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  1. Mineral Springs Bath House History The construction of the Mineral Springs Bath House began in 1907. This was in order to bring in more tourism and wealth into the area. The town it was built in was an excellent location to host a bath house, as it was well known for it's rich mineral water sources which was believed to have medicinal properties. During the start of the 20th century mineral baths were a very fashionable and popular leisure activity. It took 3 years to build, with the help of local residents and neighbouring villages. It was finally unveiled with a ceremony in 1911. The materials which were used for the interior were designed in Vienna, France and Belgium and it was the most expensive healing bath in Bulgaria at that current time. Typical to most bath houses, it was separated into two sections, one for the men and another for the women. Both areas accommodated for it's visitors with a large circular pool, changing rooms and 10 bathtubs. The baths also provided central heating facilities, the main parts of the building were kept consistently at 15°C, the changing rooms at 28°C and the baths themselves were 32°C. The bath house was also equip with a clinic, admin offices and a large laundry room. Sadly the Mineral Springs Baths eventually closed in 2001, due to the decline in interest and popularity along with the lack of investment by the local government. Visit As always, visited with @darbians on a long weekend trip to Bulgaria. We were both feeling pretty optimistic once we'd seen the grand looking exterior on arrival and fortunately the interior certainly lived up to our expectations. Externals Internals If you've got this far, thanks for reading
  2. Alright , wanted to do this for some time so when the chance came up i jumped to it ,visited with Chris x ... Access is some what sketchy as i found out when we were leaving , a 7 foot fall from loose extraction pipes lol soon brought me down to the ground . This place has been signed over to developers so won't be around much longer , on with the pics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Cheers for looking Oldskool
  3. History The Waterloo Tunnel is a 779 metre (852 yards) long disused railway tunnel in Liverpool. It opened in 1849. At its Eastern end, the Waterloo Tunnel opens into a short cutting (approximately 63 metres long) which connects to the Victoria Tunnel which is 1.536 miles (2.474 kilometres) long. Effectively, both tunnels are one long tunnel with an open-air ventilation cutting in between; however, they were given different names initially because trains in the Waterloo Tunnel were locomotive hauled while trains in the Victoria Tunnel were cable hauled. In terms of tunnel architecture, the Waterloo Tunnel features a semi-circular opening, wide enough to accommodate three separate tracks. The westernmost section has been backfilled and there are occasional accumulations of calcite on the brickwork. Most of the Waterloo Tunnel is brick-lined; however, it is not listed. The Victoria Tunnel, on the other hand, is Grade II listed. It features a rusticated arch flanked by buttresses, together with a modillioned cornice and ashlar-coped parapet. The first two-hundred yards of the tunnel are brick-arched, but after that it is unlined up to the fourth ventilation shaft. There are five visible air shafts in the Victoria Tunnel, and an additional five hidden shafts. A drain also runs down the length of the tunnel, but this has collapsed in certain places. Both tunnels were constructed because the city of Liverpool is built on a densely populated escarpment (a long, steep slope) that drops down to the River Mersey. This meant building on the surface would have been difficult without causing major disruption, but also that the landscape was ideal for the construction of a line that could be placed beneath the ground. Nevertheless, cutting both tunnels still proved to be a difficult task as care had to be taken to avoid disturbing the buildings above due to their shallow depth. The work from Byrom Street eastwards proved the most difficult and perilous and, despite efforts to excavate carefully, the soft clay in the area caused several houses to give way, rendering them uninhabitable. All the inhabitants were forced to abandon their homes at short notice. What this means is that the design of the tunnel – becoming two separate structures – was a result of circumstance. The first goods traffic travelled through the tunnels in August 1849. However, a three-foot section of Victoria Tunnel collapsed in September 1852. The collapse was quickly repaired and the tunnels were used by goods traffic without any further major incidents until 1899, when a freight train consisting of a tank, twenty-three loaded wagons and a brake van separated when a coupling between the seventh and eighth wagons fractured. Two wagons and the van were destroyed in the incident, and two of the three men aboard were killed. A train that was travelling towards the docks was also caught up in the accident as it collided with the debris and partially derailed. Although both the Waterloo and Victoria Tunnel were initially part of a freight line, they were opened to passenger traffic in 1895. Passenger services continued to run up until February 1971. Many of the large docks in Liverpool ‘dried up’ as they were affected by declining industry across the UK and this resulted in a significant decrease in traffic on the line. Both tunnels were officially closed on 19th November 1972; although, a small section of the Edge Hill line was retained as a headshunt. It is rumoured that this track is still used very occasionally today. Whether this is true or not, though, is another matter. The futures of both the Waterloo and Victoria Tunnel are uncertain. However, the Merseyrail Network have proposed to use part of them to create a connection to the low-level Liverpool Central Station. Creating the connection would reduce journey times to Edge Hill. Unfortunately, though, so far all plans have fallen through due to some local opposition and budget constraints. The last attempt to revive the line was made in 2007, driven by plans to redevelop the north shore area of Liverpool. Our Version of Events After meeting up with a couple of Liverpool based explorers, and hitting an old industrial site first, we decided to head over to the Waterloo/Victoria Tunnel. It was good to meet a couple of locals for a change because they both had an exceptional knowledge of the area – something we lack when it comes to exploring in Liverpool, unfortunately. Anyway, this saved us having to do much research and scouting for a change. So, thanks fellas! When we initially rocked up outside our chosen access point, several Network Rail guys were busy standing around a couple of shovels and one guy down a hole. Rather than leave and come back, though, we decided to sit in the car and wait for them to fuck off. Our