What's left of ICI Randle - a highly contaminated ex-mustard gas works that sits in an unfortunate position inbetween the Manchester ship canal and River Mersey that was directly linked to Rhydymwyn valley works in North Wales. Despite being used for chemical landfil since the war, decontamination & demolition has been a slow process here since it closed in the 1960's/1970's but the site will likely be unusable for generations to come. An eerie place with not much left but a single storage bunker (with one mysterious steel door blocked shut by a five tonne trailer) and a lone asbestos-riddled building that have both somehow survived the decades of disuse.
“It was called the Hush Hush on Wigg Island. They made the mustard gas there during the war. Me mam used to work there for a bit. It was secret what they were doing, that’s why you couldn’t talk about it. I think they were making bombs in case the Nazis invaded.” Dot, 78, local resident
During the period 1939 to 1945 ICI (1996) indicate that it is believed a number of „Ministry of Defence‟ Classified projects were carried out on the site. Although ICI records of wartime arrangements with the MoD have been destroyed or are not free for examination (ICI, 1996), limited details are available with respect to the “Tube Alloy Project”, which involved early development work for atomic energy and the atomic bomb.
5.12.75 ICI note that „war gases were developed and manufactured throughout the Second World War‟. ICI was the Governments largest industrial agent and the largest investment of all was in the research, development and manufacture of war gases.