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  1. A few photos from an exploring roadtrip of Essex and Kent with Mookster and our American explorer friend from back in April. Another backlog, and another one where I managed to set my camera to JPEG. DOHHH!!!! We clambered through some undergrowth and spent about 45 minutes inside. We were in one of the large corridors and heard barking. We absolutely pegged it down the corridor; I'm carrying quite a lot of extra weight so there was no chance to sneak into a side room for 10 mins. We heard the inevitable "OI!" from about 300 yards down the corridor, we'd been seen. I don't believe in running when actually caught; so we turned back and walked up to the security and explained ourselves. He asked us how we got in, marched us to the gate and let us go onto the road right by my car. result! I think our American friend was pleasantly suprised by how easy it went down. - St George's Hospital is a disused hospital situated on Suttons Lane in Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, in North East London. It opened its doors in 1939 as "Suttons Institution" and was used during World War II to house airmen from the nearby RAF Hornchurch. In 1948 during its advent into the NHS; it was renamed St George's. The site has remained empty since 2012 and the vacant site has since been transferred into the ownership of NHS Property Services when the company was formed in April 2013. There are plans are in place for a new health centre on site, with the remaining land being converted to housing; Quelle Supríse! #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157693679140750
  2. So on the same day that I first went to the Cop Shop in Brentwood, Essex, we decided to drive 20 miles to the disused Police Station in Witham. It was OK, but probably not worth the extra driving. It was more of a cottage design inside. Quite a nice relaxed explore though and had water and heating. I think this was closed as part of the massive cost cutting operation in Essex, but there isn't a huge amount of history. Witham was closed before Brentwood, and the Police Department vacated in April 2016. closed in April 2016 In December 2017; the former Police Station was put up for sale with a guide price of £875.000 but was eventually sold early 2018 for £1.6million planning permission has been submitted to convert the site into a nursery school keeping all the outside features in place and nothing to be demolished. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157668348539988
  3. I visited this site on two separate occasions; once in early April with a non-explorer friend; and again a week later with Mookster and our American Explorer friend who is over on a uni placement. The site is in the middle of a busy town, right on the main road and is in pretty good condition; not surprising as it only closed in December 2017. Inside its very very bare and only a few features redeem it. It's nice and relaxed and all the power is still on, meaning that the cell panic alarms work and can be silenced from the central panel. Brentwood is one of several Police Stations in Essex to close recently; Tim and I explored Witham Station on the first visit. The Police Station was built in 1937 and In December 2015 it was announced by Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, that 15 police stations were to be closed to the public in Essex as part of a £63million spending cut. Brentwood Police Station was one of the 9 Police Stations closing completely. He stated that the buildings were buildings were no longer fit for purpose. "Police officers, not buildings, fight crime," Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said. "We spend too much on too many police buildings, many of which are either no longer fit for policing or are hardly used by the public to report crime. Bentwood Police station was eventually closed to the public in April 2016, and was finally fully vacated by the Police in December 2017. Police Operations have now moved to the local Town Hall. The building was closed as it cost £10million per year in running costs, and would have cost a further £30million in maintenance to bring it to modern standards. Kemsley LLP have recently announced the earmarking of Brentwood Police Station for proposed residential development. The former Police Station extends to approximately 2.75 acres and a planning application is to be submitted for 70-100 dwellings as part new builds,and part conversion of existing buildings. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157696171022175
  4. History The Chapel of St. Luke, designed by Elcock and Sutcliffe (two prominent architects at the time), was the chapel attached to Runwell Mental Health Hospital. It was constructed in 1937, alongside the hospital. Once competed the entire site was viewed as a pioneering development in mental health hospitals and the project boosted both architect’s reputations significantly. The hospital was divided into several specific zones, separating buildings and patients according to purpose and diagnosis. The Grade 2 listed chapel was placed at the principal junction at the top of the drive. The chapel, which has a cruciform ground plan, is constructed of white brick with heavy ashlar masonry. Its design is reported to be in an eclectic Mediterranean style with clever positioning of windows to light the alter and nave. Some of the building’s key features include the tiled mansard roof, an apse at the east end and a circular stair tower with a spiral staircase to the north of the apse. As for the furnishings, the altar, riddle posts, organ, choir stalls and lectern are all made of varnished timber. The pulpit, organ and choir stalls are all said to have jazz modern fluted frieze (a particular type of design), and the lights in the main nave take the form of roman lamps. Closure of the hospital was announced in the late 1990s. The entire site was gradually closed down, bit by bit, for many years after this date though. In the end, it did not close until 2010, as this was when the final closure and decommissioning of the site was eventually set. By April of the same year, all staff and patients at the hospital had been moved out. Today, only a handful of the site’s buildings have survived demolition, which started in 2012; these include the water tower, the Chapel of St. Luke and part of the administration building. It is rumoured that the chapel’s bell tower is now the home to a colony of bats, and that Chelmsford County Council are looking into ways of finding alternative accommodation for the creatures so that the building can be reused. Our Version of Events While cruisin’ around one of the new housing estates in Runwell, the Chapel of St. Luke appeared on the horizon. Without too much ducking and diving, or getting impaled on fences, we quickly found ourselves on the grounds of the chapel. At first glance, we thought that the building matches the style of the new housing estate that now surrounds it particularly well. The church has a modern feel to it, but, unfortunately, there isn't much left of it. After a quick sing song on the piano and a failed attempt at playing the organ, it was time to head back to the car and get back on the road! There wasn’t very much to see so it was a quick in-out jobbie. Explored with A-Jay. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14:
  5. History The Odeon Cinema in Harlow, designed by T. P. Bennett & Son, was constructed in 1959. It opened on 1st February 1960 and in doing so became the first cinema to be built for the Rank Organisation (a British entertainment conglomerate) after the Second World War. The cinema originally had 1,244 seats and featured a stepped raised section at the rear, rather than the traditional overhanging balcony; a design style that had initially been common throughout the UK in both theatres and cinema houses. The projection suite was positioned above the raised section of seating and had an almost level throw to the large screen in front. The cinema closed in 1987 for refurbishment and expansion plans to be carried out. The venue was converted so that it could feature three screens and increase its overall capacity. The raised section at the back was converted into two separate smaller cinema rooms, while the ground floor, which retained the original box and screen, was kept as a larger screen room. No further work was carried out on the cinema until 2001, when the venue was rebranded to follow the new Odeon style. Only minor stylistic changes were made throughout the building. Despite growing competition in and around the local area, as larger modern multiplex screens were opened, the Odeon in Harlow managed to survive until August 2005. Nevertheless, owing to the rapidly declining number of visitors the venue was forced to close as it was no longer economically viable to run. Although it was purchased almost immediately after closure, the premises has remained abandoned since the year it closed. Our Version of Events After hearing that the old Harlow Odeon was once again doable, we decided to head over that way while we happened to be south of the border.As rumour had it, the main cinema rooms were said to still be largely intact in terms of how vandalised they were. When we first arrived, though, we thought we’d made a terrible mistake. The building looked tiny from the outside, and incredibly plain. What made things worse was that we’d managed to time getting out of the car with a freak torrential downpour, so we got fucking soaked. We made the classic mistake, unlike those quintessential British individuals out there, in that we forgot to bring a brolly with us. With there being no obvious way of getting inside initially, we were forced to take shelter for a while beneath a grotty bus stop that was obviously a popular chav haunt. There were that many empty bottles of White Lightening around us, and green gozzies on the pavement, it should have been done out in Burberry Tartan. But, the upside to seeking shelter was that we had time to think about how we might get inside the cinema. So, after a bit of creative thinking we came up with an elaborate-ish plan to access the premises. All we can say is that it’s a good job it was still raining because we were pretty damn visible getting in the way we did. Once inside we quickly discovered that the rumours seemed to be true. All around us there was a distinct lack of graffiti and still plenty of ‘stuff’ lying around to satisfy our bizarre fascination for dusty things. We quickly dried ourselves off as best as possible and then proceeded to get the cameras out. The only disappointing thing about the place at this point was the noticeable number of dead pigeons scattered around the room. It looked as though there has been an epic pigeon battle with very few survivors. There were enough skeletons to rival the Catacombs of Paris, albeit these take up much less room. Some were still fairly squishy too, as I discovered when one of my tripod legs accidently went through one of the poor bastards. Getting it off again was another issue, but we won’t go there. Anyway, despite the pigeon problem we cracked on and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves among three large-ish screen