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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/12/2017 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    At first glance, the huge psychiatry campus with its historical buildings reminds you of certain pieces of literature or films. The early morning haze lies over the hospital grounds and really adds to that somewhat uncanny atmosphere. It´s still pretty early in the morning. Thus, we almost don´t meet any people. A situation, that changed completely on our way back, when we had to keep as insconspicious as possible among patients, nursing stuff and "normal" visitors. Yet, everything´s still pretty calm and we can enjoy the morning silence as we walk across the park-like grounds of the hospital, walking on paths which are bordered by beautiful flowers. Here and there, beautiful buildings appear. Everything occurs to be peaceful and neat. Almost a place for your well-being, at least form the perspective of a non-patient. Not before we pass by a building, fenced up by thick bars, reality sets in. As if by command, we can suddenly hear screams coming out of the building. The hospital is largely still active. Only a small part has been disused out of unknown reasons. It seems like time´s been standing still here for a pretty long time. Old benches would´ve been disappeared in a jungle-like thicket entirely, if it wasn´t for their bright red colours. Across an architectural more than beautiful patio we enter the building in front of us. Inside, particularly striking are the numerous toys scattred around the building. What exact purpose the old building served remains a mystery.
  2. 3 points
    Seen this pop up a few times over last few weeks so thought we would get our skates on and pay a visit.the site was bigger that I was expecting. After a good look around and working a few things out and we were in. There is lots of locked doors but areas can still be accessed by taking diffrent routes. A top morning out with 2 great lads thanks again @GK_WAX and friend TOM.heres some history and photos. The North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary’s history can be traced back to1804 when it was just a Dispensary and House of Recovery based in Etruria. In 1819 after outgrowing its original location the hospital moved to a new site located close to Etruria Hall, an area that was densely populated with Shelton Bar, Wedgwood, Etruria Gas Works and various collieries. It was actually all of this surrounding industry that forced the infirmary to relocate once again in 1869 to nearby Hartshill, where it could be up and away from the heavily polluted area of the original buildings. The relocation actually took over 20 years due to constant conflict between the Six Towns as to where it should be sited. This was of course in the days before the towns merged to form the City of Stoke on Trent. More recently the Royal Infirmary was merged with the nearby Orthopaedic Hospital and City General Hospital to form the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. In 2003 it was determined that under a £350,000,000 PFI development the hospitals would be rebuilt and relocated onto the City General site. Eventually in 2012 after several years of construction, the Royal Infirmary site was finally closed when all services had been relocated. E908D479-C1D4-4F41-A511-23147700D425 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr B98DC829-B050-4879-87F8-B8781CD0555F by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 105C0E08-4688-4208-8AB0-A41F2D3FEF9B by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 7FE96FBC-DAA9-4AAA-8BF4-BFBDA9C25A13 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 619D176F-AE9D-4038-AA00-08C96BB1918E by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 27823981-4981-4C13-91C3-1F1B76F784B9 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 809287CB-05ED-45D7-B439-296CC1C65D04 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr A1FF8725-BBDC-45C2-9E9B-FC49AA8149A2 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr C01CC08A-D90B-4C75-B07C-51C83A670813 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 14E5FBDC-B293-48E2-B824-C049C6D2124F by Lavino lavino, on Flickr D487D814-AD70-4BF6-9CFE-EED56346C707 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr E100D827-3039-4C6C-A3B0-7618D4AEDD1B by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 88FAA7BC-737B-4595-9560-69F7BBF2D8DB by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 03A41DAA-70BD-4924-AC49-BADEB4A66993 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 178D7F99-024B-48F4-A52A-914A406E6D09 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 87D60399-B021-4EEE-81EE-703DA86700D8 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr E2B5B377-7451-4FF6-826B-8EF95F45C190 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DABBCFB1-F6BB-46E8-B5CB-EED1DE601A25 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 9540E57B-E24D-490C-A711-A7A1CBF78EB5 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 78F6818E-A3D9-436A-95D6-DF640FAD2D76 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 1568A471-1055-4499-B682-7B8B76806ADB by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 405C4B20-2D7C-42B6-AD5E-B17549DEEBCD by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 42D82036-F6E7-42E9-B43D-5FE2BF7305E0 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 98F837F3-328A-4E76-BC91-F92B78F5945A by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 60A0F33F-BF36-4C58-B459-5120598C6B46 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr 29D61E59-C8BD-45CB-A1F2-DB1F2D36166D by Lavino lavino, on Flickr
  3. 2 points
    History “We’re excited at the opportunity to restore the Littlewoods Building and give it an exciting new lease of life that will put it on a national stage and finally give it the recognition that it deserves” Tim Heatley of Capital & Centric. The former art deco style Littlewoods Pools Building, which is rumoured to have been designed by Scottish architect Gerald de Courcey Fraser, was constructed in 1938. It was run by Sir John Moores and his brother Cecil as the headquarters of their retail and football betting company, Littlewoods, that was founded in Liverpool, and originally used to process betting slips from the Football Pools. At the time, with almost twenty thousand employees, the brothers possessed England’s largest family owned business empire. It was also the world’s largest football pools business. Following the outbreak of World War Two, the Littlewoods Pools Building, with its vast internal space, made a significant contribution to the war effort. When war initially broke out, the building’s enormous printing presses were used to print over seventeen million National Registration forms in just three days. The main workshop floors were later used to assemble Halifax Bombers and barrage balloons. The building also served as the nerve centre of MC5, the government agency that intercepted mail to break enemy codes. After the war, the Littlewoods Pools Building resumed its normal pools operations, and later became the headquarters for the Littlewoods Printing Division, JCM Media. However, Littlewoods huge success came to an abrupt end towards the end of the 1990s/beginning of the 2000s. Subsequently, as the various branches of the company were sold off, the former Littlewoods Pools Building was vacated in 2003, after the lease was sold to the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The building has since remained unoccupied. For many years, the threat of demolition hovered over the rapidly deteriorating site. However, as of April 2017, the iconic building has been sold and is due to be redeveloped into a major film and television studio hub, to make it ‘the heart of Liverpool’s film and media industry’. It is anticipated that thirty-five million pounds will go into regenerating the site. Our Version of Events The old Liverpool Pools Building has been on the cards for a very long time. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve never been in Liverpool long enough to get it done. It was time to change this though, since we’d heard the building has now been sold and is due to be refurbished. With no time to lose, then, we made our way over there pretty sharpish. Initially, we were rather worried that we’d missed out on our opportunity to explore this site, as several other explorers have recently reported that they had difficulty accessing it due to cameras and security guards. True to their word, when we arrived we immediately spotted a chap sitting in his car outside the site’s main entrance. He looked kind of like an authority figure, but we weren’t entirely sure. We also, inadvertently, found the camera with the speakers while we were scouting out the other side of the building, after a strange bloke walking his dog lobbed a stick at it. Needless to say, the speaker went mental and informed everyone nearby that the police had been alerted. It wasn’t a great start. Despite the first few problems, we found accessing the Littlewoods Pools Building a doddle. So much so, we popped back the next day because we ran out of daylight while exploring it the first time. So, given it might not be an explore for much longer, any local Liverpool lads and lasses might want to pop by now while they still have the chance. We’d say it’s well worth a visit. Anyway, once inside we set about photographing the main halls, then moved on to the front reception buildings. Once we’d finished with those, we made our way over to the clock tower. Although it’s mostly stripped, it still offers some nice views looking out over Liverpool. There’s also a very photogenic room at the top, just before you ascend the last staircase to the tippy top. It took a good few hours and two visits to cover the entire site – other than the underground bits. The underground section we did find was flooded, and we didn’t fancy getting wet. At the time, we weren’t that arsed we’d missed it out. However, in hindsight there’s a wee bit of regret that we didn’t venture down there, especially since none of us are local to Liverpool. Still, we’re glad we finally got the rest of the building under our belts. Explored with MKD. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30: 31: 32: 33: 34: 35: 36: 37: 38: 39: 40:
  4. 1 point
