Tresham College Farewell (Corby George Street Campus)

This isn’t your normal ‘report’ on somederp it’s just a quick post for posterity and historical interest on the passing ofTresham College (Corby) George Street Campus.By the time you read this the building will have been reduced to rubble after standing in the town for 60 years.It was nothing to look at architecturally and if people were honest it was a tired eyesore of past times. I watched it close and I watched theTellytubbysecca each night as he fed his face with takeaways while scanning the CCTV in his hut before the demo team moved onto site. The place was so lame I didn’t bother exploring it (not my bag really) but it deserves a few words as it breathes its last…Some cut ‘n’ paste history from the Internets
Portions of text Copyright © 2011 – Olivia Morton (Tresham College of Further and Higher Education)

Corby Technical College opened on September 16th 1940, to 21 students and was called JTS. JTS developed from a small number of workshops to Corby Technical College where expansion at the college led to more buildings in George Street and Rockingham Road.

The site, now used by Tresham, opened as Corby Technical College’s engineering department on September 16th 1957.

Mr AJ Price was the principal at the time and remained to see the college develop and introduce the building department on September 11th 1958, the commercial department on September 10, 1959 and finally the science department, which moved to the premises on September 8th 1960.

The George Street campus was officially opened on October 20th 1961, by Sir John Cockroft. On January 11th 1978, the merger of Corby and Kettering Technical Colleges was announced and was renamed as Tresham College.

In September 2011 Tresham College moved to a new £36m premises in Oakley Road.

6th September 1957 (News Article)

First installment of county’s finest technical college is ready
The first step in Corby’s most important educational project yet was made when the initial installment of the new college opened for full time students on Thursday (12th September 1957) followed by day release and evening instruction for other students on Monday September 16th.
Both buildings (including Rockingham Road) saw some 1,100 students registered for the winter term.
The ‘new’ George Street College catered for all engineering provision and the General Certificate of Education. The‘imposing’ three-storey façade was only a quarter of the
intended whole building due for completion three years later, aimed to rank as the finest technical college in the county with accommodation for over 2,000 vocational students. The
college was built in three stages – firstly the engineering block included classrooms, lecture theatre, canteen and staff rooms, engineering workshop, electrical installation workshop and laboratories, electronics, heat engines, hydraulics, strength of materials, metrology.

The second installment, the largest of the three, was to include workshops for bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, painting and pipe fitting. The third section was a four storey block for the main entrance to the college. The ground floor would provide a large lecture room, common rooms, needlework and other classrooms. In addition it was described
to include the commercial and “women’s departments” for cooking, housecraft and general craft. Behind the four storey block a large assembly hall was planned with its own separate entrance complete with a stage and three dressing rooms, kitchen, dining room and foyer.

11th January 1978 (News Article)
The merger of Kettering and Corby Technical Colleges was approved and to become one college by September 1st 1978 following on the success of the Nene College merger in Northampton. The first step was to find a Principal to run the college by April 1st 1978, whilst the education committee looked for a new and distinctive name to identify the college.
Cllr Lovel Garrett said the merger would improve standards in the north of the county. New courses were likely to be authorised because the new college would be on a higher grade than the two existing colleges.

7th August 1978
The name of the merged Corby and Kettering Technical Colleges was announced as Tresham College. County Education chiefs decided on the new name ready for the new term on September 1st 1978. The amalgamation of the two technical colleges was part of plans to streamline college facilities in the north of the county.
Tresham is a well known Northamptonshire family name which became prominent in the 15th century. Several buildings in the towns served by the new college were either built, designed or owned by members of the Tresham family.
These included Rushton Hall, the Triangular Lodge, the New Building at Lyveden, Manor House at Pilton and there are kneeling figures in the cross of St Faith’s Church at Newton.

In better times
Death Knell

Oh Me Oh My There’s A Light In The Sky

Don’t you just love an unplanned Bonus-Up?This one kind of fell into my lap the other night when I got an unexpected opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: A) Top a Water Tower.
Get up close and personal with monster green lasers that were flying around the night sky.