rooms. Each of them are in various states of decay, but if anything this makes them all the more photogenic – if you manage to light the fuckers up that is! That certainly wasn’t an easy task. What made it even more difficult were the surviving kamikaze pigeons that seemed determined to challenge our presence in the cinema. These must have been the victorious ones from the carnage we found earlier. Nevertheless, despite the pigeons there was still a powerful feeling as we stood amongst hundreds of empty seats. The room was silent, except for the odd flap of wings. All those empty eyes were looking ahead, all facing the same direction, mindless in their long wait for the show to begin. Perhaps it was the previous evenings beer and whiskies still talking, but this got us thinking. We were creating new images of a place – one that used to display images to wide audiences who each had their own discrete image (apparently) – whose own image was built entirely around images. Out of all those images, then, was there anything real about any of the images this building has accommodated? Or are they all just for the point of satisfying those empty eyes and minds? Absolutely fucking baffled with our own bullshit, we promptly decided to drop the topic and go check if the lights still worked. If anything, they would offer us some sort of clarity… We concluded our wander around the Odeon with a quick look at the main entrance area which was by far the most fucked part of the building. Our search for the light switches had brought us here. Despite our initial disappointment at the state of this part of the building, we did in fact find the light switch room where we discovered that the power was still turned on. Obviously, an occasion like this called for us to turn all the switches on and run around the building to see which lights were working. It was like Durham Palladium all over again! Without the risk of falling through the floorboards of course. This kept us occupied for a good fifteen minutes or so. After that, though, we decided to switch everything off and make our escape to continue with our day of intrepid exploring… Or not. As it turned out, we didn’t end up getting into anything else, so by the evening we found ourselves back in the company of a fine single malt. Explored with Ford Mayhem. 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:
  6. History HM Prison Bullwood Hall in Hockley, Essex, was a Category C (for individuals who are unlikely to attempt escape but cannot be trusted in open conditions) women’s prison and Young Offenders Institution run by the Her Majesty’s Prison Service. It was built in the 1960s to service as a female borstal – a type of youth detention centre sometimes known as a ‘borstal school’ – on the grounds of Bullwood Hall and its 48.2 acre estate which was purchased by the Prison Commissioners in 1955. In later years, the facility was extended to hold adult female prisoners. This amalgamation, however, was the cause of much controversy as many critics argued that it is unlawful and unethical to hold young girls in the same institution as adult female offenders, especially since they cannot be treated in the same way. All in all, the prison had a maximum capacity of two hundred and thirty-four. These cells were split between seven different wings designated A-G. A Wing had thirty cells over two landings; B Wing had thirty-two cells over two landings; C Wing had thirty-three cells over two landings; D Wing had eighteen single cells and eight doubles; E Wing had six single and six double cells; F Wing had six single cells; and G Wing was an induction area with forty double cells over two landings. As with most prisons across the UK, Bullwood also featured a sports hall, outdoor Astroturf field and gymnasium, communal and general recreation areas and other services that were housed in adjoining buildings to the prison. In 2002 Bullwood Hall prison was featured in a television series of six thirty minute documentaries titled ‘The Real Bad Girls’. Although the facility was portrayed in a positive light, a report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons emerged in 2005 criticising the establishment for still using the practice of ‘slopping out’ (the manual emptying of human waste when prison cells do not feature a flushing toilet). In 2006 the prison was also singled out for its high levels of attempted suicide and self-harm amongst its inmates. By the end of 2006 a decision was made to move all female prisoners to alternative sites and change the facility into a prison targeted specifically at housing foreign national prisoners. On the whole, the institution was rated as being successful, safe and purposeful; although, a number of concerns were still highlighted. While the general environment was rated as being good, there were still concerns about sanitation arrangements, which were viewed as degrading, and the rehabilitation programme that was meant to reduce the risk of reoffending and support resettlement back into the community. The reoffending criticism was highlighted as the principal concern because there was no offending behaviour programme in place. Instead, prisoner’s immigration statuses were reported as taking precedence over behaviour management. Despite efforts to improve the standards of the facility, the government announced that the institution would be one of seven British prisons to close in 2013. The announcement was made on 10th January 2013 and the site closed on 28th March 2013. Bullwood Hall has remained abandoned since this time. Our Version of Events Although we’d heard that Bullwood Hall prison was sealed up tight we decided to try our luck and pay the place a quick visit.After all, there’s something particularly enticing about breaking into a prison. So, after a spot of breakfast on our journey over to Hockley, we arrived at the site in good time to have a proper search around for a possible way in. The first twenty minutes of wandering and examining every potential way of getting inside proved fruitless though, and we were rapidly losing all hope that we’d get inside. However, after squeezing our way though some very prickly brambles and other spikey shit around the back of the site, we stumbled across a gaping hole in the fence. The only problem was that someone had cut it fairly high up, to avoid a solid metal plate fixed behind the lower levels of the wire mesh. Somehow, we managed to scale the fence and squeeze our way through the makeshift gap. But, in the process we pretty much destroyed the clothes we were wearing by puncturing them with holes as the cutters of the opening had done a very crude job. It was certainly a very painful experience; although, getting in and out this way was still way more preferable than clambering over the razor wire at the top of the fence. Once on the other side we hobbled on and headed straight for the cell blocks ahead of us. Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that the main cell block was sealed up tight, so we had to make do with touring around some of the smaller wings. However, this quickly turned out to be a lot more interesting than we’d first anticipated because we ended up convincing ourselves that we’d tripped some sort of alarm. After spending a little over five minutes in one of the cell blocks, we suddenly heard the all-too-familiar sound of bleeping. But we were unsure where the alarm was actually coming from, or where the live sensors were, and after a fairly thorough search we still failed to uncover the cause of the sound. From that point on we were almost certain that security would be on their way – because we’d heard they’re pretty ‘on it’ at this site – so we made haste to cover as much of the facility as possible before we ended up as temporary residents of Bullwood Hall. Half an hour later, though, and with much of the site covered, it was pretty obvious that no one was coming for us. So, feeling less like fleeing convicts, we slowed down the pace and took a bit more time taking our photographs. All in all, then, the prison was fairly photogenic, but the fuck load of graffiti scrawled over the place spoiled it a wee bit. It kind of reminded us of an Aussie explore – which tend to be absolutely caked in shit graff. Nevertheless, it’s always cool to have free roam of a prison for a couple of hours. After that, having satisfied our desire to be governors of the institution for a while, we called it a day and made our exit through the same painful entranceway we’d used previously to get in. From there we made our way back to the car and quickly discovered that we’d left the driver’s side door wide open the entire time we’d been in the prison. Fortunately, everything was still in place inside the car, including our phones, and the vehicle itself was still there. Our luck must be down to the fact that we were parked outside a former prison. Had we done the same thing outside George Barnsleys or the Falcon Works, I can’t say there would still have been a car there upon our return. Explored with Ford Mayhem. 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:
  7. A little bit of history on another place I'm sure you've all seen plenty before - The 300-acre (120 ha) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence). Psychiatrists were free to experiment with new treatments on patients seemingly at will, using practices now considered unsuitable such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and the use of frontal lobotomy. The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990s following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, etc., as a temporary building for nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. A few of the satellite villas as of 2013 are still operational as research facilities on the edge of the site. (Copied from Wikipedia, though loads of info on the hospital to be found here too- http://severallshospital.co.uk/#/home-page/4531049539 Annd the explore - Explored again with TheVampiricSquid and a couple other explorers. After a reluctant 4am start, (cheers to thevampiricsquid for letting me crash at his, I'm not sure how I would have fared if I'd had to do that extra bit of driving in the morning!) helped by the downing of energy drinks and a stop at maccie's we finally made it over to essex to meet the others just as daylight came creeping in. Over the quite frankly evil fence we went, and off to the main building. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for much other than the main building this time, yet another place far too large for just one day, looks like I'm going to have to revisit, what a shame! Once again, I'd seen hundreds of photos, but when faced with the real thing, it was another story. The decay in this place is stunning, one of my favourite rooms being a hall with black paint bleeding down the walls, and of course, the corridors… well what can I say, words can't really do this place much justice! We spent a fair few hours wandering the main building, and tried and failed to get into the water tower and the morgue, all somehow without getting busted, then, right as we were about to leave, my tripod decided to fail me and my poor wide angle hit the floor bit of a damper on the day, but what can you do, these things happen.. >.< Anyway, enough rambling, and on with some photos - Thanks for looking ^.^
