The rise, fall and toxic legacy of Albright and Wilson’s Portishead site.

Portishead


The Portishead site near Bristol was built to provide increased white phosphorus capacity post war. The location was chosen primarily because of its dockside availability for the receipt of phosphate ore by sea and also adjacent power station and rail links.

It was modelled on the Oldbury plant, and it is worth mentioning here that British Agent/AW engineer  Alf Loveless would before this site was built have inspected the Nazi phosphorus factories in Germany to add to that efficiency endeavour.

The planning history of this site is typical in that it was not wanted locally, but forced upon the area by a greater authority. At this point in time, the wretched founding families were still in control of Albright and Wilson and through their positions in society could buy anything that they wanted, including planners.

AW had originally tried to look for a site in Scotland, no doubt which would have given the war dodging coward Bill Albright an opportunity to commute North for his favourite pastime of grouse shooting whilst conducting “business.” Scotland gained however from this avoided pollution  nightmare, and Portishead got it instead.

An article from The Birmingham Daily Gazette of 27th June 1950 states that lack of black country manpower was one reason why the phosphorus polluters of Oldbury chose to spread their vileness elsewhere. Cost cutting was the other. At this point in time going forward, Albright and Wilson the company were actively recruiting cheap foreign labour, particularly from Italy, whose new arrivals would ask few questions- especially about health effects from working conditions.

 

But in an age before social media and the internet, those outside of Oldbury (except the surrounding districts affected by the waft of cat piss), would have known little about their abysmal health and safety failings and impact of phosphorus production coming out of Trinity Street. Smaller councils were obviously at a grave disadvantage of accepting this industrial giant’s assurances of not causing “nuisance”. The following article from The Western Daily Press 16th August 1950 outlines that this 20 acre site factory would require extensive alterations to the existing Portishead docks and railway sidings and local roads. There would be six steel and concrete silos at 100ft high and the phosphorus furnace itself occupying 45,000 square feet. There would be an import of 200,000 tonnes of phosphate rock which it laughably states would cause no nuisance or traffic problems.

Further on in his report to the Long Ashton rural council, Mr Foster, the planner however backtracks on this. It is stated that he was treated to a tour of the dire Oldbury factory and stated that “there would be no appreciable smoke nuisance, and that there was no risk of fumes damaging crops in the area.”

One can only wonder from this if Mr Foster and co were visiting a Trinity Street site in some form of parallel universe at this point in history, or if he had been provided with a suitably  fat brown envelope just to make his false claim.

Already local people in Oldbury had suffered years worth of being a potential target at the hands of the Nazi bombers for this WW2 phosphorus producer, only to be rewarded with vile smells and pollution after 1945 in a new commercial enterprise that put their health at serious risk. There would be a problem with “smoke” and there would be nauseating problems with fires, explosions and fatalities at Oldbury. Foster would have done better actually talking to local people about their experiences of living next to a phosphorus factory with “unbearable smells”  rather than the bull shitters like the “Quaker” conman W.B Albright , but planners are seldom ever interested in the realities of a situation, just the economics of their masters.

Portishead Urban council however would not be so easily pushed aside.

From 22nd August Western Daily Press, this authority was concerned about such realities. Bristol Planning committee were to make the decision on the factory. It is clear that local opposition to the AW machine was gathering pace in the form of petitions. This is something omitted from the company history books about Albright and Wilson, like many other inconvenient truths and the manner in which their apologists have attempted to claim that they were the area. .

People were concerned that the residential area would be turned into a sprawling chemical dump, but their concerns were largely ignored by one of the worst planning reports I have ever seen.


The statement concerning “no objectionable smells” being present during the Oldbury furnace tour are again laughable. Oldbury workers themselves called it “old smokey” and the pollution was bloody awful and creaking with industrial disease. Similar claims about no pollution are again the words of a bent council officer shilling the Albright and Wilson lies. The report is one of almost total fiction, no doubt supplemented by dishonest scumbags like Loveless and Albright.

Talk about “no hardship” to local residents from fume loss are grotesque in their lack of understanding of phosphorus pollution and the insidious real dangers. Similar nonsense is spilt with talk of effluent- of course phossy water – which would prove the unravelling of the future plant at Long Harbour built after this factory.

Claims about trade waste are also lies, we know full well the types of wastes containing phosphorus dumped at Rattlechain.

Talk about good health records of workers at Oldbury are also lies. They were contracting phossy jaw well into the next decade. “Medical advisors” at A/W were unprofessional company manipulators who lied about the dangers of exposure to asbestos.

 

Another article the next day underlined the situation that Portishead council were in and also how members of the public had had little time to object to a meeting that they could not even address.

“Portishead has always been noted as a beautiful residential resort. Here you are going to stick a stinking chemical factory in the middle of it.” 

 

A further article appeared in the same paper two days later, and it is clear that the shyster Albright was doing everything possible to try to shit on local residential opposition. I wonder if the Nazi furnaces that his mate Loveless had gained industrial knowledge from on behalf of The British Government would also be made available for inspection to compare their similarity? The liar would have course submitted nothing about Rattlechain lagoon, which by now was well established, as well as the real problems that existed at his disgusting cancer and industrial disease belching anus of a factory due North.

It was clear from the next instalment of this debate on 2nd September 1950 that PDC councillors were not as gullible in falling for the AW crap fantasy stories. Unfortunately these bureaucratic multi councils were typical of the times, and still unfortunately are. PDC as representative of their immediate area wanted the greater authority at Bristol to reject the factory as it would “injuriously affect the amenities of Portishead district as a whole”. 

The meeting had once again seen the coward Albright could not give any guarantee about future plans for this factory and if more than phosphorus would be made here. As it would transpire it would not be long before that happened!

The statement made concerning health effects and the manufacture of phosphorus are totally bogus and obviously written by another bought AW shill. The effects of P4 production were well known at this time, and certainly to Albright and Wilson. The medical adviser was an imbecile. Similar statements made about effluent are also laughable. Even more so are the statements about the glow of phosphorus and naked flames from the furnaces at Oldbury, which AW claimed could be concealed at Portishead.

Claims about dust nuisance were equally bogus.

In response to the points about the effects on the wider area the real answers were

(a) The effect of fumes on residents in the area would be a persistent nuisance- as they proved to be at Oldbury. They would also be a chronic threat to human health.

(b) The effluent ,really phossy water, was a major toxic threat to fish and beaches in the Weston Super Mare area- as later evidenced by the disastrous Albright and Wilson operation at Long Harbour. Then there was of course the regular pollution to canals at Oldbury by the carriage of said effluent by barge.

We then get a comment from a “Mr Clarke” of Albright and Wilson. This was the same wretched fool that was involved in the production of AW bombs. His claims about fumes , deposits and threat to vegetation and effluent, could therefore be summarily dismissed as pure fiction. THEY WERE ALL OCCURRING AT OLBURY UNDER HIS FAILED MANAGEMENT AT THIS VERY POINT IN TIME!


Portishead council had wanted a public inquiry into a proposed factory rather than this crooked and unscrutinised deal between Albright and Wilson and planning officers. The decision however would rest with Bristol planners.

And so it was on 7th September 1950 The Western Daily Press reported that Bristol had given the nod to the Oldbury scumbags to have their way. Most telling is that this meeting was closed to the press and was only communicated to PDC after the meeting. One wonders if this was some Grand Lodge love in . Whatever it was , it was not above corrupt.

Portishead immediately called for a public inquiry. They were not given any representation at the closed private Bristol meeting. A smell was admitted by Albright and Wilson- that being a great understatement!

 

 

 

 

 

Not surprisingly, the call was turned down as The same paper reported later on 7th November. The claims that Albright and Wilson made about mitigating the effects of fumes and problems would quickly be unravelled to be pure fantasy. 

 

On 9th November another Weston Daily Press article records the official view received from The Minister at the time Hugh Dalton, an extremely weak economist in the Labour Government. His comments about phosphates being “in the national interest” are almost straight out of the mouth of Albright and Wilson themselves, and echo those of the fellow Labour rimmer in chief at Oldbury Samuel Melsom.

 

 

 

 

 

The factory was built and production of phosphorus started in February of 1954. The method of production by the electrothermal process is set out HERE.

