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Everything posted by mookster

  1. So this is it. The last report from my fourth American adventure. I started with a bang and I simply had to go out with a bang visiting the largest site of the trip. This asylum was at one time one of the largest in the USA, catering for almost 10,000 patients at it's peak capacity in the 1950s. During the 1980s the buildings gradually began to get wound down and closed, and nowadays about 3/4 of the site is derelict with the rest still a very much active mental hospital. The roads and paths through the site are all public right of way so you can freely wander but the campus police force (yes it has that) will ask you to leave if they see anything resembling camera equipment on show due to natural concerns over patient privacy - as the same paths you can walk down are also used by patients of the operational mental hospital units dotted around the site. I first visited the place in March last year but our entry into the main portion of the site was thwarted by the persistent presence of the campus police driving around constantly so we only managed to see a couple of the outlying buildings which did include the childrens centre that has now been absolutely ruined by tags. Once safely inside we immediately went on a long walk down one of the service tunnels to our first building. It seemed like we walked forever, the site is enormous and has three layers of service tunnels criss-crossing the site so at times you are as much as three storeys below ground level. We saw some of the main buildings of interest as well as many others, I couldn't pinpoint them on a map as I honestly don't know. The place is so vast we were exploring building after building for hours, some were almost unbearably humid inside with the tunnels providing mercifully cool relief from the heat. I think overall I have seen probably 1/3 of the place by now, it would take you a week or two of solid exploring to get around every derelict building. The best part? We only ever saw the police drive past once, when we were safely in a building. It was a dream visit here to end my adventures on with no issues whatsoever other than my now broken tripod which didn't accompany me on the last explore. First stop was the main auditorium, this standalone building is incomparable in size to any other asylum hall in the USA. It is suitably breathtakingly enormous like the rest of the site. We met a group of five explorers in the bowling alley underneath the auditorium, due to the real bad lighting in here and my lack of tripod I was only able to get a couple of crap photos. We then moved on to explore various other buildings, moving through endless corridors and hallways, wards and basements. Like West Park, there was a padded cell hidden in the depths of one of the wards. Until finally, after hours of walking around, we found the last stop on the explore - the mortuary. Hidden deep off one of the basement tunnels god knows where in the asylum. Thanks for looking, and I hope you've enjoyed my photos from America. I don't know when I'll be back over, it may be next year the way things are going. Normal service will be resumed now, I can finally start going through the photos from the five explores I did last weekend!
  2. I want people to be under no illusions, this was a permission visit. You don't really think something this spectacularly beautiful would be uncared for! One of my friends/contacts organised this for us, when she said we could see a crematorium I jumped at the chance and had no idea what to expect. That being said, it is disused, but looked after - kind of like the churches under the care of the conservation trust here. The crematorium area has been out of use for a number of years as new eco-friendly furnaces were built out back, and the chapel part is only used very rarely for special events. We had a very limited amount of time in here so I ran around grabbing what I could. The architecture, detailing and overall opulence of this place is staggering, my jaw was well and truly on the floor for the most part. Sadly the bell tower was inaccessible. Behind the heavy cast iron and marbled doors, it's a lot less opulent... Afterwards, we thanked the groundskeeper and were on our way to our next location. Thanks for looking
  3. America is a country that is rapidly losing it's faith, especially in the northeastern states. There are a ridiculous number of churches in many of the large cities over there, and with dwindling congregations there aren't enough worshippers to go around. Some luckily find their way into becoming housing, or other community assets, and others are just left to rot and decay and occasionally catch fire. So far this is the fifth church I have explored in this one particular city, each of them have been unique and different in their own way. This one is no exception, it is situated right in the ghetto and was beginning to be tidied up into something else but conversion stopped. According to my friend the owner used to sit in the entranceway long after it had been abandoned and would play the drums out into the street, the drums have since been stolen though. Not more than a couple of hundred yards from the front of the church was a house that had burned no more than two days before my visit, the car next door was still covered in burnt bits of wood and ash. Anyway we didn't spend too long here as other than the main features there wasn't really a great deal to shoot, it really was beautiful inside though. Thanks for looking
  4. Following an early morning failure myself and Landie Man headed onwards to what was originally our morning backup explore but actually turned into a very enjoyable wander indeed, probably better than what we had actually originally planned for the morning and somewhere nobody really goes any more. The British Sugar refinery between Ipswich and Sproughton closed down in 2001, was explored a fair amount in the mid-00s and then the majority of the facility was demolished. Luckily for us explorer types they managed to leave behind the four enormous, imposing old storage silos which are visible for miles around. Getting in was pretty easy although instead of going the easy long way round to get to the silos Landie decided we should go 'as the crow flies' and make a beeline straight through chest high weeds and stinging nettles which resulted in me obtaining about fifteen thousand insect bites. You can get about five storeys up both pairs of silos before you're confronted with a straight drop to ground level, so the view from there is pretty great. If you have massive bollocks you can climb the ladders all the way up the outside though, with the help of some rope. Needless to say neither of us really fancied that. Underneath the silos I was instantly reminded of the incomparably enormous Concrete Central Grain Elevator in Buffalo that I explored a year and a half ago, although on a much much smaller scale - the one in Buffalo being near as makes no difference half a mile long from end to end. In areas this place absolutely stinks of fifteen year old glucose, the climb up the stairs in one half of the site nearly made me gag it's that bad. Anyone for fifteen year old sugar? Thanks for looking
  5. It's a good job he doesn't as it's impossible to be quiet here, walking over all the paint that has fallen off the walls and ceiling is like walking over eggshells! Thanks guys it really is an immense place, I hope to do some more of it on my next trip
  6. Visited as part of the surprise post-America weekender with Landie Man this time accompanied by Mr. Bones and Mooch. Thamesteel is a huge former steelworks located in Sheerness, currently as we found out it looks as if they are prepping areas of the site for demolition. A lot of the old railway tracks have been taken up and stacked in piles and there is shiny new heras fencing around many of the buildings. We turned up and made our way in the usual way and ran into the nearest large building. Not more than two minutes later security drove around the corner on one of their patrols so we hunkered down and waited for them to move on. About half an hour later we were inside one of the many huge buildings when we heard security pull up outside again. There was a bit of commotion and suddenly a torch beam shone around one of the entrances to the building, obviously looking for us. At this point all four of us were in different areas of the building and I watched as security walked straight in and up onto one of the walkways very close to me. At this point I also saw either Bones or Mooch doing a military crawl around a corner and I ducked behind one of the control rooms out the way of the security man who walked off further into the building. I realised I needed to make my way up the stairs to my left and into the relative cover of the area where I knew I had last seen Landie so I waited a few minutes and as quietly as I could I crept up the stairs and met Landie. We were silently discussing where to hide when I saw the same security man walking along a catwalk at the end of the building, and he shone his torch directly at me and Landie. At this moment I thought to myself 'we're done', but he kept walking! Me and Landie found a dark alcove to hide in, where we exchanged texts with Bones and Mooch about where they were - it turned out Mooch had a direct line of sight to where security had parked the 4x4 they use. After about half an hour of being quieter than I've ever been before we heard the pickup drive away, and then after we had met up again we heard the security man driving around the outside blaring his horn obviously trying to flush us out. What followed was a further two hours of nervy exploring trying not to be caught, and as such I ended up with barely any photos which is a little gutting but I got a good story out of it. Finding the lab building we wanted to try and get into last thing sealed, we decided discretion was the better part of valour and to not push our luck any longer, made a brsak for it back to the access point and got out without a fuss. How me and Landie didn't get seen I do not know, it was a whole series of dumb luck events that stopped us being caught that day. So here are the few photos I got from a truly epic location. Thanks for looking
  7. This was the place I was most excited about seeing on my surprise post-America welcome back weekender, I had spent ages drooling over photos of it's lovely decay before and never thought I'd be in the right area to pop in. It's a seriously gorgeous old factory, all wood and metal slides and rusted ironwork decaying wonderfully. We got in easy enough and spent a good few hours wandering around soaking up the peaceful atmosphere on a gorgeous sunny day, which after the fraught and stressful explore of Thamesteel was a real relief. The top floor is pretty much impassable now but most other areas are still alright if you're careful enough. I am led to believe this was one of the first large scale fertiliser factories in the country, before it shut down in 2002. The site in the quiet picturesque village of Bramford just outside Ipswich is currently up for redevelopment so god knows what's going to happen. Thanks for looking!
  8. Heading home from Suffolk myself and Landie Man decided to pop in here just to see what all the fuss was about and to tick off another location in the area. Entry was incredibly easy, which is unsurprising, and we also met three other groups of people at various points. --------------------------------- British Xylonite (BX) Plastics was a former plastics engineering and production company. The company was one of three subsidiaries of the British Xylonite Company established by 1938. BX Plastics made xylonite (also known as celluloid or ivoride) and lactoid (also known as casein) at a plant to the south of Brantham in Suffolk, on the north bank of the River Stour across the river from Manningtree in Essex. The company was liquidated in 1999. The British Xylonite Company had been established by English inventor Daniel Spill in 1877, with American investor Levi Parsons Merriam. It established factories at Hackney Wick and Homerton, in East London, and then expanded to Brooklands Farm near Brantham in 1887 and Hale End near Walthamstow in 1897. By 1938 British Xylonite had established three subsidiaries - BX Plastics, Halex and Cascelloid. Halex was based in Highams Park, Hale End, in North London and made finished goods (including table tennis balls). Cascelloid had been acquired in 1931, based in Leicester and Coalville, and made toys. Cascelloid was later renamed Palitoy and sold to General Mills in 1968 and then to Tonka 1987, which was acquired by Hasbro in 1991. Distillers acquired a 50% interest in BX Plastics in 1939, and Distillers then acquired the rest of the British Xylonite group in 1961, merging it into a 50:50 joint venture with Union Carbide's Bakelite company in 1962 to form Bakelite Xylonite in 1963. [4] Distillers sold its 50% interest to BP in 1967, and Union Carbide's European interests were acquired by British Petroleum in 1978, including the remaining Bakelite Xylonite plants. The Brantham site had been sold in 1966 to British Industrial Plastics, a subsidiary of Turner & Newall, who were in turn acquired Storey Brothers of Lancaster in 1977. The company became Wardle Storeys in 1984. The site finally closed in 2007 and has remained empty since. ------------------------------- This place has seen some serious punishment from idiots, there have been countless fires in and around the buildings, parts have been demolished and cleared, and in general it's a big mess. But some areas are still worth a look around, I was actually quite surprised as I thought I'd be unimpressed by the location. But as I said to Landie when we were inside, I have a soft spot for extremely ruined industrial sites like this. After an hour or so of wandering around the numerous buildings we decided we'd had enough and began the long journey home after an awesome weekend. Thanks for looking
  9. This is my penultimate thread from my latest trip to America! On the same hot muggy day we discovered the incredible drive-in theater and I nearly met my demise in the hotel resort we were on a then-fruitless search for delicious ice cream refreshments on the way home and after being very disappointed to find a shop that said it was open on Google closed I had a lightbulb moment in my head and suddenly realised the town we had ended up in by accident was the home of a very large, very decrepit historic mansion. The mention of that perked up my friends who naturally said we should take a look even though it was late in the day and time was cracking on. We turned the corner and there it was, standing majestically and defiantly in an imposing position on the edge of a lake. This was the White Lake Mansion House, built in 1848 and at one time a high class Jewish holiday hotel now, sadly, a stripped out hollow shell following a failed conversion into apartments. Now the town wants to tear it down, because screw history am I right. Photos taken handheld on an incredibly quick ten minute run around. Another historic building which may happily meet a better fate if the recent news reports are to be believed (more on that later) is this huge former Masonic Home. It has laid derelict and decaying for over thirty years, the insides are a complete death trap and it really is such a shame as the building is incredible. When driving past we noticed a few cars parked out front and a couple of people, nothing unusual at that as the old grounds are designated a park of sorts. So we parked up and made our way in from the rear and found our entrance point conscious of the fact there were persons unknown at the front. Having already had one adventure through a floor a couple of days before I was being very cautious as a lot of the floors in here are extremely dodgy - the roof was completely wrecked long ago and currently half has been replaced in preparation for a full blown restoration in the future. The floors in/around the chapel area were some of the worst I have personally ever walked across, the pews are sinking through the floor into the basement and there is no safe way through the chapel itself any more. Upstairs the damage is even worse with ceilings caved in, internal walls collapsed and all manner of other damage. We had a quick tentative run-around as we only stopped by on the off chance it was accessible on our way to a much larger location, I took a few photos of the highlights and we were gone. We walked around the front of the building and waved to the two slightly bemused looking guys, who it turns out were filming a local news report about the efforts to save the place. So two different mansions probably facing two very different fates. It's stories like the first that make me glad I live in a country that has some kind of legal protection afforded to old and important buildings.
