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mookster

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Posts posted by mookster


  1. First I must apologise for not being around too much lately, other things have been going on and I've barely found the time or energy or want to explore stuff here. However I have just got back from a three week trip to the States where I saw many wonderful things and places.


    As many of you know I love my industrial explores, they are my favourite kind of abandonment. However, incredibly, this was the only industrial location I managed to explore on my latest trip! Still, it was one I had wanted to see for absolutely years and my main reason for heading to Detroit in the first place, everything else I managed to explore there was a bonus.

    The Detroit Harbor Terminal was built in 1925 by The Detroit Railway and Harbor Terminals Company. The ten-storey warehouse was intended to relieve a shortage of available storage space elsewhere. Cargo ships would unload materials at the dock, which were then stored or loaded onto train cars. To support the tremendous weight of so many tonnes of freight, the floors and columns were made out of reinforced concrete, which spread the load across the length of the building. On the north side of the plant was a single-story building that provided heating and cooling, as well as massive engines to power the air compressors. The building is sometimes referred to as the Boblo Island Warehouse because of a huge advertisement for the old Boblo Island Ferry painted on one side.

    In 2003 the port closed down and the warehouse was abandoned, but the port was reopened in 2005 handling mostly steel products and the occasional Navy ship docking there, whilst the warehouse building remains vacant to this day.

    It used to be an absolute breeze to get into here, with an old fence full of holes and an open loading bay door all that separated people from the inside. However recently a new fence has appeared along the entire length of the road and all but one access point into the building has been sealed. We found our way through the fence after a fashion, and following a very speedy run around the side of the building away from the highly visible road we were in and straight to the roof just in time to catch the sun rise over two countries. The river next to it is the river which separates the USA from Canada and as such there are border patrol boats who like to hang around, so it was very important to not get too close to the edge as they aren't best pleased when people trespass as you can imagine.

    After we'd had our fill of the beautiful sunrise we headed down and explored the rest of the huge building. It's pretty samey as nine out of the ten floors are exactly the same in construction, but the ground floor power plant compressor room is extremely cool.

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    Thanks for looking :)

  2. A place that I had wanted to see on my last Welsh excursion but the unfortunate ankle injury obtained whiolst exploring another site put paid to it was this beautiful chapel deep in south Wales.

     

    Well I say beautiful - it is - but it is absolutely saturated in pigeon poop and stinks to high heaven. I think I shortened my lifespan by a good decade being in here. It was a great feeling to tick it off though and get another Welsh chapel under my belt.

     

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    Thanks for looking :)


  3. The Royalty had been a bugbear of mine ever since I failed it a couple of years back, I'd wanted to give it another shot but never been in the right place at the right time. With the news that the annoying car wash people had vacated their plot for good though I thought it was high time I swung by again. So heading home me and my mate made a very worthwhile detour.

    I had heard it was sealed again not long after someone else had been recently so really I wasn't holding out much hope but it turned out to be way easier than I expected - although depending how often the building is checked I don't expect it to stay that way for long!


     

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    The Royalty Cinema was opened on 20th October 1930 with Maurice Chevalier in "The Love Parade". It was built for and operated by the local independent Selly Oak Pictures Ltd.

    The Royalty Cinema was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in March 1935. ABC closed the cinema on 2nd November 1963 with Cliff Robertson in "P.T.109". It was converted into an Alpha Bingo Club (operated by ABC) and later a Mecca Bingo Club. In 2010 it was operating as a Gala Bingo Club. It closed around 2012.

    In the summer of 2011, the Royalty Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

     

     

    The outside of the building away from the street is extremely weird, all assymetrical angles and curves and odd pointy-out bits that look like they've been tacked on with no thought to the look apart from the beautiful frontage. I don't explore many cinemas or theatres as they aren't really my main area of interest but it was a great feeling to cross this one off the list at last.

     

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    Thanks for looking, more on my Flickr....