A cutting from The Birmingham Daily Post of 13th March 1954 shows the vista that now existed at the Portishead docks- another industrial polluting blot on the landscape. The article explains how the created phosphorus – a claimed  capacity of 40,000,000 pounds would be transported by rail to their other recently built site at Kirkby near Liverpool.

 

The vertical rubber pipe on the right was part of the suction apparatus for unloading cargoes of phosphate rock, they were transferred to the long covered conveyor belt which extended to the six storage silos. The molten P4 was transferred in the rail wagons in the centre of the picture.

An important reference to this money making scheme and all of the claims that Albright and Wilson and its management had made and all that the planning officers had failed to investigate was revealed in a written Hansard question by a Mr Edwin Leather MP for North Somerset on 17th May 1954. 

It calls for action to be taken against Albright and Wilson for “certain nuisances” being caused by the factory which were of “a longstanding nature of complaints”. It also refers to failed promises being made by the company – just as was the case at Oldbury. It also refers to “the fumes” and if these were dangerous to human health. OF COURSE ALL OF THESE ISSUES HAD BEEN RAISED BEFORE THE FACTORY WAS BUILT, AND HAD BEEN IGNORED BY THE FOOLS AT BRISTOL PLANNING AUTHORITY. 

Unfortunately the mealy mouthed response from The Attorney General Lionel Heald was also typically similar of those excuses made by the Albright and Wilson political shill at Oldbury Samuel Melsom. (Ironically Heald had prosecuted the white phosphorus poisoner Louisa Merrifield the previous year). It appears that PDC had taken evidence of the real nuisance that the factory was causing, just as they had envisaged when their objections were ignored.

The “nuisance” Portishead factory of Albright and Wilson.

A decade would pass before stirrings that all was not well with the Portishead operation came to light. The Birmingham Daily Post article from 19th February 1964 stated that  the Oldbury phosphorus furnaces were to close and instead the operation focussed at Portishead in a rationalisation exercise.

This would in fact not happen and production continued at both. The Albright and Wilson move to produce phosphorus instead at Newfoundland at Long Harbour, would reveal just how damaging a phosphorus factory and its effluent problems could be when millions of fish were killed with phossy water and the area contaminated. Two new ships had been commissioned to deliver white phosphorus straight to Portishead from this new site in from March 1969, yet almost straight away the management had to take evasive action.

The ship named after Arthur Albright, unloading phosphate rock exported from Florida.

The Birmingham Daily Post of 16th May 1969 reported that both The Oldbury factory and the Portishead furnaces which had been shut down just months earlier were to continue use. It also explains the production line process of white phosphorus from New Foundland via Portishead to Oldbury.




DECOMMISSIONING AND DISASTER- AND THE RATTLECHAIN LINK

After AW finally overcame their disastrous operations at Long Harbour, it is alleged that a programme of decommissioning began of the furnaces at Portishead. This period is by their own design extremely sketchy as to what they actually did with the materials and scrapped plant . It is clear that the satellite waste dump at Strode Road Clevedon had been used for many years as a repository which contained white phosphorus, but not in a lake as at Rattlechain lagoon. Minutes of a meeting of Clevedon Town council reveal that the Woodspring district council had been told by AW in 1979 that “under no circumstances should the ground be dug up now or any time in the future.”

Three lagoons or “phossy pits”at Portishead were also said to be in operation at the factory itself in the decommissioning report which occurred many years later. Details of these however were extremely sketchy and anecdotal.

Despite no longer making phosphorus at Portishead, it was still brought there from Long Harbour. In August 1990 one of the most spectacular health and safety failures occurred when many drums of white phosphorus went up in smoke, and certainly put Portishead on the map. This is how The Liverpool Echo reported the “major incident” drama the following day.


 

It was reported afterwards that the warehouse contained more than 30 tonnes of P4 in 166 drums, each holding 200kg. The explanation into the cause was that overnight one of the drums had caught fire spreading to the others. Over 100 firemen brought the blaze under control and it was clear that toxic white phosphorus vapour and breakdown products were given off over a 15 mile area, just as they would at Oldbury some 19 years later. It apparently also set off smoke detectors in guest houses in Weston Super Mare- perhaps a throwback to one of the dismissed claims against the new factory made many years earlier.

Unfortunately as they always did, Albright and Wilson were quick to try to downplay this incident, blaming the hot weather and putting some form of “Dunkirk spirit” in the fantastical bullshit written in Albright World. They claimed that 167 drums were damaged or destroyed out of 366 held. A sandbag lake was created to attempt to contain the obvious major pollution, though what effect this had is unclear. The dock lowered by 30 inches due to the volume of water being used to fight the fire- but where did all of this heavily contaminated phossy water go back to?

It appears that Oldbury manager and PR guru Peter Bloore was sent to address a press conference and a Portishead Town Council meeting.

Despite his mild mannered calm, (of course which made him more believable to a duped crowd), Bloore was an insidious chemical industry public relations liar, who communicated and altered his knowledge with a forked tongue and a pointed tail. He personally told me that the waste at Rattlechain was “the stuff used in toothpaste” calcium phosphate, omitting any mention of white phosphorus contained within it. This same phrase was repeated by another liar- the health and safety manager at Albright and Wilson  and then Rhodia who would no doubt have learned this distorted perversion of truth from “Dr phosphorus” himself.

Some of the claims attributed to him in Albright World following this incident are quite marked to illustrate this very point.

Bloore “sought to allay many of the fears and misgivings expressed at the meeting that had resulted from the fire” yes just as Albright and Wilson had tried to do before they had brought their contaminating factory there in the 1950’s.

“Peter added that A+W’s record with drummed phosphorus over many years, in many parts of the world, has been extremely good.”

In reality concerns about this had been expressed and in the public domain.

  • At rattlechain in the 1950’s and during the time that the thief Ernest Sulley had been operating at AW.
  • There were concerns in the 1970’s about cyanide at their tips which they claimed not to have dumped there.
  • And did “Willy” Peter tell them of the white phosphorus fire at Rattlechain only months earlier when barrels had been emptied out and a white phosphorus fire had started there?
  • Did he also tell them of the insane Mike “willy” Peters who used to shoot barrels of contaminated waste with his gun on pallets at rattlechain to sink them out of sight?
  • In fact in this very week of the fire in 1990 at The Gower Tip in Oldbury, Firemen had discovered drums of phosphorus pentasulphide above the surface. What phossy whoppers this man spun for Albright and Wilson and his pension!
  • It should also be advised at this time, as an EA report in 1997 noted, that senior manager’s bonusses were linked to environmental performances. If you could pin the blame on weather, acts of God, or anything then they would try it on. You could also of course be rewarded for attempting to cover them up.

There is also mentioned the following quote by another AW liar in attendance “Dr” Malcolm Cathcart the then “company medical adviser.”  “Only short term effects were likely to have been experienced as a result of the smoke and fumes (which are not toxic) arising from the fire.”

This statement is knowing pure blatant lies.

  • Phosphorus vapour is “toxic”. It is a COMAH dangerous substance.
  • Phosphorus pentoxide is “toxic”. It is a COSSH substance hazardous to health
  • This leads on breakdown to phosphoric acid, another COSSH  substance hazardous to health. 
  • Both can cause chronic illness .
  • These are the statements about these breakdown products made by The Health and Safety Executive when they investigated the uncontrolled release at Oldbury from the 2009 fire. 

The Public Health England Guidance on white phosphorus incident management 2016 makes it specifically clear in its key points, that the oxides arising from uncontrolled releases of white phosphorus are “toxic”.

Further points on health are also clearly specific, and if the representatives of AW communicated anything less than this to their audience they were doing so to mislead them over the threat to their human health.

We have then a situation in 1990 where many tonnes of dirty toxic waste and scrap special waste contaminated material would need to be disposed of quickly- and at cheapest cost to Albright and Wilson. Portishead within a short span of time would be decommissioned, and turned into a financial gain for this company in the form of a dockside housing conglomerate.

The “early” decommissioning itself, as revealed in the later Over Arup Report was done by Albright and Wilson themselves in a closed operation. The report frequently refers to disposal of contaminated white phosphorus waste arisings being removed to a “licenced tip”, but not the name of the said tip. There is also talk of recycling some of the material and taking it by tanker to Oldbury.

