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When the wheat comes in



Where did the wheat come from?


The main source of British wheat was from the West Cumberland Farmers Co-operative. It arrived by road in tankers and lorries.

What also came to Gateshead from all over the world:

  • CANADA the highest quality, but expensive;
  • AUSTRALIA good quality;
  • FRANCE good quality;
  • ARGENTINA fair quality;
  • RUSSIA fair quality;
  • INDIA wheat was of poor quality.

The mositure content of the wheat was tested within three minutes before the unloading of the ships could begin. If it failed the tests, the load was sent away. The rigorous testing continued through each stage of the flour production process.

What was sucked out of the ship into the Suction Plant, where it was partly cleaned. It would take three or four days to unload a 10,000 ton ship.

Two conveyor belts ('Bands') carried the wheat under the quay to the north-west corner of the silo building.

The wheat was carried up to the top floor of the silo by elevator buckets on continuous belts.

When in the silo, most impurities were removed.

The silo foreman was given two or three days notice of the wheat required by the mill.

The wheat was prepared for milling in the Screens Room and stored in holding bins until needed for production.

Contact Us

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead Quays
South Shore Road
Tel: 0191 478 1810

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 10am - 6pm
(Except Tuesday 10.30-am-6pm)