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  1. Bit of a throw back report but I dont think I have posted these 2 sets up here yet and I have rcently been back through and reprocessed these old shots from both trips in hopes that they look a little less over baked. Briefly the National Gas Turbine Establishment at Pyestock Fleet was built in 1949 beginning with some small test cubicals inside buildings like the plant house and has since been added to over the years resulting in the huge site that stands there today. For over 50 years Pyestock was at the forefront of gas turbine development. It was probably the largest site of its kind in the world. V bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were tested on site. The power of the air house allowed Concorde’s engines to be tested in the purpose built Cell 4 at 2,000 mph. Every gas turbine installed in Royal Navy ships was checked here; captured Soviet engines were discreetly examined. NGTE Pyestock closed down in 2000 and decommissioned to make way for a business park. Pyestock was used for several scenes in the 2005 film Sahara by Breck Eisner, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. Internal sections of Cell 3 and Cell 4 were suitably reworked for the film’s supposedly solar powered waste disposal facility. First visit A massive thanks to Mr Bones for being the tour guide for us on this trip! He was mega tried having been up all night exploring but he proper pulled through for us what a Legend! Visited with Mr Bones and Sam the Mule. Really early start for us given the long 4 hour drive down there in snowy conditions. I’d planned trips here before which always fell through but not this time… We started with the Airhouse and covered Cells 3 and 4 (the main ones I wanted to see). Made all the better by the fact that the snow was about 3 inch deep when we arrived and about 8 inch deep when we left this trip tops my list to date! These no doing justice to the sheer scale of this place until you’ve seen it for yourself! The cells were great I could have spent all day photographing each of them and we only ended up covering a fraction of the site! Revisit on the cards for sure! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. On to part 2...
  2. How to post a report using Flickr Flickr seems to change every time the wind changes direction so here's a quick guide on how to use it to post a report... Step 1 - Explore and take pictures Step 2 - Upload your chosen pictures to Flickr like this.. Step 3 - Once your images are successfully uploaded to flickr choose a category for the location that you have visited... Step 4 - Then "Start New Topic".. You will then see this screen... Step 5 - Now you are ready to add the image "links", known as "BBcodes", which allow your images to display correctly on forums.. Step 6 - Then click "select" followed by "view on photo page".. Now select "Share" shown below.. Step 7-13 - You will then see this screen... Just repeat those steps for each image until you're happy with your report and click "submit topic"! You can edit your report for 24 hours after posting to correct errors. If you notice a mistake outside of this window contact a moderator and they will happily rectify the problem for you
  3. History High Royds Lunatic Asylum or the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum as it was originally called, is a former psychiatric hospital near the village of Menston in West Yorkshire. The broad arrow plan asylum features a large array of stone built wards and interconnecting corridors most of which have been demolished leaving the majority of the old wards as independent buildings most now repurposed as modern apartments. The most grand of these buildings, the old administration block which sits at the head of the complex is Grad II listed and is one of the last remaining buildings to be renovated. This building features a large central clock tower which still functions to this day and the main hallways are covered with Italian Mosaic flooring which is intricately decorated with the Yorkshire Rose and black daisies. The Asylum opened on the 8th October 1888 and was in full use until a staged closer which began in 2003 following changes to the attitudes towards mental health care in the United Kingdom. Our Visit Visited withSpider Monkey, Matt Hampshire and Pete ‘Hands’ Costello on another successful SOCC outing :). I’d wanted to see this place for years and after numerous failed attempts in the past I had to take a look once it was back on the scene again. Clearly a lot more of the site has been renovated with only 1 or 2 old wards remaining along with the admin block which are all earmarked for conversion into apartments. Thankfully the Administration Building, the main target of our visit still had plenty of original features left to photograph and I wasn’t disappointed with what there was to shoot. Fortunately the main hall also remained and was accessible via the administration building as well as a few other corridors and kitchen / canteen rooms. Even though I would have loved to have seen this place it its prime I’m glad I managed to finally get to see a little part of it… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Higher res copies of the above photos and a few more on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/10/13/urbex-high-royds-insane-asylum-aka-high-royds-hospital-aka-west-riding-pauper-lunatic-asylum-menston-leeds-west-yorkshire-february-2015/
