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WildBoyz

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  1. History The Grade II Crystal Palace subway is a former Victorian relic that lies beneath the A212. The arched subway, which led from the High Level line and station into the centre transept of The Crystal Palace, opened two days before Christmas day, in 1865. Constructed out of plate-glass and cast-iron, The Crystal Palace was originally situated in Hyde Park to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. The building was rebuilt in a larger and more elaborate form on Penge Common, near Sydenham Hill – an affluent area of London at the time. At the time the development, which comprised of 4,000 tons of iron, cost £150,000 (approximately £2 million today); this was an incredible amount of money in the 1800s. A second building, known as The Garden Palace which was based on the same design, was also constructed in Sydney in 1879. By the 1890s the popularity of the Palace had deteriorated considerably; it was purported that the condition of the building gave it the ‘appearance of a downtown market’. Bankruptcy was declared in 1911 and possession of the building passed through the hands of the Earl of Plymouth, until the 1920s when a public subscription purchased the Palace on behalf of the nation. Under the guidance of Sir Henry Buckland, Crystal Palace was restored to its former glory and it began to attract visitors once again. Nevertheless, despite the effort that went into the refurbishment, on the 30th November 1936 a catastrophic fire destroyed the entire building. It was reported that the fire started following an explosion in the woman’s cloakroom. Although over 400 firefighters arrived on the scene, they were unable to extinguish the ravaging fire. A few hours after it started, the entire building burnt down; all that was left standing were two water towers. These were later demolished. Somewhat ironically, The Garden Palace in Sydney was also destroyed by fire in September 1882; the only remnants of it that remain today are the sandstone gateposts and wrought iron gates. With Crystal Palace’s destruction, traffic on the High Level line quickly declined. However, the line was used during World War II as people used the former subway as an air raid shelter. The subway was fitted with 190 bunkbeds and chemical toilets. After the way, the High Level line was repaired following bomb damage, but the continuing decline in the number of passengers using led to its permanent closure in 1954. The station was demolished in 1961, and the old Palace site was redeveloped into housing in the 1970s. The subway, which manage to survive both the fire and demolition, still remains today. During the 1960s the old subway was popular among children as the old wooden steps were still in situ, meaning it quickly became a playground. By the late 1970s the subway was home to ‘Subway Superdays’, a society that organised cultural and educational days. The subway was finally closed to the public, except the occasional open day, in the 1990s, due to health and safety concerns. Presently, the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway aim to reopen the Grade II listed small underground space, for community use. Most recently, the FCPS received planning permission from the Council to reinstate a gate on the Southwark side of the Parade. Our Version of Events After spending the night in London, we set off bright and early with good intentions for the day ahead. The old Crystal Palace subway was at the top of our list, because it looked pretty unique and there are rumours it will be reopened to the public very soon. For some reason, there seems to be less enjoyment in being able to see something that’s publically accessible, so we wanted to get it under our belts before we lost the opportunity to see it in all its abandoned glory. When we first arrived, access looked to be a bit problematic. It’s surrounded by palisade fencing, but that isn’t the main problem; after that there’s a rather large drop into the subway and we couldn’t see any obvious way of getting down there. You would think we’d have anticipated that, given it is a subway after all, but we didn’t. For a brief moment we discussed amongst ourselves how prepared we’d been, because we’d had the foresight to bring along a rope with us on this trip; however, we also made note that the rope was back in the car, on the other side of London. At first, we were going to have a crack at climbing down into the old courtyard but, because there was a park keeper nearby who probably would have seen us, we re-reconsidered this idea. Ten minutes later, after some quick thinking and waiting for the crowd next to a nearby bus stop to clear a little, we found ourselves stood outside the main gates of the subway. It looked spectacular inside, much better than all the photographs we’ve seen of the place; ours don’t do it much justice either mind, it’s one of those places you have to actually visit to experience it fully. Stood outside the locked gates still didn’t get us in, though, and the gap in the gates was tight. For those of us who don’t seem to eat, it was piss easy; for the rest of us, we had to strip down a bit and crack out a few hundred push up to shed a few inches off the waistline. Breathing in deeply was crucial… And not breathing out again midway through the bars was even more important! But, as anyone who’s ever squeezed through a tight hole will know, once the shoulders are through the rest is plain sailing. Gasping for air, we dropped into the old subway, and took in our surroundings. Inside, with the uniquely shaped pillars, patterned stone floor and red and cream brickwork, the atmosphere is phenomenal – if it wasn’t for the A212 above, it would feel like you’ve stepped into a different world. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do and Husky. The Crystal Palace Crystal Palace High Level Train Station 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17:
  2. Yeah definitely! The wooden floor in there is incredible.
  3. UK Crystal Palace Subway, London - April 2016

    Thanks Definitely worth a little look inside if you're around that area.
  4. Thanks for the comments everyone, and cheers for looking
  5. History Bridge House Hotel is a Grade I listed building, set alongside attractive gardens adjacent to the River Swale. The building was constructed sometime in the 15th Century and therefore provided a historic atmosphere inside and out. After being redeveloped into a hotel in the 1900s, the lower floors were converted into dining, bar and lounge areas. The upstairs was divided into bedrooms, and ensuite bathrooms were installed in each room. The hotel was popular as it is located close to the A1 road and Catterick Racecourse; it is also relatively close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the vibrant city of York. Unfortunately, however, a fire destroyed part of the building in 2014. Six fire crews were called to attend the scene after flames were spotted coming from the roof. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but no one was injured during the incident as the premises was closed as it was undergoing renovation. Our Version of Events For the past few days, Bridge House Hotel has been the cause of a wee bit of drama in the North East of England. So, sit down and we’ll tell you the story before someone else steals it and tries to make a film out of it. A couple of photographs of the Bridge House Hotel popped up several days ago on Facebook and, despite knowing the person who posted them, he wouldn’t spill the beans as to where we could find the building. He’s under the impression all yobs, thieves, vagabonds, unsavoury sorts, hooligans and graffiti artists regularly monitor 28dayslater 24/7, all biding their time as they wait for new locations to ruin. As far as we were concerned, the fact he didn’t want to share details was fair enough, he wasn’t obliged to share anything with us after all. As for posting on 28days, we tried to explain that these places get trashed eventually anyway, regardless of posts on the forum; of course 28days posts probably speed the process up occasionally, but so do snaps on Facebook and every other social media website... Even if you don’t post the name of the site, or the specific location, people will find it eventually. The person concerned is also under the impression that all 28days forum users are ‘egotistic dickheads’, and we’re part of that crowd apparently because we post on the site, so we’re not permitted to hang out with ‘proper’ explorers who prefer to ‘protect’ abandoned places. After that brief incident, we spent the next day or so researching the damn hotel, trying to find every single abandoned one in the North East and North Yorkshire (we guessed the pub was somewhere around these parts), mostly to prove the point that all locations are discoverable without the name and place; as we said before, the photo on Facebook is enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to protect these places, but posting publically and then heavily criticising 28dayslater folk for revealing the name is, in our opinion, wrong. Posting images of any building on any site without a name doesn’t ‘protect’ them, it shows the world it’s out there and makes it desirable. It also doesn’t preserve the site for other explorers – one of the other arguments that was thrown at us – it does exactly the opposite. If anything, many more 28days users have their hearts, and mind-sets, in the right place when it comes to exploring and sharing amongst likeminded people, because they are willing to share and converse with one another. Anyway, eventually, after much internet trawling, we found the blasted place! It dawned on us at that point that we’ve driven past the fucking thing quite a few times, but we’ve always fobbed it off for being a shitty pub. We quickly grabbed a couple cameras and torches; whatever was lying around really, and immediately bombed down to the hotel in a rushed effort to beat the fading daylight that was hot on our tail. In hindsight, this wasn’t the best plan, as we only ended up bringing one SD card along, and half charged torch batteries which would inevitably run out during the explore. As we pulled up outside the hotel, we expected the ‘Facebook Clan’, armed to the teeth with cricket bats, spears