Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Rubber Souls


This is all that's left of the Dainite Mills in Market Harborough. There were two of these High Victorian buildings due to be conserved, but the other was obviously in the way of the multi-billion pound re-generation project, so 'accidentally' found itself on the hard end of the ball and chain. The Harborough Rubber Company was once one of the biggest employers in the town, producing soles and heels under the Dainite brand, and latterly waterproof covers for computer key pads. In the dim and distant we also thought they made condoms, and so thought it childishly side-splitting to ring them up and ask if they wanted experienced testers. Progress on giving Market Harborough the eagerly-awaited manifestation of Dev the Developer's vision appears to be very slow, so we are still rewarded with the somewhat ironic site boards depicting the ghosts of the soles and heelers busy at work. The first boards got blown down in a previous 3,000mph gale, the second lot are now peeling and covered in those stringy bits of tack that come out of party poppers. At first I thought these monochrome photographs were a welcome change from the usual overly-optimistic architect's impressions; now I find them incredibly sad and just wish Dev would get on with it.

14 comments:

Tom Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Harris said...

Arrr souls. Did they produce hearts and minds also? Of course they did in those days! Now we produce just results.

Peter Ashley said...

Of course they did Tom. We are continually told by wretched sound-bite politicians about 'community' and how important it is; well, this was a real community, and they lost it for us.

Philip Wilkinson said...

A sorry hole in a town that has much to offer. Jonathan Meades was sounding off with his usual aplomb against "urbanism" and urban regenerators the other week. What he says is here:
http://www.newstatesman.com/200802280047
It's worth reading his piece for his 30-word summary of Juvenal's Satires alone.

Tom Harris said...

Peter,
I see strangers!!!!

Tom Harris said...

I did time as University work experience at The Beldam Packing and Rubber Company in Brentford. They had a graphite room where slightly lesser beings rubbed graphite into woven rope packing (as in steam packing)all day. The air sparkled with silver-black flotsum.There was a background smell from other rooms of hot rubber.They knocked off covered in black. The next day they returned just as dirty. The state of those sheets! i think one chap was known as HB.

Peter Ashley said...

Tom, meet Philip. If you remember Tom, Phil's the one who got us all blogging. Yes, he's to blame.

Tom Harris said...

Sorry. I was talking about Millymollymandy but typed on the wrong Blog! Stupid me. I know all about Philip!

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