  4. Oh boy did it feel to get my exploring shoes on again. I've been suffering some health issues at present which has made me feel very disinclined to explore anything but lately I've been feeling a little better so thought what better use of my time during a miserable January than to go on a little day trip. It was most successful with three explores done and I had a jolly good time, albeit still feeling quite rubbish.

     

    This is a place I'm surprised hasn't been featured more often on forums such as this, and it was that which worried me as to whether it was even still there. A planning application was approved in June last year for demolition of the factory buildings and construction of new houses as well as conversion of Packington Hall, an 18th century manor house which forms the frontage. It looks like workers had got as far as taking up most of the upstairs floors of the house before downing tools and leaving, and so it sits to this day.

     

    Little bitta history....

     

    Packington Hall in Staffordshire, England was a country mansion designed by architect James Wyatt in the 18th century. Originally built for the Babington family, it became the home of the Levett family for many generations. The Levetts had ties to Whittington, Staffordshire and nearby Hopwas for many years.



    Packington Hall is located approximately two miles from Lichfield, and was likely built for Zachary Babington whose daughter Mary Babington married Theophilus Levett, town clerk of Lichfield. From Theophilus Levett the home passed to a succession of family members, including MP John Levett, the Rev. Thomas Levett, who was the vicar of Whittington, and Robert Thomas Kennedy Levett, DL, JP.

    The last member of the Levett family to reside at Packington Hall was Rev. Thomas Prinsep Levett, son of Col. Robert Thomas Kennedy Levett, and graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, and a longserving clergyman at Richmond, North Yorkshire and Selby Abbey. Rev. Thomas P. Levett died at Frenchgate, Richmond, in 1938. Rev. Thomas Levett's brother Robert Kennedy Levett attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and also chose a career in the ministry. Another brother, George Arthur Monro Levett, went up to Christ's College, Cambridge after Clifton College, and became a land agent in Kent.

    Packington Hall was subsequently sold to the Bowden cable manufacturing company CTP Gills Ltd., which manufactures parts for automotive companies. The company occupied the home in the 1940s when its factory in Birmingham was bombed. CTP Gills was sold in 2006 to Suprajit, an Indian engineering firm. In 2007 Gills Cables Ltd vacated the property and moved to a smaller factory in Tamworth.

     

    Having been sat for almost a decade now it's in a bit of a mess but most of it looks like natural decay, granted there are the usual broken windows and metal fairy stripping but other than that it's pretty solid for the most part, although parts of the upstairs floors (or whats left of them!) are slanted worryingly to one side.

     

    This is one of those strange residential/industrial mixed sites like the now demolished Frith Park, better know as The Acid House, down in Surrey. Peculiar but rather cool as well.

     

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    Thanks for looking, as ever more on my Flickr...


  5. Battle Hospital in Reading closed it's doors in 2005 and was subsequently demolished, sitting on the land now is a large Tesco supermarket and new housing estate. However not included in the sale or development plans were the service areas such as the industrial laundry, incinerator, ambulance service building and a few others. These have sat derelict ever since with only part of that area being used to store ambulances and one smaller building is an operational NHS laboratory.

     

    Me and my friend decided to give it a look on a day of trying out new places and all seemed well, for about ten minutes. As soon as we got into the incinerator building I noticed the obvious signs of a squatter in residence (including very fresh human excrement on the floor... :shock:) so we were already on our guard. Soon after that we heard somebody else enter the building whilst we were out of sight at the other end and, after hearing them walk around making noise decided the best course of action was to avoid any possible confrontation entirely and leave via a small hole in the side of the building. We then poked around the empty laundry building and on the way out noticed a door that had been closed a few minutes earlier was now open. After that we cut our losses and left, which is a shame as the incinerator building is very cool and I would have loved to have spent more time there were it not for our interruption.