and potato guns, to be guarding the premises. In anticipation that we might have a wee bit of confrontation (we all know how exploring folk like to hang around new explores they think they’re the first ones to ever enter), we recited the classic Braveheart speech: “they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom…” and decorated our faces with blue stripes. Our efforts were all in vein, however, because, as it turned out, the place was silent when we rocked up. It only took a minute or two to find a way inside. A moist but pleasant derpy smell greeted us. At first glances, the place looked mostly intact and just as awesome as the photos had depicted; the bar and dining rooms were virtually untouched. Even more interestingly, though, the beers taps still worked, proving free glasses of slightly dated beer, and the wine cellar was still partially stocked. Having said that, there were far fewer bottles than the ‘Facebook Clan’s’ photos show. This could mean only one thing, the Greenpeace styled protectors weren’t protecting the place at all, they were drinking the bloody booze! Of course, this theory is entirely speculative, we have no evidence to support these claims – other than the diminished stock in the cellar and half empty (or were they half full) pint glass everywhere. Back upstairs, it also occurred to us that various objects had been moved around; the place almost looked as though it was staged, with armchairs, sofas and plant pots arranged in nice places. We’d assumed that professed protectors of sites like these might have put things back where they left them, to ‘preserve’ the place, but it seems this is a bit of a grey area. Again, however, our claims are entirely speculative; yobs could also have moved the furniture to make a temporary drug den or a brothel of some sort. Upstairs, most of the bedrooms were still in situ, and there was plenty of fresh linen. You could easily still grab a good night’s kip at this hotel. All the toilets still have their pipes too, which was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, though, it appears the yobs – or is it in fact the ‘Facebook Mob’ (a little rhetorical question right there) – have moved in, discovered what a Sharpie Permanent Marker can do, and started to tag the place. We found a fair bit of graff in a couple of rooms, especially in the kitchen. Caught in the moment ourselves, we must confess that we too became ‘wild hooligans’ for a moment, when we decided to rub the chalk board with the ‘Facebook Clan’s’ names on it a little bit with a Kleenex tissue. To our surprise, all the names rubbed off. It’s fascinating how easily chalk rubs off a board. After that, we may then have, purely accidently of course, scrawled our name in chalk over the top a little bit. Anyway, to move things along a bit, this little jovial act seems to have pissed a few exploring sorts off in our parts and subsequently shit has hit the fan, so to speak. As a result, anyone exploring in the North East may come now across some anti-WildBoyz graff, or graff that looks like it’s by our hand. To be clear, it’s not us, it’s ‘Facebook Clan’ ‘propaganda’. The moral of this story then folks: Thou shalt not piss off thee Clans of Facebook, or they shall feel the almighty wrath of the three Flickr, Twitter and Facebook kingdoms. Finally, to conclude this rant, we were originally going to post this report in a non-public thread, out of respect for certain people’s desire to keep it under wraps, but it hardly seems worth it since it’s all over Facebook now… Nice one ‘Facebook Clan’! As for the rest of you, go take a look at this place while it lasts if you’re in the area. All in all, while it’s certainly not worth a massive drive up, it’s a decent explore and we’d rather people saw it than pretend to keep it under lock and key. As we said to ‘the Clans in the North’, in a bit of an online dispute, exploring is about capturing a bit of history and sharing places with one another, it’s not about bitterness, jealousy and inhibiting everyone else from seeing them. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Box 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: 27: 28: 29: 30:
  6. Haha, I'm glad you found the rant entertaining. I was just getting a bit tired of people falling out with us simply because we write up a history. I completely agree with what you suggest.
