WildBoyz

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About WildBoyz

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  • Birthday 03/06/1990

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  1. History St. Peter’s Hospital is an NHS general district hospital in Chertsey, England. It is located on the Metropolitan Green Belt, between Woking and Chertsey. Originally, the hospital was built to serve casualties of the Second World War. Since that time, however, the facility has been rebuilt, developed and extended several times to include additional services such as a maternity ward, a new theatre complex and a clinic area. What is more, the main part of the hospital itself now has over 400 beds and a wide range of acute care services. As for the mortuary, it was constructed in the 1940s on the very edge of the site. It was in service up until April 2009, when it was decided that the building was too small to cope with the increase in cadavers. A new, larger, morgue was built closer to the central hospital. Our Version of Events It was three minutes before midnight, and we were racing down a brightly lit corridor. At the end there was a large, heavy, blast door, and we were trying to reach it. A volley of red laser beams followed us, ricocheting off the walls as we legged it. “Halt, stay where you are”, someone yelled. Not likely I thought, as I risked taking a quick glance behind me to discover that it had come from a security guard dressed entirely in white armour. There were at least eleven of them in total, all firing their blasters in our general direction. Luckily for us, though, the force was with us, or they were incredibly bad shots; either way, all of them missed us. We’d been trying to find the Millennium Falcon in Pinewood Studeos, but secca had discovered us. So now the chase was on. At the blast door, DRZ_Explorer whipped out his 1250 lumen Olight SR95S UT Intimidator which, at the push of a button, produced a long white vertical laser beam – a bit like a sword. The door was locked, so DRZ_Explorer decided to improvise. He thrust his torch into the door and set about tearing a hole in it. The rest of us watched, ducking occasionally as flashes of red erupted above us. Amazingly, even though we were motionless now, the guys in the white armour continued to miss us. It was a bloody good job too, because I’m almost certain they were breaking one or two health and safety rules. Imagine if they’d actually hit us with one of those laser beams! After hacking away at the door for a few minutes, DRZ_Explorer eventually made enough of a hole for us all to squeeze through. One by one we clambered into the other side of the corridor. All safely on the other side, we yelled for DRZ_Explorer to join us. We peered back through the hole to see what the fuck he was up to. As it turned out, he was rather preoccupied, trying to fend off security. “ Using his UT Intimidator, he managed to deflect several blasts, but one caught him on his left arm. He grimaced, but continued to waved his torch around wildly, repelling all further shots. He was doing well, until a large black figure emerged among the guards. It was the site manager. He was wearing a long black cape and wielding his own 1250 lumen Olight SR95S UT Intimidator. His was red, though, and looked a lot cooler than DRZ_Explorer’s. The site manager strode forward with his free hand raised in front of him, and then, as he continued walking forward, he clenched his fist tightly. DRZ_Explorer suddenly dropped to the floor. Gasping for breath, he grasped his throat with both hands. He was being strangled by some sort of mind control trick. “Run!”, he coughed, “Run! You must get to the Millennium Falcon!” He didn’t have to tell us twice, we didn’t want to risk getting caught, so we legged it. The last thing we heard was the site manager shout, in Intergalactic lingo, was, “Summon the droids! That will flush them out”, which in hindsight probably meant, in Planet Earth English, “turn on the fucking CCTV, that’ll put a stop to these bastard trespassers!” An hour or so later, however, and we were all in St. Peter’s Morgue. It wasn’t a great end to the night, given that this place is a right shithole, but it was better than some alternatives – such as a crematorium, or Sunderland. Unsure how long we were going to be here, or what else the evening might have in store for us, we made do with wandering around heavily graffitied rooms that were filled with heaps of shit for a while. Thankfully, though, our cameras had survived our ordeal, so we were able to take a few snaps along the way. And there we have it, that’s how we’ve all ended up with another report of St. Peter’s Morgue rather than a victorious tale with the Rebel Alliance. Explored with Ford Mayhem and DRZ_Explorer. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11:
  2. Cheers. Yeah, we couldn't believe it either. Mind you, the ones in Durham Palladium worked until the bitter end, even though the place was extremely damp. Seeing how they'd managed to convert the one room into three separate ones was pretty cool.
  3. UK

    Nah, it was me. For some reason I'd been neglecting to check my posts on here after posting. Very nice! Makes mine look like it belongs in the Stone Age
  4. UK

    What camera did you go for?