No Photoshop wizardry here and no taking the red pill, staying in Wonderland and seeing how deep the rabbit-hole goes,
this shit really happened.

The two beams in shot six are coming from 5 miles away and form a 5 mile x 5.2 mile x 2.2 mile triangle. A total of six 7.8w lasers were being used.

This pair of towers were built around 1975 and are 35m high, the fat one that I topped holds 3.41 million litres and its skinnier neighbour holds 1.14 million litres.

As usual the clock was ticking and it was pitch black but I did manage to crack off the following shots…

Wrong Way Down
Heart of the machine
5 miles out
This Is Earth Calling
Lasers set to stun

Stewarts & Lloyds ARP Control Centre – Corby

First of all apologies for some of the photo’s, some of these are among the worst I have ever taken. If you read the report you will see why I can’t go back and retake them, this reason also justifies their use here.
Plenty of people visit this site, write inaccurate reports and often wrongly referred to it as a ‘Secret’ Nuclear Bunker, the reality is much more boring than that and confusion also arises due to its many uses over the last 60 years.I thought I would make an attempt to set the record straight and dig up some history of this brilliant site which the local chav scum have sadly slowly trashed in recent years.
Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd moved to Corby, Northamptonshire in November 1932, enabling them to make use of the local iron ore to feed their blast furnaces and Bessemer steel converters. The new construction was carried out to a very tight timetable, from the clearing of the site in 1933 the first of the Corby blast furnaces was lit in May the following year. This was followed by coke from the new coke ovens the following month and the ore preparation and sinter plants in September. No.2 blast furnace was lit in November and the first steel came from the Bessemer converters on 27th December. The last of the originally planned blast furnaces (No.3) was lit in October 1935. Following a rebuild to increase capacity of No.2 furnace Corby works became the third cheapest pig iron producing plant in the world.
After the outbreak of World War II, much of the output was war-related. Possibly the biggest contribution of the works to the war effort was PLUTO, the Pipe Line Under The Ocean, a pipeline built, following the D-Day landings to supply fuel for the invading forces. Almost 1,000 miles of steel tubes went into the project.
Incidentally, and creeping Off Topic, they built and named a Pub in Corby called The Pluto as a tribute, it became yet another violent drinking establishment and was eventually demolished 🙂
Another large Stewarts & Lloyds contribution was the 15,000 miles of tube, used for the construction of beach defences, and which was covered with barbed wire, and other, more dangerous obstructions, known as “Wallace Swords”. A total of over 275,000 miles (about 2,5 million tons) of tube were produced for war-related work during the 1939-45 period.
During World War 2 the Corby steel works were expected to be a major target for German bombers but in reality there were only a few bombs dropped by solitary planes and there were no reported casualties. This may be because the whole area was blanketed in huge dense black, low lying clouds created artificially by the intentional burning of oil and latex to hide the glowing Bessemer converter furnaces at the steel works from German bomber crews. There are also some fairly reliable reports that a proper QF Decoy site may have existed at Geddington Chase to protect the Works.
In the early 1940’s as a result of this very real threat the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) constructed an underground Control Centre for the workforce of Stewarts & Lloyds and it was used until the end of the war as well as housing the Stewarts & Lloyds ARP ambulance. The Control Centre comprised of two entrances in case of bomb damage, a central turntable to rotate the ambulance and send it out via the opposite entrance, 4 chemical toilets, a Plotting Room and Signals Room (with interconnecting message hatches), Messengers Room, Telephone Exchange linked to Radio Room, Control Room, Generator Room and a Ventilation Plant.
It shut in 1944 but re-opened in 1951 as a Civil Defence Headquarters for Stewarts & Lloyds and also as Sub Divisional Control for Northamptonshire Civil Defence (there are still some laminated door panels for this laying around the site to this day – see pix below). Also during this time it acted as one of many First Aid Posts across the Steelworks site and still had an ambulance garaged there. My Father In Law who used to work for Stewarts & Lloyds ‘thinks’ he remembers going in there for treatment on a number of occasions and it might be stories like this that led to inaccurate rumours of it being an underground hospital propagating.