Another factor to consider is a response from the Environment agency concerning an FOI request asking them about the licence at Rattlechain and when certain records of substances within the auspices of the licence were last deposited at the site.

The answer for  these amounts and waste types are very interesting and within the timescale when the Albright and Wilson “decommissioning” were taking place, and after the 1990 fire.

(iii) Can you confirm the years when returns for Inert solid waste contaminated with elemental phosphorus 1,182.35 tonnes were filed until- e.g. from start of license until which date?

 “The last reported deposit of this waste type was in October 1997.” 

(iv) Can you confirm the years when returns for Water contaminated with elemental phosphorus or phosphoric acid or sulphur 3,550.96 tonnes were filed until- e.g. from start of license until which date?

 “The last reported deposit of this type of waste was in October 1992.”

Albright and Wilson/Rhodia have stated that “scrap machinery” went into rattlechain, though are not specific as to whether all of this came from Oldbury, or elsewhere in their factory empire.

I believe it is entirely plausible that the waste crap that Albright and Wilson didn’t want from Portishead went straight down the tip to Oldbury.  There is nothing in the licence SL31 which states that the waste HAD to be from the Oldbury factory only. This is just another loophole and another way which this useless licence could be exploited, to a cost cutting solution to AW.

Within AW, they bizarrely attempted to use this contaminated site as an educational resource by showing students around the site! Asbestos amongst other things was found to be lying around in bags here as revealed in the decommissioning report AFTER these visits. If anyone reading this recognises themselves and has or does contract any serious illnesses in later life, perhaps this is a good starting point for the claims solicitors, and what conditions Albright and Wilson were operating under during their “decommissioning” and under the auspices of The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 with regard to site visitors.

“He explained that, over extended periods, some chemical operations can produce long term pollution of the ground, even when all the laws , rules and regulations are entirely complied with.” (or when they aren’t like Albright and Wilson.)

“This can result in multi million pound liabilities for the future development of old chemical sites” 

Indeed, during their decommissioning, Albright and Wilson were fined for enriching radioactive phosphorus, again a hazard to human health and its workers. I have gone into detail about this HERE. Bloore and co showed around more students in another “Albright World” article telling them more tall stories and also about how the plant at Portishead had started to be decommissioned as soon as the furnaces there had been shut down (in 1972).

Bloore amongst others stands next to what I believe to be one of the water filled phossy pit with a group of students

I have gone into depth looking at the decommissioning report, after AW had finished their messing around at the site HERE. It has to be said that some of this process leaves some questions behind as to where Albright and Wilson’s white phosphorus contaminated material went to, and whether any of was just buried and left behind. As with other sites, including rattlechain, Albright and Wilson told the consultants what they wanted to tell them, leaving many blank spaces and questions about their commercial activities when they operated as a factory. Covered up but not totally were all of the unsafe practices, the dangers to health of workers (eg loose asbestos tipped in with “domestic waste”) as well as the threat to public and environmental safety- all the things that had been raised by Portishead council back in the dark days of 1950.

From out of a vile polluting phosphorus factory, that most of Portsmouth didn’t appear to want, came a new marina housing complex. Once again Bristol City Council were involved in the scheme. Perhaps Portishead is the Albright and Wilson bastard child that finally got “cleaned up”- but only perhaps to another of their bastard sites elsewhere…….

 

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Albright’s toxic archives #22 Albright’s bluestone blues

 

Albright and Wilson’s waste disposal activities did not just extend to pumping toxic slurries and burying drums at their own tips. They also offloaded hazardous waste to some dubious entities involved in “waste disposal”- one of these being “Bluestone chemicals Limited” based in Wrexham.

Bluestone had been granted a waste disposal licence to operate a transfer station/ come recovery operation in January 1994. Albright and Wilson were perhaps their best known “customers”.

It appears that this arrangement had cost AW nothing, yes that’s right , most people would ask questions about such an arrangement, but like many things involving this odious Oldbury polluter, including the infamous cut and shut rodder assembly that led to the uncontrolled release of phosphine gas off site in Langley in 2009, they were all about penny pinching and cutting environmental standards.

An article in the ENDS report dated 1st December 1998 confirms and sets the scene about this fiasco.

“Saga of Wrexham chemical waste stockpile continues

“The Wrexham waste treatment firm which accepted thousands of drums of chemical waste from Albright & Wilson (A&W) free of charge – only to find that its recycling process would not work – has now gone into liquidation. A&W is still refusing to say whether it will fund the site’s clean-up – preferring to see if Bluestone’s former directors succeed in a bid to reprocess the waste under a new name.”

The report reveals that A&W saved a six-figure sum by sending its waste to Bluestone, avoiding high landfill fees for the difficult wastes. The copper chrome catalysts and fatty alcohol recovery process of bluestone was rubbish. Between the three years of 1994-1997, not long before AW were heading for take over by Rhodia, they offloaded 2,000 tonnes of waste to the Welsh boyos.

The company had been officially wound up with a high court order, yet the directors had already attempted to set up another company (oh how easy it is), to transfer the waste management licence to the new phoenix company.

It appears that, as per usual from the article, the dishonesty of Albright and Wilson was apparent in that they had originally claimed that the waste had not come from them.

“We and the Environment Agency are very keen that this material should be recycled rather than dumped,” the spokeswoman said. “But if [landfill] is the only option then that is what will happen.”

A&W is still refusing to pledge funds to cleaning up the site should its “technical cooperation” fail to bear fruit. “We cannot comment one way or another” on who would pay, the spokeswoman said.”  🙄 

This is perhaps typical of the chemical industry at large. The waste disposalists are the igor to the white coated Doctor Frankensteins, waiting to unleash a  monster onto an unsuspecting public and environment. Personally I believe the highly dodgy arrangement with this crap contractor should have landed AW in the dock. The “duty of care” was none existent.

A further complication of this sorry episode was revealed in an Environment agency article, which I retrieved in the early days of the internet in 2001. At this point in time, with the deaths of many birds at rattlechain, I was looking into the activities of this company and what they were dumping, or may have dumped at their “premier” landfill site in Tividale.

I even raised it at one of the meetings we attended at Trinity Street, where Health and Safety manager Tom Dutton said that the barrels had not gone to rattlechain, but the issue with Bluestone had been “embarrassing for the company”.  😳

The article explores the legal complexities of what happens to toxic waste when a company goes bust, and the issue of the licence and the waste itself. It also reveals the total failure of the regulators to get tough with failing companies like Bluestone chemicals and instead give them time and space to continue their failing operations. It is clear to me from many instances that this arrangement is simply not the job of a regulator and that they are more interested in protecting failed businessmen and their shit business model than they are the general public and the environment. If a company is clearly failing, then their activities should be stopped immediately. The fact that the article states that many of the 7,000 drums on site were corroding and stored in the open, is an admission about the failure of The Environment Agency and their predecessor as a regulator to regulate this site properly, just like the failures of EA staff to regulate the scumbags at Trinity Street properly over many years at Rattlechain.

 

A further ENDS article from 31st March 2004 reveals that the eyesore of AW’s cheapskate dumping had finally been sorted.

“Chemical waste stockpile in Wrexham finally cleared

The Wrexham waste treatment site that was abandoned in 1998, leaving behind thousands of tonnes of chemical waste, has finally been cleared thanks to funding from the Welsh Development Agency and the persistence of the neighbouring business Brake Engineering – which bought the site but ended up having to contribute more to the clean-up costs than it had anticipated.”

And just to be clear again

“Around half the drums remaining on site came from chemicals firm Albright & Wilson, now part of Rhodia, which had handed the waste to Bluestone without paying a penny. The other half of the stockpile which had funded the plant build came from Germany, the Netherlands and the Philippines. “

It appears that this is one of the rumoured non disclosures that Albright and Wilson made to Rhodia when they took over the company, with the French monsieurs unaware of the environmental liabilities that the Warley wonders had left behind for them. It is stated that Rhodia finally coughed up £200,000 for the disposal of the remaining 1,506 tonnes of waste it had delivered to Bluestone- that perhaps serves them right for thinking they could just dump it for free to start with. One should not have any sorrow for Rhodia, they were as shit an operator as AW, and just as economic with the truth about their waste disposal activities, with the same people largely at the helm.

