GES024 - Kops' Brewery, London (Demolished)
Kops' Brewery built this site on Fulham Wharf for their ales and stouts in 1890. With the Temperance movement building up steam at home and abroad (leading to Prohibition 3 decades later in the USA) and the National Temperance Hospital in London, non intoxicating booze was gaining in popularity, and thus market opportunities. Kops' exported all around the world at the height of the Empire, and it's product was highly successful. Noted here:
Sadly I can't find the sources of the above, they came from googlebooks if memory serves.
Following WWII, drinking proper booze was back in fashion, and the Temperance movement had lost popularity. The firm of Convoys which handled foodstuffs, fresh & dried fruits and general goods, took over the site. Today the site is owned by Tesco (who also own Pyestock's site). Ironic, because next door is a Sainsburys supermarket. For non-Brits, Sainsburys and Tesco are bitter rivals. Abridged from Information supplied in response to my request to Hammersmith & Fulham Archives.
Original Kops Invoice to Tasmania (along with a Freight Note) , showing their global reach (source:Ebay auction)
A shot of the product (Source:Ebay auction)
I'd passed this site many times while whizzing over Wandsworth Bridge from Fulham, it sticks out like a sore thumb from the buildings around it. Knackered and graffiti strewn, slowly crumbling into the ground heading beyond redemption.
An ariel view of the site (source: bing.com)
And inside the buildings. Popular with graffiti artists practising their latest work.
Against a wall was a barely visible amongst the rest of the debris, set of stairs covered in crap and damp. It lead to a cellar area with conveyor rollers around the walls.
They came down this slope
And from inside this tunnel
Being by myself, and having read about junkies visiting here in a report by another explorer, I opted against exploring further down the above tunnel.
Back in the open, and I walked around the Eastern side of the site, which borders Sainsburys. Old girders sat exposed and slowly rusting through neglect.
The view from above along the walkway.
Inside the building here were large warehouse like storage areas.
An old mosaic still visible
I moved onto the front building. It's floor seemed pretty weak and dodgy. A concrete protrusion in the corner of the main room lead to some stairs down into the basement, underneath the somewhat precarious floor. I didn't linger too long. Water dripped through the porous ceiling. A similar set up to the other basement.
Up the stairs and more exposed metal girders, and hideous pigeon crap and tagging. I don't know which is worse, I suppose tagging doesn't have the noxious smell attached, it just offends the eyes.
I climbed the ladder on the left (above), and I was in the highest point of the building, where some wheels showed the remains of some kind of belt assembly.
I popped out for a look around the roof, climbing rusting ladders, and shinnying up roof supports. This overlooks the site's storage yards, and the weird cruise ship like buildings on the Southern side of the Thames.
And with that, it was time to leave. Not the greatest or by any stretch of the imagination the most difficult explore, but I felt worthwhile.