Aylesford Paper Mills – Early view of East Mill

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6th August 2018 at 13:40 #856

Kevin Harrild

I worked at East Mill from 1988 to 2008 most of which in the engineering project role, and have some older photos of the site which I hope will be interesting to remember it now it has been mostly demolished.

I found this photo online just from a google image search of the newly built Paper Mill at Aylesford, which must have been circa 1922.   The East Mill was built first, from 1920 when Albert E Reed Purchased the land next to the river, which had previously been a Great War Army camp.  Interestingly the Huts from that camp as they were known lasted to the early 1990s when they were finally demolished.

The Photo Show No 1 & 2 Machine House, the long central building with No 2 drive Annexe facing the camera with the lower roof. Behind the Machine house you can see the brick Chimney of the original Boiler house, this had Lancashire shell boilers two of which survived as condensate tanks to the end of the mill circa 2010.  At the Left of the Machine house is the original finishing department, the Salle.  At the Right of the Machine house, is the original first 2 bays of the Beaters, the mill being a Kraft mill at the time.

No’s 3&4 Machine house was built in 1925, which was a similar length machine house but slightly wider in footprint, so this photo must predate that.  It was built against Nos 1&2 Machine house.   Nos 5 &6 Machine house went up in 1933-35, but the mill had expanded greatly by then.

The chimneys came down in the 1980s before I worked at the Mill, but when we were building the new Effulent Plant in 2003 on its previous site, we found the remains of the flues and brick based for both this and the Stirling Boilerhouse Chimneys.   At 5 metres down digging foundations, we also found the remains of the Ash conveyors!

I’m not sure when the Maidstone branch railway line was put in, the but the fence might show its boundary. Our site ran close up against the platform of what would be New Hythe station.

If anyone knows the providence of this photo, please let us know, especially if there are any more.

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