India of Inchinnan

India of Inchinnan is now a commercial site in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, Scotland, that was formerly used for various industrial uses. It includes the former office block of India Tyres of Inchinnan - a Category A listed building in the art deco style, designed in 1930 by Thomas Wallis of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. The office block was similar in style to Wallis, Gilbert and Partners' Hoover Building in Perivale, London. There is also a Rolls Royce factory.

Airship construction

The site was first used industrially by William Beardmore and Company, who obtained a contract from the Admiralty to build airships in World War I. Airship components were built at William Beardmore's Dalmuir, Clydebank, factory but more land was needed. William Beardmore therefore obtained land at Inchinnan and built the Inchinnan Airship Constructional Station.Johnson (1993)] Building work started in January 1916 to construct the Station, which occupied 413 acres. Due to the difficulties of getting staff to this isolated location, the company built 52 houses in Inchinnan, at Beardmore Cottages.

A large airship hangar, the Airship Shed, was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. At convert|720|ft|m long by convert|230|ft|m wide and convert|122|ft|m high, it was of comparable size to the Cardington and Howden Airship sheds, which were contemporary. It was designed to accommodate two Class 23 airships side by side; of the class only R24 was built by Beardmore.

A hydrogen production plant, a bottled hydrogen storage area, and various production shops were also built.

William Beardmore successfully built several airships, Airship No. R24, R27, R34 and the R36.

The Admiralty contract was cancelled in August 1919 and no more orders were received. The station closed on 12 October 1922, and the Airship shed and other many other buildings were demolished for scrap.

India Tyres

The major part of the site and some of the buildings, including a large hangar, were purchased by India Tyres in December 1927. The company set about redeveloping it.

Based on a plan of the Airship construction station, Johnson (1993): Page 88, Plan: Inchinnan Airship Constructional Station, 1918.] the existing hangar appears to have comprised three adjacent shops: the Frame Shop, the Girder Shop and the Car shop. It was reused as a rubber mill building, where the rubber was compounded and the tyres were manufactured, and a linked raw materials store.

Other separate buildings were erected for storage of carbon black and finished products. The carbon black storage silo was separate; by the 1970s it appears to occupy part of the former hydrogen generation plant / bottled gas storage area.

India Tyres commissioned their Art Deco office block in 1930, strategically located in front of their mill building west of Glasgow on Greenock Road, the A8 road from Edinburgh to Greenock. It is similar in style to Wallis, Gilbert and Partners' Hoover Building in Perivale, London. Construction work was completed, and the building opened in 1931. India Tyres also built two groups of houses to accommodate its workers: "Allands Avenue" and "India Drive". The office block remained in use for its original purpose for some 50 years.

Renovation

The India Tyres office building became vandalised and burnt after India Tyres closed down and vacated the site in the early 1980s. The former India Tyres buildings, with the exception of the office block, were demolished in 1982. Several plans for redevelopment of the by now brown field site by Renfrew District Council's Renfrew Development Agency (RDA), later Renfrew Enterprise, failed to progress.

The India of Inchinnan office block was saved from its dereliction when it was renovated and extended by the software company Graham Technology, now ciboodle, whose headquarters were located in the Grade A listed building. The renovation was completed in 2003. Getronics occupy most of the ground floor.

Other parts of the site are used by Rolls Royce, who opened a brand new £85 million factory in October 2004. It replaced their Hillington factory, a World War II shadow factory.Clarifyme|date=September 2008

References

Notes

Bibliography

*Johnson, Ian (1993). "Beardmore Built: The rise and fall of a Clydeside Shipyard". Clydebank: Clydebank District Libraries & Museums Department. ISBN 0-906938-05-8.
*McMillan, James (1989). "The Dunlop Story: The life, death and re-birth of a multi-national". London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-79429-9.


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