     

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    Thanks for looking :)


  6. I'll be brutally honest here and say Tower Colliery is (well, was) one of the only places in this country that I had been desperate to explore. It's come to be known as the forgotten colliery, with other much higher profile closures of bigger sites like Kellingley and Thoresby dominating the news over the last few years.

     

    Tower Colliery was the oldest continuously working deep-coal mine in the UK and possibly even the world, and was the last mine of it's kind to exist in the valleys of South Wales. Tower, named after the nearby Crawshay's Tower folly began operations in 1864 and worked until British Coal closed the site in 1994 on the grounds it would be uneconomic to continue production. After closure, 239 former workers pledged money from their redundancy packages to buy back Tower Colliery and continue production in a community buy-out. After fourteen years further production, the seams had been exhausted and Tower Colliery closed for the second time, for good, in January 2008.

     

    In 2010, an open-cast mine was opened part of the former coal washery site located a short distance away, although this too is scheduled to close fairly soon. A future development of both sites would see part housing, part industrial estate and part heritage museum to provide employment in the area and keep some legacy of the coal mine alive.

     

    This place was every bit as great as I had expected, the decay in some areas is awesome, and the winding house is epic. After about two and a half hours on site we were alerted to the noise of a vehicle arriving on site, and after the coast seemed clear we ventured out of our little hiding spot to see what was going on. Soon after up pulled security, who turned out to be an ex-miner from the colliery who had spent forty years down the mine and now worked as security for the site. He pointed out the CCTV cameras and said that they were all active and get monitored at the other site. He was absolutely sound, a really nice guy to talk to about the place, he was only slightly annoyed that we had made him get out of bed on a Sunday morning!

     

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    I hope you enjoyed my take on what was one of my favourite home-grown explores this year...

     

    More on my Flickr as per normal...


  7. This place takes me right back to the time I was just beginning to be interested in exploring, looking at forums etc etc so we're talking near on a decade now.

     

    Hafod-Morfa Copperworks once dominated a large area of land in the middle of Swansea, but by the end of the 1970s it was all but derelict. Large swathes of the former Copperworks have been cleared but there are a few buildings left, ostensibly as some kind of derelict 'heritage' trail thing. Most of what is left is empty and ruined but the former rolling mill building is definitely worth it, the size of the enormous cable wheel is unbelievable when you're stood next to it. I think it's even bigger than the one from the steelworks I explored in the USA earlier this year.

     

    After leaving here we had big plans for the rest of the day, but walking towards the next explore through a muddy and wet forest I lost my footing coming off a steep bank and badly twisted my ankle digging into the soft ground. After copious swearing and finding said explore sealed up we headed off to another place, only for me to realise by the time we got there I was in quite a large amount of pain, could barely walk and my ankle had swollen up good and proper. So unfortunately the day was cut short there and then as we headed back to the hotel to get my foot on ice, painkillers down my throat and a tubular compression bandage sorted. All whilst worrying that the next day would be a write off as well...

     

    Anyway here are some photos from before I broke myself.

     

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    Thanks for looking, more on my Flickr..... :)


  8. Recently myself and Landie Man embarked upon a little South Wales roadtrip, as he was given a couple of nights stay free in a city centre hotel down there due to a screw up on their part last year.

     

    I have wanted to explore a Welsh chapel for ages, and I had a few on my list but sadly due to a few reasons which I'll go into a little later this was the only successful one, but it is a real good one. We rocked up early on a dull rainy morning, and after a less-than-subtle, very tight and quite noisy entry because of me dropping Landie's bag into the remains of a broken toilet we were in. It took maybe fifteen minutes for it to get light enough to start taking photos, it was a shame it wasn't sunny as it would have been so beautiful to watch the sun come up through the windows.

     

    This particular chapel closed it's doors around the end of 2007. Wales is littered with abandoned chapels, it's amazing how many you can accidentally stumble across whilst looking for something else entirely, but sadly a lot of the time they have a very limited scope for available access points. I was more than satisfied with this example though, it's a bit bashed around but that's to be expected for something abandoned the best part of a decade.