  10. I honestly don't know where to begin with this one. While travelling the back roads with my two friends one of them said that he had heard a rumour about an old junkyard fairly close to where we were, but that nobody knew if it was true, and if it was true, whether it was still there. So after a fail at another site we thought sod it lets go and see if we can find it. We drove into town and found someone suitably old and wise looking, but he really wasn't all there. After about fifteen minutes of rambling and showing us his own collection of scrap he suddenly seemed to spark into life and said he knew of the guy who owned the place we were looking for, and gave us some very rough directions that seemed to change every time he repeated them to us. He said the owner was 85 years old and in a wheelchair, and 'thinks everything is worth thousands of dollars'. Filled with excitement at the thought we were getting closer to this place we made our goodbyes and headed off, on what was basically a hunch and a few loose directions. We followed what the old guy had told us, turned up this road that didn't appear on any of our satnavs or phone maps and off to our left suddenly car after car began appearing in the woods. Real old stuff from the 1930s and 1940s. We had found it. Somewhere that nobody, not even many of the locals, know exists. Somewhere that has been held to mythical status amongst American car collectors. Somewhere that simply defies belief and shouldn't exist in this day and age. We roll up unannounced on the property and it's at this point that things can go either way. We will either end up with a gun pointed in our faces or welcomed with open arms. Thankfully it was the latter, my friend went in to speak to the owner and his wife who live in a big static caravan in the yard itself, and after they had apparently told each other their life stories we were in. We were allowed to go anywhere we wanted, take as many photos as we wanted, and spend as long as we wanted on his property. Unlike the one I did in Canada last year which is an active junkyard, this was this one man's lifetime collection of vehicles. As such they have never been raided for parts, the vast majority have their original running gear, chromework and emblems intact. There is some ridiculously rare and desirable cars sat on the property, which is heartbreaking to see at times. We spent five hours wandering around the huge plot of land, and I could have spent five hours more there easily but it was getting dark and rain was setting in at the end of the day. We thanked the owner copiously for allowing us in, and parted ways. If you could name an American car, truck, or bus from the 1930s to the 1970s it was probably here in some form. I took a ridiculous number of photos so this will probably be quite photo heavy... There isn't much left of it, but this is a 1937 Packard Hearse. But after five hours of 'holy shit' moments around every corner, there was nothing that matched my friend's reaction to seeing this - It's a 1938 Hudson Terraplane, an exceptionally, unbelievably rare car in any condition. One it is highly unlikely any of us will ever see again. And there it was, sat in the middle of some woods on this guys property. There are loads more photos to be found on my Flickr...thanks for looking
  11. It's a beast, and it seriously gets under your skin. I was introduced to a friend of my friend who accompanied us on the explore, he too has visited the place hundreds of times and is in his own words addicted to the place. It has a very strange effect on people, for a couple of days afterwards my mind kept wandering towards the asylum, and even going through the photos here brought forward feelings of longing to walk through it again which are unlike any memories or thoughts I've had about explores before. I'm just lucky I got to see it when I did, albeit with about 1/3 of the place demolished. I would have kicked myself if I hadn't seen it before it follows the other iconic New Jersey asylum, Greystone, into the ground.