  5. History The Odeon Cinema in Harlow, designed by T. P. Bennett & Son, was constructed in 1959. It opened on 1st February 1960 and in doing so became the first cinema to be built for the Rank Organisation (a British entertainment conglomerate) after the Second World War. The cinema originally had 1,244 seats and featured a stepped raised section at the rear, rather than the traditional overhanging balcony; a design style that had initially been common throughout the UK in both theatres and cinema houses. The projection suite was positioned above the raised section of seating and had an almost level throw to the large screen in front. The cinema closed in 1987 for refurbishment and expansion plans to be carried out. The venue was converted so that it could feature three screens and increase its overall capacity. The raised section at the back was converted into two separate smaller cinema rooms, while the ground floor, which retained the original box and screen, was kept as a larger screen room. No further work was carried out on the cinema until 2001, when the venue was rebranded to follow the new Odeon style. Only minor stylistic changes were made throughout the building. Despite growing competition in and around the local area, as larger modern multiplex screens were opened, the Odeon in Harlow managed to survive until August 2005. Nevertheless, owing to the rapidly declining number of visitors the venue was forced to close as it was no longer economically viable to run. Although it was purchased almost immediately after closure, the premises has remained abandoned since the year it closed. Our Version of Events After hearing that the old Harlow Odeon was once again doable, we decided to head over that way while we happened to be south of the border.As rumour had it, the main cinema rooms were said to still be largely intact in terms of how vandalised they were. When we first arrived, though, we thought we’d made a terrible mistake. The building looked tiny from the outside, and incredibly plain. What made things worse was that we’d managed to time getting out of the car with a freak torrential downpour, so we got fucking soaked. We made the classic mistake, unlike those quintessential British individuals out there, in that we forgot to bring a brolly with us. With there being no obvious way of getting inside initially, we were forced to take shelter for a while beneath a grotty bus stop that was obviously a popular chav haunt. There were that many empty bottles of White Lightening around us, and green gozzies on the pavement, it should have been done out in Burberry Tartan. But, the upside to seeking shelter was that we had time to think about how we might get inside the cinema. So, after a bit of creative thinking we came up with an elaborate-ish plan to access the premises. All we can say is that it’s a good job it was still raining because we were pretty damn visible getting in the way we did. Once inside we quickly discovered that the rumours seemed to be true. All around us there was a distinct lack of graffiti and still plenty of ‘stuff’ lying around to satisfy our bizarre fascination for dusty things. We quickly dried ourselves off as best as possible and then proceeded to get the cameras out. The only disappointing thing about the place at this point was the noticeable number of dead pigeons scattered around the room. It looked as though there has been an epic pigeon battle with very few survivors. There were enough skeletons to rival the Catacombs of Paris, albeit these take up much less room. Some were still fairly squishy too, as I discovered when one of my tripod legs accidently went through one of the poor bastards. Getting it off again was another issue, but we won’t go there. Anyway, despite the pigeon problem we cracked on and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves among three large-ish screen rooms. Each of them are in various states of decay, but if anything this makes them all the more photogenic – if you manage to light the fuckers up that is! That certainly wasn’t an easy task. What made it even more difficult were the surviving kamikaze pigeons that seemed determined to challenge our presence in the cinema. These must have been the victorious ones from the carnage we found earlier. Nevertheless, despite the pigeons there was still a powerful feeling as we stood amongst hundreds of empty seats. The room was silent, except for the odd flap of wings. All those empty eyes were looking ahead, all facing the same direction, mindless in their long wait for the show to begin. Perhaps it was the previous evenings beer and whiskies still talking, but this got us thinking. We were creating new images of a place – one that used to display images to wide audiences who each had their own discrete image (apparently) – whose own image was built entirely around images. Out of all those images, then, was there anything real about any of the images this building has accommodated? Or are they all just for the point of satisfying those empty eyes and minds? Absolutely fucking baffled with our own bullshit, we promptly decided to drop the topic and go check if the lights still worked. If anything, they would offer us some sort of clarity… We concluded our wander around the Odeon with a quick look at the main entrance area which was by far the most fucked part of the building. Our search for the light switches had brought us here. Despite our initial disappointment at the state of this part of the building, we did in fact find the light switch room where we discovered that the power was still turned on. Obviously, an occasion like this called for us to turn all the switches on and run around the building to see which lights were working. It was like Durham Palladium all over again! Without the risk of falling through the floorboards of course. This kept us occupied for a good fifteen minutes or so. After that, though, we decided to switch everything off and make our escape to continue with our day of intrepid exploring… Or not. As it turned out, we didn’t end up getting into anything else, so by the evening we found ourselves back in the company of a fine single malt. Explored with Ford Mayhem. 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:
  6. History “Here in Sheffield we have a proud sporting heritage and it is important that we build upon that to create the right environment in which the sportsmen and women of the future can train, develop and thrive… But it isn’t just about the elite, it is about every man, woman and child in our city being fitter, healthier and enjoying physical activity” (Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield council). Chapeltown Baths opened sometime at the beginning of the 1960s. Locally, the facility was very popular, especially among children, and many people have indicated that the place has played a big part in their lives. The baths also held regular swimming galas which always attracted large audiences as parents and guardians would flock to the stands to observe. However, despite the fondness for the centre, it was often regarded as being too small and outdated. One for the clubs that used the pool on a regular basis, for instance, had to establish a waiting list for the people wanting to join. New plans to redevelop the site into a larger, more modern, venue were launched by Sheffield Council sometime between 2010 and 2015. Plans for the new facility revealed that a two-storey extension would be added to the front of the existing building, to house a gymnasium, flexible activity/exhibition space and a community café. The aim was to create a welcoming and revitalised health and fitness centre for the local area. The main entrance was to be moved to the back of the current site where a large glazed atrium would be constructed, and, as for the pool itself, it was to be modernised and larger changing areas for both males and females were to be installed. Nevertheless, in the end the plans were scrapped as it was decided that the site was simply too small to revamp and in the long run would not offer value for money. After the original plans were abandoned, a plan to build a brand-new leisure centre was proposed. The new £7 million project was quickly accepted and construction of the facility began in 2015, up the road from the old site in High Green. The erection of the new