  8. The explore... A very early start again, a liquid monster breakfast, and a couple of hour drive down to collect S9, then onwards to begin the longest explore to date. High spirits and expectations were quickly dashed on arrival as we spotted a hi-viz from a distance near our planned entry point and the next hour and a half was spent trying to outwit him. After a textbook flanking manoeuvre we made our entry and blood was drawn in the process. The next 8 ½ hours was asylum heaven. Pretty much everything here for the derp-addict. Met up with the Hi-viz secca man at the end, as we couldn’t be arsed climbing out again, so waited for him to find us. He was a very pleasant chap and was quite bemused that it was us, still here since the morning encounter. He scribbled down our made-up names and addresses and let us out through another gate (about 600 miles from my car). Another can of Redbull was consumed for the looong drive back to Lincoln. Some history and pictures below, hope you like! Severalls Hospital history (stolen from S9 thanks mate) The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence). The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990's following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, as a temporary building for the nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the central boiler house in 2007. In 2008, the sale of the hospital site, including its extensive grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the building industry. Planning permission was however granted in 2011 to redevelop the site. Today Building work is now up to the perimeter of the main site on the eastern side. This includes the construction of a new road that will link the A12 with the junction of the Northern Approach Road and Mill Road. As a consequence the dog walker's path is closed whilst the new road(s) intersect it. It seems unclear when work will start on the main site. Much was made of the announcement late last year that work would start this year, but rumour has it, that this has fallen through, yet again. In my theory the new road will provide a good way to carry poor old Severalls away once demolition starts, as it avoids the majority of residential areas with a useful direct link to the A12. If the redevelopment has fallen through, it can only mean this Essex beauty spot can be enjoyed for sometime yet. Thanks again to Session9 for a cracking day! 1. Exterior 2. 3. Once A 2000 bed asylum, where did all the other beds go? 4. 5. Found this little dude, half cocooned, in a basement and spent quite a while witnessing his birth, not a dry eye in the place haha 6. Day Room 7. Wall Mural 8. Turd Area. Why didn't I open those two first doors for a better shot?! 9. The most photogenic corridor in my opinion, really liked the pastel colours in this one. 10. Medium-level bombing 11. Astro-turf, derpy radiators, and a tree. 12. Anyone know what the yellow bars are? 13. 14. X-Ray Dept. 15. Hard to get away from the corridor porn in this place 16. The dangers of Vindaloo 17. Yes, I checked, and no 18. Mmmmm, corridors 19. 20. Kitchen Area 21. My toilet obsession, eh S9? 22. Selfie to end with. Picture credit to Session9 Thanks for looking everyone. Feedback appreciated as always
  9. This is a little church in Essex, has been redundant for quite some time. By the looks of it no one has been in there for a while as the dust was building up, to say my OCD was coming in to effect was a bit of an understatement, I just wanted to get my feather duster out and give it a polish up. Now looked after by the conservation trust people, whoever they are but being pretty desolate I don't think it gets much attention. The grounds were quite unkempt too. Anyway, this is a little place I had found not long before, I liked the look of it and with having a few hours to spare decided to crack on and see what it was like in the flesh. Parked the car up quite far away as the main road to it wasn't suitable for my stupidly lowered car, again! Got my stuff together for a little walk, had my google earth on so I knew where I was going and reached a foresty area. Looked pretty dense, started walking through, all the time I am texting my boyfriend too. Then I came across a sign "No access beyond this point - LIVE SHOOTING IN PROGRESS" ... The inner kid in me got a bit excited. I texted him and told him I had to walk through a rifle range, I don't think he quite believed me until I sent the picture I think this worried him a little so I told him I would pretend to be a bush :D Got through the dense shit, looked up, made sure it was clear and fucking legged it!! It wasn't too far but fuck was my heart beating. The church was only 5 or so minutes walk out of the other side so I was almost there. Got inside, got my camera out, left the camera cards on the seat of my car Had to go back through the range, forgetting completely about the road that run along side of it which I couldn't get my car down. Time was running out and I didn't care much for the sump on my car and drove it back down that road to the church. I finally made it inside with a camera I could use. There is NEVER a dull moment haha! Moral of the story, don't be a twat and remember the road runs right up to it!! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  10. This Mill was originally one of Essex’s watermills. It closed in 1926, when the town waterworks was built on the site. The waterworks became redundant in 1984 when the town was supplied from another pumping station further down the River. It has been sat alone and empty since 1984. Beautiful art deco style building virtually untouched since closing. Visited with a non member, he had been before and took me round to see it. It was a nice easy explore. Lots to see but mainly that control panel at the top of the stairs which looks as if its waiting for you as you walk round the corner. The tiled floors and walls are basically untouched bar a few that have lost their glueyness. There are a few large tanks, 6 I think. Some laboratory rooms and some weird happenings down stairs in the toilet. There were animals basically ripped apart, human clothes in a little cubby hole so can only think there must have been some sort of weirdo in there at some point. More newspaper, the last 3 explores I have done there has ben dated newspaper, in this whole place there was just 1 page with the date. And lots of dial porn Hope you enjoy, I liked this place Sorry... It was calling!
  11. Intro Maybe not worth a full report as it's very empty and it smelt quite bad... Still, I'll post this here with a bit of history. The place was once quite big and most buildings still remain including this one. The big three main front white buildings are in use at the bottom floor but the rest is empty as far as I can see. The grounds are in use by lorries vans and we didn't check any of the other buildings as it was getting dark and I think security for the live sections was catching on. The other buildings are apparently in use as self storage and other retail units. The place could do with some research in case there is more to be seen (which there probably is) and in that case if I can help with you research at all give us a shout. History Bata Shoes was founded in 1894 by Tomáš BaÅ¥a in ZlÃ*n (then Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the Czech Republic). After the plea of a Tilbury clergyman to alleviate unemployment during the Great Depression and in part to overcome customs tariffs on foreign products, construction began in 1932 on the Bata shoe factory in East Tilbury.[5] For the remaining years of the 20th century, the factory was an economic force in the Tilbury area and provided a unique model of a Company town in Britain complete with worker housing, schools and entertainment. In 1933 the first "Bata houses" for workers were built, set among gardens in a chequerboard pattern, which were distinct from the more typical Victorian terraced housing in the area.[4] The factory's architecture "predates" and "perhaps eclipses" other British examples of modernist architecture such as Highpoint I or the Isokon building, according to The Guardian. Built of welded steel columns, roof trusses and reinforced concrete walls, the estate's buildings were quite atypical of other red-bricked and sloped-roofed London suburbs. All the social needs of the workforce were met by the factory,[7] and "Bata-ville" had all the services of a normal town, including a theatre, sports facilities, hotel, restaurant, grocery and butcher shops, post office, and its own newspaper. The German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938 caused turmoil for Bata Shoes generally but the factory in East Tilbury thrived and "British Bata" was born. As male factory workers were called to arms, their wives often took over their jobs. While in the armed forces, employees received the company newspaper, the Bata Record, along with food and cigarette parcels. At least 81 Bata employees from the Tilbury factory died in the war. After the war, Bata's home office and other facilities throughout eastern Europe were nationalised by communist regimes. The Bata factory in East Tilbury remained in steady use for over 70 years, but production was gradually shifted to facilities closer to its export markets in the 1960s.[5] Factory downsizing began in the 1980s and the Bata industrial estate came to a close in 2005. The East Tilbury (Bata) Conservation Area was designated in 1993 by Thurrock Council and includes a Grade II listed building. The factory inspired the documentary film Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future. The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre at East Tilbury Library were set up to collect the memories of people who lived and worked within the British Bata community. In June 2011, an interactive trail was launched as an iPhone app known as Thurrock Mobile Explorer. This describes a route around the Bata estate and provides information about the history as well as environment at numbered points. My visit Rest of the site has it's own security and is surrounded by a perimeter fence, we just walked through the front gate. We doubted anyone would query it and we were right. This worked out better than scaling palisade... Wandered about the site for 10 mins before seeing this and jumping in for another 5 mins. Heard footsteps etc. and eventually got out and walked straight out the front gates again. Pictures Only took a few with the fisheye, 2 are very underexposed so excuse the poor editing on them. Cheers
  12. In the heart of Essex this little school has gone unnoticed for some time. Done some research on it and found out that it is to be converted in to 11 luxury apartments. It opened in the early 1900's served as a school for some time before closing a while ago. It still has a lot of character. I loved it. The hall was absolutely amazing, walked in and just stopped. I have never seen anything so beautiful. I must admit that wasn't what I expected from the outside. You can see that some bits have started to be stripped, I got here a little too late for that but I am pretty pleased none the less.
