This block came from the now closed Anglo Great Lakes Corporation, Newburn Haugh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, which used to make high-purity graphite for the nuclear industry, according to the source, Christopher Bell. He "recovered" this block from the grounds after the factory was closed. I have another larger block of graphite, which I've cut some pieces off of, and which I intend to cut up and use for making casting pots, molds, and the like. But this historical artifact will remain untouched as part of the collection. Here is the story of its recovery:
My coming across the graphite was purely a coincidence. I had set out to Newburn Haugh (a large area of low lying land in a large loop of the River Tyne- in fact "haugh" is old Anglo Saxon meaning flat or marshy land near a river) to explore the old Stella Power station site which was nearby the graphite works. After satisfying my curiosity at the Power station site I followed the river edge to the graphite works site (I didn't know it had been a graphite works at the time).Such a shame, perfectly good element samples going to waste!
It was not long before I figured it out as there were numerous chunks of graphite simply lying around, generally of the size I enclosed, but some larger and some molded into shapes like screws and hollow cylinders. There were also large electrode pieces with a shiny, glassy finish - these don't leave a mark on paper.
After several trips I collected around 20kg of the material in total, why? I don't really know I just liked the look of them! Since then (1998/99) the site has been prepared for a large new Business Park and I imagine many other pieces of the graphite probably ended up in the in fill or crushed.
Source: Christopher Bell
Contributor: Christopher Bell
Acquired: 1 May, 2003
Text Updated: 20 November, 2008