This is the Tate and Lyle sugar factory, cunningly enough it lives on Factory road pretty much smack bang in the middle of my ‘patch’. When I was on the FRU and ordered to, “go and drive around – see if you can find someone injured”, I would often drive past it. As you may know I’m a bit of a geek and factories full of pipes, chimneys belching strange smelling smoke and arcane bits of machinery interest me greatly. However, until today I’d never actually been inside this behemoth of a factory.
The call was pretty simple – the hydraulics of a fork lift truck had burst, and the fluid had splashed into his eyes. Luckily he had been wearing safety goggles, so had been spared the full brunt of the spray. The companies first aider/fireman had already washed his eyes out with plenty of saline, so there was little for us to do except take him to hospital to make sure that nothing had scratched the front of his eye.
But that wasn’t the fun bit…
To show us where the patient was a security guard met us at the main gate – then he jumped into a Vauxhall Astra and drove like a man possessed through the factory grounds towards the patient.
I was driving.
I got to chase him. I got to chase him the length of the factory.
More importantly I got to chase him through narrow turnings and under footbridges full of pipes. Smoke was billowing out from vents, while I dodged between lorries and powered up ramps.
I just may have giggled like a nine year old girl.
While my crewmate attended to the patient I had time to whip out my phone and take a picture of the factory floor. The place is huge and this is just a small part of the process that goes towards getting a spoonful of sugar in your morning cup of tea.
Yet another thing that I love about my work – I get to go into some strange places.
That, and I get to chase cars.
(No, this blog is not about to turn into www.picturesofrandomwarehouses.com. But I would like to go back there with my proper camera and get some nice pictures of rusty walkways and the like)