  13. History Pretty much everyone knows about Runwell or has at least heard of it so history probably isn’t really required but for parity’s sake… Runwell Hospital was a hospital in Essex operated by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust until its final closure on 23 April 2010. From February 2008 until its closure, Runwell Hospital provided solely forensic mental health services in line with the trust's reprovision programme. The closure has led to some services being reprovided at Rochford Hospital. Runwell Hospital was approximately 30 miles (50 km) east of London and could be reached via the road network, or by train (taking about 40 minutes). Runwell Hospital fell within the District of Chelmsford along with Springfield and South Woodham Ferrers Following the ending of contracts accommodating patients at the Essex County Council's Brentwood mental hospital, joint facilities were developed between East Ham and Southend-on-Sea boroughs. A site was chosen at Runwell Hall Farm, to the east of the town of Wickford and the firm of Elcock and Sutcliffe were chosen as architects to the site, the former having previously designed the new Bethlem Royal Hospital at Monks Orchard. Elcock and Sutcliffe were at the forefront of institutional design and when completed, Runwell was seen as being pioneering development in mental hospital compared to its contemporaries. The hospital opened in June 1937. The hospital was divided into specific zones according to purpose and type of patient. Staff housing was located close to or outside of the main entrance, with the most senior residences and nurse's home located on the main drive. The chapel, dedicated to St. Luke was placed at the principal junction at the top of the drive - to its east lay admission, research, treatment convalescence and neurosis blocks. The main buildings were laid out to the west: villas for working patients, pavilions for the infirm, administrative buildings, recreation hall, kitchens, and stores blocks providing segregation of male and female blocks. Workshops were provided on either side for the employment of capable patients. To the rear a combined power house and water tower provided a central focal point, with the laundry constructed on the female side. Parole villas were built at the northernmost areas behind the main ranges, providing a degree of freedom to suitable occupants. A large sick hospital was provided directly opposite the administrative block, combining wards for physically sick patients, those with tuberculosis, an operating theatre and staff sick bay. Finally, farthest west, Boundary House, a large block for disruptive chronic patients was built, providing two male wards, four female wards and a separate dining hall. The former farm was relocated to the north of the main site. Unlike others of its kind, Runwell utilised names for all villas and wards from the start, instead of numbers and letters used elsewhere until the 1960s and 70's, giving each structure a more homely identity. White with grey brick banding, rendering and variation between flat and pitched roofs were used to identify buildings and prevent a bland functional appearance overall by providing variety. Following World War II, Runwell came under the control of the National Health Service, who continued pioneering research work at the hospital. New developments included the Strom Olsen ward, adjacent to the female admission unit, and named after a former superintendent, and a combined occupational therapy and research laboratory block. Investigations under Professor Corsellis led to the development of a 'brain bank', the largest of its kind and instrumental in researching changes to the brain in mental illness and subnormality. Under sectorisation and realignment of catchment areas, Runwell's historical role in providing for East Ham diminished and services became concentrated on the south east Essex area, resulting in strong links with mental health services at Southend Municipal Hospital, later Rochford Hospital. With the threat of closure and development of Care in the Community, services were streamlined between Runwell and Rochford sites, the laboratories and peripheral buildings closing. It was announced on Tuesday 27 April 2009 in Parliament by the Jack Straw, Ministry of Justice, that the Runwell Hospital site had been earmarked for a new 1,500-inmate male prison but the plan was formally withdrawn following a Ministry of Justice spending review in December 2010. In February 2012, the Homes & Communities Agency (H.C.A.) announced plans to construct around 600 new homes on the site. Demolition started in July 2012 and the only buildings that presently remain are the administration building (front part with clock tower), the water tower, and the Grade 2 Listed Chapel of Saint Luke. The Explore A solo explore. I missed the boat on Runwell (much to my disappointment) as most of it had long gone before I started getting into this exploring lark properly and I was always under the impression that nothing really remained any longer. However after seeing posts mentioning that there were still a few buildings left standing and, in particular, that the chapel was now accessible again I decided to pop over one chilly morning during the new year break with little else on the cards. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much at all but the chapel of St Luke, although in the midst of being used for storing various bits and pieces, was actually a really pleasant surprise with loads of interesting stuff still intact. It has an interesting Mediterranean style to it and feels like you could be inside some latin chapel with all the pastel yellow, terracotta and cream colours. It was also incredibly peaceful and quiet over there and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours undisturbed. Fellow OS Member Slayaaaa has already posted some great shots from here so I have tried to show something a bit different where possible. I also popped over to the admin block which despite being very impressive from the outside didn't quite live up to expectations in comparison on the inside and was generally pretty stripped. There was however a nice library room and conference type room and a very nice clocktower. Slayaaa covered these very nicely in his report which can be found here: http://www.oblivionstate.com/forum/showthread.php/8247-What-s-left-Runwell-hospital-Wickford-Essex-October-2014?highlight=runwell Finally was the boiler house and water tower which was interesting and, again, mightily impressive from outside. Inside was carpeted in pigeon crap and carcasses. I took a wander up top to the roof access ladder but with the aging wooden platform creaking and groaning underneath my feet and the final ladder being less than sturdy I didn’t fancy a 30ft fall whilst on my own and potentially dying like one of the pigeons I’d encountered on the way up so gave it a miss. Again, Slayaaaa (being far braver than I) has already posted some stunning shots from the top of the tower so check his report out for those! I also shot some video on my SJCAM which shows the chapel, inside admin and some of the water tower. Will upload it if anyone’s interested. Thanks for looking
  14. After my initial introduction on OS I have been severely lacking in effort getting any reports up (apologies!) so though I might as well start with one of the "classics"! History Everybody knows the history of Sevs by now but for parity’s sake… Severalls Hospital in Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom was a psychiatric hospital built in 1910 to the design of architect Frank Whitmore. It opened in May 1913. The 300-acre site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence) The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990s following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, etc., as a temporary building for nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. A few of the satellite villas as of 2013 are still operational as research facilities on the edge of the site. This includes "Chestnut Villa" (originally Children's Villa), which provides laboratory services, and "Willow House" (originally Male Acute Ward), and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence). "Rivendell", a more modern building is still in use at the entrance to the site. Apart from Chestnut Villa, all remaining Buildings still in use are owned and run by North Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust (NEPFT). Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally, the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the Central Boiler House in 2007. In 2008, the sale of the hospital site, including its extensive grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the building industry. The Explore Visited on a clear and chilly morning with a regular exploring buddy. We arrived before sunrise to scout out our entry. Straight away we had a couple of close shaves with a van patrolling the external perimeter and then the finishing night shift passing us very close by just as we reached the fence. After biding our time, sitting tight for a short while and with daylight fast approaching we finally hit the fence and were surprisingly up and over the tackle mashing palisade quicker than expected and made our way inside. Now I know every man and his dog has had a go at Sevs and it has a reputation of being a bit a “tourist†site these days but I can now see why it’s so popular. The place is vast, with all those never ending corridors, buildings galore and everything you would expect from your typical asylum. Seeing the place unfold in front of us just as the sun came up, beautifully lit and cloaked in the early morning mist really was a sight to behold. We managed to spend just over four hours inside and covered best part of the east side of the site. As we began making our way towards the western side our luck finally ran out. Upon trying to squeeze through a tight door into one of the corridors who should I see standing at the end of the corridor facing the other way but security. Wedged in the door I couldn’t enter the corridor for obvious reasons and it would have made too much noise trying to exit back out so the best I could do was hide in the doorway and hope our high-viz adorned friend carried on in the other direction. Sadly it wasn’t to be and with a polite “Hello†we were busted. Michael had claimed another scalp. Credit to Michael, he was extremely professional but polite and it was a pleasure to finally meet the legend. After the usual formalities he kindly showed us the way out. Overall it was an enjoyable day at a beautiful site. I never did get to visit this gift shop that everybody talks about though… My photos don't do it justice but the light on the cobwebs covered in morning dew was amazing The obligatory morgue shot My exploring buddy The fateful door where our day ended . Didn't realise I had shot it earlier in the day until reviewing my pics! Hope you enjoyed
  15. Old Odeon/Regal cinema, Colchester, Essex - October 2014 Intro This had been on my list for too long, unsure why as from what I could see, it was absolutely trashed and pretty much covered in faeces. But despite this I persevered and I'm glad I did. Despite it being trashed and a bit of a dump, it was pretty nice, loved the explore and it was definitely a long anticipated one! Been on my list for around a year. As always, pictures at the end, enjoy. History The old Odeon cinema was formerly the Regal cinema. It was designed by Cecil Masey, a well-known cinema architect, and built in 1931. It has a Spanish-style gabled front and originally had an 'atmospheric' interior and included a café, Wurlitzer organ, and full stage facilities, with flanking shops on the ground-floor frontage. It opened in February 1931, originally, with an Atmospheric style interior and seating 1,446, it was built for the local David Agar circuit. The designs by architect Cecil Masey also featured a café, and it was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2Manual/5Ranks organ and full stage facilities. Taken over by the County Cinemas chain in March 1935, they were taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in 1938. The Regal cinema was closed in 1944, when it was damaged by a fire, and it remained closed for three months while repairs were carried out. It was renamed 'Odeon' in September 1961. The building was extensively remodelled in 1964; 10 years later the interior was completely reconstructed to provide three screens, and it became the Odeon film centre; a fourth screen was added in 1987 and two more in 1991 when alterations to the building gave a 30 per cent increase in seating capacity. The old dressing rooms were used as a base for Hospital Radio Colchester from 1975 to 1990. In 1992 the Odeon was the only cinema in Colchester. Later, three additional screens were added, bringing the total to six. The cinema then closed on Sunday, October 13, 2002 when Odeon relocated to a new purpose built 8-screen multiplex nearby in Head Street. Live performances were presented at the Regal/Odeon as well as films - for example, on the 8th September 1964, the Rolling Stones played two concerts here! The interior was subdivided in 1974 and the cinema closed in 2002. Now empty, the building was