  4. History The Buzludzha Monument aka The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party is a huge concrete circular structure that many say resembles an abandoned UFO. It sits derelict on top of the Buzludzha mountain slowly crumbling away as it deals with lack of maintenance and fierce winter conditions. The Monument opened in 1981 after being built at a cost of 14 186 000 leva (around 7 000 000 €) but after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 only 8 years later the Communist Headquarters closed and began to fall into disrepair. The master builder was General Delcho Delchev who was in charge of the Stara Zagora civil engineering section. The lead architect of the project was Guéorguy Stoilov. Several famous painters and sculptors also contributed to the intricate decoration. Above the door in bold red paint is the harrowing message: ‘Never forget your past’ while alongside it is the more satirical: ‘Enjoy Communism’, in the style of the Coca-Cola logo clearly added by graffiti artists post closure. The building still holds a lot of significance to the communist party within Bulgaria and each year on the first Sunday in August around 30-40,000 people gather there as part of a socialist party meeting. Our Visit The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party also known as the Buzludzha Monument is one of those places that stands out as being something a bit special and was always a big location on the to-do list, but being so far away in Bulgaria it was just put off time and time again until finally we arranged a SOCC trip :). I’d seen hundreds of photos of this place from all seasons but I was really keeping my fingers crossed that we’d have some snow! Given our travel dates in March it was a long shot and as we travelled across a significant portion of Bulgaria the weather was pretty warm and sunny… Fortunately as we approached the Buzludzha mountain we could see that the peak had a nice dusting of the white stuff! So much so that we couldn’t even get our cars up to the hotel and our base camp for the next few days! After ditching the cars and walking the rest of the way to the hotel we ditched our bags and headed straight up to the monument to catch what was left of the daylight. The Buzludzha, given its location right on the top of the mountain, is very visible for quite some distance as you approach but the sheer size of the structure doesn’t set in until you walk up to the main building. The tower seems much larger than it appears from further away and even more so when you climb the ladders to the top! Once inside we made our way up the main set of stairs into the large circular auditorium which would have previously been filled with hundreds of communist party members. Undeniably the building is now in very poor condition with only the steel reinforced concrete structure remaining and a few original features from the mosaic pictures on the walls of the main room and the iconic emblem on the ceiling, still in the white cover of the snow this place was still very impressive. As it began to get dark I hunted around for access to the tower and made my way up to catch the sunset, I thought some of the other guys were following but I ended up up there alone for a good 45 minutes watching the sun go down over the surrounding mountain tops. Definitely one of those unforgettable moments in life! Shortly after it was back down, back to the hotel and time for cheap beer and local moonshine :D. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Higher res copies of the photos and quite a few more over on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/11/28/urbex-buzludzha-communist-party-monument-bulgaria-march-2015/
  5. Not much info on this one… just another derelict farm house in Wales full of belongings from the previous owners. Visited with Dystopia, Shush, Skanky pants, Travis, Lowri and beardy, this was a special little place full of all sorts of items left from the previous owners. There were signs that the property was beginning to be converted and brought up to date, the kitchen was quite modernised and sawdust indicated that it was fitted post abandonment… I don’t suspect this one will be around for long. Glad I got to see it 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. few more on my blog; http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2013/10/01/urbex-y-heulog-farmhouse-wales-august-2013/ Thanks for looking
  6. Visited with Andy de Kay, Spider Monkey and Matt (Kriegaffe9) I must tip my hat to Darbians for the tip off on this place! After seeing a shot of his from here I had to see this place for myself! Almost all the building had been stripping inside of most of the original features, many floors were back to brick and bare floorboards. Some office space remained pending further strip outs but after almost 40 minutes of searching we still hadn't found the main attraction, the ballroom! We knew it was tricky to find and only accessible via one door onto a balcony from which you had to climb down to the ballroom floor level. As soon as we opened that door we gasped at the sight of this room! Unbelievable in comparison with the state of the rest of the place this part stood almost immaculate with only some minor signs of decay… After covering the ballroom, we snapped a few shots of one of the staircases before leaving happy with what we captured… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. thats it for now, few more will crop up on my report on my website once its no longer NP.
