When in 1842 François Scheppers left his trade house in Brussels to build a modern factory in Lot, a quaint village near the Belgian capital, it kick-started a migration wave, which led to a substantial growth of the little village. The hundreds of workers who had become unemployed when the construction of the Fort of Steendorp was completed now moved to Lot to work in Scheppers’ Société anonyme de Loth pour la Filature et la Fabricaton de Tissus de Laines Peignées. Scheppers built his textile factory right in the middle of the railway, the river Zenne and the canal Brussels-Charleroi. This prime location allowed him to make abundant use of the natural resources in the manufacturing process (e.g. the water from the river for textile cleaning) and also facilitated the transportation of the produced goods. In the following years, the factory blossomed and Scheppers was named a member of the prestigious Orde van Leopold I for the leading role that he played in the industrialization of the country. In its final years, the Société anonyme de Loth changed its name to Cartonnex. This new name unfortunately did not bring salvation. Cartonnex underwent the same fate that many Belgian textile factories succumbed to in this period; unable to compete with cheap foreign labour markets, the factory was forced to close its doors. Recently, large parts of the factory have been demolished while other parts are being reconverted.
The original starch company HH was founded in the 19th century, producing wheat starch, wheat starch powder and starch adhesive. In the early 20th century (around World War II) the factory moved to this location in the North-western part of Germany as their former site did not allow for an expansion of the factory. In 1991, HH factory closed its doors.
This Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW), a large workshop where locomotives were repaired and serviced, dates back to the 1890s. The impressive maintenance hall with no less than 45 tracks makes it one of Germany’s largest RAW’s. The workshop even had its own small power station. Nowadays the offices, the repair- and maintenance halls and the power station are left to rot.
This machine room used to be the pounding heart of one of the largest roof tile factories in Belgium. Built in the northern part of the country during the 1920s, this factory was once considered very innovative for its époque. The large drying sheds for example were in part heated by the recuperated heat of the steam engines. Even though these drying sheds have been beautifully reconverted into offices, large parts of the factory have been demolished while others lay abandoned and collect dust – hoping that one day the necessary funds will be gathered to commence renovation.
Abandoned paper factory. The history of the building dates back to the 17th century, when a mill was built on these grounds. Later on, this mill was converted into a paper factory, which was many years later, after the paper producing activities had stopped, again converted. This time into a secondhand car dealer shop. In its last years (before total abandonment) a fire destroyed large parts of the upper floor.