Nightime View of ICI and Freightliner Terminal c1968

t15052The Freightliner site was able to operate at night as the flood lighting shows. The lights of ICI Billingham stretch across the horizon and it is just possible to see some of the major buildings silhouetted against the glow. Can anyone say what they are?

A few years earlier, the lights were more like Blackpool illuminations and even more spectacular, as most of the industrial lighting at ICI then seems to have been of the mercury vapour type. This tended to produce a variety of colours that were not pure white. By the time this photograph was taken the cheaper, yellowish/orange low pressure sodium lighting had become the predominant form at Billingham.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

2 thoughts on “Nightime View of ICI and Freightliner Terminal c1968

  1. The funny part Peter is many of those ICI workers lived to a good age. The many products manufactured were often smelly, Amines being one of the worst, you could change all your clothes shower yet the family still turned their noses up when you went in the house. People accepted the smells and dust because ICI provided a good long term living for those working or connected to it, there were worse places than them when it came to smells. No H&S in those days if they had seen some of the machinery we worked on when I was a lad they would well have turned to stone.

    I blew up the picture and cannot make out what the buildings are, the angle at which the picture was taken also makes me think it is part of the South Works Tank Farm could well be wrong.

    There was a night shift at Freight-liner, the night trains came in and some would be unloaded onto the trailers ready for the first shift of drivers to go out at five next morning, the drivers started at hourly intervals so when I went in at six or seven the box would be on the trailer and it was straight out, we had to get the boxes out and the loaded boxes for transport by rail back again, some would be local some long distance though two trains had to be loaded with boxes before departure late evening.


  2. The Photo looks very picturesque. Such a pity that we don’t recall the vile smells that on occasions would last for days, also the harm that these plants caused to the well being of the population. Thank you Fred.


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