  7. The abandoned Broadoaks Manor was built in 1876 by Ernest Seth-Smith for his elder brother Charles. In 1898 the house was then sold to elderly rich industrialist and between 1911-1946 the house was owned by the brewery owners the Charrington family. The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that the property was originally acquired by the Ministry of Supply in 1946 and later used by the Army Operational Research Group (1948-1996). After closure in 1996 the site was sold by them in 1998 and since then has stood abandoned. Visited with Andy de Kay and Spidermonkey, After a long night in London with no sleep we decided to poke our heads in at this place. I’d seen shots before and admittedly was much more impressed with the exterior which I sadly did not have the chance to capture. Inside the place is quite dull and bland with only a couple of interesting rooms and features. There were clear and obvious signs of modernisation most likely from the Army use of the site with a significant portion of the building being converted to office spaces. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolution copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: Broadoaks Manor
  8. The first building on the site of Selly Oak Hospital was the old King’s Norton Union Workhouse which was built in around 1872 to consolidate existing services for 5 separate parishes. Originally the Hospital was built to accommodate 200 pauper inmates. In 1897 a separate infirmary opened at the site at a cost of £52,000 and was designed by Mr. Daniel Arkell. This infirmary was made to accommodate a further 250 patients and had basic facilities to cater for maternity care but there were no operating theatres or a mortuary at this point. In 1907 the Hospital doubled in size again with further additional buildings being added due to rising populations within the workhouse and increased demand placed upon the infirmary. Over the next two decades facilities further improved with the addition of an operating theatre, plastering of internal walls, and the introduction of physiotherapy, pathological and X-ray services. The Hospital continued to grow with 1931-1936 saw the addition of yet more operating theatres, pathology and biochemistry laboratories and the mortuary. When the NHS was formed the site became known as a whole as Selly Oak Hospital until its final closure in 2012. The reason for the hospital closure was due to the completion of a new Q.E.Hospital which is much larger and offers many more modern facilities. Since 2012 the hospital buildings have stood empty and are in an increasingly derelict state. The abandoned site has seen most of its contents removed and some damage due to metal thieves which temporarily set up camp on the site. In terms of the future of this location, planning permission has been provisionally granted for the construction of 650 homes on the site which means the hospital buildings will most likely be demolished. I am not aware that any works have started on the site at the date of posting this report. Visited with spidermonkey and Andy de Kay. Those two had previously done other parts of the hospital but not managed to locate the morgue and find the access point so We decided to have another look and see if we could pin down where the mortuary was. Fortunately Andy managed to spot the place based on looking at some internal pictures someone else had posted which gave us a couple of clues and after several minute checking the place we found our way inside… I’d already seen pictures of this morgue popping up and was quite keen to check it out. St Peters Mortuary aka Morgue P had always been a favourite of mine and this one was similar in some respects with the 3 metal slabs but lacking the same level of decay. There was something quite appealing about the polished metal slabs and I was pretty pleased with the set up and how the shots came out . As well as the obvious slabs there were ample number of body fridges, a small chapel (which I did not find inspiring enough to shoot) and some laboratories upstairs. The labs had a pretty cool feel to them with some peeling paint and bits of decay starting to set in, it’s shocking really to see how quickly these places decline once they become abandoned. I hope you enjoy the photos: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolition copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: Selly Oak Hospital Morgue
  9. Very little information about the abandoned Villa Beethoven on the internet. All I could find out ws that it was originally owned by a wealthy family and when the mother passed away the inheritance was fought over by the children which resulted in the house being sold to a developer. Plans to renovate the property stalled and the house sits empty… Visited with Lowri, Matt and Andy de Kay. Not the most inspiring of locations that I have visited, sadly the pool was pretty heavily graffitied and the rest of the place was very stripped and vandalised. the saving grace was a nice spiral staircase leading upstairs from the pool area. I imagine it would have been a lovely home in its prime but now it is left rotting away. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolition copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: Villa Beethoven
  10. Moseley Road Baths, located in Birmingham, opened in 1907 and still operates to this day. Very little has been done to alter the layout of the building which means that almost all the original features remain including the private wash baths or ‘slipper’ baths which date to the pre-war era. The building now benefits from Grade II* listed status and is one of only 3 remaining operational baths of its kind in the UK. The 46 Slipper baths, whilst still present at the premises, are no longer in use and the Gala pool also had to close in 2003 due to safety reasons. Complete with a 3 sided spectators gallery the Gala pool was the primary reason for our visit to the baths but we were also fortunate to see the original 45,000 gallon cast iron cold water storage tank in the loft space and one of the only surviving steam-heated drying racks in a British swimming baths. In 2007 The building featured in the Victorian Society’s ten most at risk buildings in Britain and it is expected that without intervention, the Birmingham Council will close the building completely by January 2016. Despite the closure of the Gala pool, Pool 2 is still used frequently but the local community and nearby schools and I can confirm it appeared to be quite busy during our visit. Visited with Baron, Lowri, Katie and David. Thanks to Baron I think who arranged the visit! We had about 40 minutes to an hour shooting the main pool before being taken upstairs to see the Steam racks and the water storage tanks. The pool was great, loads of original features but shame about the scaffolding which had been put in place to prevent any further movement of the pool and balconies. The steam drying racks were really cool, I had come across some elsewhere but these were in such good condition and according to the staff at the baths still functional despite no longer being in use. The water storage tank was huge, the construction of it was really quite something and given its age it was in remarkably good condition. Again this feature is no longer in use but holds great historical value in respect of the technology used to run a place like this back in the early 1900’s. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolution copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: Moseley Road Baths
  11. Visited this abandoned Psychiatric Hospital in Germany with Bram, Lowri, Matt and Andy de Kay. Very little information about this place. After more than a couple of fails and bails Bram thankfully saved our asses and pulled through with this location. A building within a large complex of other buildings some of which were live forming a big psychiatric hospital. The Building we explored was quite a modern addition to the site and this was both clear internally and externally. The power was still on in most parts and allowed us to illuminate the X-ray viewers and a couple of the darker corridors. There were a few bits of contents left behind including a significant amount of patient records which suggests that the building may not have been closed very long. Decay was setting in within some rooms and signs of damp were evident. It looks like some other buildings on the site have also closed and I expect the site is in the process of slowly shutting down completely… Maybe one to revisit 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolition copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: A German Psychiatric Hospital
  12. The now abandoned Ford Transit Van Factory near Southampton has some real history to it. The Factory was initially built as a shadow factory in 1939 near to Southampton Airport and was originally used to produce aircraft parts. In particular the factory, during World War II made components for the Supermarine Spitfire and later was used to assemble the aircraft. As a result it was bombed on several occasions by the Nazi Luftwaffe. After the war, in 1947 the factory was purchased by Briggs Motor Bodies who supplied bodies for Ford Motor Vehicles in the UK. The firm was later bought out by Ford in 1953 who then gained control of the 60,000m2 factory. Production then concentrated upon manufacturing truck bodies to be assembled elsewhere. 1965 the first Transit Van bodies produced in Britain were built at the site and shipped to Langley, Berkshire to be added to the chassis. The Factory saw a huge £5,000,000 investment in 1972 which gave the site the ability to produce the whole Transit Van at the site and at its peak the Factory had 4,500 works employed. In 2002 Ford ceased productions of all of their vehicles except the Transit Van in the UK which left the Southampton factory as the only remaining Ford vehicle producer in the UK. In 2009 as the 6,000,000th Transit Van rolled off the production line the new Ford plant in Turkey came online which resulted in huge staff cuts at the Southampton factory reducing the work force to only 500 employees. Production was gradually phased out from 2011 when Ford announced they were moving part of the production line of Vehicle to Turkey on a permanent basis and in October 2012 it was announced that the Southampton Ford Transit Van factory would close the following year. On the 25th July 2013 the last Transit Van and last Ford Vehicle in the UK was created here Visited with Spider Monkey and Andy de Kay. A pretty intense visit this one was we were joined half way through by an unidentified man casually wondering around the place. Not sure to this day if the guy was security but was made that assumption and proceed with cation. Lets take a step back, It was New Years Day morning, we had just failed miserably in attempting to photograph the fireworks from an undisclosed London Rooftop and a little disappointed about having to catch them from ground level after being ejected by security. A little deflated we thought we’d have a crack at the Transit Van factory hoping it would be quiet. Once inside we had a wonder around and assumed we had the place to ourselves, a couple of hours shooting in the massive factory illuminated by the artificial lighting that was dotted around the place we moved on to the main production line. After snapping a few shots of the awesome Kuka robots we all froze as the main lights to the factory all lit up around us! We dashed to cover behind some control panels and listened as someone casually walked up and down the factory floor… Not content with our hiding place and after a few minutes of silence we moved on in the opposite direction that we had last heard the man. We carried on shooting and made our way onto the upper platform of the production line just in time to see the man again slowly pacing p and down the factory floor. He still hadn’t seen us . We silently made our way up the conveyor which was used to carry body panels up towards the canteen area well out of the mans way. After a short time up there we decided it might be best to make an exit. Other than the area which the man was persistently wondering around we had covered the majority of the main building so we made our Ninja exit without being noticed. Great success and a fun explore. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Higher res copies of the above photos and more images on my website here: Ford Transit Van Factory
  13. A little best of video from 2014 and below that, the first draft which I lost due to a hard drive failure so Final Edit: First Draft: All my videos are over on my Youtube Channel: Proj3ctm4yh3m
  14. 1. History This abandoned grand neo-renaissance styled Mansion was originally a residential dwelling but from the mid 1980’s became a care facility and later a retirement home for the elderly and was linked to the nearby church organisations. Villa Woodstock as this place is most commonly known, was apparently set for demolition before a private investor stepped in to repurpose the old building. I was unable to find much information about the original owners of the property but it was clear from our visit that the majority of the features of the building have been left in-situ with the bulk of the care facilities being added at the rear of the property in much more modern extensions. Inside there is a spacious entrance hallway which leads on to a 2 story skylight topped hallway which is surrounded with a gallery decorated with wrought-iron handrails. My Favourite area to shoot however was the dining room complete with wooden walls and wood covered ceilings. The original serving cabinets were still there and in excellent condition and the adjoining room had an old upright Piano which I am unsure as to whether this was added by the investor who converted the place or another original feature. The future of the place is another uncertainty. From what I can establish the building has received heritage status from the local authority, but it has clearly sat empty for quite some time and is starting to show signs of decay in some of the room. Fortunately, the neighbours are known to keep a very close eye on the place and, as a result, the building has remained free from vandalism. Our Visit Visited with Matt ‘Kriegaffe 9′ Hampshire, Andy de Kay of Behind Closed Doors and Lowri Bate, this was the first spot on a little getaway to Germany which turned out not to be quite as fruitful as we had hoped! We arrived early, got in under the cover of darkness and before it came light we were greeted by some other explorers and decided to split off into 2 groups to cover the place. I started downstairs in the dining room but sadly didn’t spend long there as I expected to come back to this room once it got a little lighter. After shooting the Skylight in the Hall, I made my way upstairs to shoot from the Gallery. It wasn’t long after this that Police showed up and the visit was cut short . I’d certainly like to revisit this one, despite most of the contents being removed some of the architectural features alone would be enough to make me revisit and I could spend a few hours shooting the detail in that dining room woodwork! I hope this place gets saved before its too late. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Sorry there arent too many more shots from here, we had to cut it short . Couple more on my blog and higher res copies of the ones above: Villa Woodstock
  15. 1. As is often the case with some of these European locations I have been unable to source a great deal of information about this abandoned Courthouse in Germany. What we do know is that the building opened in 1910 and was the home to the Internal Affairs Agency and the District Court. The building closed in 2009 when the Courts were transferred into a new modern building. Developers currently have control of the site and much of the inside had been stripped back to block work or demolished. The grand entrance hall with its maze of staircases are one of the few remaining original features and these were reason enough to add this place to our list of locations for the trip. Visited the abandoned Courthouse with Lowri, Matt and Andy de Kay. This was our second attempt at this place after we tried only a few months before… The place is a bit of a concrete maze inside but fortunately it didn’t take too much figuring out before we managed to locate the main attraction, the dominating staircases just inside the main entrance.. The building is clearly being worked on by contractors and having arrived at the spot pretty early before daylight, we had assumed we might struggle for lighting… We were quite pleasantly surprised when we discovered that the whole entrance hall had been careful lit with strip lights presumably by contractors. Rather than randomly placed the lights were pretty evenly spaced and symmetrical which meant we had some pretty nice light for shooting in the early hours until we had a bit more natural light to compliment it. Although limited to only 2 rooms the detail in the architecture was something else at this place and I could have quite happily shot here for hours, we were however on a little bit of a schedule so after a couple of hours we were on our way to the next location. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Higher res copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my website if you are interested: Stairporn Courthouse
  16. Birkwood Asylum dates from the 1860's and closed in 2002. The most attractive of the buildings and the feture of this report is the old Birkwood House which was constructed in 1819 and was a stately home until the 1860's when an additional wing was added and the Asylum established. Many additional buildings were added over the years within the grounds which are all now crumbing and falling apart while the old stone built stately home remains! Supposedly haunted by some doctor who was killed by a patient in one of the pink coloured wards upstairs the site has become a frequently visited location for 'ghost hunters' infact we saw some on our first trip here but thankfully this time we had the place to ourselves. Visited with Baron Scotland and Lowri, we mainly just went for the spiral staircase but I snapped a few other shots before we moved on to the next location. Currently developers are working on the building as part of a £50 million rennovation and I believe some new contractor lighting has been installed on the staircase. Anyways on with the photos! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Few more photos and high res copies of the ones above on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2014/06/15/urbex-asylum-b-somewhere-scotland-april-2014-revisit/
  17. Not a great deal of information on this gigantic abandoned Power Station which is currently undergoing decommissioning. After seeing a couple of reports from some close friends we decided to throw this onto our list for the trip, the first location in fact as an early start seemed appropriate. We approached in the dark, got a couple of externals and made our way inside for daybreak. I’m glad we went early because after exploring the main turbine house and spending an hour or so checking out the rooftops, before we were able to move on to some other buildings we were interrupted… Andy was on the ground floor while I was up on the gantry taking a shot of the main interior when i got a call “workers!†cue the lengthy 1 hour ninja exit which saw us narrowly avoid capture multiple times before bumping into another group of explorers who were on their way in to play cat and mouse with the contractors . So much fun, this place was immense! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Enjoyed these? More on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2014/07/02/urbex-gigawatt-power-station-aka-power-plant-xl-aka-the-cloud-factory-belgium-may-2014/
  18. The Atlantic Ghost Fleet aka The Ghost Ships, I’ve wanted to explore this mothballed collection of ships for ages! I won’t be going too much into the history of these ships for now but from what I understand the fleet is still Military owned and is ultimately set to be scrapped. I believe they are holding onto them temporarily for spare parts to be used on other ships and helicopters. This explore was probably one of my favourite and the most memorable trips to date. Visited with Andy de Kay. We were advised to access them with the cover of darkness and make all attempts to be back on shore before sunrise. Given our time restrictions we couldn’t spend full 24 hours there so we opted to try a midnight entry spend a few hours there and head back to shore. As we got closer to the location I realised we hadn’t really checked exactly where we needed to go for the best place to launch from and so I quickly scrambled around sending messages to a good friend who had already been. After 20 minutes sitting in a lay-by, we had directions and a rough map to follow and we were off . As is probably clear from the photographs, the ships are anchored out to sea in a small bay with no harbour or port, this leaves you with limited options for entry and so we decided on the dinghy route . Fortunately when we arrived at the shoreline we had a small amount of moonlight so that we could see our targets and this also provided some assistance when navigating the waters. We quickly pumped up the dinghy and grabbed a couple of quick long exposures before packing up our gear and casting off the dinghy. I was so excited as we silently made our way around the huge silhouettes of the smaller vessels before we arrived at the larger group of three ships, an old anti-aircraft cruiser and made our way on board. We hid the dinghy and headed inside to have a quick look around. It wasn’t long after this that the calm clear night which had been very favourable for our boarding took a turn for the worse… As we made our way down to the lower decks to around sea level we could clearly hear noises of the water crashing against the boat which was starting to rock a little and making all sorts of banging noises as they bumped against one another. Unfortunately despite loving water and being able to swim I get awful seas sickness… Although the boats were not in full motion then rocking of the sea started to get to me and combined with the lack of sleep and food from this trip I was really starting to feel rough . We went upstairs with a view to getting some fresh air but when we reached the main captains deck we found that those heavy winds had turned into a full on storm! rain was pounding down on the ships and winds were howling. Andy went out to bag a few shots with his waterproof 5d while I retired to catch a few zzz’s on the captains bunk (not as comfy as you might think). By the time I woke up it was getting light, we wanted to head back to shore but the winds were still pretty violent and rain was still heavy. Fortunately as we considered our options of swimming back to shore the storm seemed to die down and the rain stopped! Already 2 hours late in setting off to make our train home we went back out on the deck of the ships to take a few more photographs before heading back to shore. just as we were about to leave the boat we spotted the huge blue Masurca missiles on the stern of the ship! Jaw dropped! these things were awesome! left there decaying still on the launch mechanism they stood out as my favourite part of the ships! Just as we were about 20 meters or so from the shore back on the dinghy, we heard the sound of a motor… Coastguard! they were circling the main ships. Not sure if they spotted us as we were already near the shoreline, but it was a narrow escape for sure! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Thnks for looking, higher res copies and more photos on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/05/29/urbex-the-atlantic-ghost-fleet-france-october-2014/
  19. My second trip to Greenbank Synagogue aka The Ark in Liverpool. Constructed in 1936 and was used by an active congregation until 2007 when the synagogue finally closed its doors. Greenbank originally gained its listed status in 1983 however this was upgraded to Grade II* status shortly after its closure in 2008 and has been on the ‘at risk’ register since 2010. It is hoped the repairs will secure its long-term future and help find a new use for it however until then the building sits empty in a derelict state. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Thanks for looking
  20. The derelict Miranda’s Church in Yorkshire. After hearing a few people make reference to this place having some features, namely the ceiling which were similar to the ones at Castle Miranda aka Château Noisy I had to check it out. Visited with Andy K of Behind Closed Doors for a relatively local explore. Quite happy with this place the ceiling was pretty stunning and I can see the similarities which people mentioned. The church itself is pretty knackered, not sure what will ultimately happen to the place. The structure could probably be salvaged if someone acted quickly however I expect this one will stand abandoned for sometime and ultimately fall apart. On with the photos: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Higher res copies of the above photos and more on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/01/18/urbex-mirandas-church-aka-blue-church-yorkshire-united-kingdom-august-2014/