     

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    Thanks for looking, more on my Flickr as always :)


  9. I got back from the States at the beginning of this month and I've been itching to get out exploring again but, truth be told, I'm finding it very difficult at the moment to find places over here which grab me by the balls enough to make me want to explore them. After various weekend plans fell through over the last couple of weekends I settled on a day of checking out some fairly local sites with an old exploring friend, some I knew well, others were complete shots in the dark as to whether they'd still be there or not.

     

    We were both pleasantly surprised by this place, which was nice. I really wasn't expecting much, and after seeing how ruined the first few rooms were my expectations were low. But further into the building it looks as if some rooms have barely been touched since the home closed in 2008, and certain rooms have some amazing natural decay seeping through.

     

    It's the same story with this location as with many of this kind of 1970s care home buildings. This one specialised in housing elderly people with dementia within it's 25 bedrooms, and was forced to close in 2008 after new legislation was brought in requiring all care homes to have an en suite bathroom in every bedroom. Many of the care homes weren't able to provide these facilities so had to shut down. I've explored quite a number of these now and this was one of my favourites because of the gorgeous decay in some of the areas.

     

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    Thanks for looking, more on my Flickr as per normal :)


  10. Just in case you've been inhabiting a cave for the last week, in a couple of weeks time the most over-rated over-explored European derpy mcderp of them all, Chateau Miranda/Noisy will be nothing but a flat expanse of rubble.

     

    As if you all didn't already know...


  11. The final stop on my most recent American adventure, and an absolute beast. This is in the top five, maybe three, biggest locations I have ever explored. It's probably the second largest industrial abandonment in America, after the Packard Plant in Detroit. Over two million square feet of factory space spread over five enormous buildings linked by sky bridges, falling apart and decaying since the closure of the entire factory in 2002. My friends who live in the city tell me tales of what it was like in the old days when it was full of machinery, but then the scrappers and pikeys found it and practically cleared everything that hadn't been taken when it closed out.

     

    This is a shame and, to be honest, this was originally not on our radar at all until the previous day when, during our string of fails at various churches we realised we were very close, having spotted the faded logo of the plant on the side of a building nearby. I knew how big the place was having found it on Google Maps some time previously but my friend had no idea just how enormous the place was, he was open-mouthed as we drove around the outside, and we both noted the incredibly easy way in. After having a string of fails at various schools this time, we both decided to head here as we knew it was a certainty on getting in. I wasn't expecting much from the inside, and thought we may spend an hour or so there before we got bored, but after half an hour or so we were fully engrossed in one huge explore and enjoying it immensely. After a few hours we had worked our way to the top of the building at the back of the plant, furthest away from where we'd entered, and looking out across the buildings was amazing seeing just how huge this place was. We even worked out how to get down into the boiler house utilising, you guessed it, another sky bridge taking us over the active car park of one of the few buildings that had found a subsequent use.

     

    All in all, an absolutely brilliant way to spend my final day. I think we saw maybe two-thirds of the place overall, so by no means did we do it all.

     

    I'm already planning my next trip, which will hopefully be my biggest and longest one yet.

     

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    Every building in the photo below is part of the same plant, we entered way over the front side of the tall one in the background.

     

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    Thanks for looking and I hope you've enjoyed my latest batch of American wanderings as much as I enjoyed being out there.


  12. The penultimate stop on my last adventure and what better way to end than with a couple more big industrial behemoths. This is one of four abandoned power stations in this particular city, but sadly the only one currently accessible. Two are completely sealed and the other one, which sits at #1 on my want list, has recently had a fearsome fence put around it blocking off all conceivable access for the time being.

