Tyne and Wear HER(1651): Blaydon Burn, Newcastle Tar Works and Ottovale Works - Details
Blaydon Burn, Newcastle Tar Works and Ottovale Works
Chemical Product Site
The major industry in Blaydon Burn was the Coke and Tar Works on the eastern side of the valley. No structural evidence of the industry remains other than an old service tar tunnel. The tar works were the first in the world to produce petrol from coal, a product known as Blaydon Benzole. The Ottovale Coke Works were opened in the 1930s of German design and constructed by German engineers of the Silica Company, therefore locally known as the German Ovens. The Works closed in 1966. The Priestman Colliery owners set up a modern coke works on the site of the old Dockendale Hall in 1902 comprising 80 ovens manufactured in Germany by the Otto Hilgenstock Company. The area became known as "Ottovale". To make use of the waste heat from the coke works an electricity generating plant was established in 1904 at Ottovale and was known as the Blaydon Burn Power Station. It was fully commissioned in 1906 and remained in operation until 1959. The gases from the coke works were used to extract benzol, toluol, ammonium sulphate and naptha. It was operated by the Newcastle Benzol Company, a subsiduary of the Priestman Company. Benzol was the main product, the refinery eventually being sold to the National Benzol Company. Blaydon Power Station was the first waste-heat station in the world to be used for other than local supply (1905).
<< HER 1651 >> 1975, Blaydon Burn, Industrial Archaeology -Historic Environment Blaydon Burn, The Industrial Background T. Yellowley, 1986, Stella and Blaydon Burn; N.G. Rippeth, 1990, Blaydon in old picture postcards