The only casualty of this episode, for which there appears to have been no justice at all is the neighbouring firm Brake engineering, and in particular their responsible director John Willis who had bought the site when the dubious directors at Bluestone had simply attempted to restart their failed business by a different name. Despite some help from the Welsh Development Agency, this small business, through no fault of their own were landed with a sizeable bill for clearing the rest of the crud left behind.

“There’s also the time that we as a small business have expended in dealing with this nightmare, which has been brought about by a series of bureaucratic blunders,” he says. Much of the difficulties can be traced back to the council’s role in granting a waste site licence to Bluestone in the early 1990s.

Mr Willis puts his costs since the WDA grant was agreed at £91,646, in exchange for which he now owns land worth an estimated £50,000. “We cannot leave matters as they are and are pursuing a more equitable settlement as we are the injured party in all of this, and have ended up paying a lot more than the site is worth.

One is reminded of the claim made by Albright and Wilson in The Environment Agency audit of the Oldbury factory in 1997– when they were still offloading hazardous chemical crap for free to Wrexham.

Albright & Wilson place the highest priority on the protection of its employees, customers, neighbours and others who may come into contact with, or be affected by, its operations or products. This is the guiding principle of our Health, Safety and Environment Policy.”

WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT!

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West Midlands DOOMWATCH sites

 

When site licensing for waste disposal sites was introduced following The Control of Pollution  Act 1974 , it was hailed as a means of preventing pollution from occurring. It was however a false dawn and an utter failure.  Site licences were issued by The West Midlands County Council from 1977 with an SL prefix, then number attached. Some of these were “contentious licences” in that they were subject to legal arguments between those applying for them and the regulatory authority.

Licences referred to different authorisations of facility-  landfill, subterranean disposal, treatment plant, transfer station or incinerators.

In a report written in 1978 as part of a structure plan for the county, it is revealed that the area covered 89,000 hectares (22,000 acres), with approximately 9,000 industrial manufacturing companies. It notes “Many of these industrial processes, such as chemical and metal finishing, give rise to a wide range of wastes, which include highly toxic materials.”

It estimated from the survey that the West Midlands industry  produced approximately 2,500,000 tonnes of waste! Of this some 480,000 tonnes were “hazardous wastes. “

The largest amount of waste it notes came from the Sandwell area in the form of foundry sand being produced from the manufacture of castings and slags from iron and steel production.

Numerous site licences had been issued at the time of the report to private sector concerns, and are noted by area and type in the table below.

As has been seen by the wording of many of the WMCC licences , including SL31 for rattlechain lagoon, the  interpretation of these were very ambiguous and poor. They didn’t do the job that they were supposed to.

Following the demise of the WMCC in 1986, Walsall Council Hazardous Waste Unit took over the role issuing more licences , and then from 1990 The Environment Agency came on the scene. When many of these industries using these infernal sites went bust, they were mothballed and forgotten about, some long after the disastrous idiots at the WMCC had departed.

As time went on, these SL licences were renumbered, some becoming environmental permits, and many of the conditions as well as chemicals deposited into them were forgotten. Even worse in recent times, the records were removed from public scrutiny by the EA on their “what’s in your backyard website”. This coincided with the drive to build more homes on these dire “brownfield” contaminated and polluted unsuitable sites and the new national planning policy framework did little to stop that, in fact it directly encouraged it.

This lack of historic record is truly frightening, but tailored to the liars and conmen in the housing development industry where 50cm of topsoil can “cure” all of the contamination underneath from the past . The calls to “relax” the planning laws are made by those who will profit directly from building new houses. None of these people would ever choose to live in a house built on one of these SL sites, or anywhere near them. THEY ARE NOT “SAFE” .

Coming by historic landfill information has never been more difficult, and I have come across it time after time locally that people who have bought houses on or near to these sites are clueless as to what was there before, and were NOT informed by the developer crooks who sold them the house as to what it was formerly built upon. It appears to suit the equally crooked solicitor industry that such information is obtainable by them for a large fee.

save my precious greenbelt

 

Unfortunately the political class appear intent on “brownfield first”. Those such as Andy Street, the non wanted metro Mayor of a poor man’s reinvention of the WMCC and others living in the more affluent areas of South Staffordshire and Wolverhampton, (and if they really think that they have “made it”, Malvern or the Derbyshire Dales),  witter on about “their precious” greenbelt. They appear to think that the black country should take all the new houses and that the cancerous contaminated land is somehow “ripe for development” or “shovel ready”. Of course the Tories want to land bank in their voting homelands whilst foisting new build targets into Labour dominated overpopulated areas. Labour on the other hand are intent on allowing building on their sites because of their total mismanagement of public funds over many years, blamed on the cuts and austerity, so take the Conservative Government handouts when they are given for allowing more building on unsuitable “brownfield”. Council tax is raised by new house building, but little new infrastructure appears, thus restarting the drive to sell off more land. We appear to be divided by the political classes “greenbelt”- it is phoney concept and an invisible line introduced by those who want to keep these divisions and the common out.  

Take for example the recently announced land sell off deal between Severn Trent Water- one of the worst regional environmental polluters in the area, Sandwell council and The West Midlands Combined authority. Land off Friar Park is set to be turned into housing , but I wonder what the environmental surveys will find in the drive to protect the purse strings of the green belt last zealots?

Many of the SL licenced “brownfield” sites- former toxic waste dumps, transfer stations and landfill sites in disused marl pits have already been re-landscaped or built on top of to hide the former use, and some have greened over producing a “greenbelt” for wildlife in the urban areas, bulging with over human population. None of the main parties who call for “brownfield first” are  friends of urban wildlife or their habitats, but somehow see wildlife as a convenient pawn to stop development in their own affluent areas. WELL HERE’S SOME NEWS YOU SELFISH SWINE- IT DOESN’T JUST LIVE IN “THE COUNTRYSIDE” WHERE YOU LIVE. 

It is a disgusting statistic that Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population , just morally wrong.  The Duchy of Cornwall estate for example owned by Prince Charles has an area of around 135,000 acres, that’s plenty of space to build some new council estates.

Hey Charlie, pass us yer Duchy on de left hand side!

😆

Yet what Andy Street and co do not appear to appreciate is that many of the “brownfield” sites that they want to build on in the West Midlands have already seen houses built right up to the fence line of a previous landfill past, as though the pollution somehow stopped there at a flimsy chain link fence, and that digging up a site over 40 years after it was abandoned is somehow “safe” just because some liar of a consultant and their made up laboratory reports appear to  find no contamination of concern. Of course when you know from the site licences and anecdotal evidence what was tipped in there and in what quantities, and how the site was “restored” ,if at all, these laboratory reports must be bloody magic, as all of the contaminated materials appear to have mysteriously disappeared with time.

  • How are people going to be protected from these areas being dug up with chemicals coming to the surface and into the air, or through polluted groundwater?
  • Did they buy their homes near to a licensed site, only later to find out that it is on some “call for sites” list?
  • What effect will such developments have on people who have medical health conditions such as asthma?
  • Silica dust/asbestos fibres and the like is not stopped by a flimsy screen or watering the dust thrown up out of the ground. But it will also not show itself in terms of impacting on human health for many decades, after the consultants ,the dodgy developers and the political facilitators are long gone. 

And do not for one moment be fooled by the political classes boasts about “innovative technology” being able to “clean up” these sites. I saw first hand one of these contaminated brownfield areas strewn with toxic barrels and spewing waste being “cleaned up” by “ultra heat treatment”, only to see it disappear down a brook course, into a pool and then funnelled away via the River Tame. It’s effect on wildfowl was devastating, but the EA and the council just looked the other way having achieved their task of removing the contamination from their flagship new housing estate. The company behind this and their “technology” were a total fraud. 

In an attempt to stop this, I have started a list of historic landfill SL sites in The West Midlands County, in the hope that anyone reading this for a specific location can make enquires and find out more about what was dumped at a particular site near to their homes. Once you have the location and the SL site number, it then becomes easier to find out more information about the chemicals that were allowed to be tipped there.