  21. First a bit of history The Royal Hospital Haslar was founded in 1753 and was designed and built by Theodore Jacobsen between 1946-1961. When it was constructed it was both the largest hospital and brick built building in England. Britain’s first Naval Hospital which span a huge area on the coastline of Gosport is also the site of a massive unmarked grave site with an estimated 7,785 buried sailors. The Hospital was built on Haslar creek just up the coast from the harbour. After the sick and wounded were delivered to the shore from the main battleships they would be loaded onto handcarts and pushed into the main entrance of the hospital where the original tracks are still present to this day leading from the shoreline. The hospital also included an asylum for sailors with psychiatric disorders, and an early superintending psychiatrist was the phrenologist, Dr James Scott (1785–1859), a member of the influential Edinburgh Phrenological Society. This gigantic hospital opened with enough beds to service 1800 patients and cost £100,000 to construct. Because of the high number of deserters from the navy ranks Haslar was built at the end of a peninsula and was originally planned to have 4 sides and the building was designed to be a prison as much as it was a Hospital. There are many reports of escape attempts through sewerage channels that feed out into the sea and through upper floor windows which lead to guard towers being constructed. In 1758 Haslar’s chief surgeon, James Lind discovered the cure for Scurvy which at the time was responsible for the highest number of fatalities of seamen. Although at the time Lind didn’t quite understand the results of his cure and attributed the recovery to other factors and so the cure was not implemented until 1795. In 1805 Haslar Hospital serviced the wounded from the Battle of Trafalgar and, as a result, is sometimes referred to as Nelson’s Hospital. It is thought that some of the sailors unfortunate enough not to survive make up some of the unmarked graves found within a small grassy area on the site. The Hospital Cemetery was supposedly planned out in the initial design phases but with the amount of bodies buried in such a small area it is clear that capacity at some point was vastly exceeded. In 1902 the hospital became known as the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar (abbreviated to RNH Haslar). In 1966, the remit of the hospital expanded to serve all three services – the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, after which time, it became known as the Royal Military Hospital Haslar. In 2001, the provision of acute healthcare within Royal Hospital Haslar was transferred from the Defence Secondary Care Agency to the NHS Trust. Haslar was also granted Grade II listed status as a historic park. The hospital formally closed in 2009 and the site has since started to be redeveloped. More recently the owners of the site as well as the Ministry of defence were called for comment in respect of the huge amount of medical equipment and machinery which was left behind and both have issued statements advising that the equipment was outdated and would have been uneconomical to relocate and re-commission them. It is worth noting that whilst a lot of the former equipment has been moved from the hospital, however, there are a lot of larger medical machines which one would assume must hold some useful value. It is reported that some of the equipment was shipped off to help in the Pakistan flood appeal in 2010. Our visit Back again for my 4th trip to Haslar this time accompanied by Spider Monkey and Andy K of Behind Closed Doors. One of my favourite memories of this trip was waking up after catching a couple of hours sleep on the comfy blue mattresses in the upper ward which was one of the only wards with all its remaining furniture. I don’t think I could ever get tired of wandering around this huge building and it was interesting to see some of the decay starting to set in some areas which wasn’t present in previous trips. I think the only different part which I covered this time but hadn’t seen in previous trips was the rooftop above the main entrance which offered up a good view of the site. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Cheers for checking out the report, higher res copies of the above photos and a few more that didnt make the cut for this report on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/03/09/urbex-the-royal-hospital-haslar-aka-serenity-hospital-gosport-september-2014-revisit-3/
  22. The Abandoned Hotel Thermal aka Hotel Des Theremes is a derelict hotel rotting away somewhere in France. The hotel complex is quite large and we only managed to explore one of the main buildings, what appeared to be accommodation area and recreational areas. The complex specialised in ‘healing baths’ targeted towards the elderly. I understand that nearby hot springs were used to provide some of the water used to bath the elderly customers and these springs were said to have had special healing properties. I’m unsure exactly when the buildings closed but by the looks of the decay and the very limited documents left behind my best guess would be the late 1990 to early 2000’s. The site also houses an apparently active laundry service of some description with several large white lorries parked outside and chimneys venting steam on a regular basis. There was another large building across from the one we photographed that looked really interesting featuring large sweeping curved walls, we are unsure of what was inside but the building also appeared abandoned. Visited this abandoned hotel with Matt Kriegaffe Hampshire, Scott Darby and Andy K, we arrived late in the day after a relatively unsuccessful morning we had very little time to explore this place before we were due to leave for our train home. Sadly it took us longer to find a way inside than we had to spare so after a quick chat we decided to miss our departure time and go for a later shuttle. I’m really glad we made that choice as this place was a lot more impressive from the inside than it looked from its dreary grey concrete exterior. Once inside we were almost immediately greeted by 2 long rooms, the first featuring a large circular skylight reflecting nicely in puddles of water on the floor. Next door was a beautiful long blue ballroom or dining room with mirrors at either end and decorative ceiling plaster. Then came the main staircase in the entrance hall going up 3 levels with a red carpet covering it was pretty photogenic. On the first floor we accidentally stumbled across a large nesting area for well over 100 bats which after a few flew past us we left well alone . Other than the grand features downstairs and in the main entrance there was a lot of empty corridors and empty bedrooms at this place striped over all their contents and fixtures. One or 2 bathrooms remained and we found what appeared to be a chapel that was unfortunately sealed off from the building we had access to. All in all a pleasurable explore around this place, well worth the 2 hour delay we had getting home! Enjoy the photos: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Thanks for checking out the report higher res copies of the above photos can be found on my blog: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2014/10/19/urbex-hotel-thermale-france-june-2014/
