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  1. Albania is one of those countries where I didn't really know what to expect. Recent history saw the collapse of communism in the 90s which caused the economy to crash. Since then It has made remarkable economic progress, growing from one of the poorest nations in Europe to a middle-income country, with poverty declining by half during that period. We travelled from north to south and back again taking in a few places along the way. The people are friendly, the food is good, it has decent weather, and everything is extremely cheap. Here's some of what I got up to with Adders, extreme_ironing, Otter and Reenie. In the main square of Tirana the National History Museum has this famous mosaic called 'The Albanian' on the front. It tells the story of how Albanians have fought against invasion and occupation throughout the centuries. Just down the road are these colourful government buildings In the middle of the countryside we passed this communist monument, the 5 red stars symbolising communist ideology Shëngjin Naval Base After an epic fail elsewhere we headed to this small naval base which turned out to be pretty cool. I've already written a separate report on this so I won't include much about it here. Fier Power Plant Fier Power Station was Albania's largest thermal power plant having 6 identical groups of 31 MW each, totalling a capacity of 186 MW. The plant was decommissioned in 2007. Much of the site next to it was a fertiliser factory powered by the plant. The whole site has been completely stripped now, leaving just bland shells of buildings. The imposing chimneys and cooling towers however remain visible for miles as a reminder of its former importance. Old security office next to the original gate Always wanted a shot of adders pissing Cooling tower ladders have long since been removed The best bit about this place was taking in the views from one of the factory towers, although the staircase was a bit of a headfuck Factory buildings below The turbine hall. Amazingly two security guys appeared from nowhere and made us leave before we could grab any shots of the inside. You're really not missing much though as the turbines have been removed along with everything else. Why anyone is securing it is completely beyond me! Kombinati Metalurgjik, Elbasan Elbasan is located about 50km from the capital of Albania, Tirana. The Kombinati Metalurgjik steel works, a flagship of the Albanian industry, was built between the 1960s and 1970s. The complex was built by Chinese engineers with the assistance of Albanian specialists. The levels of pollution caused by the plant were the subject of much controversy in the 90s. The size of the site is colossal but only a few buildings remain operational today. Much of it is derelict beyond repair or has already been flattened. Most of the buildings you see in the distance here are barely standing. You can see the remains of a blast furnace to the left. The only buildings worth a look were located right next to the live site. This one was locked up tight with several dogs acting as security inside. Next door a few buildings were wide open Buckets for pouring molten steel Small control room. After this we went back to the car and found an old man shaking his walking stick at us angrily so we left. There were a few more buildings full of stuff that we didn't manage to get into as they were well locked up. Definitely a bit more to see here I think but nothing too epic. Përrenjas - Locomotive Graveyard The country's first standard gauge line was built in 1947. From then on the construction of the country's rail network underwent significant development as Albania was considered to be the only state in Europe not to have standard rail service. By 1987, 677 km of railway had been constructed in total, linking the main urban and industrial centres for the first time since the end of World War II. Train transport was the main transportation method until 1990. After the collapse of Communism, and increase in use of motor vehicles, the network fell into disrepair. Today the country's rail network is almost entirely defunct. In Përrejas we visited this group of abandoned diesel ČKD T669 locomotives. Përrenjas abandoned station. There was a man inside there who didn't appreciate us climbing on the trains Pyramid of Tirana On 14 October 1988, the pyramid opened as a museum about the legacy of Enver Hoxha, the long-time leader of Communist Albania, who died in 1985. When built, the pyramid was said to be the most expensive individual structure ever constructed in Albania. After 1991, following the collapse of Communism, the museum closed and for several years it was repurposed as a conference centre and exhibition venue. During the 1999 Kosovo War, the former museum was used as a base by NATO and humanitarian organisations. Since 2001, part of the Pyramid has been used as a broadcasting centre by Albanian media outlets Top Channel and Top Albania Radio. Numerous proposals have been made to demolish the structure but the majority of Tirana's citizens are against the demolition. In 2017 it was announced that the pyramid will not be demolished, but refurbished. In 2018, a new project was unveiled that would turn the Pyramid into a technology centre for youth focused on computer programming, robotics, and start ups. Inside I bumped into a sleepy eyed squatter who invited me to take a look around. We meant to have a pop at this under construction skyscraper overlooking the main square but unfortunately ran out of time Not a particularly impressive view from up here but certainly a unique one A few friends we made along the way A bunker full of goats all set for the apocalypse. Just one of the 173,371 bunkers in Albania! Thanks for looking!