It is possible to ask a Local Authority and The Environment Agency for these licences via a Freedom of Information Act/Environmental information regulations Act request, especially  given that they still hold them but clearly do not publish them for the reasons of protecting the crooked housing developer industry as highlighted above. Join the website whatdotheyknow.com whereby the information and these licences will then be put in the public domain, instead of hidden away in a civil servant shills filing cabinet.

Here are the direct links to asking the 7 local WM authorities questions about these contaminated land sites.

BIRMINGHAM

COVENTRY

DUDLEY

SANDWELL

SOLIHULL

WALSALL

WOLVERHAMPTON

Of these, Walsall is by far the most open with their historic dumping past, and some of the old licences appear on their website, though are not complete.

AND HERE IS THE DIRECT LINK TO ASK QUESTIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY. 

A sample request can be found HERE. Just copy and paste and substitute the site licence and area involved.

The Doomwatch spreadsheet below shows the SL site number, operator and location of their issue. This is not an exhaustive list, but I have spent a great deal of time on it using different primary  sources. It is a work in progress and will be added to on a page on this website as and when more information comes to light. I have also obtained some of the original licences and the links to these are available. N.B Not all of these sites are comparable in terms of danger. Some tips did not contain “hazardous wastes”, but with the licences so vaguely worded it was possible to exploit this, and it also does not account for what was dumped there BEFORE the licence was issued. Generally, the earlier ones passed by the WMCC were the worst of the lot and the most contaminated.

SITEBLIGHTWMCC

Putting the information back into the public domain

I will over the course of the next few months be looking at some of these SL licences and the contentious issues surrounding them, and what remains of these areas today. Unfortunately, the politicians think that time has made people forget what’s in their backyard and what lies beneath- well fuck you suckers, you are going to have a hard time from me to ruin your little house building schemes.

This website will always campaign against building houses on top of contaminated areas, and anywhere near to them such as those next to Rattlechain lagoon and producing so called “garden cities” and “urban villages”. These terms are political spin, from people who would not themselves ever choose to live or bring up their families anywhere near to a former WMCC licensed landfill site.  

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Captain Ahab on the chain

I have always been a big fan of the website “Captain Ahab’s watery tales”. It is probably the best canal blog around, packed with local history information about lost arms of the BCN canal network and beyond. I have used some of the information as a guide to my own research into the areas affected by Albright and Wilson’s operations when the waste from their factory was transported by barge to rattlechain lagoon.

“Captain Ahab” , AKA Andy Tidy has also produced several videos on youtube which show through illustration and reconstruction what is left of some of the lost waterways today.

The purpose of this post is to showcase a very relevant video post about the chemical arm and “The Oldbury Loop” -which strongly mentions the transport of the phosphorus toxic waste and the journey it took along the canal.

Andy visits both the entrance to the Houghton Arm, and stops along the way at key points, and his final destination is everyone’s favourite toxic waste dump.  😛

It is at least refreshing to know that I am not the only person who has come to the logical conclusion that building new houses next to a site such as this is very questionable. Andy is far more articulate than myself in summarising the situation, so if you do not wish to plough through the mish mash jigsaw puzzle of content I have put on  this website to uncover the past misdemeanours , you could do no better than watching this video to demonstrate what I am trying to say, in just many fewer words,  😆

 

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Do panic Captain Mainwaring!

 

On Friday, Solvay “tested” their air raid siren alarm, supposedly an implement to warn the general public about an emergency on the site such as a fire or release of chemicals.

This annual event receives much publicity in the preceding days, yet from the looks of some of the comments on social media, it seems as though many people are completely baffled as to what they are supposed to do if it is ever sounded.  😆

Famously of course, when there was such an incident in January 2009, Rhodia as they then were, were caught with their pants down and failed to sound this alarm to warn the public about the uncontrolled release of toxic gas following a fire, which went off site- namely phosphine. They claimed in The Health and Safety Executive report , released only as a result of this website’s efforts, that West Midlands Fire Service had told them not to, (wait for it), in case it panicked the public!

I approached Langley green with caution in the lead up to the sonic blast being sounded.

This station of course once had a private sidings leading into the Albright and Wilson works to deliver white phosphorus and chlorine- one of the main reasons why it limited new buildings in the immediate vicinity for decades.

A little further on in the turn to Station Street, the “quality” and “beautiful” homes being built just metres from this TOP TIER COMAH SITE are progressing nicely. I wonder what fools will eventually want to buy them?  😆

There appeared to be little evidence of any activity on the Solvay main carpark, built on top of the mill pool area around 1990. In years gone by, Albright and Wilson would put on a display of “training” with their special friends at West Midlands Fire Service, but I saw no such appliances anywhere in the area on this occasion.

All quiet on the Western Front

There was however some steam or smoke coming from one of the plants.


Elsewhere from my vantage point it is clear that demolition works are proceeding a pace near to Trinity Street, the line that bisects the works into “topside” and “bottomside” that the local wigs called “the Oxford”- don’t ask me why, boring history lesson.

 


 

As the countdown began, I began to start filming the moment for posterity, and have to state that I had never actually heard the alarm first hand so didn’t really know what to expect. And then it came as I started to do the voiceover which speaks for itself…..

do panic captain mainwearing!

Solvay testing their alarm. A bit late as they don't sound it when there is a real toxic leak.

Posted by Rattlechain lagoon- What lies beneath on Friday, 4 October 2019

This air raid siren is a direct throwback to World War Two when Albright and Wilson were a Ministry Of Supply factory making phosphorus weapons such as the useless AW bombs.

I recall my Dad once saying to me on hearing this many years ago in a film “that’s a sound that I hope you never have to hear.” He was one of many children who was evacuated out of The West Midlands industrial areas during the war to the countryside to escape the blitz. Whereas some areas local to Oldbury were bombed , in West Bromwich, Tipton, and of course devastatingly in Coventry, the AW factory unfortunately wasn’t hit.

I’m sure this annual event brings back terrifying memories for many elderly people today still, particularly those who were children and saw the devastation that went with it. So why perpetuate this garbage into the 21st Century, and what do people of today even make of it, or know what they are supposed to do? There are no Anderson shelters at the bottom of the garden, and no need to switch out the lights.

Albright and Wilson for many years were happy to exaggerate their role in the war, with war dodgers like WB Albright poncing around with the rest of the works management in the 8th Worcestershire Home Guard. A WW2 unexploded bomb case exhumed in 1990 on the car park used to proudly hang in the reception area to the building , but Rhodia on their takeover decided to remove it. Perhaps the reminder of the woeful retreat of two World wars was too much to take for the monsieurs?

For some reason, Sandwell council were happy however to big up this event on their social media. No less than three posts on their facebook page warned of the alarm being sounded. They even plugged the private foreign owned company again filming a video outside the council house as a backdrop. But why?

I put a comment off this, with factual information about the 2009 incident, with a link to the HSE report and what Rhodia had claimed.

For some reason, the person in SMBC comms team in charge of social media removed this post, and for no valid reason whatsoever. It is true and accurate information, but appears to show what I alluded to in a previous post about censorship and attempting to gatekeep for this large industrial polluter. The Labourite/union links to this company in Sandwell and beyond run very deed, and they have become blinded by this , blocking all opposition and freedom of expression.

Their activists and supporters not only penetrate into “friends of” groups , but also local (selective) history groups and civic society groups, all pedalling the same bullshit as to how “great” Albright and Wilson were. Public funding has promoted this lie on the internet and in books, and it is a disgrace, but I will continue to provide all relevant links to expose this company so that their propaganda can be challenged. They are a dying force , and till the last one of them has croaked, either from the chemicals that they breathed in working for the said company or through old age, the memory of Albright and Wilson continues to be extinguished with every new day as to how irrelevant they really are to the area’s future.

I predict , that in the not too distant future, Solvay and the entire factory will close down and relocate abroad. It is on the cards. Their factory gets smaller and the workforce lighter every day. Perhaps that’s why they want to try to remind people of the war- implementing fear, solidarity and “community” from a different age when they “ran ” Oldbury.

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Albright’s toxic archives #21 Enriching Radioactive dusts- and the truth

Here are two very contrasting stories which tells you all that you need to know about Albright and Wilson the company and the chemical industry at large.