put up for sale in March 2012 ('... Colchester's former Odeon cinema is up for sale with a price tag of £1.5 million ...', 6th March, Essex County Standard). James Bettley, an architectural historian, describes it as 'A distinctive building and an increasingly rare survival'. The old cinema is referred to in the prestigious architectural guide 'The buildings of England: Essex', written by Niklaus Pevsner in 1954 and updated by James Bettley in 2007. Cecil A Masey LRIBA (1880-1960) designed a large number of cinemas in England and was also joint architect in 1937, with famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, of the iconic National Theatre on the South Bank in London. He also designed the Phoenix Theatre in London. The building plans of the old Odeon cinema are held by the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford; they were produced by Masey for D Ager and others (owners), in association with builders W. Chambers and Son and Pitchers Construction Co. Ltd. The old Odeon cinema in Colchester has a well-documented history, with a section in 'On Screen Colchester: The Story of Colchester's Cinemas'. There is a film documentary, c 1930, of the building of the Colchester Regal cinema, held by the East Anglian Film Archive: http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/212013 There is also some footage of Crouch Street, including the cinema, taken in 1961: http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/212940 The cinema's Wurlitzer organ (Opus 1840) survives and its story is posted at http://www.theatreorgans.co.uk/featu.../Opus1840.html - made in 1928 in the US, it was installed in the Regal in 1931 and stayed there until 1963. The cinema played a significant role in people's lives before television. It is possible that more people went into the old Odeon than any other building in the town. Eric Rudsdale, the wartime diarist of Colchester, recorded his visit to the Regal; also see the personal recollections in 'New Regal brought welcome boost to the building industry' - http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/l...al_brought_wel... and 'A Young Boy's War in Addlestone and Ardleigh' by h albion, part of the BBC's WW2 People's War project, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a2045503.shtml http://www.colchesterhistoricbuildin...ldings_gallery Theatres trust archives: http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/reso...eon-colchester Present Apart from the obvious muck, dirty and scummy rotting boards that have plastered the front façade, the only concern or two I'd have is the damp and maybe the cracks, it doesn't look like it's subsidence as such (at least I hope not) but it's very crumbly and you can see the crack relatively clearly. Although this probably just the damp having it's affect on the external walls. Inside it's relatively similar, from what I can gather the original 1930's ceiling has decayed more and a gaping whole has surfaced towards the front. The wooden boards are surprisingly strong and don't seem to have rotten as much as you'd expect, the lower levels haven't flooded and the only major let downs were the lack of seats and all the rubbish on both, the outside, and in the screens. Rubbish as in, decaying pigeon and pigeon poo, cider bottles and prams. As far as I could see, the only graffiti is around the front, on the windows. A building still possible to renovate, but I assume the cost would be phenomenal. Especially if they have to first secure £1.5 Million to buy the place before work even starts. Future The future of this once thriving building has remained uncertain for some time. The owner had bought the site a while ago and submitted plans to convert it into a night club in 2008 (what an original idea! ), he was then refused the application and begun looking at options of demolition and re-development into housing. (http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/9..._pull_it_down/) COLCHESTER’S former Odeon cinema is likely to be demolished and the site redeveloped. Steve Peri, owner of the rundown Crouch Street building says he has abandoned plans to convert the old building into a giant nightclub. Instead he is considering other options, such as building shops and homes on the site. The entrepreneur says with local clubs such as Route closing because of dwindling trade, he no longer feels a large nightclub would be viable. He explained: “To make the Odeon cinema into a nightclub, as it is, is not worth it. “We’re looking at other projects at the moment – maybe putting flats there or knocking it down, or maybe putting a bar and nightclub there, but not a superclub with a restaurant. “It’s going to cost quite a bit. We’re talking probably about 25 to 30 flats and retail units, plus underground parking. “We’re working on it at the moment and hope by the summer we can come up with a decision.†The cinema opened in 1931 and is not a listed building, though it is on Colchester Council’s local list of notable buildings. Its fabric has gradually deteriorated since it closed as a cinema in 2002. Steve Levy, of Victor Hawkins Jewellers, said he would be happy to see the cinema go. He felt Colchester Council should have taken action to keep it in better shape. Then, in October 2013, plans were submitted to re-develop the site, demolishing all of it, including the front façade. The facade of the building is set to be demolished and a new one re-built, albeit identical (we assume to allowed large construction vehicles through to the site). Its heart will be removed and replaced by a large imposing glass windowed building that will dominate the skyline of Colchester. This will not be in keeping with the local archecture of Britain’s oldest recorded town. Locals opposed the pans and began a petition: http://www.change.org/p/help-us-save...rom-demolition http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/1...for_old_Odeon/ A NEW vision for Colchester's old Odeon cinema site has been revealed by developers. Plans to build a hotel and apartment complex have been radically altered. Revised plans have ditched the hotel element and set the luxury apartments away from Crouch Street around a courtyard. The Art Deco façade of the former cinema will be kept and restored, and developers say once planning permission work can begin immediately. A few articles have been posted in attempt to convince the locals it will help the community: http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/1...Crouch_Street/ http://www.chelmsfordweeklynews.co.u..._oasis/?ref=mr What is supposed to be happening with the site: As far as I can tell, Colchester council have yet to confirm the plans, and were supposed to decide in November. My visit I'd read the past reports for about a year, so I was studying them to see what I could do different, how I could get in, and how I could find myself around. A mate wanted to come along with me again for some time and I suggested this after he saw a few pics from the ABC cinema in Southend, ever since then I've wanted to get into another cinema, and this one was the one I desperately wanted to say I had done before it's finally gone. Access was thoroughly enjoyable, I'm not sure why, but it was pretty easy and just relaxed. Externally, it looks quite aged and very derelict, but is very characteristic. We had a bit of a look around first of all, found our way in and had a very relax explore (apart from the pigeons of course, but it's a derelict cinema, there will be pigeons), enjoyed spying on the public in Crouch St as they wandered past oblivious. Wandered round a bit more, then headed it. Pictures This hadn't been reported since 2012 I believe, and thought, for those that went, it might be nice to see it again. I tried to get different pictures, or similar pictures but maybe with different lighting, just to try and get something different I suppose! I hope you enjoy, my camera was messing me about and I was getting rather annoyed with it. I don't know what's wrong with it, but it's annoying as. Externals Cheers
  16. Visited with Hamtagger and Session9 It's been a while, but I'm back and I'm staying here for good. 2015 should be full of awesome explores so I'll be posting a lot more often on here now. Severalls was one of the first places I ever wanted to do but due to distance it took a while to happen. We set off from Lincoln and had a 3 hour drive down to Colchester to experience what has to be the coldest night of my life! When we arrived outside Severalls the only way in seemed like a bit of a ball shredder so we walked around the outside of the Fences for a while in the dark before going to collect Session9 from the train station. When we got back to Severalls we stuck with the first ball shredding access point and luckily all 6 of our testicles were still intact. The night then consisted of eating cold food from Ration packs, numb fingers and various banging noises from the ground floor. Hamtagger cheated death by about 3 inches when he looked back and saw a huge hole in the floor leading to the basement. (Exploring in the dark is dangerous kids) After about 9 hours inside we went to one of the bigger rooms to wait for the sunrise. Somehow we managed to fall asleep in temperatures of about -9 and woke up feeling colder and more tired than before with no sunrise After another hour of taking some daylight shots we decided that the easiest way out was to bump into security (The ball shredder didn't seem as appealing when you have no energy whatsoever) He was a nice bloke and said he always finds Explorers wandering around. He told us a story about how the week before he bumped into some Younger lads (Around 18 years old) who actually ran away and cried when he caught them and begged him not to hit them (Own up if you're on here, we won't laugh....Much) We left Severalls (Without shedding a single tear or shredding a single ball) History Lesson The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence). The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990's following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, as a temporary building for the nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the central boiler house in 2007. In 2008, the sale of the hospital site, including its extensive grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the building industry. Planning permission was however granted in 2011 to redevelop the site. Pictures 1. 2. This is where the "Secreta" worked 3. The Water Tower with a bit of moon showing (I was hoping this would turn out better when I took it) 4. The paintings down this corridor must have taken a while 5. My personal favourite from the explore. This room was pitch black and we were all taking seperate pictures so I took advantage of the lights everyone else was using. 6. This is the Sillouhette of the Giant that is Session9 7. Who's up for a double dip? 8. Light Painting took up at least 70% of out time here... 9. More light painting. Either Security were blind or lazy. 10. Toilet doors Thank you for taking time to read my report and Happy New Year
  17. Severalls Asylum - Midnight to Midday The Explore Collected Matt Inked from Lincoln train station and we made our way south for a quick recce before picking up Session9. Dined in the swankiest McDonalds I've ever been in, then headed for the old girl once again at about 11:45pm. The idea for this explore was to have a good mooch around through the night then find a decent spot on site for some sunrise shots. As it turned out it was one of those gloomy mornings where it just gradually got light with no defined sunrise, but oh well, we had a right good laugh anyway. At about 11:30am we had been awake for around 30 hours, except for maybe a 45 minute hypothermic snooze in one of the dayrooms and really couldn't be bothered with the effort of getting out again, so we switched to "overt mode" and quickly met a very friendly security man (not Michael) who we had a good chin-wag with then he let us out. Brief History The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence). The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990's following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, as a temporary building for the nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the central boiler house in 2007. In 2008, the sale of the hospital site, including its extensive grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the building industry. Planning permission was however granted in 2011 to redevelop the site. The Pictures (sorry some are a bit cheesy using lights etc but as it was pitch black i found it difficult to capture anything decent) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Then morning arrived.. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. As always, thanks for looking and feedback always appreciated
  18. Prisoner of War Camp 116 was set up in 1941 to house Italian prisoners of war, and from 1943-1944 it mainly held German and Austrian prisoners. Camp 116 (Mill Lane Camp, Hatfield Heath) conforms to the so-called ‘Standard’ layout. Seeing as this was only my 2nd time of going out I wasn't too impressed. The gates were locked and there was barbed wire fencing sections off - Would prob have been better at night and with someone with more experience.