  2. First report in a couple years, still been getting out and about but just been very busy with other life admin for reports, got a day at home on the sick twiddling my thumbs so thought i would write summit up about our trip to red sands last year. Did the trip with bigjobs, paradox, riddlers, FB, slayaa and a few other guys who i think are registered but post on the forums even less than me so god knows what their usernames are. Bit of History The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. One of the forts is managed by the unrecognised Principality of Sealand; boats visit the remaining forts occasionally, and a consortium called Project Redsands is planning to conserve the fort situated at Red Sands. In the summers of 2007 and 2008 Red Sands Radio, a station commemorating the pirate radio stations of the 1960s, operated from the Red Sands fort on 28-day Restricted Service Licences. The fort was subsequently declared unsafe, and Red Sands Radio has moved its operations ashore to Whitstable. Previously, forts had been built in rivermouths and similar locations to defend against ships, such as the Grain Tower Batteryat the mouth of the Medway dating from 1855, Plymouth Breakwater Fort, completed 1865, the four Spithead Forts: Horse Sand Fort, No Mans Land and St Helens Forts which were built 1865-80; and Spitbank Fort, built in the 1880s, the Humber Forts on Bull & Haile Sands, completed in late 1919, and the Nab Tower, intended as part of a World War I anti-submarine defence but only set in place in 1920. There are seven towers in the Red Sands group, at the mouth of the Thames Estuary. These towers were previously connected by metal grate walk-ways. In 1959 consideration was given to refloating the Red Sands Fort and bringing the towers ashore, but the costs were prohibitive.[18] In the early 21st century there were threats that the fort could be demolished so a group called Project Redsands was formed to try and preserve the fort. It is currently the only fort that can be accessed safely from a platform in between the legs of one of the towers.[ The explore Wanted to do this since seeing bigjobs and FBs trip out their on the kayaks through the mist, if you havent seen it already definitely well worth a look, makes for a better read than mine will anyway! We didn't fancy the kayaks this time so we all got the outboards out and set sale with some horsepower behind us.....untill mine died, i say until it died, it never really got going, overheated and cut out in a puff of smoke in the first 5 minutes. That was my first outboard, i had a smaller backup outboard just in case of any such incidents as the first bigger outboard i had literally collected off ebay on the way down. anyway long outboard story short, i got towed out by bigjobs, that was once we eventually got in the water, everyone else had already been out one night but me and sarah were late to the party so we came in first thing. i say first thing, we were late to meet up with jobs and ended up chasing the tide with all the gear, would get half the gear out to the waters edge then by the time the other half was in the same spot the bloody tide had moved another 10m! We did eventually get in the water and headed out to the forts. On the approach to the sea fort we passed through some leisure boats circling the forts taking tourists out to see the forts, no doubt all wondering what the hell was going because just as we pulled in the riddlers came zipping down the rope and landed in FBs rib like a pro navy seal. We got the boats tied up and ascended up to the forts to crack open a beer and enjoy the views! FB and riddlers decided they were going to have a pop at getting up one of the other struts to see if they could get a line across vertically with the crossbow to sort out a traverse, they got the line across but then beers and food happened so no one went for the traverse. Had a lovely evening on the forts, amazing sunset watching the freight ships chugging past. FB and jane went for a jolly out to the wind farm Time for tea and bangers and mash was on the menu but i had forgotten my camping gas, luckily i managed to bodge my camping stove onto a big bottle of calor gas which had been left on the fort, bit of rubber hose a few cable ties and a bit of dismantling on the burners part and the bangers mash was a success! We woke up to fairly choppy waters, made for a rushed and slightly tense departure in the morning, the choppy waters had snapped one of the lines holding the boats in position ready to ab down into. The boats were now drifting about 10m away from the bottom of the ab rope. cant remember who it was now, either fb or riddlers had to ab down and try and drag all the boats over back in line underneath the ab rope and then get a line out to replace the snapped one. We got lucky with the rope that did snap, if the other line had snapped the current would have dragged the boats into the struts and the barnacles would have torn the boats to shreds and we really would have been up shit creek. oh yeah i forgot, at this point we had yet another dead outboard! the riddlers pull chord had snapped off the day before, i went on the hunt round the forts and found a rusty old socket set in an old toolbox so the first job once back in the boats in the choppy sea was for law to try and get his outboard sorted. luckily the sea did begin to calm down as we were all abing down into the boats and we set back off without any major incidents. It was a big realization just what a relentless and unforgiving force the sea can be, as an awesome and adventure as this is its one that can go wrong very quickly. There had been plenty of prep and investment gone into this adventure, we made sure everyone had suitable life jackets, radios, flares, everyone had rope experience, big help having someone who knows their way around an outboard engines etc etc, its certainly not a walk in the park operation! big thanks to jobs, for getting everything all rigged up prior to our arrival, it sounds like you all had a rough time of it getting up there the first night! The approach Riddlers doing his navy seal impresson Going up Right tools for the job. Some internals. bed for the night The bangers and mash will go on! Thanks for reading and bigger thanks to everyone who made it happen. see you again in 2 years for another report!
  3. Visited with 3 non members not really knowing much about the place other than it looked pretty cool from the outside. Damp and water damage had done a pretty good job on the place but it was still well worth visiting and the start of an amazing day. History Can't really find much on this place but before its abandonment, it was owned by a local water authority in relation to the nearby reservoir of the same name. these animals were positioned exactly like this when i found them, honest...
  4. My first explore of last year, and it was in December 😆 oh well at least i'm 'back on the horse'. Met up with a local explorer & this was the first of two places we got into that day, the second place looked derelict but kind of wasn't & turns out we were just being tourists in some poor ladys home so probably wont be posting that one on here. This place was a bit of a shell but the decor was erm 'interesting'. And we found a dead bird, which was obviously awesome 😀 History stolen from https://www.forgottenisle.com/, a great site documenting all the cool derelict stuff on the Isle of Man. Shilley Aalin was built in the late 60's/early 70's by The Marquess of Queensberry despite locals protesting the build. It lay empty for some time after she passed away and was then bought and rented in the early 00s. Unfortunately, the group of people that rented it caused a lot of damage, and after they left the property lay empty and deteriorated.
