Shropshire Star

Shropshire photographer shares nostalgic shot of now demolished Maxell factory

The demolition of the old Maxell factory has prompted a former photographer to delve into his archives and share his memories.

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Staff exercising at the former Maxell Factory

The factory has been demolished in order for further houses to be built at the Charlton Gardens development in Apley.

And a recent report in the Shropshire Star brought back memories for Michael Wilkinson, who worked as a commercial photographer and did work for Maxell, from its first sod-cutting ceremony onwards.

He shared this wonderful image of staff taking part in a morning exercise routine, a voluntary activity, enjoyed in the sunshine to invigorate the staff.

"They used to ask me to go in and take pictures for their marketing material," said Michael. "I'm not sure of when the photograph was taken, but the mid-1980s is as close a date I can put on it.

"They were a superb company to work for.

"It was a business full of great staff from the Managing Director, right down to the production line technicians, and they produced the best quality audio and video tapes available at that time."

Countryside Partnerships started work to demolish the 183,000 sq ft factory in April with the help of McAuliffe Group.

Phil McHugh, managing director, North West Midlands Countryside Partnerships, said: “The demolition of the Maxell factory is a major milestone for Charlton Gardens, clearing the way for 285 new homes that will provide high-quality living environments for many families in the region, who will be able to enjoy an exceptional lifestyle and a green outlook.

“This development has been designed to help its residents thrive, with great facilities such as a children’s play area, nature on its doorstep and excellent travel links, as well as improvements to make walking and cycling easier and safer.”

Built to produce video and audio tapes and batteries, the Maxell factory subsequently moved into plastics as the technology shifted and has lain empty since 2014, when the company moved to new premises in Telford.

The demolition clears the way for further development of two to four-bedroom homes that will occupy the site, of which 71 have already been completed.