History from @Terminal Decline . The flour mills were built by Joseph Rank on land reclaimed land and opened in 1934. The building was seriously damaged in the Second World War but was rebuilt and back into operation by 1950. The interior of the building has been remodelled several times since and hence its not a particularly easy building to navigate around. Hovis announced closure in early 2018 and the site closed at the end of the year with the loss of 71 jobs. Associated British Ports, which owns the site, intend to flatten the building, with demolition likely to begin this year. It really is a lovely building, especially the original silos, surviving from the first phase of construction with their tiled writing. Its unlikely a new use will be found unfortunately as the building is sited in a working port, but there certainly is potential to turn it onto a hotel for the cruise ship terminal.
Had this on the cards for a fair while after seeing TD's report, but getting down to Southampton isn't a simple feat. On our Summer trip last year, it was the last place we visited. Despite being intimidating with it being on a port and having to pass a watchful security cabin, accessing the building wasn't as tough as anticipated. We spent a solid few hours inside but didn't cover everything, leaving only when Alex got too bored of waiting at the car in the heat. It's quite a different type of industrial explore that we hadn't done prior, so it was intriguing to see a unique style of machinery and process. The power had gone off in preparation for demolition and we noticed a few changes from past reports. Visited with @jtza and @DustySensorPhotography .
A few rooms filled with 'Buhler' rollers on the lower floors, towards the end of the vertical process.
Rolling mill control room.
Here is the link to our documentary styled video, comparing Hovis Solent Mill and Whitley Bridge in Yorkshire. We cover the building's past, present and future through cinematics and narration: