#301 – Closing forever

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Multipart, Pilling Lane, Chorley, May 2007

As part of the once-vast British Leyland empire, the huge Pilling Lane site in Chorley was a distribution centre for Multipart, BL’s spares arm. In the early 80’s large amounts of money were spent on the site making it into a state of the art facility according to contemporary documentation.

As time passed, BL shrunk, separated itself several ways, and then mostly fizzled out. Multipart became an independent entity, and eventually the 22 acre Pilling lane was just too big for it’s needs. A new high volume, 268000sq ft unit was purchased across town and the company relocated in 007 and is now known as TVS Supply Chain Solutions.

Before the site was demolished (an excellent slideshow is on the website of the G&M Demolition who cleared the site http://www.gmdemolition.co.uk/G&M_website_final2.swf), I made the short drive across town for a look. I talked the security guard on site into escorting me on a quick look round but we couldn’t go inside anywhere, so it was just a cursory look round the site, and the photos are nothing special. However, my favourite was taken at the entrance to the site, of the sign.

I composed it to show the empty car parking spaces in the background, although it has to be said that the buildings are not very derelict or factory looking. In retrospect, I should maybe have gone back when demolition had started and re-taken the same picture, although whether the extra slogans were still on the sign by then is probably unlikely. And it has to be said, it is these that make the picture. As you read down the sign, you start to look at the factory in the background and feel a twinge of sadness, then you notice the ‘THIS SIGN FOR SALE” addition at the bottom left and realise at least someone had a sense of humour about the whole episode!

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