    E.P. Bray, Chisworth Dye Works, Glossop – July 2017 So during a fairly unsuccessful road trip of a 20:4 fail ration on a huge 650 mile round trip, Northern Road Trip, Mookster and I arrived here. Nestled next to a public footpath; access was pretty easy, and although stripped, I rather enjoyed this one. Some lovely colours and decay going on inside. What I will say is; there are signs everywhere warning of Lead Chromate contamination inside from the production of coloured dyes. It is absolutely everywhere! Lovely…..! Built at the end of the 18th or in the early 19th centuries; Chisworth Works was as a cotton band manufactory. During these times, the site was called “Higher Mill”. It appears that the original building was extended twice to the rear in its past, as there are noticable lines in the mortarwork and mismatches in the courses along the south-west elevation. It is thought that these extensions took place before 1857 because the building line remains the same on the maps until 1973. The site was used as a dyeing works by 1973; and there was a large T-shaped extension at the rear which looks to have been added in two stages. The only change a decade later, was the construction of a square loading ramp at the front. The outline of the site today is the same as it was in 1984. E.P. Bray began "winding-up" by 2006 and was dissolved/liquidised and the site shut down in September that year. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157685024774162
  5. 1 point
    This complex was built in the late 70's as the faculty of science and biology of a renowned university. It is located in a quiet, residential area surrounded by a large park. Due to the architecture, the buildings are a bit futuristic and out of place here . It gets even more interesting when you find the greenhouses where a group of 'highly motivated' researchers may have spent a lot of hours amidst their plants in the company of pizza and distilled water. The buildings were abandoned after being in use for only 30 years. Not because of structural problems, the university had simply become too small, as the courses gained popularity. So the students moved to a larger and newer building closer to the other faculties. 1. 2. 3. 4. how panda's are made ... 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
  6. 1 point
    History Heap’s Rice Mill, which is now Grade II listed, was founded by Joseph Heap. It was constructed in 1778, on Pownall Street, Liverpool. Originally, the site operated as a small processing mill; however, additional warehouse space was constructed as demand for rice in Europe increased. The warehouse space was later combined with the mill to form one single building. The reason for Joseph Heap’s success can be attributed to the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58 and the American Civil War in 1861-65 as these events meant British traders were forced to seek out trade in other areas of the British Empire. Heap was one of the first to establish trade in British-ruled Burma. By 1864 the company was sending its own ships to acquire one thousand tons of ‘Cargo Rice’ for its Liverpool mill. Joseph Heap & Sons Ltd. became wealthy enough to own its own shipping firm which was known as Diamond H Line, named after their house flag. In the mid-1800s, during a period of expansion, Heap’s company constructed a number of new warehouses at various other sites across Liverpool. These buildings were used for the storage of sugar, and as additional office space. The sugar warehouses were later adapted and amalgamated into the rice mill industry. At this point in time, Joseph Heap & Sons Ltd. vessels were sailing as far as the East Indies and Australia. The original mill would also become the one that ground rice for Kellog’s Rice Krispies in 1927. Despite several changes in ownership, Joseph Heap & Sons Ltd. main mill was still fully operational up until 1988. After this time, some operations were transferred to a new site on Regent Road. Parts of the mill on Pownall Street continued to operate until 2005. Twelve years later, however, and Heap’s original Rice Mill has decayed badly due to water damage, to the extent that it was due to be demolished in 2014. Nevertheless, a petition to save the site resulted in it being categorised as a listed building by English Heritage. This means the imposing structure remains one of the earliest and last surviving warehouse complexes in a once-thriving industrial area. It is also an important reminder of Liverpool’s rich mercantile history and overall prominence. In terms of its future, it is reported that the building is due to be converted into luxury apartments. However, the £130 million residential development has been heavily criticised because the developers threatened to pull out if they were forced to keep the interior. Subsequently, it is likely that only the original façade of the mill will survive; the interior is due to be sleek and modern. Our Version of Events In the mood for a bit of action and adventure, we decided to have a drive over to Liverpool. We had a bit of business to attend to over in Scouse Land first, but plenty of time before that to get a couple of explores under our belts. We didn’t really have much of a plan, but since there are many places on our to-do list over in the North West, we had high hopes we’d get something interesting done. After taking a look at a site we’ve had our eye on for a while, and deciding the street was too busy for us to access it, we wandered back to where we’d parked the car. It was on the way that we spotted a very large derelict-looking building that was just ripe for the picking. It didn’t take us long to realise that this was the old Heap’s Rice Mill (the name is written on the side of the building) and that it’s rather historic. Finding access to the rice mill was a bit of a ball-ache to be honest. All of the ground-level doors and windows are covered with heavy-duty metal doors and shutters, so there’s no getting past those. We spent the next half an hour wracking our brains and were on the verge of giving up when we realised the way in was right in front of us. This raised our urbex-deprived