Boots D6 ‘Drys’ Factory 80th Anniversary: Oral History Project (Volunteers Sought)

2016 marks the 80th anniversary of the opening of the D6 ‘Drys’ Factory at the Boots Beeston site.

Boots D6 Building

Boots D6 Building

The Grade I listed building, D6, was designed by the engineer Sir E. Owen Williams who was also responsible for the construction of its sister building, the D10 ‘Wets’ factory, which produced goods such as creams, pastes and liquids.

D6 was known as the ‘Drys’ factory because it was responsible for the manufacture, storage and despatch of pills and tablets as well as other products including: pastilles and lozenges, medicated confectionary, capsules and polyfusors.

There were also separate rooms on the first floor which manufactured products for the Farms and Gardens Department (veterinary and specialist garden) and the Toiletry Department (powders, bath salts and bath tablets).

The factory was built with efficiency in mind. Raw materials were unloaded at the north dock and stored on the third floor before naturally descending, aided by gravity, down spiral chutes, to the manufacturing plant on the second and first floors.

Railway tracks also flanked both sides of the building with goods being received along one side, manufactured in the middle and despatched along the whole length of the opposite side.

With its Art Deco design, the building features a distinctive reception area with a multi-storey staircase and ‘wrapped’ around windows on each landing. The area of the building covers 450,000 square foot and was estimated to cost £340,000.

In 2013, the building was refurbished to provide fully serviced office and laboratory space, and it now houses MediCity, the health, beauty and wellbeing innovation hub for start-up and fast-growing businesses in these sectors.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Boots archive team is looking to interview anyone who has worked in D6 over the years and who would be happy to share with us their memories and reminiscences – these can be written or recorded.

These memories will then be stored within the Boots Archive Collection to enhance the heritage of the building.

If you are interested in taking part – please contact Charlotte McCarthy on 0115 959 3307; email her at charlotte.mccarthy@boots.co.uk or write to her at the Freepost address: MID16628, Records Centre & Archives, D122 Building, PO Box 94, Nottingham NG2 1BR

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