  19. This was my 1st ever explore. Not sure what the history of the building is or anything unfortunately as it was my wife that suggested going here together (she is so romantic lol). I'm sure this has been done soooooo many times by anyone that lives in the area but I'm really pleased at the photos I got of this place (I took about 200 in total!). I've also done some really nice edits too
  20. Intro Quick report from me, new gear, saw this, spent a few hours here. Hope everyone enjoys it, despite the blandness of it. : What's a redoubt? Thought I'd add this in as I didn't know what one was either before hand. Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redoubt History of Northweald Redoubt 13 Mobilisation Centres were built between 1889 and 1903 as part of the London Defence Scheme. These were not planned as forts although some of them would have been armed on mobilisation. Their main function was as a store for guns, small arms ammunition, tools and other equipment required for the batteries and infantry allocated for the defence of the neighbourhood in the event of a foreign invasion. The casemates could also be used as barrack accommodation. The North Weald Redoubt was the first of the mobilisation centres to be constructed and the only fortified centre north of the Thames. It was located on high ground to the south of North Weald Bassett and faced north east with good command of the ground to its front and sides. It was described in 1903 as "situated on a commanding knoll" and that "from mile 17 to 19 the road is commanded by North Weald Fort; a distance about 2 miles east" Although based on the Twydall profile (an experimental project at Twydall, near Chatham, in which low profile earthwork defences replaced the permanent ditch and rampart defences of a few decades earlier with a resultant low profile), its location was given away by being positioned on a high point. In plan the rampart was roughly semicircular in shape some 500 feet across. In the ditch at the foot of the rampart was an 8 foot high unclimbable or Dacoit steel fence that terminated at each end of the gorge casemates. Behind the rampart, in an arc, were three magazines for cartridges and shells, with shafts to supply the guns above. The flat concrete roof above the magazines was made thicker than that of the adjacent chambers and unusually, not earth covered. No reinforcement to the concrete can be seen so, if the roofs are reinforced, this must be within the thickness of the concrete. All three cartridge stores were entered through shifting lobbies and illuminated by lamps placed in recesses from the adjacent chambers. The lamps for these were kept in a centrally placed lamp room. Between the magazines were two pairs of gun casemates (to shelter the guns in) flanked by two pairs of artillery general stores. It is recorded that doors were never provided to these gun casemates though hinge hooks were fitted to take them. One cartridge store appears to have had a problem with damp as a gully runs along the rear of the chamber discharging through the wall to the shifting lobby entrance. This opening was covered by a small grill identical to those for the vents to the lamp recesses. Also here, dividing the above into three blocks, were the entrances to two tunnels that passed through the rampart and emerged in two hollows in its forward. These hollows and others each side of them, formed a discontinuous secondary rampart or 'fausse-braye'. Manned by riflemen, they would have allowed the parapet to be kept clear for the artillery that the fort was designed to mount. This arrangement was advantageous for the troops manning them as their heads would not be silhouetted against the skyline. So these hollows would not flood in heavy rain, each was provided with a drain. Some thought went into the design of the tunnels, the thickness of the concrete roofs increased in steps towards the outer end, as the thickness of the earth cover above decreased. At the rear, a dry ditch closed off entry to the site. The ditch scarp was formed by a row of casemates with a parados above. These casemates were used to store the tools and other equipment to aid construct of the defence position. A pair of doors to one of these casemates, with the inscription "Shell Store No 2' would suggest that shells may have been stored in these gorge casemates. If shells were stored here, they would have been for the external batteries, the shell stores inside the work supplying the guns on the rampart only. To allow easy removal of the contents of the gorge casemates, two ramps entered the longer section of ditch, one at each end. This would have allowed wagons to enter down one, load and exit by the other. When emptied, the casemates were to form a somewhat Spartan accommodation for 72 soldiers. The ditch was defended by rifle fire from a caponier and loopholes in the steel doors of the gorge casemates. To prevent the caponier being rushed there was a V shaped drop ditch each side of it. Individual smoke vents were provided above the loopholes in the doors, with larger louvered ones serving the caponier. Entrance to the Redoubt was over the top of the caponier, the roof of it doubling as a road. Two concrete pillars held gates to block passage to the interior in event of attack. The gates were of the same style as the unclimbable fence around the site and contained a wicket gate. No emplacements were provided for artillery, they would have been dug, on mobilisation, in the six promontories in the rampart. During a bombardment the guns would have been sheltered in the gun casemates until needed. It is not known what the armament of the Redoubt was intended to be, probably, it was not intended for any specific gun, rather it was intended to accommodate any of the likely candidates at the time. In the event it would have been 2O pounder R.B.L. (Rifled breech loader) Armstrong's (later replaced with 15pounder BL's), with which the Volunteer Artillery allocated to this position were equipped at the time. A number of factors about the redoubt's design suggest that four guns would have been emplaced in the central positions with a quick firing or machine gun in each flank position. Rainwater was collected in six cast-iron cisterns and two concrete tanks, one set into the parados and the other in the counterscarp of the ditch. The total capacity of these was 6217 gallons. To the rear were the caretakers cottages, one contemporary with the Redoubt and the second added three years later, both of different designs. North Weald was unusual in this respect, elsewhere accommodation was provided for two caretakers from the outset in semi detached accommodation. In 1903/04 shell and cartridge stores holding 7,200 x 4.7-inch shells and cartridges respectively were built at the rear, to the side of the caretakers cottages. These buildings were to provide increased ammunition storage capacity needed when the Volunteer Artillery re-equipped with 4.7 inch and 1 5pounder BL Guns. Rainwater was collected from their roofs in an additional 5,000 gallon underground tank. There was also an intention to build a tent and blanket store between the cottages and the ammunition stores. Currently there is a much altered building on this site, but it is not clear if this was a later addition. North Weald was also to have housed the ammunition for the adjacent Kelvedon Hatch sector, which did not have a mobilisation centre of its own. When the London Defence Scheme was abandoned in 1906, the Redoubt was retained as an ammunition store. In World War I the line of the London Defence Positions was reactivated as the inner stop line to resist a German invasion, though continuing on to Broxbourne rather than stopping at Epping as previously. The Marconi Co. brought the site and the surrounding land in 1920 and set up the Ongar Radio Station. Control of the site then passed in turn to the Imperial & International Communication Company, Cable & Wireless, the Post Office, British Telecom and, following its sale by British Telecom in 1995, to property developers. During World War II, because of the importance of the radio station, it was classed as a Vulnerable Point. Special VP Troops were stationed there to protect it and two Allen Williams Turrets were installed, one on each flank. One former cartridge magazine was used as a dressing station, a faded red cross and the words 'First Aid' can be made out on the wail of the former shifting lobby. The Redoubt is a scheduled ancient monument and while surviving remarkably intact down the years thanks to its previous owners, who maintained it to a large degree, the redoubt now stands empty and subject to the attention of vandals, both official and otherwise. Considerable damage has now been done, mainly to the caretakers cottages and external ammunition stores. The 'dry' ditch at the rear is now often wet due to a blocked drain, flooding the gorge casemates to their long term detriment. It was hoped that some restoration would be done, probably as a 'sweetener' for the proposed redevelopment of the former radio station site by the new owners. The former radio station buildings were demolished after a fire in 1997 leaving the Redoubt and ancillary buildings standing. A new fences has been installed around the Redoubt but this has already been breeched and the site still open to local vandals and other casual visitors. (http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/n/north_weald_%20mobilisation_centre/index4.shtml) Present site The site has suffered a lot of flooding and the water levels have slowly crept higher and higher, I'll go back in the summer with wadorz. : The radio station has just fallen into an awful state or derp. The turrets have been defaced with poor graf and the trees have taken over. All is not lost, the concrete looks pretty strong and if tanked, I'm sure this place would make something fun, airsoft? playground? house? It is listed but little has been done to keep it in any kind of fit state, which is obviously a shame. I'd love to have one of those turrets, such a shame they've been left to rot, 2 of only 33 remaining in the world I believe. Future Despite being listed and having some important member of North weald warn trespassers to stop trespassing on the land, nothing has been done to secure the site, preserve it or re-use it. English heritage: http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1018456 This was proposed in 2009: (http://rds.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=18374&Opt=3) The visit Wanted to get out for an hour or two locally with my new fisheye, found this, then we were in North weald. Visited with a non member, been with me a few times and had a good laugh, the place looks a bit crap, but with a few friends I reckon it'll make for a good little visit! Access was easy, no security, Landies zoomed passed and really didn't bat an eye lid, so did dog walkers. Got a few pics then we were off home. The pictures New camera, 2 lenses Nice and wide Loved these turrets, thought they were nice and small, looked great More wide curves Ongar radio, not that interesting Bridge Mono window Nice bit of warm evening sun Snazzy shoe now looking not so snazzy Reflections and stuff The mast Cheers for looking!
  21. Intro Posted a report of the water tower earlier this year on another forum, I revisited with a friend who had never done Urban Exploring before and found it a lot of fun. I personally like doing a fully thorough report, so if you're easily bored, the photos are at the end . History The Hornchurch facility was officially opened in 1938 as an old people’s home, called Suttons Institution, but soon played a key role in the Battle of Britain – housing RAF airmen during the Second World War. www.british-history.ac.uk said this: St. George's hospital, Sutton's Lane, Hornchurch, was built by Essex county council and opened in 1939 as an old people's home called Suttons Institution. (fn. 152) During the Second World War it was used to house airmen from R.A.F. Hornchurch. In 1948 it was taken over by the Ministry of Health as a hospital and was given its present name. It has over 400 beds, used mainly for geriatric cases. The Ingrebourne Centre, which is an independent part of the hospital, provides psychiatric treatment for 20 resident and many day patients. In 1948 the Sutton’s Lane building was renamed St George’s and turned into a hospital. At this time it had 700 beds. In July 1952 a Neurosis Unit with 20 beds was established at the Hospital in what had previously been the Observation Ward for Warley Hospital. In 1956 this Unit became independent of Warley Hospital and was renamed the Ingrebourne Centre (after the stream running through the grounds). In 1957 the Hospital had 424 beds. By 1964 it contained mainly elderly patients with an average age of 80 years, and some considerably older needing greater nursing care. The Hospital was seriously understaffed, despite efforts to recruit more nurses. Some 329 chronic and aged patients were cared for by 30 full-time and 15 part-time staff (an improvement on the previous year, with 28 full-time and 19 part-time staff). In 1967 there were 422 beds for chronically sick patients and dermatological and neurosis cases. In 1972 the Hospital had 384 beds for the chronically sick, dermatological and physical medicine patients, as well as neurosis cases. Following a major reorganisation of the NHS in 1974, control of the Hospital passed to the Barking and Havering Area Health Authority, part of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority. By 1984 the Hospital had 318 beds and was under the control of the Barking, Havering and Brentwood District Health Authority. In 1991, following another major NHS reg organisation and the introduction of the 'market' system, the Hospital came under the control of the North East London Foundation Trust. It offered respiratory, physiotherapy, heart and stroke services, and in-patient rehabilitation services. By the end of the 1990s the Hospital was under the threat of closure, with a proposal to sell the site for housing. In 2003 the Trust cut the bed complement from 180 intermediate and long-term care beds to 60, for patients recovering from serious conditions, such as strokes or falls. The future of the site was a live issue since at least 2005, when a consultation was launched on whether to refurbish, redevelop or close the hospital. The number of patients being admitted fell that year and bosses considered closing one of the hospital’s four wards. A campaign, led by the then Hornchurch MP James Brokenshire, was organised to halt the closure of St George’s. The consultation was put on hold while the government altered health policy. In 2007, the then head of nursing at the hospital, Lynne Swiatczak, said that the facilities were “not suitable for the care of adults†– and Havering Primary Care Trust clarified that only a rebuild would ensure that the facilities would remain up to the standard that patients expect. But the Recorder recently learnt that only two full building inspections have been carried out at the site in the last 10 years – in 2001 and 2008. In 2009, health chiefs paid about £100,000 for plans for a new high-tech building on the same site and another consultation was launched. Chas Hollwey, then chief executive of NHS Havering, said: “The old hospital is an important historical landmark which is held in great affection,†while adding that the building could not remain in its current state. The £100,000 plans were not acted on and NHS Havering was subsequently abolished and the consultation shelved. Inpatients from St George’s two wards were due to be moved out of the hospital in mid-November, with outpatient services remaining. However, the discovery of Legionella bacteria has now left the hospital lying empty. History thanks to: http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/stgeorgehornchurch.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Geor...ital,_Havering Future The future of the Hospital is still uncertain. In August 2012 the Trust announced that despite problems with the building, it was intending to redevelop the site and create a new purpose-built health centre. In October 2012 the wards had to be closed because legionella was discovered in the Hospital's water system. The 44 patients were transferred elsewhere - some to the Brentwood Community Hospital, others to Grays Court in Dagenham, while some were able to be discharged. The Out-Patients Department also closed and the Hospital has never reopened. In July 2013 discussions were held with the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, now the owners of the site after another major NHS reorganisation, as to the possibility of its redevelopment, with part being used for a health centre. The site has slowly been stripped of most of it's equipment, doorframes, doors, furniture, patient memories and some paint. All wiring has gone and fully stripped. Most likely by the owners as it seems to have been removed and not ripped out. On our visit we noticed a few new cameras, sensors and a few new and very recent signs stating to keep out as demolition/dismantling work has begun. There was no evidence of this inside, but the signs looked pretty fresh so this could well be the future of the site. This was taken from a report on the future of the site in October last year (2013): Hornchurch could be robbed of its promised multi-million pound health complex. The GPs in charge of commissioning Havering’s health services have been told they no longer have the power to propose a building development on the St George’s Hospital site – because they don’t own it any more. Instead, they must show a clinical need for the services – and councillors aren’t sure one exists. “All the services they are proposing could easily go into health centres,†said Cllr Nic Dodin, vice- chairman of Havering Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee. “NHS England would be right to refuse the proposal.†As part of this year’s NHS reorganisation, which involved GPs taking over commissioning on April 1, St George’s and its estate in Suttons Lane are now in the hands of NHS England. That means if the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) can’t convince NHS England that there is a clinical need for the site, it could be sold in its entirety. If this happens, the money won’t go back into Havering, as would have been the case before April, but into a central pot. The CCG is confident it can reach an agreement with NHS England that will look similar to its original plans. But with local GP practices muted in their enthusiasm for moving to the new site, it may face an uphill battle. A spokesman for Havering Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are confident that our original plans for a centre of excellence on part of the St George’s site remain valid and that they represent the best way of providing much needed, joined up health services, particularly for older people in Havering. “We continue to work hard to make the case for the new facility – that hasn’t changed – and are progressing with our plans. “What has changed is simply the way the government now funds these projects. Basically, all property previously owned by PCTs has transferred to a new central body called NHS Property Services.†http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/new...ture_1_2847799 Present state of the site The site has been stripped of almost everything, luckily the mortuary fridges are still most in tack and present, the autopsy slab had been ripped and smashed a year ago. All furniture, wiring and equipment has now been stripped and removed. There isn't any signs of metal thievery as roofs and wiring seems to be either in tack or untouched. The buildings themselves are in good condition and there seems to be no subsidence, cracking or natural damage, it'd be a shame if the site was flattened, especially the art deco water tower, hall and administration building. 60% of the windows had been replaced with newer once, not in any particular order, just random windows and some frames didn't even have windows as if part way through being replaced, this seemed a bit strange as there clearly wasn't any construction work going on. The boilers are now gone and probably sold for scrap. Visit Had a good laugh, ducking and diving from security who was oblivious on his phone, few close calls, had to dive in some tunnels at one point and hid in some rooms multiple times. Luckily for us this guy must be pretty chilled out. My friend has just got into photography and I suggested this site as they were interested in Urban exploring, I ended up going with him as I wanted to return for some better shots and to get some decent snaps of the morgue. We happen to arrive just as the guard was patrolling but after we waited it out, we were over the fence (Whilst my friend ripped his trousers) and made a quick dash for the main complex. from then on it was a nice 4/5 hour wander until dark. That Half mile corridor still amazes me. History etc. all stolen from my previous report on another forum. The photos The sun was perfect that day, an awesome golden glow radiated from one side The paint is slowly starting to show it's age Golden corridors Few signs of vandalism Morning frost hiding in the shadows Rays Stairs Green corridors Nature reclaiming The hall More stairs Chairs Sun set Red light is all we had that would light the fridges up enough, didn't turn out too bad though I think And of course, the table Cheers for looking, hope large is an ok file size. Thanks!