leisure centre was said to have been one of the first leisure developments in Sheffield in over a decade. The Thorncliffe Recreation Centre is now open and most of the staff from Chapeltown Baths were said to have been moved over. Various reports suggest that the new pool is larger and has an extra lane, and that a new community has been established there. Although the new site does not have the same character, local residents generally seem happy with the new facility. As for the former Chapeltown Baths site, it has remained abandoned since the beginning of 2016. No plans have been set in stone yet; however, it is rumoured that the building will be demolished to make way for affordable housing. In the meantime, like most abandoned sites, the building has experienced increasing incidents of vandalism in recent months as local goons have managed to get their hands on a few brushes, several tins of Wilko One Coat and a box of safety matches. Smoke at the site was reported in March 2017, coming from the basement, and this resulted in the fire service being called to attend the scene. It is reported that they and had to cut their way into the building to extinguish a small fire. Fortunately, in this instance there was very little damage. As things stand presently, SCAFF Security Alarms Ltd. claim they have sealed the premises and installed various security systems to prevent any further vandalism. Our Version of Events With a couple of hours to kill before we hit some of Sheffield’s legendary pubs later that evening, we decided to pop across to Chapeltown and take a look at the old public swimming pool that had recently been brought to our attention. None of us have ever been to Chapeltown before and I can’t say we were expecting to discover anything amazing there, but one thing we did notice is that the townspeople aren’t doing themselves any favours in terms of attracting tourists to the area. For instance, there’s a large sign in the centre of the town that reads, ‘Fast trains to Sheffield and Barnsley’, implying that you should probably get going as soon as possible. However, we chose to ignore the advice and hang around for a little while instead. Finding the old swimming pool wasn’t particularly difficult. We sort of stumbled across it before needing to consult Google Maps for guidance. After that, we lingered around the bus stop that’s positioned right outside for a while, trying to work out why the metal shutter that should have been covering the main entrance looked like someone had had a go at it with a tin opener. At first, we were convinced that some incredibly ambitious explorer had decided to break in that way, rather than simply peel off a board. But, as we discovered later on, it turns out it was the firefighters who’d hacked a hole in the shutter. Even so, there was no evidence that they’d managed to get into the building that way – unless they had the keys to the building – because the front door behind it was still locked up tight. Fortunately, though, the shutter wasn’t the only opening the fire service had created. It is thanks to those guys, then, and their arsenal of cutting tools that we managed to get inside. Once inside the building, we didn’t have to worry about being spotted from the outside since all the windows at ground level had been boarded over. This made capturing images a bit easier because we could wave the torches around a bit. However, the downside to our visit was that we were a bit late getting to this one as the local goons have been inside and clearly they got a little bit overexcited. Hence why there’s a mountain of shit in the pool and broken glass everywhere. On the positive side, however, the fire damage was minimal, limited to a very small section of the basement area. In that sense, the rest of the building remains unscathed. All in all, it took us around forty minutes to cover the building from the basement to the loft. Afterwards, we left feeling satisfied that something new in Sheffield had turned up, but even more delighted that we were heading straight for The Fat Cat for no fewer than eight pints of Kelham Island’s finest and a plate of homemade curry. Many hours later, after an innumerable number of pints, two curries and several packets of peanuts, we staggered back out onto the streets of Sheffield. We were tempted to have a quick look at Minitron while we were so close, but since the lampposts on the other side of the street were swaying in a very unusual manner, we decided to call it a day and head back into town for one final pint before bed. Explored with Soul. 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:
  7. Thanks for the comments everyone, and cheers for looking. To answer your question @-Raz- it's a live site that they drop bombs on and, judging by the holes in some of the aircraft, shoot at. There are no 'Keep Out' signs though only the red flags you spoke of.
  8. History HM Prison Bullwood Hall in Hockley, Essex, was a Category C (for individuals who are unlikely to attempt escape but cannot be trusted in open conditions) women’s prison and Young Offenders Institution run by the Her Majesty’s Prison Service. It was built in the 1960s to service as a female borstal – a type of youth detention centre sometimes known as a ‘borstal school’ – on the grounds of Bullwood Hall and its 48.2 acre estate which was purchased by the Prison Commissioners in 1955. In later years, the facility was extended to hold adult female prisoners. This amalgamation, however, was the cause of much controversy as many critics argued that it is unlawful and unethical to hold young girls in the same institution as adult female offenders, especially since they cannot be treated in the same way. All in all, the prison had a maximum capacity of two hundred and thirty-four. These cells were split between seven different wings designated A-G. A Wing had thirty cells over two landings; B Wing had thirty-two cells over two landings; C Wing had thirty-three cells over two landings; D Wing had eighteen single cells and eight doubles; E Wing had six single and six double cells; F Wing had six single cells; and G Wing was an induction area with forty double cells over two landings. As with most prisons across the UK, Bullwood also featured a sports hall, outdoor Astroturf field and gymnasium, communal and general recreation areas and other services that were housed in adjoining buildings to the prison. In 2002 Bullwood Hall prison was featured in a television series of six thirty minute documentaries titled ‘The Real Bad Girls’. Although the facility was portrayed in a positive light, a report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons emerged in 2005 criticising the establishment for still using the practice of ‘slopping out’ (the manual emptying of human waste when prison cells do not feature a flushing toilet). In 2006 the prison was also singled out for its high levels of attempted suicide and self-harm amongst its inmates. By the end of 2006 a decision was made to move all female prisoners to alternative sites and change the facility into a prison targeted specifically at housing foreign national prisoners. On the whole, the institution was rated as being successful, safe and purposeful; although, a number of concerns were still highlighted. While the general environment was rated as being good, there were still concerns about sanitation arrangements, which were viewed as degrading, and the rehabilitation programme that was meant to reduce the risk of reoffending and support resettlement back into the community. The reoffending criticism was highlighted as the principal concern because there was no offending behaviour programme in place. Instead, prisoner’s immigration statuses were reported as taking precedence over behaviour management. Despite efforts to improve the standards of the facility, the government announced that the institution would be one of seven British prisons to close in 2013. The announcement was made on 10th January 2013 and the site closed on 28th March 2013. Bullwood Hall has remained abandoned since this time. Our Version of Events Although we’d heard that Bullwood Hall prison was sealed up tight we decided to try our luck and pay the place a quick visit.After all, there’s something particularly enticing about breaking into a prison. So, after a spot of breakfast on our journey over to Hockley, we arrived at the site in good time to have a proper search around for a possible way in. The first twenty minutes of wandering and examining every potential way of getting inside proved fruitless though, and we were rapidly losing all hope that we’d get inside. However, after squeezing our way though some very prickly brambles and other spikey shit around the back of the site, we stumbled across a gaping hole in the fence. The only problem was that someone had cut it fairly high up, to avoid a solid metal plate fixed behind the lower levels of the wire mesh. Somehow, we managed to scale the fence and squeeze our way through the makeshift gap. But, in the process we pretty much destroyed the clothes we were wearing by puncturing them with holes as the cutters of the opening had done a very crude job. It was certainly a very painful experience; although, getting in and out this way was still way more preferable than clambering over the razor wire at the top of the fence. Once on the other side we hobbled on and headed straight for the cell blocks ahead of us. Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that the main cell block was sealed up tight, so we had to make do with touring around some of the smaller wings. However, this quickly turned out to be a lot more interesting than we’d first anticipated because we ended up convincing ourselves that we’d tripped some sort of alarm. After spending a little over five minutes in one of the cell blocks, we suddenly heard the all-too-familiar sound of bleeping. But we were unsure where the alarm was actually coming from, or where the live sensors were, and after a fairly thorough search we still failed to uncover the cause of the sound. From that point on we were almost certain that security would be on their way – because we’d heard they’re pretty ‘on it’ at this site – so we made haste to cover as much of the facility as possible before we ended up as temporary residents of Bullwood Hall. Half an hour later, though, and with much of the site covered, it was pretty obvious that no one was coming for us. So, feeling less like fleeing convicts, we slowed down the pace and took a bit more time taking our photographs. All in all, then, the prison was fairly photogenic, but the fuck load of graffiti scrawled over the place spoiled it a wee bit. It kind of reminded us of an Aussie explore – which tend to be absolutely caked in shit graff. Nevertheless, it’s always cool to have free roam of a prison for a couple of hours. After that, having satisfied our desire to be governors of the institution for a while, we called it a day and made our exit through the same painful entranceway we’d used previously to get in. From there we made our way back to the car and quickly discovered that we’d left the driver’s side door wide open the entire time we’d been in the prison. Fortunately, everything was still in place inside the car, including our phones, and the vehicle itself was still there. Our luck must be down to the fact that we were parked outside a former prison. Had we done the same thing outside George Barnsleys or the Falcon Works, I can’t say there would still have been a car there upon our return. Explored with Ford Mayhem. 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:
  9. History RAF Spadeadam is an active Royal Air Force station in Cumbria, close to the border of Northumbria. Covering 9,000 acres, it is the largest RAF base in the United Kingdom. It is currently used as an Electronic Warfare Tactics Range, to train the Royal Air Force and NATO allies. It is also the only mainland UK location where aircrews can drop practice bombs. Spadeadam has always been a remote and uninhabited part of England, until 1955 when the Intermediate Ballistic Missile Test Centre was constructed for the Blue Streak missile project – a project that was launched to develop a nuclear deterrent missile. The RAF took over the base in 1976 and under their control it became the Electronic Warfare Tactics Range in 1977. The range itself contains ground-based electronic equipment, including some that was manufactured in the Soviet Union, that create simulated threats to train aircrews. Across the site there are different real and dummy targets which include an airfield, a village, portable buildings, tanks, aircraft, anti-aircraft guns and vehicle convoys. The site was originally used in secret as part of Britain’s Cold War nuclear weapons programme. This information was only made public in 2004 when tree-felling work uncovered the remains of abandoned excavations for a missile silo. Since then, the RAF and English Heritage have attempted to survey the site and record what was so secret about the place, because there are no official records or plans for the base still in existence from the Cold War period. What is known, however, is that Spadeadam was chosen as a launch site because of its isolation, access to road connections and the surrounding environment which supported it with plenty of water. It is thought that Spadeadam was meant to be one of sixty launch sites across the UK, but most of these were never built. This report is based on the practice airfield area of RAF Spadeadam. It is hidden away in a small forest and completely surrounded by a peat bog. The airfield itself comprises a triangular shaped runway which features a number of aircraft (mostly MIG fighter jets), military vehicles and anti-aircraft guns. Our Version of Events It was a decent sunnyafternoon and we were a little tired of being indoors, so we decided to follow up a lead we had on an abandoned airfield somewhere in Northumbria. The journey was great, all the way up to the borders of Northumbria at least. But, from that point on the heavens opened and what had previously been a glorious day was now a very shit one. Nevertheless, rather than turn back we figured we’d just get wet and have a look for abandoned aeroplanes anyway. We arrived, in the middle of absolutely fucking nowhere and were getting slightly concerned about how long it had taken us to get there. It took a moment to get our bearings, since there is no signal out in the sticks, but we had a vague idea which way we had to walk. So, ready to rock and roll we ditched the car at the side of the road and headed off into the vast bog in front of us. Fortunately, at this point the rain had stopped, but unfortunately we instantly got soaked as we plodded across land that deceived us into thinking it was solid. This epic struggle continued the entire way. If anyone has ever seen the Vicar of Dibley sketch, where she jumps into the puddle and completely disappears, this was exactly like that. After much scrambling around in the bog, and wandering through dense patches of forest, we were well and truly lost. No signal, no map, no food, but plenty of water… It was bad craic. For some reason, though, we decided to have one last wander through some pine trees. We were feeling pretty deflated at this point, so I’m not sure what was driving us on, but in the end we were glad we did carry on. After another ten minutes of aimless wandering, we caught a glimpse of something that looked conspicuously like the tail of a fighter jet. I’ve never heard of mirages in a peat bog before, so I instantly decided that what we were seeing must have been real. Instantly forgetting about how miserable we’d been feeling, we waded on, working our way towards a great big silver MIG that was glistening in the fading sunlight. Once we reached the runway, we were surprised to discover that it wasn’t tarmac. It was some shitty gravel substance that was just as waterlogged as the damn bog. But, right in front of us were two shiny MIG fighter jets, and they looked fucking awesome after all the walking. So, conscious that daylight was rapidly turning into night, we whipped out the old cameras and began our invasion of the airfield. We began with the first two jets and then made our way towards what appeared to be an abandoned fuel truck further in the distance. It took a few minutes to get there, but it was well worth it since we could suddenly see six or seven more aircraft and several guns a little further ahead. Our assault had been successful, and we soon found ourselves surrounded by more guns and bombs than even Rambo could handle. We also found a few unused smoke grenades which is something we’ve never encountered on an explore before. We hung around the airfield until darkness was nearly upon us, then decided to call it a day because we suddenly remembered we had to walk back through a forest and a bog to get back to the car. So, still having been undetected by the RAF, we made our way back to the treeline. A little more worried about stepping on a mine now after discovering the grenades, or some sort of unexploded bomb, we headed off back into the bog. The same shit journey we’d endured an hour or so previously began all over again. Splish, splash, splosh… Those three sounds were back again, and they all sounded just as shit as before. Explored with Rizla Rider. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22:
  10. History Lombard Street is reputed to be one of London’s streets that is steeped in seven hundred years of banking history. It began life in the Roman times of Londinium as a wealthy city road. It later became a notable banking street on account of several Jewish goldsmith occupants sometime during the Norman conquest. However, the street did not acquire its name until Italian goldsmiths, the Longobards from Lombardy, were granted the land during the reign of Edward I. The badge of the Medici family, the three golden pills, was first displayed here, and since then it has remained as a traditional sign of the pawnbroker. It is reported that most of the large present day UK banks share history with Lombard Street. For instance, Lloyd’s of London, an insurance market now located in London’s primary financial district, began as Lloyds coffee House in 1691. From around this time, most banks established their headquarters on Lombard Street. Many remained there right up until the 1980s; the decade that signalled the end of ‘runners’ donning top hats to deliver bills of exchange to the Bank of England. Number 60., which is the rooftop this report is based on, was occupied by T.S.B for many years and it was the last bank to move its headquarters out of the street. T.S.B have assured people that their legacy will continue to be an important part of the street and that their colourful sign hanging from the front façade will be a tribute to this. On the topic of signage, Lombard Street is said to be famous for being one of the few places in London where 17th and 18th century-styled shop signs still survive, jutting from buildings on wrought-iron brackets. However, it is said that some lateral thinking is required to decipher what the old signs signify: Adam and Eve meant fruiterer; a bugle’s horn, a post office; a unicorn, an apothecary’s; a spotted cat, a perfumer’s. Many of those that remain today were the emblems of rich families and Edwardian reconstructions of early goldsmiths’ signs. It is well-known that many early 20th century banks, such as Barclays with their eagle and Lloyds with their horse, re-appropriated some of these signs as company logos. It is important to note, though, that they all chose to adopt lifeless signs as their logos, as opposed to ‘breathing signs’ (cats in baskets, rats and parrots in cages, vultures tethered to wine shacks etc.), which were very fashionable at one time. Finally, another interesting fact about Lombard Street, but one that is completely unrelated to banking, is that it is where the first love of Charles Dickens lived. The girl’s name was Maria Beadnell, and she was the daughter of a bank manager. It is said that Dickens would often walk down Lombard Street in the early hours of the morning to gaze upon the place where she slept. By today’s standard that certainly would not be considered a romantic gesture – Dickens may well have landed himself in a spot of bother if he tried peeping through girl’s windows in this day and age. Our Version of Events Despite havinghigh aspirations for the night,all of them failed. So, we were heading back to the car to call it a night when we noticed some scaffolding thatlooked ‘a bit bait’ as the locals might put it. It involved a bit of a climbing and there was no way of avoiding any onlookers from seeing us. But, since we were very desperate for a rooftop at this point, we decided to have a crack at it anyway. In the end, and contrary to all appearances, getting onto the roof of 60 Lombard Street was easy, and it wasn’t long before we were ascending the last bit of scaff to get up to the highest point on the roof. One by one we gathered in a small sheltered space, waiting for everyone to catch up before we climbed the last ladder that took us up to the highest point. But, it was at that moment we noticed that there were suddenly a lot more people around than what we’d first started out with. As it turned out, another couple of lads had decided to have a crack at the bank rooftop too. It seemed that they were just as surprised to discover us lurking about up there. At first we had thought it might some over-zealous security guards on the verge of losing their jobs if they didn’t catch us, but thankfully we were wrong. Fortunately, there was enough space up top for all of us to congregate. Since it was pretty chilly, though, we wasted no time setting up the cameras to grab a few shots. As always, the views of London were spectacular. Sadly, however, all the buildings we had wanted to get on top of were the ones surrounding us, taunting us from every direction – and they looked even more enticing from where we were standing. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Slayaaaa and Stewie. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7:
  11. History The building this report is based on is the old art deco Filter House. The building housed all of the equipment and tanks that were needed to complete the chemical filtration process. It also contained a laboratory which was used to handle chemicals and conduct tests, to ensure the water was fit for human consumption before being sent to the nearby reservoir. The site on which the old chemical filter building at Sandford Mill sits began life as a corn mill. The timber mill was constructed sometime in the early 19th century, directly over a stream that would run underneath the centre of the building. The stream drove a large water wheel, which provided power to the corn mill. By the end of the century, a steam engine was installed to generate additional power. It is noted that coal used to run the engine was supplied from Newcastle-under-Lyme, which was transported along canals via horse drawn barges. In 1923 Chelmsford Corporation purchased the site for the construction of a new Borough Waterworks. Construction of the new facility began in 1926, around the time milling in the area ceased. The old corn mill was subsequently demolished, save for two cottages which were built in 1905. They are the only surviving remnants of the original mill. The waterworks started operating in March 1929, despite the fact that it was not fully completed until July 1930. The preliminary site consisted of a large red brick building which became known as the ‘Engine House’. Water from the River Chelmer, and from a 650ft deep borehole was both treated and pumped inside this building using electrically-driven pumps. These were powered by diesel driven alternators during the day and the mains electricity supply by night. The capacity of the waterworks was improved in 1956, following the construction of a new building that was known as the ‘Filter House’. The entire water treatment process was transferred over to the new building, and additional pumps were installed in the Engine House. Three further pump houses were also erected across the site, to move the water around the site through the various stages of the treatment process. The largest pump house, positioned over by the weir, became known as the River Pump House. After being treated the water was transported via the Engine House over to Galleywood Reservoir, approximately four miles away, for use in Chelmsford. Although local rumour has it that the building was designed and constructed by the same Scottish architects, Dunn and Watson, who are responsible for the construction of the Marconi factory in Chelmsford, this is in fact not true. Dunn and Watson’s practice closed in 1912, forty-four years before the chemical building was completed. While the Filter House follows a very similar late art deco design, whoever constructed it remains unknown. During the mid-70s, the water industry