This relates to the decommissioning of the Portishead site near Bristol, where P4 was manufactured in the 1950’s and 1960’s. More about this coming very soon…..

It is alleged that Albright and Wilson began this process after 1972 when phosphorus production finally switched to the Longharbour plant in Newfoundland, that had been an unmitigated disaster due to pollution and plant problems. This had led to both the Oldbury and Portishead plants being restarted and continued for many extra months. Some of the scrap and phosphorus waste from the Portishead site presumably went into their satellite waste dump in Strode Road in Clevedon, but I’m not convinced that it all went there.

The following powder puff piece from the fairy story company magazine “Albright World” – (which was never a “bright” one with them in it) describes a factory visit by some taken in professor with a group of students. He is stated as praising their “environment ‘openness’ ” –WHAT A PILE OF BOLLOCKS! 

Quoted is serial AW spin doctor and former Oldbury Works manager Peter “Dr phosphorus” Bloore , a man who once told me that the material in rattlechain lagoon was “the stuff used in toothpaste”.

 

GLOWING with praise

Several claims are made within this magazine chemical fabrication, which I believe to be dated around the very early 1990’s, in a post Chernobyl world.

“The controlled” decommissioning … “involves decontamination of phosphorus and radioactive residues by employees and specialist contractors.”

“Dismantling and decontamination of the phosphorus furnaces, Peter explained actually started in 1972 , and most of the buildings have been removed.”

Bloore claims that the site would be restored to the condition it was in before Albright and Wilson started phosphorus production there, and that this would inspire residential development following sampling and monitoring. All a very neat precis and actually a complete pile of doctored PR bollocks.

If we rewind the clock a little earlier, here is what The Sandwell Evening Mail reported on 15th July 1989 “MIDLAND FIRM IS FINED ….FOR ALLOWING RADIOACTIVE DUST TO BLOW AROUND A DOCKSIDE SITE.” 

Albright and Wilson were fined £10,000 for their environmental failures at Portishead.

Albright and Wilson admitted five offences under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Phosphorus production dangerously enriches radioactive nuclides, as the study below shows. 

SMOPIE_Annex2_WP2

The issue was that the  material that they were handling was to recover phosphorus from the waste, but which instead they ended up enriching causing radiation danger to those workers and also the general public. This was a failure to adhere to regulations, and a health and safety failure in process.


This was small change for Albright and Wilson, but shows up the lying spin in Albright World for what it was- entirely to dupe their workers and make them believe that they were working for a company that cared about their health- the one that admitted five offences under the very Act designed to protect them! There is also the fact that Albright and Wilson had another site at the Gower Tip in Tividale which stated on application for site licencing that “some radioactive wastes” had been deposited there.

Neither the SL31 licence- Rattlechain or the SL32 licence Gower Tip state that the materials deposited there HAD TO COME FROM OLDBURY. In fact they could have come from anywhere across the country, from any of the Albright and Wilson factories, especially those being decommissioned. Indeed if we are to take Bloores’s statement as truth, then if decommissioning started in 1972, then this would have allowed them at least two years to have dumped some of the worst stuff from Portishead up to Oldbury BEFORE licensing.

But fear not Albright and Wilson. At this point in history they had on board a prominent official in Robin Paul who was a  member of a clandestine organisation known as NIREX.

Nirex standing for Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive, was a body set up to explicitly find ways of dumping radioactive waste in deep well shallow graves. Whatever spin anyone else tries to put on this group , they are talking crap. 

Paul’s membership of this insidious body should come as no surprise when Albright and Wilson’s main problem were with expenditure on wastes and their disastrous waste pollution issues- such as this one at Portishead. Of course Albright and Wilson would be trying to dispose of their issues using this very body , and together with the others in NIREX , their little scheming and vile legacy was thankfully nipped in the bud and vehemently opposed.

Albright and Wilson had a site at Whitehaven very near to a well known nuclear site– both in the vicinity of AW rimmer John Cunningham MP- “industrial policy advisor”. One wonders if NIREX had continued, if this particular site would have made a profitable sell off for AW to dig some deep holes to dump some radioactive shite.

It’s when you start to make these connections that you see just how powerful Albright and Wilson were in lobbying and influencing policy for their financial gain from behind the scenes and out of the public eye. But it is something that the original family members had been doing themselves for many years earlier in the growth of their vile polluting factories.

 

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Albright’s toxic archives #20 A fatal phosphorus shower

It was not only at their disastrous Oldbury factory that deaths occurred due to the direct chemical that their entire operation depended upon. Just two years after the opening of their Portishead factory near Bristol, a white phosphorus explosion killed a man and injured another.

The 24 ton rail tankers in the centre of the picture were laden with molten white phosphorus

This article appeared in The Birmingham Daily Post on January 7th 1956. 

Poor George Buck a maintenance fitter died attempting to  repair a blocked pipe. The explosion showered him with white phosphorus and he died from severe burns.

His colleague , the hapless Herriot, appeared to be doing what he had been instructed to do to purge the gas trap which separated solids from gases. He claimed at the coroners hearing which recorded a verdict of “accidental death” that he had regularly done it this way.

Of course one could blame Herriot for the death, but this shows major failings of management , training and health and safety at these works. The Portishead site and its phosphorus furnaces was modelled on Oldbury works, and one wonders with the failures and fatalities seen there why they continued to care so little about their workforce. Perhaps it was because juries kept returning verdicts of “accidental death” rather than the corporate manslaughter that it really was. 


The effects of white phosphorus misused in war theatres can be seen below. Albright and Wilson’s victims were their workforce first.

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A pier at Worthing

Last month there was a very suspicious “chemical leak” at Worthing in Sussex which left several people feeling ill with “vomiting” and “sore eye” symptoms being reported. The authorities closed off the pier.

This all had the very similar dubious pattern of an event that occurred at Beachy head/Burling Gap two years ago. On this occasion, the WLBRL team headed for the coast to see what could be found. Since then it has been revealed that the finest scientific minds in the UK have deduced, er , absolutely nothing as to what this substance even was.

Annex_A_Birling_Gap_science_report

“…it has not been possible to identify the irritant chemical involved”- well how bloody convenient.

The DEFRA report above speculates ”  it seems most likely that the source of the gas cloud was a ship, lost cargo, or possibly a wreck.
Unless further information is obtained, it may never be possible to identify the precise source of the release. “

Very similar claims appear to have been made in the most recent incident, with the pier at Worthing being at the centre of the chemical scare.

And so it was that the intrepid WLBRL explorers ventured from the West Midlands heading South in an attempt to get to the bottom of it .

 

At nearly a distance of 200 miles , no place in the UK is safe from our investigations.  😆

A lovely summers day glistened the motorway and A road route, and despite a few hold ups the target area was eventually reached.

On hitting the pebbled beach, a hasty security cordon was erected with the offending erection in view.

 

A wise cracking seagull looked on;  was this a Russian spy communicating some form of code? Had he dropped something nasty into the sea? There was definitely something fishy about this sear-guy.

Out to Sea, the ghastly sight of wind turbines blighted the waterscape, and more distantly I’m sure I heard the wailing of Remoaners lapping on the waves from Brighton, crying about the proroguing of parliament.

A hideous blight

The pier at Worthing was built in 1862 and upgraded 26 years later. A fire destroyed most of it in 1933, and the rebuilt structure is what can be found today. Interestingly it has won “pier of the year” twice in 2006 and THIS year. Using my Columbo style sleuth prowess, I wonder if some jealous rival decided to set off some stink bombs in retaliation?

nearly 300 metres long

A handy Geiger counter was used to detect any possible fallout from malicious activities. Radioactive divebombing birds trained by a tin pot dictator state being plausible. In fact Southern Water, that water company now best known for its corporate fraud for not reporting notifiable pollution issues, recently laughably attempted to use hawks in order to try to deter SEAGULLS from being there– yes those birds that fly over the sea . Their ludicrous rationale- that the creatures were contaminating the sea! This shit, frequent shit polluting discharger is officially the worst water company in the country, but would they ever consider releasing some form of chemical bird repellent I wonder?

Some interesting glass work ran along the division of the pier. Was this the work of some crazed scientist ?

