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Everything posted by mookster

  1. In hindsight those Jessops caps are probably a collectors item now!
  2. Another place we had to battle through treacherous conditions to reach as this place is quite literally in the middle of absolutely nowhere! This was once a nursing/rest home and closed some time in the last decade. In the intervening years the rest home part has suffered a large fire but the chapel has mercifully remained undamaged despite it's close proximity to the main burnt out area. The chapel is small but right up there with the most beautiful places I have photographed, it was incredibly peaceful stood in there sheltered from the snow falling outside, taking in the atmosphere of the space. More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157633032905071/
  3. Odd how no such thing has been offered at Didcot A which closed at the same time...I'd be interested if it wasn't a trek and a workday!
  4. And so we return to one of my very first locations, nearly 4 years after my first visit. Various plans had been hatched in the last couple of years to find a way to see this again, as very soon after my first visit the old - and only - access was comprehensively sealed. But news of the coming redevelopment of the communal part of RAF Upper Heyford, and the removal of items from here by the heritage team meant maybe our luck was in....and it was! The hospital at Upper Heyford was one of the last additions to the military site, being constructed in 1980. It closed along with the rest of the base in 1994 meaning it has spent longer derelict than it did in operational use! 90% of this place is in total darkness as only the patient rooms on the upper floor have any form of natural light going into them, and it is a complete maze of rooms going all over the place in the centre so we got lost numerous times! It made an interesting exercise in light painting to say the least. More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157633181604772/
  5. Yeah just to do this bit once the opportunity presented itself, would've been rude not to! The Commissioned Officers Club we saw is currently being converted, or looks it anyway big skips outside and other stuff.
  6. OK so this perhaps isn't the greatest Belgian location in comparison to other sheer epics, but the explore itself was one of the craziest I've done...also I was in for a shock as when plotting this on my map I realised we had driven right past it on my first foray overseas last year! Picture this. This was the one day we had a lot of miles to cover, and the night before it had begun to snow. We wake up to a foot of snow in Liege city centre, the roads are crawling along as nothing has been gritted and we have to make a move and check out of the hotel. The outside temperature is a crisp -9 degrees celsius but with the added windchill factor is hovering around -15. The motorways were covered in snow, with only the middle lane open if you could see it at all. The high winds were whipping the snow into drifts six-feet deep along the hard shoulder and we soldiered on, narrowly avoiding a Czech guy who almost wiped out flying down the fast lane through the snow After over an hour of treacherous motoring we pulled in opposite our first location, the SCPA Labs (Also known as 'Labo G'), an old agricultural laboratory. Off the beaten track the weather was even worse, in these vast flat areas of land the wind was blowing the snow all over the place and we quickly realise to get in we need to walk across a field with snow that turns out to be nearly groin-deep! This was pure hardcore exploring and sheer craziness on our parts, but what a laugh it was. It turned out to be a nice place, a bit stripped but pretty much untouched by chavvery. It was weird walking into this lab, as soon as we got in we heard a rumbling noise coming from somewhere above our heads and a bit of head-scratching later we realised it was the wind outside making something in the ventilation system above this laboratory work! More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157633045729114/