  5. When I die, honey when I part with the sun and I will be a long rather sad thing will you take care of me then? you will embrace your arms and you'll fix what broke cruel fate ...
  6. Alright, this is my first post on here but I will get right to it. This hospital is trashed beyond belief but was still fun to explore. It was shut down in 1992 after the USAF pulled out of George AFB following the end of the cold war. These pictures were taken in December of 2018.
  7. A night in the Paris Metro My first report for a while and I felt that my photos from each location wouldn't create a substantial enough report. Because of this I decided to compile them into a more lengthy post documenting the night in which we explored various sections of the Paris Metro. I hope you enjoy reading my story and seeing the images I managed to capture. After arriving in Paris with @Letchbo for a short weekend break, we decided to begin our night of exploring by hitting a classic metro spot. Once we'd safely entered the area we wanted to photograph, we hid in an alcove for a short period of time. Patiently waiting for the end of service with front row seats to watch the last remaining trains hurl past us. As soon the service concluded for the night, we eagerly got our cameras out and started shooting. Fortunately we managed to grab a couple of decent photos before we heard what we presumed were track workers approaching nearby. We quickly concluded it was best to abort mission and keep moving ahead. Photographing sections of track as we progressed down the line, until we reached the next station and swiftly departed unnoticed. By the time we were back out above ground the night was still young and we headed onto our next location. View of a train passing on Line 10 The double raccord We'd visited this spot earlier in the year along with @Conrad and @DirtyJigsaw after visiting another of Paris' famous ghost stations. But when we arrived at this one, we noticed a large number workers across the tracks and decided to give it a miss. Fast forward to October, we thought try our luck again. My partner made his way over the fence but as I was about to climb in and join him, someone abruptly stopped me in my tracks. "Bonsoir!" "Bonsoir?" The rather authoritative looking chap approached me and continued speaking to me in French (to which I didn't fully understand.) I politely explained we were English. He then proceeded to pull a badge out and clearly stated to me the word every urban explorer wants to hear on a night out exploring the metro. "Police." Oh fuck. That's when we thought the night had sadly come to a prompt conclusion. Fortunately for us after a brief discussion with us claiming to be photographing the canal, he decided to allow us to resume our business and once he was well out of sight we made our way straight in. Onto a bit of history, Arsenal station was officially opened in 1906 and is located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. In addition to this, it is also situated on line 5 between the Bastille and Quai de la Rapée stations. After 33 years of operation, it was closed in 1939 at the start of the Second World War. This was due to French resistance members allocating the area as an ammunition depot. Once Paris had been liberated from German forces August of 1944, a battle more commonly known as Battle for Paris and Belgium. It was decided reopening Arsenal would be inefficient. This was on account of its close proximity to neighbouring stations which limited the flow of passengers. For 75 years the station has been largely abandoned aside from graffers, urban explorers, photographers and avid thrill seekers, such as ourselves. Once we'd grabbed a few shots of the abandoned Arsenal Station, we continued photographing another small section of track further down the line. It was quite photogenic and was a welcomed bonus to what had already been a predominately successful night for the both of us. Before long the morning was fast approaching, coinciding with the threat of the service resuming. We reluctantly called it a night, making our way out and back to our accommodation, covered in metro dust and feeling pretty relieved we managed to pull it all off after a few close encounters. As always if you got this far, thanks for reading
  8. was lucky enough to spend 3 days in the exclusion zone earlier this year; some shote within the former USSR "secret" Radar Station
  9. Another weekend, another backlog! I really need to streamline my reporting process! Part of a little day out with Mookster back before Christmas, we did this Tourist Trail steelworks; and it was a rather nice morning out; albeit a little smashed inside. The works were originally established in 1855 with an office staff of four, three small furnaces, a small foundry; plus iron fields at Stanton and in the neighbourhood parish of Dale Abbey, and the Ironstone Bell pits at Babbington. Messrs George and John Crompton; the three founders; were brothers and partners in the firm of bankers of Crompton and Evans - Mr Newton and Mr. Barber. In the infant years; the pig iron was made entirely from local ore, but in 1865 Northamptonshire ores were introduced into the mixtures; with iron mines in Leceistershire and Northamptonshire acquired and developed. In 1878 the pipe foundry, now potentially the largest in Great Britain, and possibly the world, was started under the management of Mr James Chambers. Circa 1914; the company had 7000 people on its pay roll - 3000 here at Stanton, the same number at the collieries and 1000 at the ironstone mines. In 1951 it was nationalised and became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain. A takeover in 1960 by Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd happened. and was merged with Staveley Iron & Chemical Co. to form the Stanton & Staveley company. In 1967 Stanton & Staveley was incorporated into British Steel. During the early 1980s the Stanton site became part of the French Pont-a-Mouson Group and later part of Saint Gobain, manufacturing cast iron pipes. Production finally ceased on May 24th 2007, and subsequently a huge amount of the site was demolished around 2009/2010. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157678405612458
  10. 大家好! My oh my, how long has it been since I posted a report? Exploring has become a low priority for me ever since I left the UK, even if I've always kept tabs on new sites shared here and on social media. Truth be told learning Mandarin and my lady have taken a much bigger priority in recent years, plus my lady is no fan of me going about it alone so that makes organising jaunts more challenging. I have visited a fair few sites around Taiwan, but compared to Europe there is so little here to get me to jump on the next train there because beautiful architecture is just so rare and even noteworthy industrial sites are few and far between; many places are just rotting concrete shells. So this report here is meant to be a compilation of my latest explores to date which I feel don't have enough bite to warrant standalone reports. There will be more reports to come in the future, but since I left my torch and tripod in England it will be some time before I visit these. I trust the results will not be disappointing though. 