  7. Yeah, it certainly smelt a wee bit damp. It's bad when the carpet is stronger than the floor boards lol. Haha, always good when people notice you're real
  8. Haha, thought you would like those
  9. Cheers fellas, thanks for looking
  10. Completely agree with everything you just said there mate
  11. It was a little tale from the North In truth, the dispute was meant to be posted on 28days, I neglected to take the wordy bit out of the report on OS. Aye, some parts of the building were really good. The cellar was pretty cool with all the working beer kegs. No beer was drunk on our explore, because dodgy beer gives you the shits
  12. UK Highgate Station, London - April 2016

    I will save this post for future reference Useful stuff to know. Thanks man. I can imagine getting towed in London is a proper ball ache.
  13. UK Highgate Station, London - April 2016

    Haha, thanks for the tips. We didn't know about the yellow line thing on Sundays, so that's good to know. In the end we just ditched the car and used the tube to get around. It got a bit pricey after a while, but certainly beat being sat in a car for hours either in traffic or looking for a space to park. Cheers
  14. UK Highgate Station, London - April 2016

    Thanks folks, cheers for looking and commenting
  15. UK Highgate Station, London - April 2016

    Thanks It's absolutely mad, there were some really nice cars sitting there too, with moss and mould growing on them. I've never seen people try to squeeze their cars in such small gaps before either. I understand the parking problem if you live there like, it must be pretty frustrating having to spent hours finding a spot after work, especially if it ends up being miles away.
  16. UK Highgate Station, London - April 2016

    Sounds pretty chilled. Was really surprised to find a fox down there too. I thought London is all buildings and cars. Shows how much I know lol, I bet there are a few nice spots like this dotted around.
  17. History Eyebrook Reservoir is located in the East Midlands, straddling the borders of Rutland and Leicestershire. The closest village is Caldecott, which can be found to the south of the reservoir near the dam. The reservoir itself was constructed between 1937 and 1940, by Stewarts & Lloyds, to supply water to their Corby steel works which required 8 million gallons of water per day. The dam was constructed using concrete blocks and clay; it is 517 metres long overall, with a width of 4.6 metres at the top and 90 metres at its base. Just like Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District, Eyebrook was used during the Second World War by the RAF and the bombers of 617 squadron, as a practice site for the Dambuster raids. A plaque commemorating Mohne, the dam that was partially destroyed in Britain’s efforts to disrupt Germany’s war effort, has been placed at Eyebrook reservoir. The reservoir and dam was selected as a training ground because of its close resemblance to German dams. Several weeks before the raids were due to take place, Lancaster bombers could be heard roaring over nearby villages, including Caldecott, as they barely skipped over the tree tops; there was a mere 18 metres between the giant machines and the ground. It was crucial the four-engined planes kept as low as possible though, to remain undetected, and for the bombs to work effectively. Nonetheless, none of the planes had altimeters that worked at such low levels, so large spotlights fitted to the nose and tails of the aircraft were used instead to illuminate the surroundings. The practice raids took many of the local residents by surprise at first and many sought shelter beneath kitchen tables when the area suddenly became intensely active, especially at night. Beams of light flooding through windows, and the loud thunder of powerful engines, caused mass panic in the area as people believed the Germans were invading. The reason for the bombers being in the area was only revealed after the success of the mission was announced by the BBC over the radio. In total, the site is approximately 201 hectares (500 acres); 155.12 hectares of this consists of canals and open water that has an average depth of 17ft throughout, except near the dam where it is a little deeper. Since 1942, the reservoir has been used as a brown and rainbow trout fishery. Most of the fishermen who gather at this location specialise in fly fishing, as this location responds well to this style. The remaining land is made up of natural grass and woodland and has become a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to certain plant and wildlife in the area. Many of the birds found in the woodland at Eyebrook are popular among bird watchers. Our Version of Events As we’ve been trying to venture outside the north of England a little bit more we decided to head through Leicestershire on our