  22. Intro I had seen this on 28DL in the past, back then, however, it looked like there wasn't much left of the site and the one block that remained seemed destined to be demolished before 2013 was over and so I looked over it. Then in early November whilst passing on the trains towards Stratford I noticed it was still standing, then on the way to Basildon we jumped off quick and a look. The place surprised me and hope the picture reflect that well. I've uploaded in large today, if it's a bit overkill, I'm more than happy to downsize them. As some of you may know, I took a few film shots but the negatives were scratched in development, so the ones with blue streaks are film. History Oldchurch Hospital originated from the Romford Union workhouse, which had been built during 1838 and 1839 to the southwest of Romford. The 5-acre site on Oldchurch Road was purchased by the Union from a Mr Philpot at £160 an acre. The 2-storey workhouse building was of a cruciform build, a popular design with the dormitory blocks laid out in a cross-shape. It could house 450 inmates. Romford (or "Rumford", as it was known back then) was the subject of a report in An Account of Several Workhouses..., dated October 24th, 1724. The administration block was at the south of the site, whilst the main accommodation blocks radiated from a central hub or core. Observation windows in the hub enabled the workhouse master to observe and watch the inmates in each of the four exercise yards/playgrounds. The dormitories and Day Rooms for the female inmates were on the eastern side in the northeast and southeast arms of the cross, while the males occupied the western side in the northwest and southwest arms. The kitchens and dining rooms were located at the north of the building. In 1893 the workhouse was renamed the Romford Poor Law Institution. Later an infirmary block was added at the north of the site. During WW1 the infirmary of the Institution became the Romford Military Hospital, an auxiliary hospital for the Colchester Military Hospital, with 82 beds for wounded and sick servicemen. In 1924 further additions were built at the north and east of the site. In 1929, following the abolition of the Poor Law Guardians, the workhouse and its infirmary came under the administration of Essex County Council, who converted the buildings into the Oldchurch County Hospital. The Hospital, which incorporated the old workhouse buildings, was much expanded during the 1930s to have over 800 beds. During WW2 it joined the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) with 868 beds, of which 96 were EMS beds for air-raid casualties. In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the Romford Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. It remained an acute hospital and, by 1962, it had 651 beds for acute and maternity patients. In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the control of the Havering District Health Authority, part of the Barking and Havering Area Health Authority of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority. Its maternity services had closed and it had 629 beds for acute cases. In 1980 it had 600 beds. In 1982, after another NHS reorganisation, it came under the control of the Barking, Havering and Brentwood District Health Authority. By 1986 it had 530 beds. In 1993, following another NHS reform, the Hospital was under the control of the Havering Hospitals NHS Trust. In 2000 it had 473 beds. Despite local opposition, the old cruciform workhouse building was demolished so that a temporary single-storey building could be erected in its place. In 2003 the Hospital was administered by the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust. By 2005 there were 565 beds. The Hospital closed in 2006, with the last patient being seen on 15th December. Services were transferred to the nearby newly built Queen's Hospital and to the King George Hospital in Chadwell Heath. Present status (February 2008) The site has been sold and is being redeveloped by E.ON and Taylor Wimpey East London. The front parts of the Hospital have been demolished and keyworker housing - Reflections - is being erected in the northeast corner. The southeast corner is bare, awaiting house-building. Now only Block 8 stands. Present Out of all the hospital buildings, only Block 8 remains. The building at present sits in the middle of a building site surrounded by rising apartment blocks, it seems surreal to have this one block in the middle of such a modern development. The building it's self quite structurally sound, it's just the exterior fittings have decayed and fallen apart, the internal décor has been stripped and a lot of the windows have just been ripped out. The slates on the roof clearly aren't in the best of conditions and I assume the place leaks like a colander when it does rain. Green growth seems to be flourishing and a lot of the wood is practically rotting into soil. Windows remain smashed and paint has begun to peel and flake. The floor, doors and obviously some windows have been stripped out and dumped in the courtyard in a big heap. This sounds bad, but inside the places looks a lot better than it did with the floor! Little remains equipment wise, a vending machine, table and a chair remain in the hall. but despite this, a lot of the original furnishings remain in situ, i.e. the stair case, main window frames and a lot of the décor in the hall, A few signs remain in place and if I'm honest, this place is very photogenic, looks great inside but very dilapidated. The exterior shows a lot of stunning architecture, except it has been ripped apart by contractors. All in all, this building COULD have a future, and personally believe it deserves to have one. Future Planning permission has been submitted to demolish Block 8, unfortunately, it seems likely they will grant it. Block 8 now sticks out like a sore thumb and has literally been bullied into submission by close by rising developments that shadow it's future. Strategic planning application stage 1 referral (new powers) Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London Authority Acts 1999 and 2007; Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008. The proposal Demolition of block 8 (former nurses’ home) and redevelopment to provide 77 new homes, and associated parking and landscaping. The applicant The applicant is Taylor Wimpey East London, and the architect is CJCT. Strategic issues The loss of the non-designated heritage asset raises an objection in principle. Notwithstanding this, other issues with respect to housing, urban design, inclusive access, sustainable development and transport are also identified. Recommendation That Havering Council be advised that the application does not comply with the London Plan for the reasons set out in paragraph 52 of this report. Swan new homes will likely be granted permission and demolish it, rebuilding a 77 apartment residential block in it's place. (http://www.swannewhomes.co.uk/oldchurch-park/), having said that, they're new developments work well with Romford as a town, it's just a big shame they had to eradicate the Oldchurch site to build it. Visit and pictures Oldchurch Well, I had a lot of fun visiting this site, must of spent an hour in here. hiding from the builders was a lot of fun The fence guarding the place was a little off putting at first but it soon came apparent we had no choice but to jump it Then after UrbanAlex cautiously clambered over it we were in and quickly made our way round the front to see what was what Aware of the builders that could easily have seen us from up on the scaffolding of the new developments, we found our way inside block 8 and begun our visit A lot of people seemingly complain of 'derps' like this, but a lot of us love them, I.E. this one, it looks great from the outside and the inside, the decay was stunning and the place had a great feel to it We wandered the corridors and rooms and realised how quiet it was, and we expected to hear the contractors outside, but silence. It seemed like an odd contrast of the old buildings and decay to the new developments and contractors Staying quite ourselves was quite a task, a lot of it was crumbling under our feet, but the looming cranes outside reminded us we didn't need to be as stealthy as expected, Block 8 was forgotten We continued to mooch and snap away, oblivious to the public wandering passed outside As we ventured East on the site, we noticed more windows were missing, as we wandered the 3rd floor corridor, we looked Left and realised we were looking straight into the front room of a new apartment next door Time to go, and as we crept across the courtyard to the gate, we were spotted by builders up on the roof of a development One began to shout followed by another, and another until a harsh sounding choir of contractors were howling at us as we ran across I jumped that 9ft fence like Mario, wish I could've said the same about Alex, we got stuck up top and hurt his leg With a bit of encouragement he was free and we made a run for it knowing full well the builders, security or perhaps worse were coming for us We hoped down into the subway and made a B-line to a shop to get some cheap chocolate, then we were off to Basildon Maybe there's hope for this place, maybe a resident will appeal or the contractors will maybe miraculously add it into their development Whatever happens, this place is great, full of character and it'll be a real shame if it's flattened, I hope you enjoyed the report and enjoyed reading, apologies for the blue streaks in the film set and the pic heavy report. Cheers for looking!
  23. Just joined the forum so it's only polite to say hi and thanks for having me here. I live in Essex and I'm a complete newbie to this stuff and only visited my 1st place a week ago and absolutely loved it - I'll post my attempted pics up shortly. Looking forward to checking out all your work guys, meeting new people and exploring new places for this new life experience.
  24. Evening everyone, Been a member of another forum most of you will probably be familiar with for a while now, thought I'd pop up on OS and say hi. Been exploring for a good year now, Norfolk, Essex and London, sometimes pop into Suffolk and Kent. Big fan of hospitals, visited a few of the classics, Sevs, St. Peter's, Temperance, St. George's plus many others. Cheers and see you around
  25. Greensted Church is the oldest wooden church in the world and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original wooden structure remain. The oak walls are often classified as remnants of a palisade church or a kind of early stave church, dated either to the mid-9th or mid-11th century. Greensted Church has stood for nearly 1,200 years. Archaeological evidence suggests that, before there was a permanent structure, there may well have been another church, or a holy place, on the site for much longer, possibly dating back to around the 4th century. Construction of the first permanent church on this site is thought to have begun shortly after St Cedd began his conversion of the East Saxon people around 654. The archaeological remnants of two simple wooden buildings were discovered under the present chancel floor, and these are thought to have been built in the late sixth or early 7th century.