亞哥花園/Encore Garden, July 2018 Visited with some colleagues and non-explorers. I'd always been aware of this one, as it's situated close to my favourite hiking trails just outside of Taizhong where I live. But being me I never made a move until last year. It's an abandoned theme park in Dakeng district, opened in 1981 and was a hugely popular site that attracted around 1m people a year. Like several sites in Taiwan it was hit by the 921 earthquake in 1999 which severely damaged the area, causing attendance to drop dramatically. Eventually the financial losses incurred forced the place to close in 2008. On most days there is a security guard with dogs at the top of the site, living in a shack. However as of last year the entire site has been repurposed as a rally racetrack. Pay $100 (that's £2.50) to enter and you can sit back and spectate, but before that we chose to explore the park first. Initially we were in full stealth mode, when we spotted people in hi vis vests dotted around the site as well as the guard's dogs barking at us, but after seeing others drive round with their scooters we realised it was a free for all for today. What I found really fascinating about exploring in Taiwan compared to Europe and other places is how the fertile, humid tropical enviroment is far more hostile to built structures which means nature takes over rapidly once the place is abandoned; the restaurant was completely covered in thick, thick dust, and other structures had started to be completely invaded by tree branches. Old arcade machines left behind Because of thick shrub finding the entrance to this ride took a bit of careful searching, but we got to it. It turns out as long as we stayed off the roads as much as possible, we were at free to roam whenever we wanted. The racing stewards didn't mind us at all. Unfortunately the outdoor auditorium was inaccessible because there were too many race cars on the route leading up to it. Another thing that's incredibly striking about Taiwan and nature is the frequency of earthquake tremors. In my experience they seem to hit every few months, and in mountainous and rural areas can trigger minor (or major) landslides; look at the next 2 pictures and compare to older photos... By stark contrast to the western world, obviously with a few exceptions Asians and the Taiwanese have utmost respect for abandoned sites. Whether this be rooted in a fear of the supernatural (people in the west believe in ghosts, but superstitions are taken far more seriously here), they treat abandoned sites as tombs and relics of the past to be treated with respect. It's because of this, little if any effort is made to seal any buildings from intruders and yet sites see so little vandalism. Security guards are rare, too. Another thing is that for several sites upon closure and abandonment the owners do not bother to remove items from buildings, regardless of their value. The fundamental exception to this rule being statues and religious iconography, because to leave these to rot is to bring huge misfortune on one's life. So although decent sites are indeed rare, exploring those that are around are unique experiences in which you can really lose yourself and let your imagination run free. I then made my way inside the buildings in the middle of the site, and was stunned to find the power still on. It turns out even on a Sunday there were workers inside. Unfortunately the site manager walked in, then politely asked me to leave after this photo was taken. It's far from epic, but it's well worth sharing as it's so vastly different from Crapalot. I'm still alive by the way... Thank you so much for reading, and it's a real pleasure to be back. TBM x
  11. Solo jaunts. So after Chinese New Year there was yet another public holiday in Taiwan, and you know what that means? More exploring! This here is a compilation of different sites all well known to the exploring network, all very famous but compared to the general benchmark not enough to warrant standalone reports again. As I mentioned before, sometimes it's about scratching the itch just to get it off your mind rather than the drop-everything hit-the-road urge you get for some places. 台灣民俗村/Taiwan Folk Village Taiwan Folk Village was a mock-traditional park east of Huatan, near Zhanghua in the Bagua Mountain Scenic Area. Opened in 1993 it was a hugely successful site, a showcase of Taiwan traditional temples and aboriginal architecture (straw huts, temples and so forth) although if you ask me it all felt tacky with little historic value. That's the trouble with Taiwan; compared to Europe precious little remains of genuine, traditional architecture of dynasty's gone past. Not only that, I cannot understand what desire people have to turn such places into theme parks complete with swimming pools and rides rather than showcase the history. I digress. As with so many places in Taiwan, the 921 Earthquake meant a sharp drop in visitor numbers, pushing the operating company into the red, culminating in closure come 2012. It's in the backwaters of Taiwan with no public transport, so I had to begrudgingly take a taxi to get there. Unfortunately the taxi driver was oblivious to my intentions and dropped me off at the main gate, in full view of security. I get out, and there they are sat outside the cabin staring at me and wondering what I want to do. I don't want to ruin my chances and arouse suspicion, so I walked away as they watched. Awkward. I walk up the road and look for a way in, but there's a huge drop from the road down to the boundary fence. Getting in was a mission to say the least, having to find a safe spot to drop down and then find a suitable point to actually enter the site! I finally found one after considerable effort, then had to beat through thick bushes to get onto the roof of the main walls. A challenge, but I have an itch to scratch so I don't have a choice. Although I've lived in Taiwan for 2+ years, for those unfamiliar with Asian architecture the attention to detail in temples is beautiful; each aspect is unique. Unfortunately the interior was stripped and somewhat decayed with zero interest. The site is not fully abandoned, however. There are plenty of buddhist shrines and the mock-village buildings are still maintained by on-site staff. I saw a handful of scooters parked up around the site, and was certain there was someone lurking in places least expected so I had to be very careful. The biggest problem however was a dozen or so stray dogs who ran around in packs. Any sight of a foreigner liked myself triggered a chorus of barking, not out of hostility but perhaps curiosity and simply being an unexpected presence. Unfortunately this meant I had to move fast from building to building to avoid getting attention from security or caretakers. I tried to access the best part of the site, the beautiful mock-village quarters in the middle of the site, however to protect the shrines and interior these were completely locked up. At the northernmost part of the site was a large temple, which I managed to get inside however the interior was completely empty and lacking in interest. I was absolutely certain there was a caretaker lurking inside too, so only 2 shots. I went in search of the carousel and theme park attractions to the west of the site, however since the previous reports these have all been demolished. No loss, but that meant it was time to leave, so I headed back out and bade farewell. A derp for sure, but not a complete waste of time. Stay tuned for the rest. Love as always, TBM x