travels. Having heard that Eyebrook Reservoir outflow is something to behold, we decided to get ourselves over there and have a wee look for ourselves. Since it sounded a lot like Ladybower in the Peak District, it seemed like it would be an awesome afternoon out. Daylight was fading fast after our usual morning of fucking around, meaning we didn’t have much of an afternoon left, so at a junction we had the choice to turn right towards Eyebrook, or head left to an epic-sounding mine. A distinct lack of judgement made us turn right towards Eyebrook. To avoid getting the car trapped in the car park, because we were unsure how long we were going to be in the overflow, we ditched the car in a layby and chose to walk up to the site. The walk is pleasant, but long, and it wastes even more time. I guess the moral of the story is that you should be better prepared on a morning, then in the afternoon you won’t have to rush around… But alas, we make the same mistake every time. A small cluster of trees was just on the horizon, and judging by what we’d seen on google maps, what we were looking for was inside them. The trees in the distance were the sort that didn’t seem to get much bigger, though, no matter how quickly you walk. Twenty minutes or so later, we reached the woods. Finding the overflow was easy once we stepped into the trees. Almost immediately we were greeted by a large concrete culvert, analogous to something you see in American films. Our excitement quickly escalated. Next, after climbing down into the culvert, we walked into what felt like a great canyon made out of concrete blocks. Both sides towered above us, so we were completely invisible to anyone fishing up at the reservoir. Feeling a little like we were entering into some incredibly grand man-made valley, we continued around the corner. The mouth of the overflow was just ahead. It was smaller than we’d expected, but it still looked tempting. The next few minutes were spent getting out torches, so we could enjoy the next bit with maximum visibility. As it turned out, it was a complete waste of time getting the torches out. After taking a couple of steps inside the entrance, we noticed a very obvious portal of light at the other end of the tunnel. Not quite believing that the whole thing could be so short, we pressed on, expecting we’d perhaps find a second section. We were wrong, however. At the other end it was obvious there was nothing but a small hole, and all this led to, a few metres inside, was a metal gate that opens when water wants to come out. Glancing around at the faces of my fellow explorers, it was manifest that disappointment was ripe among the group. Vowing never to come to Eyebrook Reservoir again, we proceeded to head back to the car. The sun was starting to go down now, so we decided it was best to simply find a pub and drown our sorrows. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do and Husky. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14:
  18. Yeah, it's always good doing a bit of light painting.
  19. Great set of shots, makes me a little nostalgic for the place.
  20. Only if they open the reservoir doors
  21. This one will take you ten minutes if you park near the reservoir I do quite like these though, especially the Ladybower one.
  22. Haha, nah might leave this one out next time. The bridge thing overhead and the brickwork was pretty cool. It was far too short though! Thanks
  23. History Up on the bleak moorland, just outside the small spa town of Buxton, is Harpur Hill and its large 222 ha Health and Safety Testing Facility. Funded under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative, the £56 million laboratory was constructed back in 2002. Years ago, back in 1938, Harpur Hill was a remote RAF base that housed bunkers and an underground ammunition store; therefore, the land was found to be suitable, and still rural enough, for redevelopment into a testing facility. Presently, part of the site has been used to reconstruct a Jubilee Line, using old London Underground trains. It aims to recreate the 7/7 London Tube bombings so the safety of future carriages might be improved. The facility warns that whenever red flags are flying at designated posts around perimeter, a toxic explosion on the site is imminent. Other experiments at the site have involved crash testing trains, heating up shipping containers packed with fireworks and replicating other notable accidents. According to local rumours, although public footpaths run through the grounds of the facility, the site is closely monitored by sensors, and watched by CCTV cameras, and they observe your every move! A team of camouflaged ‘Area 51’ style guards also hide in the bushes and patrol the perimeter on half-hourly rotations. The locals say so, so it must be true. What is more, aside from normal workers, it is believed that a