  12. ...otherwise known as the explore that tried to kill mookster. One of the first things that attracted me to American exploring was Grossinger's Resort - a sprawling former Jewish holiday destination nestled in the Catskills mountain region of upstate New York. During the early to middle of the last century dozens of resorts and hundreds of smaller hotels popped up around the region catering for Jewish families who often were turned away from other resorts. These resorts grew, prospered and declined within three generations, during the latter stages the younger generations were moving on to other holiday destinations leaving an ageing clientele who were never replaced. By the early 1990s the vast majority of the old resorts had closed and either been demolished, converted into summer camps or left to rot. The last bastion of grand resorts, Kutscher's Country Club, only shut down a couple of years back but was demolished almost immediately afterwards by the new owners of the land. This resort is one of many left abandoned and rotting (more on that later). We had never seen any photos from here before venturing inside, in fact I can't recall seeing any online at all before we went in so it was a real adventure not knowing what, if anything we would find. It was all fairly uneventful until we got into the main hotel building. Parts of the building were collapsing, some of the floors were showing telltale wavy signs and it was pretty decayed. Onwards I pushed, up into a certain room on the top floor. The ceiling insulation had completely fallen through over everything in the room which I thought made a cool photo or two so I snapped away happily, went to venture to the back of the room and then suddenly all I was aware of was a loud cracking sound, the world going into slow motion and next thing I know my arse is somehow perched precariously on a rotten beam with my legs dangling free into the room below. I thought to myself 'this is a bit of a predicament I'm in', so I called for my friends to come help. While they were on their way I was looking for somewhere to put my hands to try and stabilise myself a little, I grabbed what was the door handle into the bathroom with my left hand and while searching for somewhere to place my right hand I ended up putting my hand straight through the floor it was that rotten. That was the only moment I thought to myself 'oh shit this is bad'. My friend turned up and I told him to grab the loop on top of my rucksack and pull me upwards whilst I lever myself up using the door handle, and by doing that I kind of just popped out the hole onto fairly solid ground. I think it was to do with the adrenaline more than anything but once I had been extracted I had the biggest smile on my face and was laughing madly whilst stood there covered in rotten wood and insulation, with only a cut up hand for my troubles. "Lets go see that chapel in the basement" I can remember saying right after that...and we did! This was the room where I discovered the express elevator downwards... And this was the end result after my rescue. The large hole was made by my body, the small hole above it was where I put my hand straight through the floor after, it was that rotten. Thanks for looking!
  13. OK now onto the place which was by far and away the most unexpected find of my trip. We were driving towards another explore when we remembered that nearby was an old drive-in movie site so we decided to swing by and snap a few shots as there were apparently a couple of the old screens left. So we parked up and made our way onto the expanse of tarmac that once served as the parking lot, now all overgrown with trees and bushes. We were casually snapping away, taking photos of the two big screens (the third, largest, screen came down in a storm a few years ago) and the old speaker mounts which looked like strange alien probes growing out of the tarmac when I noticed a single storey building covered in graffiti so decided to investigate. In the style of the best clickbait journalism around, you'll never believe what we found... OK enough of the dull part...I poked my head into the building I had spotted and immediately called my friend over, because what I had just seen I couldn't quite take in. We quickly decided to run back to the car and grab our tripods and also my friend's girlfriend who was waiting for us to return so we could show her as well. So with our proper gear and other person in tow we went back... So that's two projectors right, but this particular establishment had three screens didn't it? So shouldn't there be a third? Oh yes, there was. And it was even more awesome than the other two. In all my seven years of exploring I have never been so surprised by a location before. Nobody bothers to explore this place as it simply looks like a boring empty space. Apart from a hole in the roof the room with the older projector inside has been completely untouched since the place closed in the 1990s. It just goes to show no matter what a site looks like from the outside you should never write it off...
  14. Trespassing on anyone's private property/land is a criminal offence pretty much country-wide. All across the country there are big yellow signs that say 'POSTED: No trespassing, hunting, fishing', which is basically their equivalent of 'trespassers will be prosecuted' signs here. In some states entering through anything other than an open door - like an open window - is classified as breaking & entering, and in some states entering a building through any means at all - even if a door is smashed off it's hinges when you get there - is breaking & entering. As for what happens if you get caught, it really depends on how the officer wants to handle it, what kind of site it was, what kind of area you are in, even what city you are in. The most common consequence is you get a ticket and have to appear in court to pay a fine, which can but doesn't always end up on a criminal record. But people can and do get arrested and thrown in jail for trespassing, friends of mine over there have seen both sides of law enforcement from those who don't care to the incident whereby my friend and his Canadian companions were stormed at gunpoint in an abandoned school, arrested, sent to court and served with a six month 'good behaviour' bond. I personally have been very close to being arrested only once, and American police officers are not people to mess around with. It was a sequence of sheer dumb luck that kept me out of spending at least a night in jail. It's risky, and my friends over there are a lot more cautious than our gung-ho 'haha security/police can't do jack' attitudes in Europe, and having been on the receiving end of American law enforcement I can see why. But the risk/reward ratio is so worth it... At it's root if it's got posted signs visible on the property you don't have an excuse for being there. If there aren't any, you may be able to talk your way out of it if the officer is nice.