What’s brewing?

Behind the pier a large wheel provided a thrill seeking opportunity.


The eye of the Geiger

At the end of the structure some tossers were fishing. Had one of these jerks on one end of the line pulling a jerk on the other end of the line accidentally disturbed something on the seabed on that fateful day?



The water was fairly blue and clear. The wind was quite gusty, but there was no detection of any chemical in the air or on the pier itself. And so the cordon was lifted.

Back on the beach, it seemed as though Worthing Baywatch were not too busy that day either.


Some interesting “shipwrecks” in Worthing were noted, though none of these referred to any type of chemicals being carried.


One is therefore left to wonder what was going on here, and why yet again the authorities appear incapable of being able to detect any common chemical that was involved? All around us of course we live with chemicals , in the air, in the water and in the ground, yet when something like this happens, those who created the source are usually the last to reveal it.


       THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE……

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Gatekeeping the “safety” of Rattlechain lagoon


Since starting this website in 2013, and long before this when asking questions about this “hazardous waste site” and the company making the poisonous white phosphorus and other chemicals that went into it, I have been struck by the number of those belonging to the left leaning political class who have actively tried to silence and belittle my attempts to get to the truth.

Far from being “persecuted” and “blacklisted” by the likes of The Economic League and others, these all championing union supporting “comrades” have kept their personal interest in the company – particularly Albright and Wilson, very close to their chest. Rather than being class warriors interested in environmental justice, they have kept their mouths tightly shut. This equally applies to their deluded ex workforce, still loyal to a company whose founding families were pure capitalists who rubbed shoulders with the hunting classes themselves. It is amazing that when it does not fit a class war “bloody Tories” tick box as to how quiet these characters become on just about every issue. Not that I am politically affiliated to anyone, it’s just a direct observation.

It is also the case that this website and my research about rattlechain lagoon is never going to be highjacked by self serving political characters out for their own promotional agenda, something which unfortunately has happened before with community campaigning on pollution hotspots and environmental matters. 

I have previously blogged about how Albright and Wilson employed many local amateur Labour politicians, as well as some having very close personal family ties with the company; and the subsequent companies still do. This is no conspiracy theory, it is a fact.

Albright and Wilson/Rhodia, and their political friends controlled the type of information about rattlechain lagoon and their polluting factory for many years.

What is interesting however is the way in which political “friends” and allies of a certain left leaning persuasion attempt to solicit blacklisting of one person’s attempts to get to the truth when speaking out about these close political links with a polluting company – now increasingly through social media. If it were the other way around, and this company had close opposition party links, it would be a class war twitter storm for them. I refer again to my comment about the economic league above and the hypocrisy that goes with doing something similar to the actions of this fabled body, that in truth the class warriors were never through their lack of any importance or relevance (except in their own deluded minds), ever on the radar of.

It is extraordinary, though not surprising when such people exhibit such  overwhelming hypocrisy by gatekeeping. Take for example the one below that I chanced on by accident involving pictures which were shared onto a public group about rattlechain. Someone posted a link to this website, only for the smug author of the original post , (a local blogger of some note) to claim this.

and the reason is what exactly?

I have no idea whatsoever why the poster claimed that he did not “link to it for a reason”, and further baffled about the comment about the site keeping “courts busy for many hours.” Perhaps he would care to clarify if he means the site- as in rattlechain lagoon, or the web “site” , run by me?

Whatever the reason for posting this, if he is inferring the latter, then he is making a knowingly false claim in its entirety. The statements that I make and pages published have all been sourced by original documents, National Archives material, newspaper accounts of the time, witnesses, FOI/EIR requests to relevant bodies, which I include, and are not just anecdotes made by anonymous people or those with rose tinted recollections. I take this comment as an attack on me personally, and that of my work.

This “troubles” some people because it shows dedicated research in dark areas that many would like hidden- such as those amateur politicians who take a wage home from their employment, or a pension from their previous polluting employer. 

What I find more disturbing is when I attempted to answer something on the original post via facebook. Within five minutes of making the post, and attempting to give the link to this website, I had been blocked by the author, and after seeing that the post was still visible via someone else’s profile, saw that my post had also been deleted- so that no one else could see that which I had written. That’s some community minded champion blogger and advocate of freedom of information right there.  😆  😆 😆

What is more interesting is that one of the post likers on the first post was none other than Sandwell Labour Councillor Paul Sandars– like many, a once a liberal democrat defector.

A BRIEF DIGRESSION. 

In Sandwell, I am not liked by the local councillors. I take this as a badge of honour, because what we have in this authority is a dictatorship one party state with irrelevant scrutiny and no opposition. In saying this, I would again point out that I am not a member of, nor ever have been of any other political party, I just find the one in power in Sandwell, useless, clueless and provenly corrupt on many levels.

I give the example below to illustrate this point, from a subject access request that I recently put in to this inept local authority. This relates to me exposing their disgraceful Canada goose cull where my compliant to the Local Government Ombudsman about corrupt officers and contractors belonging to SMBC lying about what they had done WAS UPHELD. As with this website, I put in freedom of information requests to get to the truth- (remember a Labour Government introduced FOI and that was something good that they did do), and it was only via these that the information became public knowledge.

From the SAR, an email which SMBC have purposefully blanked out to disguise who sent it shows the little Hitler dictator author instructing others , probably officers, to not have any contact with myself only through him or her. He or she further then states that I should be treated as “vexatious”. No evidence of vexatious behaviour is provided with the email, because none existed to back up the statement. IT WAS A PURE ATTEMPT BY ONE INDIVIDUAL AT GATEKEEPING POLITICAL AND OFFICER CORRUPTION WITHIN SANDWELL COUNCIL.

I believe the author of this ,due to the abysmal mixing of “is” for “his” to be the moronic Darren Cooper deceased, former leader of SMBC who presided over the most corrupt period in the authorities history. Seen here is a direct example of how this gutless, fat yellow coward used public servants and tax payer’s money to do his bidding, and to cover up lies that he knew had been told by his corrupt parks officers, and also most laughably in the process, not even able get his diktat right. 😆 Such a great socialist, but one in true action.

This “Voldermortation” of an individual as I am coining the term, is a direct form of bullying. It is one that I have encountered before in my life, effectively “sending someone to Coventry”, not giving them any information or just blanking , “blocking” them or “no platforming” them. Then there is “guilt” by association, “I won’t be your fwend anymore if you associate with them.” It is both childish and intended to demean and to shut down any debate and freedom of speech- particularly on wrong doing, but this is the preserve of the infantile far left cry babies, and it is one that Cooper had to a fine art.

In a nutshell, it is the model of every single state where Communism has ever festered; to shut down any opposition or freedom of speech, so that a true “fascist” can prosper with the oligarchy. And may, God willing, it never come to this country. 

Whispered in private amongst themselves in an attempt to silence someone just asking valid questions- oh but where are the community championing socialist bloggers out there commenting on this?

 

Going back to the rattlechain facebook post, it is then more strange that the blogger then posted two links. The first one to the Rhodia website- a desperate multi billion , multinational’s  (headed by an ex French Government civil servant), attempt at a PR job after the creation of this website, as “officially” . The second, a link to a news story about local residents living next to the site who were not informed by the developers fearing concerns given the proven exposure to white phosphorus in the lake to birds as “unofficially”.

But one poster made the following astute comment about Rhodia’s desperate nonsense- and here is the response which I made to this, which was for reasons unknown, removed by Mr Blogger mate of Sandars, Sandars being the mate of at least three ex or current labour councillors in three different local authorities who worked or had close family links to Albright and Wilson and Rhodia. Nothing malicious, nothing libellous, nothing untruthful- so why was it removed to inadvertently at least, gatekeep for this multi million pound polluter company in the process?

HERE IS THE DIRECT LINK TO THE PROVEN FACTUAL SCIENCE BEHIND THE SYSTEMIC POISONING OF THE BIRDS AT RATTLECHAIN LAGOON, PUT THERE BY ALBRIGHT AND WILSON AND RHODIA EMPLOYEES ,BY WHITE PHOSPHORUS– IS ANYONE CLAIMING THAT THIS IS “ALLEGATION” – GIVEN THAT THE COMPANY PAID FOR THE TESTS AND THE INDEPENDENT OPINION GIVEN WAS BY GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS?