was nationalised and the site was acquired by the Essex Water Company. To avoid the operating two duplicated sites in close proximity of one another, the water company decided to transfer all operations to a site further down the River Chelmer, at Langford. By 1984, all water pumping at the Sandford Mill site ceased and the facility was made completely redundant. Most of the equipment was removed that same year, and the land was returned to the Borough Council. Our Version of Events At the end of areasonably successfulday of exploring over in Colchester, where we’d ended up finding ourselves in a semi-abandoned hospital, we decided to meet up with Xploring and DRZ_Explorer. For the rest of the evening we fucked around trying to get into a cinema, then in the clock tower of the Britvic site and finally, rather randomly, a cemetery. After that, we arranged to meet up the next night because there was some sort of chemical filter building nearby that sounded like it was a good wander. From what we were being told, the place sounded like it was something a bit different and unique. The following evening came, and we all met up down a small country lane by the side of a canal. Getting onto the site wasn’t particularly difficult; although, finding a way inside the building itself presented its own set of challenges. However, it wasn’t long before we were all inside the building, gathered at the bottom of the main staircase that leads into the main tank room. It was at this point we realised visiting during the night perhaps wasn’t the greatest idea ever conceived. Once we climbed the stairs and entered the large hall housing the chemical tanks it suddenly dawned on us that the room is has windows on every side, and overlooking the building are the former mill cottages and the museum – where there were lights switched on. We did our best to take photos throughout the building, but not being able to light-paint too well meant that most of the shots came out a bit shit. In the end, we gave up and decided we’d pop back the following day, during daylight hours. We returned the next day, and were disappointed to find a white van parked outside. So, for the next hour or so we had to play the waiting game and a couple of rounds of dominos, until the van and its occupants finally fucked off. Thankfully, they did eventually leave, so we made our way back to the entrance we’d found the previous night. Fortunately, it was still open. Once inside, visibility was incredible. Plenty of natural light was pouring through the windows, making our job of snapping up some photos much easier. What is more, now we could properly take in our surroundings. The lads from the previous night had been right, the place looked amazing. With all of the tiles around, it was kind of like standing in an ancient swimming baths, crossed with an old-school batman-styled chemical factory – the type where bad-guys and scientists have a high risk of falling into a vat of unspecified chemical waste. Much to our disappointment, neither batman nor the joker turned up. The only weird thing we stumbled across were a few skeletons of rabbits and squirrels. As others have said before, it looked like a small-scale massacre had taken place. Our theory, then, is that the animals had somehow managed to get inside the building, because, as with all explores, it has been broken into a few times. This means at some point the doors and windows may have been open to the little critters. Since all the skeletons look fairly intact, it looked more like the animals died due to poisoning – they are inside a former chemical filtering building after all, where there is an abundance of chemical residue. How they all managed to end up in the same room, however, is a harder phenomenon to explain. Our guess is that Poison Ivy may have inhabited the building at some point, and she moved all the corpses into that room where she was able to have a bit of a barbeque. We found her cans of special brew; evidence that she definitely cooked something up in that room. Anyway, we’re certain that this theory surpasses all others in terms of its validity and reliability. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Slayaaaa, Stewie and Xploring. 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:
  12. History The first written record of a workhouse in Hexham, which was more of a prison by contemporaneous standards, dates back to 1777. It was a relatively large establishment for its time as it was capable of housing up to fifty-five inmates. In the report it is noted that the governess was named Mrs. Hutchinson, and that she supported every pauper at the weekly rate of two shillings and six pennies (approximately twelve and a half pence in today’s currency) per head. However, following the founding of the Hexham Poor Law Union in 1836, a new Hexham Union workhouse consisting of three parallel two-storey buildings was constructed in 1839, by J. H. Morton, on the south side of Dean Street. Like most other workhouses, the daily regime was brutal and the establishment was feared by those outside of its walls (this was to deter able-bodied people from applying). Everyone, regardless of age or sex, was required to work, doing jobs that would often lead to exhaustion and ill health. What is more, the food, uniform, medical care and education tended to be inadequate, and once incarcerated inside the workhouse families were often split up and punished if they attempted to communicate with one another. The Hexham Union workhouse underwent major alterations and refurbishment in 1863, when detached schools were built. Conditions for children gradually began to improve from this point on, with an 1866 report noting that ‘the boys dig and plant the garden; the girls sew and knit’. Further development between 1880 and 1883, at a cost of £8,000, saw the construction of an administration block, a Master’s house, a dining room (the room with the murals from 1885 which may be attributed to E. Swinburne) and sick wards on the eastern end of the site. Standards within the accommodation blocks were improved, although people were still separated and divided into various classes of ‘inmate’, and the capacity was increased to accommodate 300. The finely carved stonework of the Master’s house, which is positioned just above the entranceway, still exists today. After 1930, the workhouse became Hexham Public Assistance Institution, following the abolishment of the workhouse system. As with a large number of workhouses at the time, Hexham workhouse became more of a refuge for the elderly, sick and infirm, rather than the able-bodied poor. In other words, it became a kind of municipal hospital. Nevertheless, during the Second World War part of the site was appropriated for military administrative use. After the war, though, in 1948, the site became part of Hexham General Hospital, and was used as a hospital up until 2004, when new modernised buildings were opened nearby. The hospital continued to use part of the site to store equipment and paperwork, but the rest was sold to Helen McArdle Care Ltd. and later leased to The Therapy Centre in 2013. Today, however, all of the buildings across the site have been abandoned. Since they were rendered derelict at different stages, some parts of the site have deteriorated badly on account of vandals, metal thieves and water damage. As things stand, local residents have launched complaints surrounding the poor condition of the site. Some have called for the former workhouse to be demolished as it is said to pose a risk to the general public. So far two serious plans have been proposed: one by Lidl who are interested in demolishing the site to provide space for a large supermarket, and a second by a housing company that promises to build affordable homes and private residential units for elderly people. It is rumoured, however, that the council are open to further ideas, particularly ones that look to salvage some, if not all, of the former workhouse site. Our Version of Events After hearing about a potential explore over in Hexham, we decided to go take a look. Assuming it was going to be an average sized site and that we’d be able to cover it in a few hours, we headed over late one evening after a bit of tea (not the drink). As it turned out, though, the explore was a former workhouse, so it was fucking huge. It was also