  12. So this is my last post from RAF Coltishall.. this was the officers mess which is situated just out off the main area. Its a standard H block design which is common in most RAF accommodation blocks. the wings are used for an upstairs and downstairs accommodation. Similar to the sergeants mess it has a new three storey block built on too it with an interconnecting corridor. These blocks are quite plush with nice lights and some funky carpets. this is prob one off the last used mess halls in the country now. So its in reasonable condition. Made a few visits too this block from 2017 to late last year. The standard three bay arched door. Similar too that at Raynham and Upwood. The kitchen areas are quite extensive. Restroom areas with special coat hangers. In one off the rooms is some nice artwork by the servicemen. The newer block was a bit more bland with repetitive rooms. In the basement off the main block is a little room, this has been converted into a small social club. Before the days of health and safety, there was more nice artwork on the walls.shame it was pitch black down here.
  13. The end was nigh for Mookster and my North Midlands Roadtrip back before Christmas. Mookster remembered seeing this site when visiting the Crich Tramway Museum in the 1990s and had made it a goal to visit it when he discovered it had not been demolished, he previously thought it had. We parked in the Museum and walked up the driveway to the site. An older chap and some friends who frequent the site and had keys, had been feeding the birds and we exchanged some pleasantries; "As long as your not smashing anything, go for it"; was the general opinion; so we filled our boots. Sadly; much is inaccessible due to flooding; and it is overall, pretty trashed, but it had some great photo ops! I enjoyed it, and the lighting the evening was producing. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 Thanks for Looking! More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157678698751578
  14. Millennium tower Salford quays It is not to be confused by the never-built London Millennium Tower (which could’ve gone up to 386 metres!). The dual building is a residential highrise located on the eastern side of the Media City Quays. The tallest one of the two is 67 metres, and the shorter one (Millennium Point) at around 45 metres. Designed to suit the modernised skyline of Salford, it has a rather minimalistic approach. Luckily not a lot of information can be salvaged from the internet, so I don’t have to type up much Had a look on the roof of the millennium tower. Was evening time so photos were late afternoon then a walk around media city. DSC_3193 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3229 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3229 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3221 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3205 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3203 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3198 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3253 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3252 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3244 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3240 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3239 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3234 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr DSC_3238 by Lavino lavino, on Flickr
  15. I have sat on this one for a fair while.earlier in the year I made quite a lot of trips here trying to find various bits of it.I had been on a visit here years ago and saw some bits,but I knew there was so much more to it.being near to me it was essy to go regularly to check it out.there is security on the site and cameras.so you just have to be a bit careful.Coltishall is now used as an industrial estate with many old buildings in use.it started off as battle of Britain fighter base during the second world war.fighter planes off various sorts were flown from here including hurricanes and spitfires.after the war it was used heavily in the cold war and was designated as a V bomber dispersal site.basically a back up airfield if the aircrafts hme airfield was damaged.the last planes to be based here was the jaguar jets.these saw service in the first gulf war.with the introduction of the euro fighter Coltishall was deemed none essential and so the station closed in 2006.it was a big question what was going to happen to the site.then Norfolk county council stepped in and bought it and this raised a few eyebrows.there track record is not great. SERGEANTS MESS I have visited the officers mess a few times meeting up with pretty vacant and JSP o one time as they visited too.the sergeants mess though is like the officers mess but not so grand.here the NCO's could relax and unwind,there was accommodation provided on the wings and a new block added. The more modern accommodation blocks. RECREATION As usual with the armed forces recreation is a big factor.on coltishall there was a pool,gym and five aside football plus fields for grass sports.sadly the gym is a no go now. BATTERY MAINTENANCE This building was for storage off batteries for planes and veichles.jet planes carry some hefty batteries so a place was needed to store them safely,also there was a bit at the front for testing and draining the batteries.it had a morgue feel to it and now known as the battery morgue. BOMB STORES AND FUEL A different way in was needed to do these as they are a fair way from the main site.and with CCTV covering the way down I did not want to get caught in the open.like most airfields the bomb stores are located a fair way from the main base for safety.and near to where they would take off.here there was a large building for testing the bombs and making sure they were safe.nearby is the fuel stores.not sure if these were for the planes or not. Fuelling depot HANGAR AS per standard there are four hangars here.several are in use.most of the maintenance work on the planes went on in here.to the sides there is offices and canteen areas.there was seriously nice airmans graffiti in here. JET TESTING With the advancement of jet engines on planes there was a need to test the engines.coltishall had two testing parts,an indoor and an outdoor one.the out door one allowed the planes to back up to the exhaust duct and fire up its engines which would then be passed through the exhaust duct and through the chambers.the test bay is surrounded by thick concrete blast walls. The indoor one was a similar style to the other.but this was used for engines unattached to the plane.acroos the way is another building,this was were they would repair the engines,they would then be transported to the tester.clamps on a rail would move across and grab the engine.it would then be moved to the exhaust duct for testing.note the array of cameras around the clamping system to monitior the testing process. The indoor one was a similar style to the other.but this was used for engines unattached to the plane.acroos the way is another building,this was were they would repair the engines,they would then be transported to the tester.clamps on a rail would move across and grab the engine.it would then be moved to the exhaust duct for testing.note the array of cameras around the clamping system to monitior the testing process. Thank you for looking.I did take lots more photos here but I could be forever on this post .with more smaller buildings.
