Sterling Cables

Memories of Newbury - the former Sterling Cables site

Once Newbury's tallest structure, Sterling Cables is no more.

For years this structure, the Sterling Cables main building, dominated the Newbury skyline. The big building dominated the site, which also featured a number of smaller buildings. The big building was securely and severely locked up a long time ago, but pretty well all the subsidiary smaller buildings became workshops of one kind or another, but mostly related to cars.

As a would-be urban explorer I would have given my right arm to get inside the tall building, but could never see a way in, and was unable to find out the identity of its current owners in order to obtain a permission visit. I did read about a guy who climbed the outside structures and was able to get inside, only to find very little left among the foot-depth of pigeon droppings.

Prior to its use as a cable factory, the site had been a coal processing plant and gas works. But then, 2017, and activity! The small automotive businesses were closiong nd moving to new premises, and heavy equipment was brought in. They were demolishing it. Of course, there was going to be a residential complex of some sort built there.

As it transpired, the demolition of the buildings was the least of it; years of coal processing had left the ground and the soil under it absolutely perfused and soaked with various carcinogenic and very smelly heavy organic substances, and thus the cleanup following the demolition took many weeks.

Today, September 2019, the site lies flat, empty and presumably clean behind locked gates, and there is nothing happening. I wonder if, like at least two other constructional-type projects around Newbury, the developers ran out of cash? Who knows. Perhaps there is a permissions issue, as the road infrastructure around the site is quite unsuitable and inadequate for the possibly proposed eight blocks of apartments. We shall eventually see.

I found the place rather photogenic, and paid numerous visits, with various cameras. Here is a (rather large, about 60 pics) selection of the best of them. They are not necessarily in chronological order. I hope this album may serve as part of Newbury Memories.