     

    However this was a worthy explore anyway. I've forgotten how many times I've seen photos of the empty turbine hall and I'll be honest I thought that was all there was left to see inside, and oh how wrong I was. It just proves that a lot of explorers are lazy nowadays and don't venture further than the big open space, because there was all manner of good stuff tucked away in the huge building including a first for me - an indoor basketball court inside a power station. We also found the attached building at the front open which housed offices, switch rooms, power supplies and also the very large control room which I was reliably informed is rarely if ever accessible, as the city power company still use the grounds of the site and tend to keep things locked up.

     

    The roof was also spectacular, with commanding views of the city skyline.

     

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    This doorway would have provided access into the control room from the turbine hall, but it has been bricked up for years.

     

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    To the roof...

     

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    Thanks for looking :)


  13. Getting into the tail end of my last Stateside trip now - and by rights it wouldn't be one of my adventures if I didn't get to explore at least one church. In a country rapdily losing it's faith there are a massive amount of shuttered churches for the taking of all architectural styles and sizes, some small and some, like this one, massive. After striking out at numerous other churches and driving through some of the most dangerous and deprived neighbourhoods I've ever seen (places where you lock your car doors and close your windows and barely stop at stop signs...) we found one that was accessible.

     

    Great, we thought, although it did happen to be in a particularly rough area of the city which meant this was going to be one speedy explore. There is a large derelict school and rectory attached to the church also which we were convinced people were living in so we restricted ourselves to the main church and ran around grabbing a few photos. After twenty minutes or so we both decided we'd had enough and wanted to get out, both for our own safety and to make sure our car was still there or hadn't been broken into!

     

    It's a real shame it's in such a bad neighbourhood because the church itself is absolutely stunning and has minimal vandalism. It closed twice, once in the early 90s before being refitted and taken over by another religious organisation who operated from it until a few years back. One of the things people say when they see the place is how it looks almost artificial, the original stained glass was removed after closure and when the church was refitted and reopened they had painted windows instead of proper stained glass which lends it a weird effect inside.

     

    If I was with a bigger group of people I would have spent a lot longer in here for sure, safety in numbers and all that. But with just the two of us in a bad neighbourhood it was decided discretion was the better part of valour and we headed off quickly.

     

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    Thanks for looking :D


  14. You know when you get that urge to do something impulsive and outlandish? Yeah that happened to me during my time in America. I'm not usually one for solo jaunts, least of all in a city I am still largely a stranger to, least of all when it also involves going some way into a pretty rough neighbourhood also. But needs must, and all that.

     

    To give a brief history, it was originally a row of three large townhouses, before being purchased by a secret society who constructed a large auditorium and ballroom on the rear of the property, before it passed into the hands of a boxing promotion who used the auditorium for many years as their arena.

     

    I'd seen a few photos of this place come up from a friend just before I left on my trip so he gave me all the details I'd need, and stepping foot inside it was one of those rare 'jaw on floor' moments that I was finally seeing it for myself, stood in one of the most iconic places in American sporting history. It's utterly unique, incredibly beautiful, and a massive shame that it has been left abandoned, taken charge of by a development company with a string of failures to their name. Sadly the most likely outcome of this place will be demolition of all but the historic frontage and construction of a hotel on the land.

     

    I didn't have long in here as it was getting dark and didn't want to outstay my welcome, but it's a massive tick in the accomplishments box for me.

     

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    Thanks for looking :)


  15. Anyone who has known me knows I have a love of abandoned schools, and especially big American ones which are completely different to the ones found over here. I was given the opportunity to visit one recently and jumped at the chance although having not heard of the place before or seen any photos I didn't know what to expect.

     

    This was typical of a small town high school, not massive by any means but certainly a grand place in it's day. It closed some time in the 1980s and has been sat slowly decaying ever since. The outside is home to many stray cats, which the local residents look after. They have provided the cats with a few carriers as shelter and put out food for them outside the exterior fence which is really nice of them. But the inside is where it gets funky...the sports hall has become a home to hundreds of pigeons, who all run around in the void between the suspended ceiling tiles and original ceiling. I've never seen or heard anything like it in my life!

     

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    Thanks for looking :)

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