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

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

Winnington Works, Brunner mond, ICI, Tata - Northwich
 

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

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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

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Rotary Dissolvers

Winnington Soda Ash Works - The rust is starting to show through

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – The rust is starting to show through

Winnington Works - Under the dissolvers

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Winnington Works – Under the dissolvers

Winnington Works - Drive motor and gears

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Winnington Works – Drive motor and gears

Winnington Soda Ash Works - The large pipes would have rotated during use

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – The large pipes would have rotated during use

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Discarded equipment below the pipes

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Discarded equipment below the pipes

Winnington Works - Pumps in flooded space

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Winnington Works – Pumps in flooded space

Winnington Works - Below the pipes

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Winnington Works – Below the pipes

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Nature and decay taking over

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Nature and decay taking over

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Dissolver house control room

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Dissolver house control room

 

Heavy Ash Mixers

Winnington Soda Ash Works - The heavy ash mixers are even bigger rotating pipes

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – The heavy ash mixers are even bigger rotating pipes

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Heavy ash mixers were huge

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Heavy ash mixers were huge

Winnington Works - Gauges above mixer

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Winnington Works – Gauges above mixer

Winnington Works - Heavy ash mixer

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Winnington Works – Heavy ash mixer

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Drive motors and gears

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Drive motors and gears

 

Heavy Ash Secheurs

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Heavy Ash Rotary Secheur  for drying the product

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Heavy Ash Rotary Secheur for drying the product

Winnington Soda Ash Works - These were pretty big too

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – These were pretty big too

Winnington Works - Gauges and pipes

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Winnington Works – Gauges and pipes

Winnington Works - Conveyor and lift switchroom

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Winnington Works – Conveyor and lift switchroom

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Light ash mixers

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Light ash mixers

 

Other areas

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Display board at the head of a tank

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Display board at the head of a tank

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Covers removed from filter mechanisms showing workings

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Covers removed from filter mechanisms showing workings

Winnington Works - Filter systems

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Winnington Works – Filter systems

Winnington Works - Large pipes

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Winnington Works – Large pipes

Winnington Works - I was excited to find the control room, but it was disappointing inside

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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

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Winnington Works – The control room was more of an office with a monitoring panel

Winnington Works - The lab was equally as disappointing

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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

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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

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Winnington Works – Statues of John Tomlinson Brunner and Ludwig Mond

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Some of the many tanks and silos around the site

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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

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Power station system control room

Winnington Soda Ash Works - Central control desk

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Winnington Soda Ash Works – Central control desk

Winnington Works - View down the control room

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Winnington Works – View down the control room

Winnington Works - Ancillary board

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Winnington Works – Ancillary board

Winnington Works - Papers and computer on the central desk

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Winnington Works – Papers and computer on the central desk

Winnington Works - Printouts and paperwork piled up in front of panels

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Winnington Works – Printouts and paperwork piled up in front of panels

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