Winnington Soda Ash Works, Cheshire – Brunner Mond / ICI / Tata

Winnington Works, Brunner mond, ICI, Tata - Northwich

A large industrial complex that manufactured soda-ash and other by-products. Established as Brunner Mond and later became ICI then Tata Chemicals.

Visited April 2016  UK Northwich, Cheshire, UK Partially closed

While working as an office manager at Hutchinson in Widnes in the 1860s, John Tomlinson Brunner met Ludwig Mond, who was also working there as a chemist. Mond decided to leave and establish a factory to produce alkali by the ammonia-soda process. Brunner joined as a partner. The factory at Winnington opened in 1873, and in time Brunner Mond & Co. Ltd became the largest producer of soda in the world.

Winnington Soda Ash Works - The expansive industrial site
Winnington Soda Ash Works – The expansive industrial site

Brunner Mond merged with several other leading chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1926. Winnington Works manufactured sodium carbonate (soda ash) and its various by-products such as sodium bicarbonate (bicarbonate of soda), and sodium sesquicarbonate. It was at the laboratories on this site that polythene was discovered by accident in 1933 during experiments into high pressure reactions.

The Winnington Works were divested to the newly formed company, Brunner Mond, in 1991. It was again sold in 2006, to Tata and in 2011 was re branded as Tata Chemicals Europe. Soda ash and calcium chloride production ceased at the Winnington plant in February 2014, bringing to a close 140 years of soda ash production in Northwich. The head office and the sodium bicarbonate plant remain at Winnington.

 

Rotary Dissolvers

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Rotary Dissolvers
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Rotary Dissolvers
Winnington Soda Ash Works - The rust is starting to show through
Winnington Soda Ash Works – The rust is starting to show through
Winnington Works - Under the dissolvers
Winnington Works – Under the dissolvers
 
Winnington Works - Drive motor and gears
Winnington Works – Drive motor and gears
Winnington Soda Ash Works - The large pipes would have rotated during use
Winnington Soda Ash Works – The large pipes would have rotated during use
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Discarded equipment below the pipes
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Discarded equipment below the pipes
Winnington Works - Pumps in flooded space
Winnington Works – Pumps in flooded space
 
Winnington Works - Below the pipes
Winnington Works – Below the pipes
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Nature and decay taking over
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Nature and decay taking over
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Dissolver house control room
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Dissolver house control room

 

Heavy Ash Mixers

Winnington Soda Ash Works - The heavy ash mixers are even bigger rotating pipes
Winnington Soda Ash Works – The heavy ash mixers are even bigger rotating pipes
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Heavy ash mixers were huge
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Heavy ash mixers were huge
Winnington Works - Gauges above mixer
Winnington Works – Gauges above mixer
 
Winnington Works - Heavy ash mixer
Winnington Works – Heavy ash mixer
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Drive motors and gears
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Drive motors and gears

 

Heavy Ash Secheurs

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Heavy Ash Rotary Secheur for drying the product
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Heavy Ash Rotary Secheur for drying the product
Winnington Soda Ash Works - These were pretty big too
Winnington Soda Ash Works – These were pretty big too
Winnington Works - Gauges and pipes
Winnington Works – Gauges and pipes
 
Winnington Works - Conveyor and lift switchroom
Winnington Works – Conveyor and lift switchroom
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Light ash mixers
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Light ash mixers

 

Other areas

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Display board at the head of a tank
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Display board at the head of a tank
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Covers removed from filter mechanisms showing workings
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Covers removed from filter mechanisms showing workings
Winnington Works - Filter systems
Winnington Works – Filter systems
 
Winnington Works - Large pipes
Winnington Works – Large pipes
Winnington Works - I was excited to find the control room, but it was disappointing inside
Winnington Works – I was excited to find the control room, but it was disappointing inside
Winnington Works - The control room was more of an office with a monitoring panel
Winnington Works – The control room was more of an office with a monitoring panel
 
Winnington Works - The lab was equally as disappointing
Winnington Works – The lab was equally as disappointing

 

Externals

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Steamy equipment, part of the live area of the plant in front of Mond House
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Steamy equipment, part of the live area of the plant in front of Mond House
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Statues of John Tomlinson Brunner and Ludwig Mond
Winnington Works – Statues of John Tomlinson Brunner and Ludwig Mond
 
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Some of the many tanks and silos around the site
Winnington Works – Some of the many tanks and silos around the site

 

Power Station System Control Room

The ‘B’ power station was demolished in 2007, but left behind a substation and switch house. The system control room still sits atop the switch house.

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Power station system control room
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Power station system control room
Winnington Soda Ash Works - Central control desk
Winnington Soda Ash Works – Central control desk
Winnington Works - View down the control room
Winnington Works – View down the control room
 
Winnington Works - Ancillary board
Winnington Works – Ancillary board
Winnington Works - Papers and computer on the central desk
Winnington Works – Papers and computer on the central desk
Winnington Works - Printouts and paperwork piled up in front of panels
Winnington Works – Printouts and paperwork piled up in front of panels
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