Monday, 7 April 2014

The Boilerhouse

This blog is deadicated to George Brown who passed away after I wrote this blog, RIP George

 This photo was taken as the boilerhouse was being built and it would have been hard to know what Fairmiles boilerhouse would have looked like inside but I would say very similar to the photo below which (I pillaged from the site) Back when it opened  they would have been coal fired and not oil like I remember them fueled by oil.
The boilerhouse was manned 24hours a day mostly by local people like my friends dad Pete Marshall who we quite offten used to visit if we were up there. The place was a wonder to me with shiny copper pipes and pressure guages. The light from the flame could be seen shining trough the inspection hatch.
By 2010 when I saw the place it was very different to the first photo

Fairmiles boilers would have been used to provide heating and hot water for the place and the pipes ran in underground tunnels to various parts of the hospital 

 The boiler house in Sep 2010 though I have to admit when I used to visit the doors were big green wooden ones

 I managed to get my hand through the side of the door with my compact camera and took this photo (two stitched), I was a bit shocked as the place was not how I remember and looked in a very sorry state, no doubt Pete Marshall would cry if he were alive to see this. George Brown one of the maintenance engineers who worked there remembers in the morning when he came to work he had to check the boilers were working ok and the pressure was 100psi, he then checked the heating was running as it should. There were three boilers, two large and one smaller one. The large ones where used in the winter with the smaller one as a booster, in the spring the smaller one took over.

When I finally managed to get in the building the boilers were  looking in a sorry state

 But the plate was still in place

though they still looked like you could fre them up

Off to one side you could see this pit where the tunnels went  off towards the main buildings .
As you can see they were not the nicest place to go

In another room to one side was the workshop

By the end of 2011 the skyline started to change when the water tower was demolished

in September 2012 the boilers were cut up for removal

ad a few weeks later the place was empty

The boiler house  roof has now been removed and the area will be a carpark, the buildings either side are being converted into houseing
At the present time the first photo looks like this, the chimney was shortened at some time in the 1960s when they converted to oil. The chimney will remain after being restored . To me it will remain a monument for the people to ran the Bolierhouse.

 The entrance to the boilerhouse as it is Today

 The boiler house where the boilers used to be is now a car park

 The stack as it stands today


  1. Wow I am so glad you popped by. This is a history I am very interested in. I'd like to know more please get in touch

    1. Cheers Mo, I follow you on Twitter so feel free to PM me

  2. It's gigantic! It's hard to tell the scale of things in photos sometimes, but the picture with the men inside shows how large it is!

    1. It was big and certanly looed that way when empty, thanks for visiting

  3. A fascinating post Bill. I just love black and white photos.
    Those boilers are amazing but how sad. I think they might have quite a few tales to tell.
    Thanks for taking me somewhere I would never have visited ;D
    Enjoy your week!

    1. The sad thing is one of the engineers lives round the corner from me but I could never show him the photos of the boilers being cut up