WikiWirral Online with you since 2003, fantastic.
Forum Stats
12331 Members
65 Forums
73265 Topics
989398 Posts
105 posts in the last 24hrs
Max Online: 7831 @ 8th Apr 2013 4:18pm
Who's Online - Click Me
89 registered (alan128, 17 invisible), 1306 Guests and 304 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Social Media : Follow Us


(Views 7days)This Weeks Most Read
Bexit Offer for EU Citizens 613
Washing machine 289
Range Rover P38A Air Suspension Help Needed 227
Deja Vu, Lightning Strikes Thrice, Groundhog Day 180
Benefit Cap is Unlawful 162
VW t4 fixed side window replacement 134
audi specialised pls 122
Ipad 1 charger 103
Kingsway Academy 35
Mainstream Media- Over and Out 27
New General Forums
Mainstream Media- Over and Out
by RUDEBOX
Yesterday at 09:35 PM
Kingsway Academy
by lincle
Yesterday at 10:48 AM
Theresa May and the Holy Grail
by snowhite
25th Jun 2017 6:17pm
Deja Vu, Lightning Strikes Thrice, Groundhog Day
by fish5133
22nd Jun 2017 7:38pm
New Wirral History
Round the Wirral with a movie camera[1934]
by snowhite
16th Jun 2017 2:03pm
Bascule Bridge
by Sufee
6th Jun 2017 9:09pm
Pathe news short - merseytunnel 1934
by oldpm01
5th Jun 2017 1:57pm
1878 Post Office Directory of Cheshire query
by derekdwc
1st Jun 2017 10:41pm
Bakery at 275 Poulton Road 1925 onwards
by JAFitz
30th May 2017 8:59pm
Forum Tips
Photo Gallery Forums
wirral from Liverpool big wheel
New Brighton Big Wheel
Topic Replies
Every little helps...
by Dilly
59 minutes 43 seconds ago
Sailing volunteers
by dogsbrain
Today at 10:19 AM
Bean to cup coffee machine
by monsterz4
Today at 08:56 AM
Ipad 1 charger
by _Ste_
Yesterday at 07:22 PM
Portraying A Nation-Germany 1919-1933 Tate Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
Yesterday at 07:06 PM
Shotwick - Old And New (Hall and Solar Farm)
by w10694
Yesterday at 06:42 PM
Bexit Offer for EU Citizens
by cools
Yesterday at 11:27 AM
live webcam from africa, a must see
by cools
25th Jun 2017 9:01pm
audi specialised pls
by diggingdeeper
25th Jun 2017 5:41pm
June
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
Recent Posts : What's On ?
Portraying A Nation-Germany 1919-1933 Tate Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
Yesterday at 07:06 PM
Shotwick - Old And New (Hall and Solar Farm)
by w10694
Yesterday at 06:42 PM
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#331704 - 23rd Jun 2009 9:41pm The Great Float Flour Mills *****
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral

In the 1930s Merseyside was the second largest flour milling centre in the World, with the bulk of the mills located around the Great Float in Birkenhead and Wallasey. The Great Float was designed as one large dock, running from Poulton Bridge to Tower Road, however the Duke Street Bridge had to be built to maintain ancient rights of way, so the Great Float was divided in two: the West Float on the Poulton Bridge side and the East Float on the river side. The Birkenhead mills were built on the West Float and the Wallasey Mills on the East Float.



The first mill was built on the East Float by Robert Buchanan in 1894, this was soon followed by mills built by W Vernon & Sons (West Float), Paul Brothers (Homepride Mills) and Spillers & Bakers (both East Float). One of the last mills built was Ocean Flour Mills which was built in Birkenhead in 1913 for Joseph Rank Ltd.



Ocean Flour Mill was built next to Gill Brook Basin, the site of William Lairds first shipbuilding yard. The mill was separated from Vernonís Mill to the west by a basin called Rankís Creek. A post war extension to Vernonís Mill was built on the site of the Canada Works of Thomas Brassey.



The six storey buildings on the East Float were originally built as granaries, and were the first granaries in the world to have hydraulic grain elevators and hoists. By 1900 most of the granaries had been converted to mills.



Buchananís flour and cattle food mills lined both sides of the dock road and were connected by numerous high level covered walkways.

The mills were highly automated for their day, using hydraulic grain elevators to lift the grain from the ships and barges to the top of the granaries. Numerous spiral chutes carried the grain back down to the milling areas. The mills were dusty and dangerous, flour dust in air is an explosive mixture and fire was a constant worry in the mills, to such an extent that if it was necessary to interrupt the water supply to a mill, then fire engines had to stand by outside.



