Runcorn, which derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term rumcofan (meaning a wide cove or bay), is a small industrial town and cargo port in Cheshire. It is located alongside the southern bank of the River Mersey, where the estuary narrows to form the Runcorn Gap. For much of its existence, Runcorn was a small isolated village and a fort, defending the borders of the lands of the Kingdom of Mercia. However, the Industrial Revolution transformed the entire area towards the end of the 18th century. Due to its topography, a large number of manufacturers established a presence in Runcorn, to the extent that all of its open green spaces were quickly occupied. It did not take long for the original village to expand beyond its own borders either, so the town now also comprises a number of the former outlying villages.
Today, as the surface space has been significantly reduced, large proportions of the small streams and brooks that flow into the River Mersey have been culverted. Even though the industry in Runcorn has been in rapid decline in recent years, new housing developments have been established in their place, so the culverts remain. Double Trouble, which derives its name from the large dual entranceway, is one of those drains. It is made up of several different sized chambers that are positioned between sections of RCP. Double Trouble also features a number of concrete stairs that are encased within brickwork; these structures allow water to follow with the natural gradient of the landscape and so prevent water from accumulating at certain junctions in the drain.
Our Version of Events
Double Trouble was the last 2016 explore for us. All of a sudden we’d run out of time to fit anything else in. We’d been keen to get a good old dirty drain done on our trip to Liverpool, but it seemed that all the city has to offer were small shitty RCP’s – as far as we deduced anyway. It was for this reason we had to travel all the way over to Runcorn to find what we were looking for.
Once we arrived in Runcorn, we quickly realised that finding the bastard thing wasn’t as straightforward as we’d first imagined. Nonetheless, after foraging around in the trees and bushes for a while, and finding a smaller drain that smelt very strongly of sewage, we eventually stumbled across the two great entrances that denote the start of Double Trouble. The sheer size of the outfall makes this drain especially inviting, even if it is a concrete monolith, and we couldn’t wait to have a peek inside to see what it might have in store for us.
We climbed up the side of the overflow weir and onto a raised platform to reach the entranceway of the left-hand side tunnel. From there we plodded on for some metres, before we reached a junction where both of the initial tunnels join together. We continued on, following a long square passage for what felt like a long time; having said that, we did stop several times to take a few photos. At the end of the long square concrete section, we came across what was perhaps one of the best parts of the whole explore: a large concrete chamber with a staircase positioned in the centre, alongside two smaller RCP’s either side of it. This room was perfect for flinging a bit of steel wool around on a whisk, so the next fifteen minutes or so were spending doing exactly that.
Leaving the smell of burnt wool behind us, we climbed up the stairs and discovered that the next section was a stoopy RCP. It looked boring as fuck, but we carried on anyway. It wasn’t too bad at first, apart from the monotony and stoopiness, but it did have a few surprises in store for us along the way in the form of small brick chambers that are presumably access areas for engineers and maintenance crews. However, the best bit was yet to come. Towards the end of the insipid RCP, another staircase was gradually becoming visible. When we did in fact step out of the cylindrical pipe we found ourselves inside a brick-lined chamber with a concrete staircase straight ahead. More fire and flames ensued as we tried to make use of the aesthetically pleasing setting surrounding us.
The final part of Double Trouble takes you through more RCP that eventually leads to another staircase and a second split in the system, where you can carry on towards Liverpool if you want by taking one of the two the back-breaking RCP’s that lie ahead. For us, however, this is where we decided to call it a day. As the next section was considerably smaller than what we’d just wandered through, we decided that what lay ahead was probably the same shitty concrete. Besides, it was almost New Year at this stage and we all had places we wanted to be, such as the pub. With that, we took a quick group shot and turned around to make our way back to the entrance. Why we didn’t pop a lid to get back out a little sooner is beyond me, but there you go. It seemed WildBoyz were in the mood for more walking that day.
Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do, The Hurricane, Box and Husky.
Tower brick and tile company is a lovely little explore tucked away in the small village of Selborne. It's very isolated, with interruptions only from the occasional passing car and the swarming birds in the field opposite.
The Brick and Tiles company have been producing hand made bricks at this site since 1872, with production finally ceasing on the 6th of November 2009 when the company went into administration.
Since then there have been attempts to breathe life back into the brickworks, however all unsuccessfully.
There were plans to turn the factory into a clean eco-friendly factory by using a anaerobic digester in order to generate the gas required to power the site.
