Drone footage captures last look at Walkers factory

A still from the footage recorded by Keith Scott.
A still from the footage recorded by Keith Scott.
Share this article

A bird’s eye view of Walkers crisp factory in the aftermath of its closure has been captured.

Keith Scott sent up one of his fleet of drones to record the footage after he decided to record a glimpse of the plant which has played a part in life in Peterlee since the 1960s.

The 44-year-old from Horden, who is a commercial drone pilot and has qualifications in the skill, set up his equipment on a section of ground opposite the factory on the North East Industrial Estate.

In the space of around a minute, the video pans across to feature the factory, depot and connected buildings in Stephenson Road, where until last week more than 300 people worked.

They were made redundant when the firm, owned by PepsiCo, decided to shut down the site as part of changes as part of “Significant productivity and efficiency savings crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of our business in the UK.”

The closure marked an end of an era for the town, which has been home to a crisp factory since 1960 run by companies including Smiths Tudor, but owned and operated by Walkers since 1989.

Keith Scott at work with his drone.

Keith Scott at work with his drone.

In recent years its production line had been responsible for making Crinkles, Walkers Sensations, Scampi Fries, Bacon Fries, Cheese Moments and Cheetos Twisted.

Keith, who worked at the factory for around a week as agency staff around 20 years ago, added the message: “Sad times. Good luck and best wishes to all the staff” to the clip.

He said: “I saw a friend on Facebook put up a message saying they’d worked there for 17 years and was being made redundant and it just made me think about all the people who worked there.

“I drive passed it every day and I thought about doing something.

I saw a friend on Facebook put up a message saying they’d worked there for 17 years and was being made redundant and it just made me think about all the people who worked there.

Keith Scott

“I went down and set up and just did a flight up and then left and right and came down.

“I’ve shared it on YouTube and I think it might be something people who worked there might like to see.

“You get a different look at it using a drone, even if it’s just a short clip.”

Keith used a small DJI Mavic Pro to film the footage and has a series of other drones to use on jobs.

The Walkers factory in Peterlee before its closure.

The Walkers factory in Peterlee before its closure.

He checked he was allowed to send up the kit before heading down and has also completed training through Heliguy.

Other locations he has filmed include Horden’s coast and Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel in Blackhall Colliery.

The Walkers factory in Peterlee can be seen from above thanks to Keith Scott's YouTube video.

The Walkers factory in Peterlee can be seen from above thanks to Keith Scott's YouTube video.

The clip pans across the site in Stephenson Road, Peterlee.

The clip pans across the site in Stephenson Road, Peterlee.

Horden man Keith Scott is a trained commercial drone pilot.

Horden man Keith Scott is a trained commercial drone pilot.