spread around the building…

Tullis Russell - Pumps
Tullis Russell – Pumps
 
Tullis Russell - More pumps
Tullis Russell – More pumps
Tullis Russell Papermakers - High voltage switchgear
Tullis Russell Papermakers – High voltage switchgear

Finishing equipment was installed at the far end of the building…

Tullis Russell Papermakers - Finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Spooling machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Spooling machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Spooling machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Spooling machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Equipment in the finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Equipment in the finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Here the paper was wound onto huge reels
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Here the paper was wound onto huge reels
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Machines int the finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Machines int the finishing area
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Finishing area machines
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Finishing area machines
Archive image of workers with a huge roll of paper at Tullis Russell
Archive image of workers with a huge roll of paper at Tullis Russell

No. 4 Paper Machine

The next building contained the older paper machine no. 4 which was largely dismantled and stripped.​

Tullis Russell Papermakers - No. 4 paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers – No. 4 paper machine
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Only the roller section remained
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Only the roller section remained

Auchmuty Beater House

An older building than the ones that house the paper machines above, the Auchmuty Beater House is where dry pulp or broke (known as the furnish when added to water in the pulper) stored prior to pulping in water in the ‘broke’ pulper for paper machines A4 and A5. The pulp was fed up the elevators and into the broke pulpers which sat at the top. Water was added and the water and pulp mixed together prior to pumping into holding chests, refiners and cleaners and onto A4 and A5 paper making machines

Workers opening bales of Esparto grass
Workers opening bales of Esparto grass
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Elevator for loading materials into the 'broke' pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Elevator for loading materials into the ‘broke’ pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Control panel in the beater house
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Control panel in the beater house
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Broke pulpers where water was mixed with the dry pulp
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Broke pulpers where water was mixed with the dry pulp
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Network of pipelines
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Network of pipelines
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Top of the pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Top of the pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Below the pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Below the pulpers
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Pumps and electrical switchgear below
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Pumps and electrical switchgear below

Electrical Department Switch Room

Tullis Russell Papermakers - Electrical switchroom
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Electrical switchroom
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Switchgear
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Switchgear
Tullis Russell Papermakers - Electrical systems control panel
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Electrical systems control panel

The lab and offices were a bit boring…

Tullis Russell Papermakers - Laboratory
Tullis Russell Papermakers – Laboratory
Tullis Russell Papermakers - One of the offices
Tullis Russell Papermakers – One of the offices
Author: Andy Kay | Facebook | Flickr | Instagram

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