AND HERE BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT AGENCY SCIENTISTS COLLUDING TO STOP ME ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THE TEST RESULTS CONCERNING ONE BIRD THAT WAS EXPOSED TO WHITE PHOSPHORUS AT RATTLECHAIN- ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF GATEKEEPING FOR AN INDUSTRIAL POLLUTER.

OR IS ANYONE SAYING THAT IT WOULD BE BETTER IF THE TRUTH HAD NEVER BEEN KNOWN, JUST TO PROTECT A FUCKING HOUSE PRICE?

When attempting to give a balance by sharing this website, I found that I had been blocked from doing so.

“That is an excellent attempt at PR only slightly damaged by the phrase “Please note that the Rattlechain Lagoon is a hazardous waste landfill site with an open body of water. For your own safety and that of others we urge you not to try to gain unauthorised access to the site at any time. The site is surrounded by a metal fence, monitored by CCTV and regularly inspected by a security contractor in order that we can ensure the site remains safe and secure. In an emergency, or if you see any suspicious behaviour, please contact 0121 541 3314 or the Police.”
Other than that it is a real asset to the community.”

I don’t think that I can better this comment about Rhodia’s attempts to silence local concern, except offer illustrations which demonstrate the true “safety” of this site to the surrounding public at large. Even a Sandwell council planning officer remember described the site where houses were built next to it as “a crap site for residential”– or perhaps I have made this up as well  🙄

ENTRANCE GATE JOHN’S LANE

 

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Eight foot metal twin gates topped with spikes and a further 1 foot of razor wire

 

A company which “accepts no responsibility” warning of “DANGER”

A sign that clearly speaks for itself!

 

Gate secured with heavy duty metal chain and padlock

six foot metal palisade fencing, spikes at the top, surrounding three sides of the entire site- well over 400 meters. Eight foot wooden reinforced fencing against people’s back gardens, presumably to keep them in. 

1 foot coiled razor wire topping the palisade fencing with accompanying “DANGER” SIGN around the entire perimeter.

 

An old but still readable warning sign about “chemically treated water”

 

Several “hazardous landfill” warning signs erected around the perimeter, and on the inside of the site. (presumably for the ducks to read)

 

 

Dome hawk , full tilt and zoom pole mounted camera at the front gate, spanning the entire pool, and can also pick up anyone on the “Mintworth” Duport’s Tip hill and along John’s lane.

 

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Extra cctv cameras with a thermal imaging camera pointing in three directions. An audible speaker attached to communicate with any potential trespassers.

Two more additional cctv cameras mounted on poles x2 on The North embankment, also with added thermal imaging and loud speakers

 

“Please note that the Rattlechain Lagoon is a hazardous waste landfill site with an open body of water. For your own safety and that of others we urge you not to try to gain unauthorised access to the site at any time. The site is surrounded by a metal fence, monitored by CCTV and regularly inspected by a security contractor in order that we can ensure the site remains safe and secure. In an emergency, or if you see any suspicious behaviour, please contact 0121 541 3314 or the Police.”

BUT HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART ABOUT THIS WHOLE POST FOLKS, AND IS THE BOTTOM LINE.

NONE OF THIS STUFF WAS EVER PRESENT WHEN ALBRIGHT AND WILSON WERE ACTIVELY DUMPING TOXIC WASTE AT THIS SITE, AND NONE OF IT WAS PRESENT WHEN BARRATT HOMES WERE MARKETING HOUSES FOR SALE ON THE ADJACENT FORMER SEWAGE WORKS.

AND NEITHER WAS RHODIA’S PATHETIC “OFFICIAL” PR WEBSITE. 

RATTLECHAIN LAGOON- AS SAFE AS HOUSES. 

WHATEVER THE ODDS STACKED AGAINST ONE PERSON DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH, ALL THE EVIDENCE WILL BE PUT ON THIS WEBSITE, IF ANYTHING ELSE JUST TO PISS OFF AND EMBARRASS POLITICAL AND CIVIL SERVICE LACKIE GATEKEEPERS. 

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DANGER! AW Bombs at large #3

The concluding part 3 of news articles relating to the discovery of Albright and Wilson’s toxic useless bottles, made for an anti tank war that never came to Britain.

“The filling comprised 125cc WP, 21cc Water and 110 cc Benzine.”

As well as the obvious hazard of “Self igniting” white phosphorus and its subsequent breakdown products when these bottles were broken, it is also worth considering that benzene itself is a very carcinogenic substance, which makes it all the more dangerous when anyone came into direct contact with them. The quantity of benzene in each bottle was around 100CC according to this MOD published document , and there were 24 bottles in each box. When considering that over a documented  7 million  of these were made, this relates to over 700,000,000cc of benzene or 700,000 litres or 153, 978.5 UK gallons.    By contrast a typical Olympic sized swimming pool holds 555,000 gallons of water.  The Home Guard of course didn’t care where they left them- thanks for that Captain Mainwaring.

An article from The Aberdeen Press and Journal, 23rd April 1968 , recalls how a bulldozer uncovered some AW grenades which ignited during road works in Scotland. The bomb disposal squad were called to blow them up, though the number uncovered is not specified.

The fact that they were found near to the roadside is perhaps not surprising given that these devices were supposed to be used and thrown from roadblocks or from pill boxes.  Street to street fighting was envisaged, but the German invasion never materialised. The dangerous grenades however were foolishly handled by “The Home Guard.”

Another piece from The Newcastle Journal of 26th May 1969 tells how the bomb disposal unit were once again called into action to deal with 24 grenades (a full box). This cache was found in the sand dunes on land owned by The Ford Motor Company.

The same title again reported another S.I.P treasure trove on  21st January 1970. It appears that in an earlier incident a young boy had been playing on waste ground in Farnborough, Hampshire and had been burned. Once more they were taken away and destroyed by bomb disposal, though interestingly not at the scene. Perhaps the sheer number involved made this too dangerous?

In the same year on August 19th, The Birmingham Daily Post reported on how a new hotel being built in Redditch had to be sealed off due to an incident where AW bombs had exploded, again when they were unearthed. Nine bottles were found, some of which were obviously cracked and unstable when igniting.

The bomb disposal spokesman interestingly knows that the ground where the p4 scattered would be unsafe. He states that the ground would be raked to make sure that the phosphorus burned, though stupidly that the remnants would be buried under the road bank. I have no idea why this would have been thought a good idea.

The idea of an “antidote” of copper sulphate and soap is quite quaint. In reality the thermal burns caused by white phosphorus , as well as any fumes would require hospitalisation and many months to extract all of the damage that it would cause, as well as monitoring for many years as to the effects it may also have on the body and in particular the teeth.

 

Another story from The Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 April 1987, details how a builder uncovered some bottles in his garden which he thought were pop. The article is wrong in that it states the bottles were from World War 1. 

The bomb squad again blew them up, bizarrely on a beach area. How this would be “raked over” is quite unclear, and one has to believe that it wouldn’t be.

The same paper reported another find in Angus just 12 days later! The 14 AW bombs were once again taken to a beach and blown up.

A major dump of phosphorus grenades (some 500) were found in reading in 1989.

The Reading Evening Post of 18th December reported on how the grenades had been buried by The Home Guard 6 feet underground at an army barracks. They were disturbed by a builder, and would have put present soldiers lives at risk had they detonated. This would have produced a great deal of phosphorus pentoxide on detonation , though it does not state where they were destroyed in the 12 hour operation.

A short piece from The Newcastle Journal of 19th July 1994 recounts more “grenade peril” in County Durham.  This time the discovery was on farmland , again a danger to any animals and anything entering the food chain when the white phosphorus spontaneously combusted. 

The different approaches taken by the bomb disposal squads in these articles are perhaps a part of the problem in how these mass produced weapons relics were destroyed. I have looked at this HERE, though it is clear that of the over 7 million made, AW bombs are still out there waiting to be discovered, and are no less dangerous but probably more so today than they were when coming off the Albright and Wilson production line. 

It’s just a question of how many of them went into a clay pit in Tividale after the war under the cover of “a waste disposal site”. 

 

 

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