team of scientists live onsite; apparently, they have been sighted exercising on the grounds, but they are never allowed to leave. Finally, the old tunnels are said to still be in service, but whatever goes on down there remains a tight secret. Our Version of Events Anyone who has read our previous reports will know that for a while we rolled around in a bright orange car – not by choice we hasten to add. For this explore, though, we decided to ditch the old beast, and go for something more covert, given that this site sounded like Fort Knox. Our choice would have been a tank, to bypass the ‘Area 51’ style guards, but nowhere we know had any of those available. Instead, we had to settle for a blue car; we could only hope it would blend in with the surrounding countryside. Doing our best to look like ‘hikers’, with Peter Storm boots, plastic anoraks and a bit of tweed, we abandoned the new motor in a layby and joined the footpath that leads towards the facility. To avoid the ‘commandos’ in the bushes, we pretended to look like lost walkers, gazing hard into the sky as though we were trying to find the North Star; we hear that’s how ‘propa’ hikers navigate. Eventually, after leaving several false trails in our effort to shake the guards, we reached the perimeter fence. However, by now it was lunchtime, and being hikers we’d brought our sandwiches and Ginsters pasties with us, so it was crucial we sat down to eat them. The lukewarm flask of tea went down nicely at this point too, it’s thirsty work trying to be stealthly. After making some final adjustments to our thick woollen walking socks, we decided to orientate the map and check our bearings. A couple of pasty crumbs deceived us at first, as we thought they were buildings, but because one of us has gained our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award we were eventually able to spot the mistake. So, guessing we were right on the right course, we set off once again. Judging by the brown wiggly lines on the map, it looked as though the motion sensors were dead ahead. Of course, being prepared for every eventuality, we’d brought air-freshener with us to combat this obstacle. A great plume of Air Wick’s 4 in 1 Lavender scent was released in front of us as we walked; we hear that ‘pro urbexers’ do this to make motion sensor laser beams appear. Don’t worry, for those of you who are wondering, we did a couple of stretches right after we got the air freshener out, to make us supple enough for a game of Twister, and to squeeze between the beams if necessary. Several moments later, despite our tactics, security must have spotted us because a pack of scientifically altered dogs from the laboratory were on our tail. Ignoring the legendary advice that you shouldn’t run on a full stomach, we hit legs. The great steroid injected beasts were right behind us now, foaming at the mouths and growling loudly. Being prepared ‘urbexers’ though, we reached into our High Gear rucksacks and pulled out three fresh steaks – Tesco’s Finest, from some made up farm somewhere. Ford Mayhem lobbed them behind us as hard as he could manage. The trick seemed to work, as the dogs quickly stopped and devoured each other in the frenzy. The four of us, breathless after running, reached the final perimeter; it was a large 32.7 foot palisade fence with razor wire fixed on top. As we grumbled amongst ourselves, that the ‘locals’ had failed to tell us about the fence, we decided to take a break and come up with a plan. Feeling hungry once again, and knowing we had to keep our energy up, we pulled out a gas stove and a couple of Wayfayrer flat-packs (sausage and beans). An awkward silence ensued as we tucked into our meal; knowing that you might lose a testicle climbing a fence puts a bit of a downer on things… … And then we stopped daydreaming about the local rumours. In reality, there were no guards, motion sensors or any air freshener. The modified dogs weren’t real either, they were sheep, and, as far as we could tell, they weren’t modified in any way at all. Other than passing through a couple of muddy fields, reaching the underground trains was actually fairly straightforward and largely uneventful. It did feel a little odd being sat on a London Tube train with Peak District scenery in the background of course. Overall though, it was great to see and experience the site as it was interesting to see London Underground trains ‘out of context’ so to speak, and because some great work is being done here – we only wish we’d been present when they put fireworks inside a shipping container. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do and Husky. *No tweed was worn for the duration of this explore. 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:
  24. :) Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

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