  7. We took one look at that bridge in the last photo and thought better of it!
  8. First post of a LONG backlog of stuff to wade, sorry, get through...so I don't blame you if you get bored. I had wanted to see this place for almost as long as I have been exploring, it sat unreachable high up the top of my want list. Stories of mad security, dogs, police etc had been known about for a while but all I can say is the place was deathly quiet on our visit which was a bonus. The site is made up of 5 huge buildings and the equally massive boiler house, 3 of the buildings are gorgeous art-deco in style and the other 2 more modern. In the end we accessed 2 of the art deco blocks and the wait was worth it for me, it is without doubt one of my favourite locations of all time and I'd go back tomorrow if I could - so excuse the volume of photos I can't trim them down any more! Soon after this explore it began to snow, and kept snowing, which had implications for the rest of the trip but that is another story! Cheeky rooftop shot of a nearby blast furnace. In we go! More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157633026726965/
  9. Every so often it helps to 'know the right people' as they say...sometimes they can get you into places before they are cleared, no questions asked. Whether it's true 'urbex' or not is irrelevant as the general population wouldn't see areas like this anyway so it is a true explore in my book. This was part of a larger college campus somewhere in the South-East UK until becoming surplus to requirements. It sat empty for about 5 years and only recently got cleared and it was the beginning of this activity last year that spurred me to sort this out. I don't think I've ever been to somewhere that held so much fascinating stuff before, I could have spent hours rooting through it but the light disappeared on us. I've been in a fair few locations you could classify as 'timewarp' but this was like something out of a parallel universe. And the worst part is, everything you see here was going to be binned, once it shut down everything was offered to schools, universities and other institutions and they took some stuff but most of the equipment is too old to be used now. I took a lot of photos as it was the one and only chance for anyone to get inside but will be ruthless in the selection. Apologies for the quality of light in some, 99% were shot handheld. Things...things everywhere! Darkroom...with a light that seriously messed with the camera! Loads more here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157632019068974
  10. Another site from my week-long Belgian extravaganza. This from before it started to snow, and instead was pouring with rain! Villa Wallfahrt is another place I had wanted to see for a long, long time. It's pretty much Belgian exploration as a whole personified in one location. Details on when this rectory/convent became abandoned are pretty scarce but it is believed to be a few years ago now, and the entire place is stuffed full of epic. When making our entrance there was a bit of pure comedy, we chose the hard way in and on hearing voices inside I ventured into the hallway to investigate and walked right into a Dutch guy's shot! He was there with another two people and luckily he spoke good English so we were able to have a bit of a laugh, and decided the best plan would be for them to start downstairs whilst we began the explore upstairs. More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157633004562871/
  11. Hello guys...time to clear a backlog! I'm sure most of you know who I am but if you don't...hello
  12. One of those days you wonder to yourself 'why are we doing this exactly?' But we'd come so far already and even as the heavens opened biblically walking to the site we knew we had to do it, it would be an experience at least being in a load of tunnels in the pouring rain....so much so I decided to shoot some video of how it looked!
  13. It's been a while, lots of old faces I see are on here
  14. I remember seeing these when they were first put online, great use of gels...if only to have one more day in West Park...
  15. Now digging well through the depths of my archive explores here...I'm in a nostalgic mood. Everyone will need to rewind to that fabled summer of 2009, when, for a brief three-month period West Park's security was laxer than it had ever been with only a single meek guy sitting in his cabin at the front doing maybe one, two perimeter patrols a day. Pretty soon the previously well-fortified doors had been flung wide open, almost every building on site was accessible and it really was 'open season' for explorers. And boy did I take advantage, six trips between mid-August and the end of October followed, so many good times and jokes were had in here from lunching in the peaceful Huxley ward, riding wheelchairs down the long corridors, scaring chavs, meeting bucketloads of fellow explorers, cheerfully waving to the security guard whilst wandering out the front entrance and the unforgettably surreal encounter with the police and a half-naked transvestite in the nature reserve car park opposite the place... All taken on my old point and shoot, these photos aren't in any great order just the order of my visits. R.I.P. West Park Loads more here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/ ... 626230405/