  16. The history of the Albanian Navy dates back to 1925, following the creation of the Albanian Republic. Albanian naval forces operate out of two main bases; Bishti-i-Palles in Durrës, and Pasha Liman in Vlorë, with four reserve bases respectively in Shëngjin, Porto Palermo, Saranda and a submarine base on Sazan island. The vessels of the Albanian naval force are mostly patrol craft and support craft as well as four whisky class submarines (Soviet Union built in the early Cold War period) which have been taken out of service at Pasha Liman. In Shëngjin a Soviet built minesweeper M-111 and an AFD-115 gunship remain abandoned at the entrance to a bunker. The Albanian navy still operates out of Shëngjin in a low capacity so it's still an active military zone but you are allowed to drive through it to reach a beach resort on the other side. Handy for us! Visited with adders, extreme_ironing, otter and reenie. Here's what we found.... AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M-111 - A mine warfare ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. Minesweepers are equipped with mechanical or electrical devices, known as "sweeps", for disabling mines, so waterways are maintained clear for safe shipping. This one appears to have been disused since 1996 (the date of a calendar on board), just prior to the Albanian civil war, when many vessels of the Albanian navy were seriously damaged. Behind it sits this half-submerged AFD P115 - Albanian Navy gunship (Chinese type 62 "Shanghai-II") which has had its 57mm gun mount removed They sit in front of the entrance to a navigable bunker which was inaccessible. Another entrance parallel was also sealed although we reached the blast door for that one The AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M111 was named after Mujo Ulqinaku, an Albanian sergeant of the Royal Albanian Navy, known for his resistance to the Italian forces during the Italian Invasion of Albania in 1939. Armed with only a machine gun, he was placed at the centre of the defense line and fought uninterruptedly until he was eventually killed by an artillery shell from an Italian warship in the last hour of the battle. He was given the People's Hero of Albania award posthumously. On board the AFD - M111 An old gun at the front You can see an active patrol boat moored up on the left of the shot Inside the AFD - M111 Communications cabin A small engine room Hatches and squat toilets Kitchen All the cabins were locked except for this one Some old military posters Back on land, this AFD S104 - Huchuan class 'motor torpedo boat' is waiting to be scrapped. Powered by Soviet-era engines, these hydrofoil-equipped boats are capable of 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) and carry two torpedo tubes for torpedoes, with some known to be armed with naval mines. A few dilapidated buildings remain nearby This building to the left was manned but we were just out of view so we took a quick peek at these old military vehicles Some rusty torpedoes lay on the ground alongside one of them A couple of old trucks overgrown by vegetation above the bunker. We were aware of someone from the base heading in our direction at this point so we hopped in the car and made tracks We made it to the beach resort on the other side of the military zone where unfortunately the pigs were waiting for us. Thankfully they just grunted a bit and we were on our way ? Just in time to catch the sunset! Thanks for looking
  17. This one has a bit of a bittersweet ending for me really/. It's practically on my doorstep but I didn't find out about it till about 2016/17 and it closed in 2010 with much disgust from the locals! I had tried and failed it numerous times because of either filming taking place on site; or workmen. I went to check it out just before Christmas and found it to have a small demo crew inside who very kindly granted me 15 minutes in the pool area only, and they came and checked on me every 3 or 4 mins. It had been partly gutted by this point and they were so nice, I kept to my word and only left with a few photos. Hints were dropped of the quietness of the site around the Christmas Period; but I had my disabled partner, Pearl staying for a few weeks, and I had booked several weeks off work to be with her as to me, that was far more important!!! So I didn't bother returning. Still; I am also glad I didn't leave empty handed! #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157676566144727
  18. Tkvarcelli was an important coal mining town in the war torn region of Abkhazia, a de facto independent republic which remains internationally recognised as part of Georgia. During the Abkhazian war (from 1992 to 93), Tkvarcheli withstood, through Russian humanitarian and military aid, an uneasy siege by the Georgian forces. As a result of the war the town's industries all but stopped and its population has since decreased from approximately 22,000 to just 5,000 people. Abkhazia is on the list of places where the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advises against all travel. There is no UK consulate support if anything goes wrong so if you were to lose your passport for example, you'd be pretty fucked. With that in mind, and having read a few horror stories of tourists being aggressively robbed around Tkvarcelli, we were pretty skeptical about coming here. Thanks to some advice from @Olkka, who visited earlier in the year, we chose to hire a driver who knew the area well and we didn't encounter any problems. Top tip of the day - take a bottle of vodka for the guys demolishing the power plant and you'll be reet. Tkvarcelli power plant has seen better days. On the upper levels there were holes in the floor everywhere, hidden by overgrown plants and moss. We tried to be extra careful although it was difficult to tell if any structure we were standing on was safe. There were workers actively demolishing the roof above one end of the plant as well so we had to stick to the opposite end. Thankfully that's where all the good stuff was. The only other obstacle was the squatters but they didn't seem to mind us