  15. Over the course of my trip I seemed to visit a few sites in a row that I don't think warrant their own threads, weirdly almost all at the halfway point of my trip. So here they are... First up, a massive church in the middle of a ghetto (again), sadly I only managed a few shots in here as my friend who was on look-out duty outside texted me to tell me that there was a police car circling the block the church was on so to get out ASAP. A real shame as it's a spectacular church just sitting there going to waste. This was a farmhouse we were tipped off about on our way back from another location, now those who have known me a few years know about the incident I had in Belgium with a crazy farmer and his crazy wife back in 2013, which basically put me off doing farmhouses for life. In an attempt to rid myself of the horrible feeling I get whenever I step foot near an abandoned farm I went for this, but after fifteen minutes or so I simply had to leave. I got the shots I wanted, which was good, but I really don't like farmhouses. Next up a revisit of a revisit, I've now been to this particular power plant three times - it's one place that like Tone Mills I never ever get tired of shooting as the decay is so beautiful. I was so sad to see it had been tagged up more especially considering it's very remote location a mile walk down an overgrown dead-end footpath. Last up in this little mix of locations is a place I like to call 'Hotel Grand Disappointment'. It looked fantastic from the overhead and external views, a big old abandoned resort with buildings resembling a swimming pool, ballroom etc etc. So we turn up to this almost ghost town in the middle of nowhere that only seems to have a fuel station and lumber yard open and make our way up the hill to the hotel...and my god what a tip. It turned out to have been bought by Best Western not long before it closed down, they had ripped out everything that wasn't accomodation and turned every single building into carbon-copy hotel room after hotel room. Add into that mix a good deal of decay, trashing and stripping and it really wasn't the best place ever. We ran around it for half an hour grabbing a few handheld shots before leaving a little disheartened, but not for long as our day was about to turn into a spectacular success... Thanks for looking, normal service will be resumed soon
  16. It would have done for one, but they were the sum total of the photos I got before being alerted to the police presence outside by my friend
  17. Isn't it just, considering it's been closed almost two decades. I think my exact words when my friend said to me 'there are projectors in here too' were 'like f**k are there'....
  18. OK here is where things began to get a little surprising.... Following on from the awful 'Grand Hotel Disappointment' we headed off a short distance down the road to another town to attempt a sanatorium we had heard about. We saw the access but it required a fair old climb that neither of us were feeling up to knowing that the caretaker was living in a house across the street. So we walked back to the car and thought hang on we saw a curious looking house not far up the road so we may as well have a look, in for a penny and all that. Poking around the outside we found a way in so without a second look dived inside before the neighbours spotted us. And all I can say is wow. Ascending the stairs and actually seeing what it looked like inside was a heart-in-mouth moment. The rest of the house was just as weird too, with a load of African sculptures in one room and a massive window looking out onto the street in another. It's a shame that when this particular building was converted into a house they ruined the aspect by adding an extra floor in, you will see what I mean. These were all taken with no tripod as it was only ever intended as a scouting mission so the photos are a bit meh. Thanks for looking
  19. I've only been off the plane four hours but these 1200+ photos from my latest adventure across the pond aren't going to sort themselves out! I kicked off my fourth trip with something about as American as you can get - a roller skating rink. There really isn't much information on this one out there, my friend who I stayed with for the first few days found it by accident whilst delivering in the local area. It probably closed due to lack of business as it really is way out in the sticks with no big towns or hubs nearby, but there must have been demand for something like it at one point. Anyway, the rink area suffered a major fire in the roof a few years back, which has caused much of the support structure to collapse onto the rink floor and subsequently get completely overgrown with moss and plantlife. Thankfully the other areas weren't damaged but everything was soaked when the fire was put out. Oh and there is also a 1970s Chevy Camaro in a side part of the building as well. Like I said, as American as it gets... Thanks for looking, lots more to come over the next few days!
