NorthWest Exploration Forum  
FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read
Go Back   NorthWest Exploration Forum > Site Reports > Industrial & Commercial
Reload this Page ARCHIVE: Globe Works (Woolworths Distribution) Castleton, June 09
Industrial & Commercial Mills, Foundries, Factories, Warehouses, Docks etc.

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
ARCHIVE: Globe Works (Woolworths Distribution) Castleton, June 09
NorthMancBeds's Avatar
NorthMancBeds is Offline
Utility Company Rep.
Posts: 339
Join Date: Jan 2009
Arrow ARCHIVE: Globe Works (Woolworths Distribution) Castleton, June 09 - 28-06-2009, 23:06

The former Woolworths distribution centre at Castleton, near Rochdale, became such in June 1964, when Woolworths bought the site. Prior to this, until 1962, the site had been one of the world’s leading machinery manufacturers, Tweedales and Smalley Ltd. In July 1892 they had started moving into the new Globe Works, the layout and buildings having been designed by Samuel Tweedale. In February 1893 its first spindles were running at the Newhey Spinning Mill and the same month it completed its first machine - a ring frame. Always keen to keep up with the latest gadgets, the firm had the first automatic phone in the country installed at the Globe in June 1913. When the First World War broke out Tweedales and Smalley threw itself into producing armaments. In 1932 several firms merged to form Textile Machinery Makers Ltd and the organisers wanted Tweedales and Smalley to be included. Undecided, the directors left the matter in the hands of the shareholders, who rejected the idea. Even so, the following year Platt Brothers of Oldham managed to acquire 51 per cent of the share capital. During the Second World War the company again produced armaments, mainly incendiary and high explosive bombs, though this time without the unrest of the previous conflict. In 1957 the firm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Platt Brothers Holdings, but retained its identity. Continuing to thrive, in 1959 it gained contracts worth more than £900,000 to supply machinery to Yugoslavia, Israel and Australia. It was also due to undertake the manufacture of a wide range of industrial and marine air-conditioning equipment. As the 60s opened, however, a number of redundancies prompted rumours that the factory would be going on short time. But nobody was prepared for the stunning news in October 1962 that the Globe works - and thus the firm itself - would shut down by the end of the year.

Notes taken from

We only visited a tiny part of this big site, it was daytime and we were feeling quite exposed. There is security on site with CCTV and monitors and we heard a van and sliding doors prior to some footsteps, whereupon we scuttled ourselves into a brick chamber behind the boilers to sit it out before beating a retreat. There is a railway shed remaining that has been transformed into a loading bay, beneath the platform and accessed in a particularly fun way is the former boiler house and plant room, presumably for most of the site.

These extracts from OS maps show the factory as once covering the entire site, sections have now been demolished and there are yards between the remaining sections of original building.

1910 extract, you can see the branch rails into the site.

1988 extract, see the void areas that are now yards, where once the building covered the site.

There are also some more recent (1980s) buildings on site. I have seen one other report from here that describes racks and racks of nothing, but no shots.

Lots more to go at, but the cover of darkness may be required.

Train shed



Chimney from boiler room viewed from platform

Evidence of tracks

Boiler No.1

Boilers Nos.3+4

Boiler No.4

Some more not seen yet…


photos here too
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skin developed by:
© 2008-2015. Photographs and text are copyright and the property of the poster unless otherwise stated, and should not be used without express written permission.
Any opinions stated by users of this forum are NOT those of the site owners, each poster takes FULL responsibility for their own posts.