being there. Workers were sporadically dropping huge sections of roof onto the ground from above Much has been dismantled The Squatters Manoeuvring around this building was so sketchy These stairs were clinging on by dear life. We went up these but the stairs above were completely mangled Nope Coal conveyor chute Control Room. Pretty battered but I loved it in here The central turbine. I may have got a bit carried away photographing this. It would be amazing to have seen this in its hey day. Akarmara was a nearby mining town. Wars and economic change have emptied the town of the 5,000 people who lived there in the 1970s leaving it pretty much a ghost town. Now it is estimated only 35 people remain. It's completely cut off except for a rocky road full of potholes that takes around an hour to navigate. On our arrival we were greeted by some strange looks from the elderly locals, although the local children seemed fascinated by us and one accompanied us for our whole time there. It's a very surreal place where buildings that have a light outside signify that they are lived in. This is to ward off any looters. None of the buildings look lived in otherwise as they are all falling apart. The train station has been completely reclaimed by the forest. This building was completely trashed except for one flat in the middle inhabited by a young family. Thanks for looking.
  19. A rather apt explore after exploring an Iron Works earlier in the morning! After Stanton, Mookster and I headed for this little industrial Gem and met Mattdonut and James Smith inside. It was a bit of a trek through some undergrowth and tumbledown sheds full of all the old moulds and casts; but it was well worth it. The original company at this premises began manufacturing cast iron pipes back in the 1940s. By the 1980s; there was a management buy out and the company was renamed. It then closed again around two decades later and again; changed hands and was renamed; remaining in operation until it closed for the final time a few years ago. The whole site is split in two by a lovely iron railway bridge with the casting storage sheds and workshops on one side and the main foundry building on the other side of the bridge. It was a lovely treasure trove of an explore with plenty to see inside! #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 Thanks For Looking! More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157706470238285
  20. In classic Harry style; this forms part of another explore backlog! I visited here in November 2018 with Mookster. It formed part of a little Midland Roadtrip we did that day. We all know what to expect with this place; its pretty pillaged now, access was a doddle and it was full of other explorers; something which seems to be a much more frequent occurrence these days! We met some really nice people here and had a relaxed half hour or so before moving to the next site. The Typhoo Tea Factory, founded by John Summer in 1903 and was known a local landmark in Birmingham. Tea production began here in the 30's; and survived bombing by the Luftwaffe in WW2. in 1968; Typhoo merged with Schweppes and with Cadbury the following year, forming Cadbury-Schweppes. The factory eventually closed in 1978 as a tea making facility; but remained open as a clothes warehouse until around 2008. The grounds, which are currently being used as a 148-space pay and display car park (very handy for exploring!), have been granted planning permission as part of a £14 million project to turn the site into a brand new university campus for the Birmingham City University. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 Thanks for Looking, more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157704773968425
  21. Some months ago I went to explore this abandoned middle school. Since it is almost completely vandalized, there is nothing special inside (exept maybe for the wooden chair you will see), but what made me so curious about this structure was its architecture, very modern and... unusual for a school. Since it was raining and we didn't have any umbrellas, I couldn't take many pictures from outside; I also tried to climb onto the top, but for the same reason I stayed there only for a few seconds (the camera I was using wasn't even mine and was really expensive, so I was scared to ruin it). Here is the complete album. "-RiP- You were and remain unique, grandpa" (I found that chair in that position)
  22. HISTORY Tenterden Town railway station is a heritage railway station on the Kent and East Sussex Railway in Tenterden, Kent, England. When the railway line first opened in 1900, Rolvenden Station was known as "Tenterden". Its name was changed when the line extended north three years later and a station closer to Tenterden was constructed. The new Tenterden Town station opened on 16 March 1903.The line closed for regular passenger services on 4 January 1954 and all traffic in 1961. It reopened on 3 February 1974 under the aegis of the Tenterden Railway Company which bought the line between Tenterden and Bodiam. The station now houses the KESR's Carriage and Wagon works, and the Colonel Stephens Museum is located nearby. EXPLORE So we set out on our explore with a list of places We wanted to check out. After a few not amounting to much and the next couple being total fails, we parked up and regrouped! The Tenterden site had been on my radar for a while (although I couldn’t be 100% about it’s location) so after a little discussion we decided to take a chance and head out to try and find the Lost Railway and its Train Graveyard. We headed toward the closest point by road, parked up and set off along a short path way. The area was really quiet apart from the odd dog walker. After literally five minutes we knew we were in the right place and could see the abandoned trains hidden amongst the trees. Access was easy literally a small hop over the fence and down the bank, there they were! Its the first time any of us had ever done an explore of this nature and it was amazing... Anyway here are some of the pictures we took throughout the explore. Thanks for reading ?