The Homepride mills and granaries, owned by the Paul Brothers of Upton, consisted of four buildings, again joined by high level covered walkways, these were built on either side of a narrow dock. This dock, which opened into the East Float, was used by barges which brought grain from ships berthed elsewhere in Birkenhead and Liverpool. Barges were moved about the docks by a series of hydraulic capstans.

During the second world war, the mills were badly damaged by bombing and fire, part of Buchananís mill being totally destroyed. The mills retained the scars from the war right up to their demolition.



The last remaining East Float buildings are the granaries of the Liverpool Grain Storage Company, now converted into flats, these were part of the Homepride mill complex. The last mill was operated by Spillers in the Homepride mill and was demolished in 2000.



The last Mill operating on the Birkenhead side was the Ocean Flour Mill, operated by Rank Hovis, which closed in 1988. Click here to see all that remains of Ocean Flour Mill today.

The mills were often demolished by blowing out the base of the building and allowing the rest to collapse inwards. This process went wrong when the newer part of Vernons Mill was demolished. When the base was blown out, the building just dropped down intact, leaning at an angle of about 10 degrees.

[picture to follow when I find it!]

There is a video of one of the mills on fire, and views of the docks here.

Top
Google Ads
#331710 - 23rd Jun 2009 10:43pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: uptoncx]
w10694 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 243
Loc: cheshire
excellent report mate, what this site is about. Thanks for sharing.

Top
#331718 - 23rd Jun 2009 11:04pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: w10694]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Fantastic little bit of History. My vague memories of the mills were when I went for swimming lessons at Guinea Gap (before the refurb). It was like entering another world going along the dock road. I also remember the smell that used to sometimes drift over from Spillers. And of course being able to see the top of the Rank building from my Nan's front bedroom window on Norman Street. frown
_________________________


Top
#331722 - 23rd Jun 2009 11:15pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: MissGuided]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
I also remember travelling that route to Guinea Gap Baths, on a Sunday morning with my father. This must have been about 1960 when we were living in Manor Hill.

The instructor was called 'Tony' (probably had another name, but I don't remember ever hearing it).


Edited by uptoncx (23rd Jun 2009 11:16pm)
Edit Reason: added Tony

Top
#331724 - 23rd Jun 2009 11:18pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: MissGuided]
w10694 Online   content
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 243
Loc: cheshire
A Luftwaffe bombing target map showing the mills as targets outlined in red:


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
0335_large.jpg



Top
#331731 - 23rd Jun 2009 11:53pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: w10694]
Mark Online   Reading


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21062
Loc: Wirral
wow that's an amazing piece uptoncx

Got to Rate you 5 stars for that one smile
_________________________
My Avatar images are all from the Wirral Gallery.Click Me
Wow Wirral History is coming along Great! Wirral History

we get +200 new members a month now smile

Top
#331744 - 24th Jun 2009 9:12am Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: Mark]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10282
Loc: Birkenhead
Here are some Mills on the East Float - Wallasey, putting up a fight.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
198115_36fe0f7c-by-Peter-Craine.jpg

Description: (C) Peter Craine - Creative Commons Licence



Top
#331754 - 24th Jun 2009 10:49am Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: diggingdeeper]
buddy Online   content
Forum Veteran

Registered: 18th Sep 2008
Posts: 5021
Loc: South Wirral
Thank you uptoncx for a very interesting post - my father worked at Buchanan's Flour Mills for 40+ years before retiring about 1974 - I had many visits there as a child

Top
#331762 - 24th Jun 2009 12:21pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: buddy]
Pete_Robbo Offline

Keep It Real !!
Wiki Guide

Registered: 11th Aug 2008
Posts: 6640
Loc: Wirral
wow 10 out of 10 for the report well done smile
_________________________







Top
#331908 - 25th Jun 2009 2:10pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: Pete_Robbo]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Enjoyed reading that. Thanks
_________________________
Over 5000 years of Wirral History:

Top
#332216 - 26th Jun 2009 10:32pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: uptoncx]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 679
Loc: Isle of Wight
Some pics from a 1950s M D & H B handbook on the 'Port of Liverpool'.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Scan-090626-0001-s.jpg

Description: Spillers silo

Scan-090626-0002-s.jpg

Description: Vernons' advert. I don't think you're allowed to make a claim like that nowadays!