When the Civil Defence Scheme was wound down in the late 60’s the site was used for Stewarts & Lloyds Research & Development and almost everything remaining in the site today relates to this, apart from the odd piece of telecoms and switching equipment. A large amount of radiography equipment can be found and was used to X-ray iron castings and steel fabrication, the floors are still littered with tube samples and castings. In the 1958 edition of Corby Works (published by Stewarts & Lloyds) there is a chapter on The Department of Research and Technical Development where it says ‘Use is made of the most modern equipment, as this becomes available, and in particular, includes modern spectrographs, equipment for vacuum fusion analysis of gases in steel, equipment for high frequency induction melting under controlled conditions of atmosphere and pressure, apparatus for the identification of compounds, space lattice measurements, and internal stress determination by X-ray crystallography, gamma ray testing of welds using new isotopes from Harwell, and the latest designs of creep testing equipment working under temperature controlled conditions’. Add to this Jib Testing and Weld Testing for the many Ransomes & Rapier Walking Draglines that worked in the various Ironstone Quarries in Corby.
The original main entrance was destroyed in 1975 when the A43 was widened and turned into a Dual Carriageway, the entrance tunnel was backfilled and part way down a double course brick wall was built. Recent, ‘intellectually challenged’ visitors have made an attempt to breach this wall in true Darwin Award style without doing their homework, if they had they would clearly see where the sealed entrance actually comes out and also see there is about 100 tonnes of rubble between the two points, thus saving them a few quid on their cheap B&Q hammers and chisels…
The end of Stewarts & Lloyds ownership ceased in 1967 when the steel industry was nationalised for the second time and they became part of the British Steel Corporation. Due to the high cost and low quality of local iron ore coming out of the quarries and mines, steel production at Corby was set to close in November 1979. This was delayed until 21 May 1980, due to the national steel strike, when the last coil came off the strip mills. In nearly 40 years of steel production they had produced almost 2.5 million tons of steel. By the end of 1981 5000 people were unemployed almost overnight as a result of the closure and by the end of the 80’s this figure reached 11,000. Most of the original 5 square mile site was demolished during the 1980’s to make way for the Corby you see today (Phoenix Retail Park and Phoenix Park Way Industrial Estate) but thankfully due to its location this site survived.
On the 6th October 1999 the Corus Group was formed through the merger of Koninklijke Hoogovens and British Steel and the Tubeworks continued at the site. On Tuesday, 27 July 2004 in an ironic twist the BBC ran a story about new owners Corus making an appeal for information about the ‘secret World War II bunker’ as they didn’t know what the underground tunnels were for 🙂
Not long after this the original gates were replaced by a very heavy duty permanent grille, welded to the walls.
In 2007 Corus was acquired by Indian company Tata and on 27 September 2010 Corus announced it was changing its name to Tata Steel Europe and adopting the Tata corporate identity.
These days after several fires, one badly burning out what was originally the Messengers & Liason room, and local morons getting in there and smashing things up the site is in quite a sorry state. The original (sealed) main entrance tunnel is full of items dumped from various decades but if you take the time to look there’s still some interesting things scattered about.
We took a couple of Plessey PDRM82’s in there and tried really hard to get any sort of reading at all from every single room and piece of equipment but the display didn’t register anything. I know they are not the most sensitive devices for background radiation but its probably safe to ignore all the scaremongering that has been reported about this site.
Ambulance Turntable
Toilet Blocks

Original Main Entrance
1950’s Doors
Castell remote locking switch
Messenger Hatches
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit

Signals Room
Linderode Saturn Spark Erosion machine
Linderode Saturn Spark Erosion machine
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit
Old Telephone Exchange

Isotope Storage

Large Carl Drenck ‘Fedrex’ X-Ray Tube

Original Control Room

Isotope Trolley (Generator Room)
Generator Room

Original Ventilation Plant Room
Generator Room Blast Doors
British Contamination Meter, No. 1 set
A week before Christmas 2010 the ARP Control Centre was completely welded shut (see last two pictures below), oh and someone stole the nice 1940’s light from outside…