  20. Another star from my trip, a mansion with possibly the curviest sexiest staircase I've ever laid eyes on. I don't really know much about the history, but it's in the grounds of a prison and there is an active movement going on to restore the house to it's former glory after laying derelict for many many years. As you will probably realise, I rather liked the staircase... Oh baby.... Thanks for looking
  21. I don't often name-drop locations I explore in the States because, like Belgium, they are very protective over many of the spots they hold dear to their hearts. But in this case it's impossible to post photos from here without giving the game away, as the biggest draw of the entire factory has the name in fairly big letters... For years this former industrial bakery remained stubbornly sealed. I had always wanted to see it and my friends regaled me with tales of how they had got inside only once a few years ago, through an open door that was sealed the very next day. Months and years of regular checking followed, but it remained tightly sealed. So imagine my surprise when a few months ago I suddenly saw photos of it surface from various friends on Facebook. They had cracked it, via a truly ridiculous way in which many explorers that are taken there back out of doing when shown the way in. It will stand for many years I'm sure as the most ludicrous way into a building I have ever used, it was dangerous, tight, and very very grubby but I was there and it was in front of me so I had to do it. Wonder Bread manufactured enriched bread products and was one of the first companies in the world to sell pre-sliced loafs. In later years they were bought out by Hostess Cakes and produced everyone's favourite diabetes-inducing snack, the Twinkie among many other things. After Hostess Cakes declared bankruptcy in 2012 the future of Wonder Bread was thrown into doubt, but it emerged with a new backer, Flower Foods, and production has since resumed. This particular factory closed down a number of years ago and has been sat ever since. One of the sole remaining pieces of machinery inside was used in the production of Twinkies and is utterly disgusting. Yes, that is a bread suit, and yes, I did put it on. And yes, there are photos of me yet to surface. Thanks for looking
  22. So we now go seamlessly from one of my favourite things to another of my favourite things. This place is one of, in my eyes, the Northeastern USA's greatest urbex secrets. Not many people know it exists, and if they do they don't tend to go because of a few reasons - the first being it's part of a still active steelworks, the second being the abandoned parts are all owned by the government not the adjacent steelworks and lastly and perhaps mostly, it's because of the simply insane levels of pollutants the ground these buildings are sat on probably holds. Without giving too much away, this steelworks was no normal steelworks - during the 1950s it was a part of the Manhattan Project and processed thousands of tonnes of Uranium and Thorium-containing metals before returning to more regular production once the project wound up. There was apparently a clean up done a few decades ago but nobody knows quite how well it was performed and exactly what is left on site. I found all this out after the explore, all my friend would tell me was that according to the locals the plant closed overnight in the 1980s after many of the workers went down with Benzene poisoning. Yeah. It's an amazing place, one of the top five industrial explores I have ever done. Imagine the decay of what was once the tiny awesome part of Pianoforte but a thousand times the size. So far I haven't grown an extra limb either but if I do I will let people know... Thanks for looking
  23. So this was my second explore of the trip and it marked the point where things immediately began to change and become somewhat more surprising. I say that because this, along with many explores that followed were completely unplanned originally, which was excellent. Taking the back roads instead of the highways or interstates in America can yield some fantastic finds, and as we crested a hill on our way to another location we all saw the incredibly pretty red wood church up ahead with the large cross painted on the roof. My friend wanted to stop and grab a couple of quick external shots as it was so pretty, and I went for a wander around and suddenly realised there were a couple of windows with broken panes, not enough to squeeze through but it made me think it may actually be abandoned. After a bit more of a look we found a way in and once inside it was immediately apparent it hadn't been used in a while, cobwebs over everything and one of the old entranceways had small bibles and other stuff scattered all over. But other than that it was, in my mind, the most intact most beautiful church I have ever photographed. We took it in turns one by one to shoot inside as it was a small space, but the workmanship of the inside and outside was amazing to see. As with many churches the light was terrible inside so I did my best. When I got home this afternoon I did some more research into it and it's used very very rarely for funeral services as the graveyard next door is still functional, but it's in such a remote location it's obviously been a very long time since it last saw any use - the large bees nest in the roof was testament enough to that. Thanks for looking
  24. Cheers guys, it's a stunner alright. My absolute dream kind of location and decay to photograph.
  25. I might have a couple up my sleeve somewhere....