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Adrian Reilly | profile | all galleries >> Contamination, Coke & The Cwm tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Contamination, Coke & The Cwm

CWM Coke Works, Wales

Coking plants are filthy, colossal and dangerous, one of the most physically arduous types of heavy industry for men to work in.

Coke is a near pure fuel with a high carbon content which has been a vital ingredient since the industrial revolution in fuelling blast furnaces within the metal making industry.

Negative by-products of coking include ammonia, coal tar and dangerous gases which can potentially cause great ecological damage if leaked into the environment. A stone's throw away from the town of Pontypridd, CWM (which is pronounced Coomb) was opened in 1958 in the rural village of Beddau, South Wales which owes its existence to the coke industry it was built around.

During the 1960's as the industrial economy in Wales thrived, the works employed over 1,400 men, sadly CWM shut down its furnaces in 2002 and has since been left abandoned. As the rust and decay have taken precedence, since closure the site has also been the victim of arson attacks, metal stripping and neglect which threatens to destroy any chance of preservation for CWM.

Exploring a derelict site such as this one comes with its own perils. Groans emanating from loose hanging scraps of metal threaten to plummet at any given time and during my visit the howling of the wind engulfed the entire site.

Such a hostile environment requires the utmost care when navigating gantries that have become slick with slime and rainwater. Booby trapped holes that have been covered with a fine layer of coke would guarantee a shortcut straight to hell. As redevelopment of the site is inevitable, all trace of the works will disappear forever and sparing the scar left behind on the landscape, future generations will be left with no reminder of the rich industrial heritage that once surrounded them.
Spooked.
Spooked.
The Flakyness
The Flakyness
The Cwm Coke Works
The Cwm Coke Works
8.59am
8.59am
Room with A View
Room with A View
The Grid
The Grid
Coal not dole
Coal not dole
Call Time
Call Time
Showing
Showing
Gain & Pain
Gain & Pain
Half Man Half Greta
Half Man Half Greta
Chemical
Chemical
Chimney Bw
Chimney Bw
Coked reflection
Coked reflection
Laddered
Laddered
Rusti
Rusti
Chimney
Chimney
Symmetry
Symmetry
Oven NO 6
Oven NO 6
t Cwm Coke works
t Cwm Coke works
Max
Max
The Chimney
The Chimney
Chimney Bw
Chimney Bw
Booth
Booth
X Files Style
X Files Style
step in Shower
step in Shower
Being Boiled
Being Boiled
Tracking
Tracking
Chemical
Chemical
Tracking
Tracking
Sarsons
Sarsons
The Stair
The Stair
The Grid Bw
The Grid Bw
Control
Control
Rumbled
Rumbled