a bit like a maze trying to work our way through the buildings because we had to content with locked doors, boarded windows and lots of discarded shit lying all over the place. This meant we didn’t have time to wander round the entire thing on our first visit, so we finished it off on a second trip a couple of days later. At first, despite being satisfied with the age of the building, the old workhouse proved to be a bit of a shit wander. The first few rooms we poked around in were beyond stripped. For example, even the floorboards in the corridors seemed to have been knicked! But, things started to improve once we stumbled into the middle section of the building which, as records suggest, was part of the new 1883 development. From here on in there was plenty of stuff to take photos of. We entered the dining room first and quickly discovered the old murals on the wall to our right. As for the rest of the room, it had been transformed into a medical records room, according to the sign on the door. From the dining room, we found we had to traverse across part of the roof, which was a bit of a sketchy experience as the whole thing was covered in ice. This was the only way to reach the third part of the site though. The other route was blocked by a room brimming with old zimmer-frames, mattresses, chairs and other bits of medical equipment. It’s no wonder the NHS have shortages – half of Britain’s medical apparatus is in that room. Anyway, back to the explore. We skated our way across the roof to reach a smashed opening on the other side. It led into a stairwell, and since we were quite high up from the steps we had to lower ourselves inside and drop in. The building we’d entered was noticeably different from the rest of the site, in the sense that it was fairly modern and had clearly been refurbished in recent years. But, before we could take in the surroundings any further, the pair of us heard something. It was the subtle sound of a ‘beep’. Then, two seconds later, it suddenly went ballistic, even though we’d not moved from where we were stood and couldn’t see any motion sensors. A little confused, we proceeded down the stairs to find out what the fuck was going on. As it turned out, the alarm must have been triggered by the last visitors – the fuckers who appeared to have walked around smashing the place to bits – and it seemed that no one had turned up to sort it out. The alarm continued to go off sporadically the entire time we were there anyway; it would randomly stop, then start again regardless of whether we walked past a sensor or not. What we did find amusing in all of this, though, was that the previous visitors to the site had tried to cover up some of the sensors with pieces of paper and leaflets, presumably to stop them from being detected… We spent less time in the alarmed section that we would have liked, but we did manage to get around the entire thing without anyone turning up. So we felt pretty successful in that respect. After that, however, we made a hasty exit, just to be on the safe side. We exited the same way we managed to get in, and to finish off decided to get a couple of external shots. And just in time too, or so we thought, since the police decided to rock up. Nevertheless, as it turned out they didn’t seem to be after us. Later, after having a chat with a local, we learnt that police presence has been increased in the area because of vandal and thieves and subsequent complaints from residents. So, rather than attending to the alarm, they were probably just doing the routine rounds to keep the local populace happy. Explored with Meek-Kune-Do. 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:
  13. History Today, Newsham is a small suburb of Blyth. Blyth itself, meaning ‘gentle’ or ‘merry’ in Old English, is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, and from the early 18th century the town rapidly expanded as a result of the Industrial Revolution, as coal mining, fishing and ship building industries quickly established a foothold in the area. Newsham quickly became part of the town as new houses were required for the growing number of workers in the area. Prior to the growth of industry, however, it is noted in John Wallace’s History of Blyth and a number of other sources that Newsham comprised only a few farms and a mansion as early as 1341, which were occupied by the prominent Ogle family. Despite the distinguished status of the Ogle family though, it is reported that the main holders of the lands and buildings at Newsham were in fact the Delaval family. They owned the lands from the 12th century right up until the 17th century. The 3rd Earl of Derwentwater, James Radclyffe, was the last successor to Newsham after the death of his father in 1705. It is unknown how the lands passed into the hands of the Radclyffe family, but they were said to have several estates in Northumberland and Newsham was one of those. James Radclyffe’s reign over the estate was short-lived, however, as he became a Jacobite – a member of a rebellious movement that sought to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart King James VII of Scotland, II of England and Ireland, and his heirs to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. After his following of 70 (mainly gentlemen, a small number of soldiers and servants) were defeated in a short battle he was captured in 1715 and escorted to the Tower of London. The 3rd Earl of Derwentwater pleaded guilty to the charge of treason held against him, in the hope that he might gain a royal pardon. Radclyffe lost his trial and was immediately stripped of his honours and titles and sentenced to death for treason. Although most of the other Lords and Earls were granted clemency, Radclyffe’s sentence remained to set an example for others who might try to overthrow the king. He was beheaded on 24th February 1716. Following the death of Radclyffe, the Newsham estate fell into the hands of the Ridley family. At some point during their tenure of the lands (one source suggests 1880) the mansion was dismantled and the materials were said to have been used to construct a farmhouse. Another source from 1720 suggests that the former mansion was already in a state of dilapidation, with it being described as ‘an ancient structure but something ruinous’. An additional reason for its demolition may be attributed to the fact that the mansion itself was a relatively basic structure; it was only two storeys high, the grand hall was plain and simple and it had only a small number of surrounding buildings. In other words, the building was no longer deemed important enough to warrant its ‘mansion’ status. Now in the 21st century, the farmhouse and its surrounding buildings lie derelict. It is not known why the site is abandoned, the only hint is that Wallace of Kelso Ltd., a large independent agricultural company, may have been based at the Newsham site but decided to close or relocate their premises. Their main base in Dundee still exists still, so the company did not fall into different hands or go into liquidation. As things stand, there are plans to build forty new homes on the site. The main farmhouse and its other buildings will be demolished to make spaces for the new development; however, the stone wall bordering the property will remain to give the scheme a so-called historic link. A number of local residents have opposed the plans, having raised concerns about flooding, loss of privacy and the increased pressure on nearby schools, GP surgeries and other important amenities. Some residents also suggested that the old farmhouse ‘boasts character and holds heritage value’. The council, though, disagree, and argue that the site has no heritage value whatsoever. Our Version of Events Our night beganwith high aspirations. To start off with, we tried our luck at getting ourselves inside an abandoned museum. As it turned out, the museum was much less abandoned that we’d first thought. A large number of sensors were the first indication that the site was still quite active, and then the alarms we triggered supported the fact even further. We left in a hurry, feeling fairly disappointed, and continued on well into the night trying various other explores that would all turn out badly. As a last resort we found ourselves just outside Newsham, where we decided that we’d try our luck with a farmhouse