Creosote plant – Forest of Dean
Photograph is courtesy and copyright of Forestry Commission, Forest Research, Roslin, and provided with help from Glen Brearley. FR Photo number No C278 taken by J D Ward, JVT and MN possibly around 1948.
This image is used as, so far, no other good quality image of a an old style creosote plant in Scotland has come to light.
The text reads ‘Creosote plant at Forest of Dean – Gas shells in the background’
The last comment is written as a run of mill statement but on looking carefully at the image in the back ground there are three lineal piles of what is taken to be gas shells possibly held here as surplus stock from the war. A rough estimate puts the number at over 3000!! What type of gas - one’s imagination runs with all sorts of images.
The creosote tank appears to be a hot dip type where the ends only of the halved and round posts are standing in the liquid creosote. The liquid is heated and held hot for a period to drive out the air and moisture and then left to cool for 24 hours or so that the preservative is drawn into the cooling wood cell structure. Sometimes the creosote was heated again to drive out excess creosote but this added a considerable amount of time to the process. The chimney for the heating solid fuel fire is obvious and below the tank on camera side can be seen the draught control adjustable vent. Note the hand pump and pipes on the right of the tank one assumes for topping up the creosote level from time to time.
Any thoughts and descriptions of the process on various forest sites in Scotland would be very welcome. Fires were a great hazard and many such plants burnt to the ground. Again details very welcome.
Picture added on 05 February 2018 at 12:15