spirits and ten seconds later we were inside the old mill, staring up in awe at an incredible bridge and several large tanks. The place felt absolutely huge from the inside, and it was fucked, in a nice, photogenic kind of way. The only downfall was the phenomenal amount of green fetid bird shit dripping from the roof, which was weird because there didn’t appear to be any living birds. Splodging our way through a good inch of crap, we made our way to the far end of the enormous alleyway we seemed to be in. From there, we found a staircase and made our way up with the intention of finding the roof. However, by level three we soon discovered that the former metal staircase had become so corroded a huge section had fallen off. This forced us to backtrack a bit, until we found a stone staircase. This was much more sturdy and took us to the top levels of the building. Roaming around up here, though, is quite risky, so if anyone happens to pop to Heap’s Rice Mill after seeing this report, watch your step! You should take Historic England’s description of the building, the one that says the premises is ‘mainly 7-storeys’, quite literally. Many of the floorboards have disappeared, and those that remain are completely rotten. We moved around very tentatively up here. Other than a few bits of leftover machinery and random bits of kit, there isn’t much to see throughout the building, but the extreme decay is pretty cool to see. The best bit of the explore, by far, was what we found in the basement. At first, we thought we’d discovered a normal cellar sort of setup. But, we stumbled across a small stone staircase that took us even deeper, until it reached a beautiful brick-lined tunnel. Unfortunately, the tunnel was sealed at the end, but we’re assuming it probably led all the way to the docks at one time. It seemed to head off in that general direction. After wandering around in the basement for a while, we agreed we’d seen most of the building and decided to call it a day. We didn’t have a proper place to stay, so we still had to find a spot to camp. On that note, then, we made our way back to the main street and set off in search of a place to drink a couple of beers and catch fifty winks. Explored with MKD. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30:
  7. 1 point
    Another location that’s been on the list of places to visit for the last few years checked off and completed! Explored with the one and only RelictaSpiritus, and bumping into Tiny Urban Exploration and some new explorers. Making this the second location of the day with rapidly deteriorating weather and light conditions, we made our way through the various live fire and warning signs to find one of the largest collections of rusted machinery I had ever set upon exploring. Interestingly, I always had this place down as a military vehicle dump given its ex RAF location, however despite the odd military vehicle I would have said it’s more of a digger dump than anything. Making our way through the dismal wind and rain, trying to dry my camera lens on any last remaining dry part of my t-shirt and spotting who later turned out to be Tiny Urban Exploration in the distance the far opposite end of the runway, the time came to vacate the site and dry off. That’s where I would say things became interesting, after opting for the quick route out back towards the main gate. Just as we approach the gates, a car comes flying towards us with the passenger door already open in some sort of dramatic attempt to appear intimidating. The car comes to a stop and out comes a rather angry short farmer type claiming we had set of numerous alarms and he had calls from the police saying he had a “break in”. Not feeling the mood for a debate, we simply apologised and were about to leave when he continues asking us what we were doing, to which we responded simply with “we went for a walk”, still clearly with camera tripods and all sorts on show. He continued pointing at his private sign and stating how we can’t simply walk where we want and how he doesn’t just walk around our back gardens, blatantly fishing for an argument. Feeling quite amused I took my phone out of my pocket and began recording, expecting things to escalate, however he took this as his cue to pipe down after a very long awkward 10 seconds of silence. I debate giving this a share or not! *insert amused emoji* The site is well worth a mooch about, perhaps in better weather conditions and if you’re prepared for a hilarious short farmer type. History as per, pinched from Wikipedia.
  8. 1 point
    Having taken a while out from urbexing while caught up in a few of life’s many distractions, but finally finding time to explore RAF Coningsby Weapons Store with RelictaSpirtus The day started with a last min jump out of bed, and hitting the roads for the long drive to the opposite end of the country armed with the very little knowledge we had picked up online with the odd pointer from a helpful follower. Upon arrival we quickly made our way inside, ignoring the MOD sign but watching our backs knowing the live RAF base was only a stone throw next door. The weapons store was packed full of bunkers including the odd few still full of generator trailers and a cool military green digger as well as the main bunker with the control room and some rather comfy *insert sarcastic face* looking metal bunk beds. There’s not much in the way of history on the site and it appears to be largely unreported on, so here’s the selection of images from the day.