  16. I'm looking through some of my old photos hoping to get the spark back, which I've kind of lost lately. Les Grands Moulins de Paris is a still-active Milling company in mainland Europe, but their mill in Lille, built in 1920, closed in 1989. This was our first glimpse of a European site, we'd been travelling since 4am but seeing this place floored us....it makes Millenium Mills look like a dolls house, maybe not in height but in sheer length and imposing presence. It was by far one of my favourite places from the trip. It was fairly busy also as it was a Bank Holiday, whilst parking the car we saw two guys ride in on a scooter, and as we were picking our way through the undergrowth we saw a group of three French explorers entering so introduced ourselves using the small amount of English they knew, we went our separate ways after a while though. We then realised there was some commotion on the outside and saw the two guys who had ridden the scooter in joined by a large group of Airsoft players so they had the run of the outside, we ran into a few of them from time to time and they were fine, mutual nods and smiles go a long way to not being shot.... Two thirds of it is mostly wood floored which has mostly disappeared so is pretty much impassable after a few floors as what little wood hasn't vanished is totally rotten, the other third is mostly concrete but still has an enormous amount of holes in the floor from old equipment, vents, and wooden hatches that have disappeared so navigation was fun to say the least. The roof space was amazing, in terms of dereliction and being able to quite literally sit on the edge of the roof and take in the views. Thanks for looking more here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/ ... 712848662/
  17. My god this one seems like a long time ago now! This is one of those places you get into and think 'holy cow' (or words to that effect!). Closed at just about the same time as Cane Hill did in 1992 with it's location right in the centre of Mansfield and pretty much surrounded by houses on all sides, decay has largely been natural - and this is how I'd imagine most of Cane Hill to look today had it not been demolished. This place is fabulous, one of the best locations in the UK and probably the best hospital site going. The location has kept it safe, but also means getting in without getting seen is nigh on impossible. We elected the bold-as-brass fence climb at half ten on a Saturday morning, and someone must have seen us getting in because about half an hour later whilst tucked inside the oldest part of the site the front gate opened and in walked a pair of police officers and the security guard. Only mildly crapping ourselves we ran to the top of the building and hid in a room with a window overlooking the central courtyard and watched the officers search around for us, with the security guard producing a key and letting them into the main 1950s building. After what felt like an age, they reappeared outside and we thought to ourselves 'they'll be in here next' - but mercifully they either got bored, or something more important popped up and they wandered off site with the security man! So after the coast was clear, we got back into the explore and had a totally trouble-free run around this fantastic site. Not many externals, it's the sort of place you want to be out in the open for as little time as possible! The top room with the open window is where we were hiding... Now prepare your internets for lots of photos. That's yer lot, loads more here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/ ... 9763189833
  18. I love Roa's work, his stuff dotted around Doel is well cool but seeing so many in one place must have been great!
  19. Another one from my intense Belgian trip and probably the biggest surprise of the trip for me at least. It was once a large buzzing factory owned by Du Parc, a stockings and lingerie manufacturer but closed a good few years back. Scouting the place out it was pouring with rain and humid as hell, we spent about fifteen minutes sheltered under a canopy on the outside of the main building before going round to try and find a way in and once we were in the humidity played merry hell steaming up lenses all over the place. But we didn't let it put us off and what at first glance seemed like a stripped, dark pit of a place eventually opened up and the more we poked around the more goodness there was to be found....this is a proper oldschool factory with oldschool stuff and proper tasty decay, just the sort of thing I love. A place I would love to visit again! You may be noticing a theme that I do like my industry a fair bit... More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/ ... 725940120/
  20. This is by far one of my favourite places I have been to, which is odd as I try and avoid underground stuff a fair bit! It used to form part of the enormous Guest, Keen & Nettlefold Screws & Fasteners factory in Smethwick, most of the factory has been flattened or is used as industrial units now but the huge underground complex of tunnels remains on site split into two halves, one half sadly being flooded to a good depth. I guess I liked this place purely because it was one of the most dangerous places I've ever been, the tunnels are only just head-height in the centre and there are numerous girders, pipes and the like criss-crossing at all angles, the floors are covered in a mixture of sometimes deep water and oil, oil is bleeding from the ceilings and walls and the smell is out of this world - and to top it off it's all in total darkness It took me three visits to see almost all of it it's that large and I'd go back in a heartbeat. On the second visit in December 2011 just a week before Christmas it began to snow whilst we were inside, the snow filtering down through the various vents in the ceiling was pretty eerie! More here and here