  23. The abandoned Hospital of Wheelchairs… Not much information on this one. This building from what I understand was once a private residence but was later used as a retirement home / residential care centre which catered for the elderly in their final days. Despite its name there was little evidence to suggest that this building functioned as anything other than a care home. There were a couple of beds in the basement which could have been consultation tables but I would suspect that few medical treatments would have taken place here. Visited with Andy K, Lowri, Scott, Stussy and Carl. We arrived at this place the day before our visit with enough time to see the place… As we approached the location we decided to drive on by and spin the car around in an attempt to find somewhere to park. We came across a little lay-by area and we had just spun the car around as we were approached by another vehicle containing an angry German man and a woman who proceeded to shout at us in German for a little while as I tried to explain that we were lost and looking for our hotel. Being too close to the location and with the angry German driving by several more times as we discussed our options we decided to head for the hotel for a few beers and tackle this one in the morning. The next day we retuned bright and early, found a parking spot and headed into the derelict Hospital of Wheelchairs. I’d seen photos of this place before so I had a good idea of what we would expect to find inside. The place lived up to expectations and provided many great photo opportunities. Multiple wheelchairs could be found in a number of rooms, my favourite being the one on the balcony upstairs overlooking a nearby forest. The building itself was a bit of a mishmash in construction with the original grand building being rather impressive but then a clear modern extension had been added to one side which added a lift for the geriatric patients along with some additional rooms. The main staircase and the living room which had a lovely carved wooden fireplace were both very impressive and it was easy to imagine how much of a nice place this would have been in its prime with all its lovely features and a great remote location. We spend a good couple of hours here taking photos and were once again blessed with some nice weather and good light to illuminate some of the dimly lit ground floor rooms. Thankfully the place is relatively free from vandalism, there was evidence of fake blood which made me think someone may have staged a horror shoot or filmed something here post abandonment but thankfully no mindless graffiti tags which was a nice change. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Thanks for checkoing out the report, higher res copies and more photos available on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/01/07/urbex-krankenhaus-von-rollstuhlen-aka-hospital-wheelchairs-germany-august-2014/
  24. A huge Château located in a large grounds, Château Japonais aka Château des Chasseurs is quite isolated from the nearby homes. This gorgeous castle has been somewhere I have wanted to photograph since I saw pictures online. Clearly the building had fallen into disrepair but observations during our trip suggest that the building is undergoing some renovation works and will one day hopefully be restored to its former glory. Some of the most interesting remaining features include the first-floor chapel located at one end of the Château which was in surprisingly good condition compared to some of the other areas. The central staircase whilst smaller than I had imagined was a nice feature and the basement rooms had some lovely arched brick ceiling. For me personally it was all about the exterior of this place, the 2 main turrets and the curved staircases front and back made for a really unique design which was really awesome to capture. The building lived up to expectations and was a joy to photograph. Visited with Andy de Kay 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Thanks for checking out the report, more over on the website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/05/11/urbex-chateau-japonais-aka-chateau-des-chasseurs-france-october-2014/
  25. The Royal Docks and Millennium Mills closed in 1981. The neighbouring Rank and CWS mills were demolished in the 1990’s as well as the Silos B and C however D was to remain as it was granted Grade II Listed status along with the Mills themselves which are locally listed by Newham Council. After many failed schemes to transform the site, in mid 2014 news was that the long abandoned Millennium Mills art deco building would be the centre of a £500 Million Investment in the area funded by mainly overseas investors. However on the UK government website in January 2015 it was announced that the Mills will be transformed into a business park as a result of a £12 Million government funded project. Works are expected to take 5 years and continues to be part of the above mentioned investment in the area which has reportedly increased to £3.5 Billion. Work has certainly started on the site and there were signs of the beginning of works when we visited. Recently in the news (February 2015) it was reported that a fire broke out engulfing several floors as contractors were cutting metals which released sparks that travelled through gaps in the floor igniting rubbish in the floors below. Visited with Spider Monkey and Andy de Kay. We decided to stop off at this iconic location and try our luck. The visit was an interesting once since security showed up the second we got out of the car doing a random external patrol we were watched intently while we slowly made our way around the perimeter followed by the security guard slowly in his vehicle. Obviously he had clocked our camera bags and tripods and must have instantly known what we were up to but not phased we soon lost the guard and made our way inside. We headed towards the rooftops snapping shots on some of the floors as we ascended one of the many central staircases before travelling back down the other side of the building capturing a few more pictures of the old mill rooms. The light was nice and soft overcast with clouds which worked well with the neutral colours of the concrete building. Quite happy with how the shots came out and really glad to finally tick this one off the list: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. More photos and higher res copies of the ones above on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/02/11/urbex-spillers-millennium-mills-london-united-kingdom-september-2014/ Cheers for looking
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