  9. 1 point
    No info on this one im afraid, i litrally got to Boston and met up with some friends for some dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe then started drinking, drunk way too much tbh, more than i intended as i was wanting to do a rooftop on the first night in the states, but by time i actually got away from all the bars was 01:41am and i just went wondering in search for a construction site. Stumbled across this one and saw the coast was clear, so hopped the fence and found a way to the top, was only about 17/18 stories but a nice view none the less. I had time to switch lenses up there too and had no trouble getting out either which was nice Heres some pics, little bit grainy but hey ho. Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Boston Rooftop by Dirty Jigsaw, on Flickr Thanks for looking DJ
  10. 1 point
    History The local history for this one is a bit vague, so we’re going off a few dodgy sources here. One of those includes a local lad we met inside the building who happened to be ‘salvaging’ trophies. With that in mind, it is unknown when the International Social Club was constructed. However, judging by the style of the building, and the fact that the social club only traded for the past twenty years or so, it could be surmised that it was originally a three-storey house that was built at the same time as some of its neighbouring buildings. In its current form, the building has a four-room underground cellar, a snooker room and main bar area with a stage and dance floor on the ground floor, a lounge and bar area on the first floor, and a one bedroomed self-contained flat on the top floor. The property is currently on the market with a guide price of £175,000. The brochure advises potential buyers that the building is ‘suitable for residential redevelopment’ and ‘benefits from central heating’. As for the reason for it being derelict, according to the local lad we met, the building was condemned and subsequently shut down due to a rat infestation. This information comes from an individual who, apparently, used to frequent the club on the odd occasion when he fancied the odd Carlsberg or lager shandy. Our Version of Events With a bit of time to kill over in Liverpool, we decided to go check out the International Social Club. It was fairly close to a couple of other buildings we’d been scoping out, so we agreed it was a good idea to pop in on our way back to the city centre. We found it without any bother; however, it just so happened that when we rocked up, so did a local chav. Clad in his dark blue tracksuit, we caught him sneaking onto the grounds trying to enter the building. At this point, then, we assumed he was meeting a few other local yobs to drink a couple of bottles of White Lightning in the cellar or smash the place to shit, or both. Nevertheless, no sooner had we thought these things did he emerge from the building once again, looking a little lost. So, we decided to confront him and ask him what he was doing. After a quick chat with the local youth, he declared his ‘interest’ in abandoned buildings but also admitted that he didn’t have any kind of torch or light with him. This was when he happened to notice that we were armed to the teeth with torches, so we shared with him our intention to enter the premises. Our new chavvy friend was elated at this news because we could now light the way for him. With the newfound knowledge he would be able to see where he was going, he led the way and showed us how to enter the building (which, as it turned out, was rather easy anyway). Once inside, we chatted with our new chavvy friend and did our best to convince him that ghosts don’t really exist. We didn’t seem to do very well in that department, unfortunately, so we told him that real ghosts only haunt pubs and clubs that had a good selection of beer, which this one didn’t. This seemed to settle Chayse’s (we made this name up, but it seems suitable) nerves and, from that point on, he started to reveal his true reason for being in the social club. He was there to steal a couple of trophies. By the time we were finished taking snaps, we realised his tracksuit pockets were filled with the things. We were about to ask him what he was doing, and how much he thought he was going to fetch for the merchandise, when we heard someone run (presumably away from us) up a set of stairs. This startled Chayse and, after checking to see the stairs were clear, he made a run for it himself. We never saw him again. Following Chayse’s untimely departure, we continued to explore the remainder of the building. All we really had left to check out was the top floor. Once we found the staircase that took us up there, we quickly discovered that the door was firmly locked. It turns out, as we discovered later when talking to two Liverpool-based explorers, that some guy is living in that section of the building, claiming it’s his home. In hindsight, then, it was probably this guy we heard bolting up the stairs, to make sure we didn’t wander uninvited into his personal living quarters. We did knock, but there was no answer, so, having explored the entire building at that point, we decided to call it a day and make our way back out. Explored with A Local Chav. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27:
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    That’s a stunning report, nice one!
  13. 1 point
    Love it! Great write up and pics
  14. 1 point
    Hey guys! There is probably already a topic about this place but since I wanted to post a video I opened this new topic in the video section The facility was owned by a company which produced cosmetics. It was made of two parts: the laboratory for the creation and testing of new products and the factory, where products were produced for the market. The factory is quite worn-out and not very interesting to explore, while the laboratory and the offices are pretty well mantained. The (sadly) interesting part is that this company made a large use of animals to test their products: rats, rabbits, dogs and cats would bear unimaginable pain and eventually die just for the sake of testing cosmetics products. In the laboratory we will find an operating room (where I suppose all kind of testing were made) and rows of cages for the animals, along with a lot of laboratory equipment still there. I made a video about the exploration: it is in Italian but I added English subtitles (you'll have to turn them on in Youtube). Tell me if you like it, and if it is still enjoyable with the subtitles And here are some photos:
  15. 1 point
    The three-storey villa dates back to the 17th century and was expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their owners changed repeatedly and the villa was damaged in the Second World War. It has been abandoned since the late 1950s. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    Right, Found out i still had an active membership here and kind of forgot about it (The ADHD is strong in this one) So I decided to start posting again, since I'd like to get some honest/valuable feedback on my pictures and that is something i am surely missing on social media. So here it goes. Visited this castle in July 2017. I really like the decay and that there's so little graffiti. Seems like most vandals forgot this castle which made me happy. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  18. 1 point
    Beautiful set of shots. Your lighting is fantastic.