Top
#332222 - 26th Jun 2009 10:40pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: bri445]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10282
Loc: Birkenhead
Good stuff Bri happy

Top
#340834 - 5th Aug 2009 6:28pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: diggingdeeper]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5360
Loc: Birkenhead
There used to be an old dear lived in Livingstone Street and her tale was that when her husband joined up to fight she moved her bed downstairs into the front parlour. When the flour mills got bombed she was in bed and was woken up by a flag stone coming through her front window and landing in her bed beside her and missing her completely but collapsing the bed somewhat. This tale used to come out now and again when the old 'uns were talking about the war and she wasn't the only one to tell it so I would say it was quite true.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

Top
#358280 - 18th Oct 2009 11:22am Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: BandyCoot]
masterbun Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 101
Loc: West Sussex formerly Oxton
This is facinating to me as my father was a director of Spillers and what was then called Area General Manager (some sort of CEO nowadays no doubt) from 1947 till the late 60's with offices in The Cunard Bulding. He was in charge of all the operations in the Northwest. There were four other areas based in Southwest (Bristol & Cardiff), London, Hull and Scotland. Spillers HO was then Old Change House London.
Vernon's and Paul Bros were part of Spillers along with UVECO in Dock Road Wallesey. I think Buchannan's belonged to Ranks.
Unfortunately all the photos and documents relating to Spillers during mt father's time were lost (read destroyed) when his house was demolished.
I will try find out more. However the following will give some insight into Spillers as of 1934

Spillers 1934 Review

Master Bun the Baker's son !!

Top
#358302 - 18th Oct 2009 2:32pm Re: The Great Float Flour Mills [Re: masterbun]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 679
Loc: Isle of Wight
Thanks for the extra information and the link to 'Grace's Guide' which I'd never seen before. It led me to lots of other companies I was interested in, mainly to do with previous jobs.

Bri

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Mark 
Random Wirral Images

Click to View Topic.
Newest Topics
Every little helps...
by palemoon
Today at 09:43 AM
Portraying A Nation-Germany 1919-1933 Tate Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
Yesterday at 07:06 PM
audi specialised pls
by Little_B
25th Jun 2017 5:02pm
Bexit Offer for EU Citizens
by granny
23rd Jun 2017 9:38am
Benefit Cap is Unlawful
by RUDEBOX
22nd Jun 2017 7:37pm
For Sale & Free
Bean to cup coffee machine
by monsterz4
Today at 08:56 AM
Ipad 1 charger
by madrob
25th Jun 2017 2:34pm
Washing machine
by GingerTom
20th Jun 2017 9:05pm
22" full 1080p hd and freeview tv
by monsterz4
20th Jun 2017 8:50pm
Apple TV box the 1gen
by monsterz4
20th Jun 2017 8:48pm
Featured Member
Registered: 16th Jun 2016
Posts: 154
Newest Members
Charlotte, OwenChristian, DaveAitch, Fairz87, mikerobbo84
12331 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
New Wirral Info
Portraying A Nation-Germany 1919-1933 Tate Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
Yesterday at 07:06 PM
Shotwick - Old And New (Hall and Solar Farm)
by diggingdeeper
15th Jun 2017 10:19pm
Sefton Park
by diggingdeeper
15th Jun 2017 10:02pm
Property Law
by lau2908
14th Jun 2017 8:04pm
van driver needed
by futurepast
14th Jun 2017 7:34pm
News : New Topics
Every little helps...
by palemoon
Today at 09:43 AM
Bexit Offer for EU Citizens
by granny
23rd Jun 2017 9:38am
Benefit Cap is Unlawful
by RUDEBOX
22nd Jun 2017 7:37pm
Finsbury Park mosque.
by Beethoven
19th Jun 2017 11:42am
Grenfell Tower - Notting Hill
by diggingdeeper
14th Jun 2017 5:13am
New Enthusiast Forums
audi specialised pls
by Little_B
25th Jun 2017 5:02pm
VW t4 fixed side window replacement
by Mike72
22nd Jun 2017 8:00am
Range Rover P38A Air Suspension Help Needed
by Martin1943
20th Jun 2017 8:06pm
Loving Home Wanted For 3 Cats.
by DavidC
20th Jun 2017 8:32am
Loving Home Wanted For 3 Cats.
by DavidC
18th Jun 2017 6:02pm
(Views 24hrs)Trending Newest Topics
Mainstream Media- Over and Out 27
Every little helps... 23
Portraying A Nation-Germany 1919-1933 Tate Liverpool 13
Wirral Sunrise Sunset
Sunrise Tue 4:45am
Sunset Tue 9:45pm
Local Time Tue 11:35am
WikiWirral Can . . . .