Unfortunately plans for this were refused in August of 2009. (Waste-to-energy plans at Selborne brickworks refused - BBC News)
After attending a wedding, nothing was better to break up the niceties of suits, dresses and canapes then getting mucky and dusty on an good explore half way into the long drive home (It was pretty much on route anyway!).
The weather was cloudy and slightly foggy, but it wasn't raining and it wasn't freezing so we had no complaints.
Overall a pretty chilled explore with a surprising amount of equipment and machinery left and intact. As described by Mookster, this is very much a mini Clockhouse Brickworks, although getting in was far far easier.
It's a shame we rushed round here a bit, as it's one of those places you could happy spend a few hours exploring. A small factory brimming with character and interesting relics of its former years.
I did laugh at this
In here is the most impressive porn room I've seen so far.
A big poster of how it used to look in its former days I assume?
One of a few Drying ovens.
Looks like a big chemical drum leaked onto the ground. Not sure exactly what it was, but I didn't really want to find out.
I'm not really sure, but this looks like it could be a press used for forming the bricks/tiles.
High Royds Hospital (formerly known as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum) first opened on the 8th October 1888. The main purpose of the asylum was to contain and restrain mentally ill patients. People often spent decades imprisoned in the asylum, which was recognized in the High Royds Cemetery which stands as a testament to those who spent their last days there. People lived very repetitive and lonely lives in the asylum due to poor care and understanding of mental illness in the 19th century, and it was common for people to be admitted for minor mental illnesses, such as phobias, anxiety and learning disabilities.
The asylum was given the name Menston Mental Hospital in the 1920's, (and eventually became High Royds Asylum in 1963), and cures for mental illness were considered as an alternative to simply storing patients. The use of shock therapy was introduced with the intention of putting patients into a relaxed mental state, however this resulted in many patients screaming in pain, and sometimes caused them to become unconscious. Lobotomy was also a popular treatment at High Royds around this time.
The hospital was closed in 2003 because it had become outdated and unsuited to modern psychiatric practice.
The site is now being redeveloped into a new village, and all that remains is the admin block, which is grade II listed. Some features of the hospital will remain, such as the clock tower and ballroom.
I've been here a few times so the photos are from various trips. I only ever got to see the Admin block but it was worth it for the clock tower and ballroom which I'm glad they're keeping. Explored with @plod and a few others. Sadly this place is now a no-go, I think its safe to assume somebody had been caught by the residents which brought attention to the access point, as they always seem to have their eyes out. I'm glad I at least got to see the last little bit that was left while it still stands though.
The former British Gas building was built in the 1960's and at 147ft is the 21st tallest building in Leeds. Originally to be demolished, this building currently has plans of being converted into a hotel designed by Simpson Haugh and partners. The podium building will also be extended and raised to four storeys along its full length, and work is now progressing on the demolition phase.
I was with @plod and another user from 28DL when I explored this in June but I have since come back a few times and built up a series of photos taken from late afternoon through to the night. Pretty cool place this, the views are amazing. It's definitely worth the huge trek up those stairs As I still currently use a bridge camera, not all of my pictures turned out all that good due to photographing in unfavorable conditions for the most part but I wanted to show them anyway.
Clayton Hospital was opened in 1854; after Thomas Clayton, a former city mayor donated buildings to the Wakefield general dispensary, an organisation set up to provide healthcare for the poor. It provided much needed healthcare long before the NHS was formed.
The hospital was later abandoned in 2012. Specialist eye services have moved from Clayton to the more modern Pinderfields Hospital and its sexual health services will be based at King Street Walk-in Centre.
Explored with @plod and a member from 28. (shot out to the 3 kids we also met there )
It's a shame to see that the place is in such a state, I tried to make the best of it despite not having much battery power left in my camera from the previous explores of the day.
The main building was pretty disorientating so I'm sure I missed some of it but I'm quite satisfied with what I did get to see, given how trashed the place is anyway. We were interested in finding the morgue and we managed to locate it but it was very well boarded up, and there is anti-climb paint covering the fences that surround it as our friend managed to find
As we were searching for a way in to another building in the center of the site, the security guard showed up while @plod was down the tunnels looking for a way in from there. Security
gave us 2 minutes to get him out before the police are called but plod had wandered so far in that he couldn't hear us calling him Luckily he showed up in time after no luck finding anything; the security guard wasn't happy but he gave us no trouble as he didn't really seem to know what he was doing.