Short notice trip with Martyn and well worth it, but impromptu is the best, donn't you agree?
The maltings were built in 1898 for Showell’s Crosswell Brewery, the site of which is nearby. They replaced/rebuilt the maltings destroyed in a fire the previous year, 1897, when a naphtha lamp had accidentally been overturned. (BJ 1897 December, p 898.) A detailed description of the new maltings designed by Messrs Arthur Kinder & Son appeared in The Brewers’ Journal for January 1898, page 40. Some of the details are worth noting including that Mr T. Swift, manager of the malting department assisted in the arrangements within the maltings. The screening, cleaning and carrying equipment was provided by Messrs Boby (of Bury St Edmunds). The power was provided by electricity. Like many maltings they suffered a fire in 1922 when a kiln (No 6) was destroyed. It was eventually rebuilt, over fifty years later in 1977 near the canal. The maltings were bought by Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries in 1944 from Showells for £12,000.
The maltings were built to take advantage of the canal, and the railway was nearby. Originally the canal was use for the delivery of barley but eventually only rail was used. There was a siding from the main line. However, since World War II all the barley has been brought in by road, and the malt is taken out by road, too.
Traditionally malting is a hard labour but skilled job and has always been undertaken by men but during the World War II it is known that women worked the maltings. In 2005 they are worked by 11 maltsters and 2 foremen 7 days a week and every day of the year.
The maltings which consist of two blocks which are identical, those described in the BJ of 1898, and a modern 20th century barley storage unit, and silos. The original maltings are constructed of brick with slate roofs and until closure where the largest floor malting still working in England. The buildings are relatively plain but their sweeping roofs and kilns make them an interesting and exciting feature in this industrial landscape.
source and more info
view of the cathedral
it was a sad day for children (and adults) everywhere, as news of Rolands demise hit the internet..
The rest are on flickr-