we’d recently heard about. We gathered outside the car – at least what was left of our sorry looking assemblage did. Spirits were low and the night had resulted in an abnormal number of injuries. At this point the opinion was unanimous, if we failed to get into a derelict farm we would be forced to retire from exploring and take up something else. Knitting, swinging and baking were the favoured options. After that quick discussion, we decided to stop wasting time and scale the really high three-foot wall to get inside the farmyard. From there we ran for the shadows and set about trying to find a way inside the farmhouse. Inside the house it felt as though we were suddenly in an episode of Only Fools and Horses. In fact, for the entire half an hour we spent in that building it felt exactly as though we were in Nelson Mandela House. For instance, the carpets throughout the building were… Well, they were very different by conventional standards. We might even go so far as to say they were a little spicy. What is more, though, is that even the furniture matched the Peckham vibe we had going on. We were half expecting to find Uncle Albert in the living room sitting in one of the armchairs sipping on a snifter of rum, or a blow-up sex doll tucked away in a cupboard somewhere. Needless to say, we found neither. Unfortunately, we were prompted to move on to the other buildings on the site after hearing what we thought sounded like a riot outside. In the knowledge that we didn’t have any ski gear to protect ourselves, or a Russian VCR to film it, we decided to split. As for the rest of the premises, it had its own unique bits and quirks, such as the pianos we stumbled across in small backroom, or the strange dining room setup inside one of the large barns. All in all, then, considering the place looked like an incredibly trashed farm from the outside it ended up being a decent wander. After taking a look around the entire site and seeing everything there was to see, we headed back to the car. It was just starting to snow at this point, so it was time to switch the car heater to full blast and warm up a wee bit. Explored with Meek-Kune-Do. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23:
  14. History Wheelbirks is a small rural part of Northumbria, located to the south of Hadrian’s Wall. According to several historical books, there have been farmsteads in the area since the 16th century. It was David Richardson, though, who would have the greatest influence in transforming the area. Richardson, who was a Quaker and the owner of some of the largest tanneries in the country, moved to the area in 1882. The family has a long history as tanners, tracing as far back as the mid-16th century to a site based at Great Ayton, Cleveland, so they had a considerable amount of wealth and influence. In 1902, Richardson started work on replacing the original farmhouse at Wheelbirks with a Restrained Gothic style farmhouse and several small cottages. By 1911, the area was completely transformed, having changed from a small farmstead into a fully-fledged estate. Further development was prompted a few months after completion following an outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) inside Richardson’s tanneries. During the early 1900s, for instance, the works located at Elswick were reported to have a high incidence of the disease. The sanatorium itself is a cruciform construction of steel-reinforced concrete, white engineering brick and glass. It was designed to appear as if it is standing on stilts in a hollow; three bridges attached to the main entrances of the building helped to create the illusion. The design of the structure, which is reportedly American-based, and its chosen setting is said to have comprised a fresh-air method of treatment whereby patients would be surrounded by countryside and a clean, unpolluted environment. Unfortunately, Richardson never witnessed the completion of the sanatorium because it remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1913. In the end, the building was never used to treat TB sufferers because developments in antibiotics led to important changes in how TB was treated, to the extent that the use of isolated hospitals was rendered unnecessary. Today, the sanatorium is in a dilapidated condition. The interior is badly damaged and almost completely stripped, and the outside is clearly showing its age. In addition, one of the entrance bridges appears to be missing; there is some evidence that one existed on the western side of the building. Despite its condition, there is evidence that a local farmer has commandeered the space, using it as a storage site for various pieces of farm equipment and a random collection of boats. Our Version of Events Prior to visiting the Wheelbirks TB Sanatorium, we were warned that some stealthy moves would be required as there is an active farm overlooking the premises. With this is mind, we parked several miles away and decided to have a wander through the woods, to approach the building from the rear. Taking the necessary precautions, we camo’d up, slapping on a few streaks of black paint across our cheeks that we happened to have lying around for full effect. The walk that followed was itself quite pleasurable as we navigated our way along the side of a stream that runs close by the sanatorium. If anything, with tripods in our arms it felt a bit like we were stalking a predator (the extra-terrestrial kind, not a paedophile). Thankfully we weren’t, though, because if one really had been skulking around alongside us our attempt to fend it off would have been a very shit addition to the sequels. The building appeared all of a sudden, lurking behind a thin cluster of trees just ahead. It was just as everyone has described it: American. It was certainly different, but I can’t say it struck us as the most aesthetically pleasing building in England. However, before we could stand in awe for any longer, as we were peering out from the treeline, we suddenly noticed that the pre-warnings about the farm next door and there being lots of activity were quite accurate. The farm was a veritable hive of activity, with cars coming and going and a hardened sentry equipped with a set of heavy-duty binoculars sitting on the roof. What is more, just ahead in the next field there appeared to be a shooting party. It wasn’t very clear what they were shooting at, but they all looked the business with their flat caps, tweed jackets and 4x4s. Taking care not to get shot, we crept up to the old sanatorium waving a fresh Kleenex tissue for good measure. From there, choosing a point of entry wasn’t particularly difficult as all the doors were either missing or wide open. Once inside, it was immediately apparent that local farmers and the nearby ice cream parlour are using the site as a makeshift storage facility. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be storing any ice creams in the big freezer though. That’s right, we checked. The main floor, which I would assume is the ground floor (the design of the building is a bit odd having been constructed in a hollow), is filled with bicycles, boats and farm equipment. Downstairs is being used in a similar way, although a lot of the gear down there appears to be quite dated. As for the upper floors of the building, they are absolutely fucked. With the sheer number of holes in the walls, it would appear as though the guys over in the field are in much need of some target practice. There is only really one room that might be of interest to anyone passing through, and that is the one filled with old-ish whisky bottles and newspapers. We decided to call it a day after taking a quick look around the upstairs rooms. There wasn’t much left to see, and the group of would-be mercenaries in the field opposite seemed to be packing up to leave. The first few land rovers were already leaving the field and forming a Mad Max style convoy. The last farmer who was closing the gate even seemed to have a large speaker system mounted on the back of his Toyota Hilux. We ducked beneath a window ledge for a moment as the convoy roared past us, then when everything went quiet again headed back towards the woods to face our trek back to the car. Explored with LightSaber. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21:

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