  23. History In 1919 Leeds Corporation rented Meanwood Park to provide a ‘colony’ for the mentally handicapped, which was formally opened on 3rd June 1920, although the first patient had been admitted in the previous year. In 1921 the Corporation bought Meanwood Park estate and surrounding land totalling in all one hundred and seventy eight acres, from Sir Hickman Beckett Bacon of Thonock, Gainsborough, grandson of Sir Thomas Beckett. Originally 87 patients were accommodated in the Hall, but during the following twenty years villas were built in the grounds and by 1941, beds were provided for 841 patients. The Hall by then referred to as ‘The Mansion’ was used for other hospital purposes. MPH was taken over by the NHS in 1948 and administered by Leeds. It is now the responsibility of the Leeds Eastern Health Authority and accommodates about 460 residents. The hospital was controlled by Leeds Corporation. The Hospital trained nurses in a room in the children’s school. Male nurses lived on the wards, on the farm or male hostel. No meals or catering facilities were provided for non resident staff. In 1946 some villas were used by the military for convalescent cases. Most of the Villas were locked. No child under 14 was allowed to visit. Relatives and friends were allowed to visit once a month. Patient’s mail was censored in the Chief Male Nurses office. The CMN was Mr Parson’s. One free stamp a month was issued to patients. Many of the patients at that time were literate. If they behaved they were given a pass which allowed them a few hours weekend parole. Passes were signed by the Medical Superintendent. Patients were awarded 6d per week or a bar of chocolate. The Chief Male Nurse and the Matron were paid on the number of beds. They had their own sides of the hospital, male and female patients mixed only at dances and church services. A few historical photo's I found online Visit I visited with @hamtagger at the beginning of December. i'd seen this pop up online and quite liked the look of it. Now I will say, there really isn't much to see at all but I was really happy with the place. The decay was nice and mature, had some nice features reminiscent of its times. The whole place is surrounded by a newly built residential estate with the closest house literally 75 years away from the Hall itself and its like this all around. we had quite a nice leisurely paced explore round it, a really random room in the middle of the place with really modern furniture which threw us a little bit. The explore became a bit smelly about 3/4 of the way through when @hamtagger decided he needed a shit. I'm pretty sure he even killed a few pigeons with the stench! now you'd think that with a nice airy building the smell would disappear quite quickly and I'm not one to be bothered much by smells but even I was heaving. So, apologies to future explorers although I'm sure its safe now! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Thanks for looking!
  24. Visited back in November with Mookster after seeing the Typhoo Factory. Another one ticked off the list which has been kicking about for years. I really enjoyed this one; though quite bare and largely sealed, it had a lot of nice things to see down there. The air was pretty bad though in places! History - Borrowed! The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are what remain of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were created to increase the force of the British military against the German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War. Munitions workers produced Merlin engines to power Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes which were used to regain control of the British skies during the 1940 Battle of Britain. The Shadow Scheme involved two stages; the building of nine new factories and the extension of existing factories. This extension included here; the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin, whom founded Austin Motors; had already contributed to the war effort during the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production. The tunnels which ran beneath Austin Rovers Longbridge plant are mostly all that is left of the plant; a large housing development increases in size upon the former footprint. These tunnels ensured that production of the engines and munitions could continue underground in relative safety. After WWII; the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were soon abandoned. By the late 60s, the plant was the second largest car plant in the world. After the collapse of MG Rover, the site saw its redevelopment. Famously; a mini was kept down here after workers damaged it in the 70s and it was hidden from bosses. The mini is now in a museum. This is a very small portion of the tunnels. Lots is bricked up #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17
  25. I had been waiting to do this one for a month or so; but simply hadn't found the time to hop on the M40 and up to Brum. It was a good opportunity to meet up with some explorers whom I have been chatting to for the best part of ten years or so and do an explore at the same time! We arrived here mid morning one Sunday and once inside; the beauty of the place was revealed! I really loved this place. Again though; it was full of the new age era of explorers; about a dozen of them, some videoing and some just shooting photos. It's rare you bump into a person on explores, but lately its been every explore. This one was flavour of the month back in the summer though!! After the explore, we went to Costco for a cheap lunch in the canteen there and had a nice, chilled drive around the local area looking for other sites The Hall, built between 1903 and 1904 by architects Ewan Harper and James Harper and the terracotta was made by Gibbs and Canning ltd of Tamworth, is situated at the northern end of Corporation Street in Birmingham. The hall is a 3 storey red brick and terracotta building with Grade II Listing on it, with 2000 seats in the main halll over 30 additional rooms including 3 school halls. By 1991, the building had been converted into a nightclub which closed in 2002, but reopened as the Q Club in 2007. This club's last event at the premises was "Flashback" in 2011. During its time as a Night Club 3 deaths were reported. -A punter jumped off the tower in 1998 -A clubber OD'd in 2000 -A stabbing outside in 2008. The Club reopened in 2012, but closed in 2016. In 2018; Birmingham city council granted planning permission to convert it into a 147 room hotel costing £35 million. Works have begun and are expected to be complete by 2020. I just love the contrast between old and new here; with the older Methodists Hall and the big, modern buildings springing up around it. There is a live part of the building and as we were there, a Gospel Band were practicing literally behind the wall; a strong scent of Jerk Chicken was filling the rooms of the abandoned part. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 Thanks for Looking, more of the Hall at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157674880523028
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