  19. 1 point
    History The village of Doel is said to date back to 1267. It was originally known as ‘De Doolen’ (‘border water’) and up until the eighteenth century it was essentially an island surrounded by flooded plains. For many years, due to its unusual geographical location, it was unclear which country Doel actually belonged to – whether it was the region controlled by Spain or the independent State of the Netherlands. The design of the village that exists today has been dated back to the Eighty Years War (somewhere between 1568 and 1648) and it remains largely unchanged; it is completely surrounded by old seawalls and has been built according to a checkerboard pattern (the village consists of three streets parallel to the riverfront, four streets perpendicular to those, and all of it criss-crossed with alleys and small corridors). Doel also boasts many historical buildings. Some of these include Belgium’s oldest stone windmill (which is not abandoned), Reynard Farm, the Old Hoefyzer (a farmstead and inn site), and the Baroque Hooghuis that once belonged to the family of seventeenth-century artist, Pieter Paul Rubens. However, despite its obvious historical significance, just before the turn of the millennium the Belgian government announced that Doel was destined to be demolished to make way for the enlargement of the Port of Antwerp. All the residents in the village were offered cash premiums to sell-up voluntarily, and they were encouraged to take up the offer by being told that any refusal would lead to expropriation and the offer of much less money. As a result, by 2007 there were fewer than three-hundred and fifty people left in the village – a reduction from approximately one thousand three-hundred. In an effort to save the village, plans were launched to open the site as an open-air museum, with various famous artists painting murals to deliver the message: ‘Don’t take our village away.’ Nevertheless, other artists were soon attracted to the site and began to use the buildings as canvases for their own work. Now, only a few buildings remain free of graffiti; these are the homes of the last residents in Doel. They are the villagers who have shown resilience against the government and, despite facing attacks by squads of riot police, which has resulted in the streets being strewn with rubble and the start of some of the demolition work, they continue in their effort to save the village and their homes. Even with their efforts, though, these defiant individuals are acutely aware that the gradual deterioration and destruction of the village only strengthens the likelihood that the port will, in the very end, win. The only good news to emerge is that, in response to the imminent outcome, plans have emerged to dismantle and rebuild, brick by brick, some of the historic sites in a neighbouring town. This is to ensure they are preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations. Our Version of Events On our mission to consume lots of good beer, we left Bruges and set off in the direction of Antwerp. However, just over an hour later we found that we were almost upon the great city. We’d neglected to take into consideration how small Belgium is so we had a bit of spare time to kill before it was time to get pissed all over again. To break up the drinking and sober up a bit, then, we decided to go take a quick look at the [mostly] abandoned village of Doel we’d read about some time ago. Finding the place was easy. We simply drove in the direction of the great big nuclear power plant that towers over everything within its vicinity. What is more, with few residents still living in the village itself, there was no dodging and diving to get onsite. Instead, we simply drove straight into the heart of Doel. It felt very strange to be driving along streets that seemed completely abandoned. There was nothing especially spectacular about the place given that most of the buildings are simply empty shells and homes, but there was still something rather cool about the whole experience. The best bit, of course, was being able to find a parking spot right in the middle of the explore. That never happens! All in all, it didn’t take long to walk around the place. We had a bit of a mooch down every street, and peeked inside a fair few of the buildings. But, as we quickly discovered, there’s very little left inside any of the structures. The only interesting thing we found in one of the houses was a small kitten and around twenty dishes of rotten food. Unfortunately, the cat bolted as soon as we entered the building, so there wasn’t much we could do to try and save it. We didn’t have anything edible on us to lure it back either, only strong Belgian beer. Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26:
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    You should know that I hang like a bat on the ceiling for sleeping.
  22. 1 point
    Great collection. Here are some of mine: And finally one of ugliest dolls, I've ever seen.
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