patience paid off pretty quickly since the boys in orange decided to down tools literally five minutes after we’d parked up. Once they’d left, we gave them an additional five minutes before we grabbed our gear and made our way into the tunnels, to account for any of them who might have left their beloved tape measure or spirit level behind. The first tunnel, the Waterloo Tunnel, smelt strongly of tar or creosote. We weren’t sure of the source, but the floor was fairly manky, giving an indication that there may have been a recent spillage. That, however, was perhaps the most interesting part of this section of the explore. All in all, it didn’t seem especially exceptional – even if it was quite wide. Hoping the explore would be better in the latter half, then, we cracked on and made our way towards the open-air section. As several other reports have revealed, the open-air section/accident between the two tunnels is full of shit. It seems Liverpool folk don’t bother visiting the local tip, they simply lob their old goodies off the bridge on Fontenoy Street. Anyone seeking spare lawnmower parts, or a second-hand seatee, should get themselves straight down to the Waterloo Tunnel. Sadly, we didn’t need either, so we had to clamber over the mountain of shit instead, to reach the Victoria Tunnel on the other side. Once inside the Victoria Tunnel, we began our long walk towards Edge Hill Station. At this point, we weren’t aware how long the bloody thing is, but it soon became clear to us that the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t getting much closer any time soon. Nevertheless, we plodded on, heading towards the small dot of light in the far distance. The Victoria Tunnel was much more interesting that its sister. A large proportion of it is brick-lined, but there are also large unlined sections that have simply been carved out. There are several ventilation shafts to look at along the way too, and each one is different to the last. It’s only now, having been inside the Victoria Tunnel, that we understand what a few of the random structures are on the surface directly above. Finally, the tunnel ends with a short section of railway track that is still in situ, which is always nice to find. The only things to be careful of down this end are Network Rail workers and, so we have been told, a camera waiting for unsuspecting visitors to the tunnel. Explored with Veryhighguy and The J Man. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30:
  4. This fortress was constructed by the Germans from 1907-1914. It served German soldiers during the First World War but saw little action. Then it was occupied by the French between 1919 & 1940, where it was incorporated into the maginot line for WWII. After the departure of French troops in June 1940, the German army took back the fort. On September 2, 1944, it was declared a fortress of the Reich by Hitler. The stronghold must therefore be defended until the last extremity by German troops, whose chiefs all took an oath to the Führer. In October 1944, the fort was captured by the American 3rd Army in the Battle of Metz. Definitely one of the best military sites I've visited yet. Amazing to think it served both WWI & WWII yet remains in such good condition today. There are dozens of murals dating back over a century, and 1,700m of tunnels connecting various sections. I had to be dragged away as I could have spent a week in here. Visited with @Maniac @extreme_ironing and @Andy. "Flourish German fatherland" "Cameroon child in Munich" / "Man does not agree" "Booze kills, so do not drink so much!" (or something to that effect....) "Beautiful is the recruit life" "Whoever quarrels or rushes gets the hell out of it" "May God punish England" Thanks for looking y'all
  5. Another visit from October with @Andy, @[email protected]_ironing. From seeing Andy's report I missed quite a few bits but you can't see everything unless you spend the whole day down there. Another epic bit of WW2 history and there's lots more out there. Ouvrage Mont des Welches, a gros ouvrage of the Maginot Line fortifications, is part of the Fortified Sector of Boulay. It comprises two entrance blocks, one infantry block, one artillery block, one observation block and two combination blocks. The underground gallery system is compact, about 200 metres (660 ft) from end to end, and unlike larger ouvrages where the gallery system is linear in concept, the central portion of Mont des Welches is a dense network of tunnels crossing one another, housing the barracks and utility areas. The galleries are excavated at an average depth of up to 30 metres (98 ft). Unlike most gros ouvrages, its 60 cm internal rail network was not electrified, relying on human power to move the rail cars. Relatively small for a gros ouvrage, Mont des Welches saw a brief period of sharp action in June 1940, when German forces moving along the rear of the Maginot Line engaged the position without success. The manning of the ouvrage in June 1940 comprised 490 men and 17 officers of the 167th Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 151st Position Artillery Regiment. After modest renovations in the 1950s, it was abandoned in the 1970s. Bon journée
  6. Ouvrage Hobling is a lesser work (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line. Located in the Fortified Sector of Boulay, the ouvrage consists of two infantry blocks and two observation blocks, and is located between gros ouvrage Michelsberg and petit ouvrage Bousse, facing Germany. Hobling was approved for construction by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, in 1931 and became operational by 1935, at a cost of 14 million francs. Hobling played no significant role in either the Battle of France in 1940 or the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. After the Second World War it became part of the Mòle de Boulay, a strongpoint in the northeastern defenses against Soviet attack. It remained under Army control until 1971, after which it was declassified and sold in 1975. It has been stripped of metals and left abandoned. I've been to a fair few of these now. It's often a wild goose chase looking for the entrance in the middle of the forest but that's part of the fun. I think this was the only success we had out of 5 attempts that day so it was nice to get something done. There's hardly any pictures online so we weren't sure what to expect. It turned out to be in fairly good condition, no graffiti, the kitchen still intact, and a few other bits worth seeing. As with all of these bunkers it's an important piece of WWII history which is why I find them so fascinating no matter how little or how much is left. Visited with @Andy, afterwards I took him for a romantic meal Not a good time to lose your footing.... [ One of the gun turrets Thanks for looking
  7. The first stop on a recent trip to France and Luxembourg with @Andy. A former limestone mine in France, later used during WW2 for the production of oxygen. Quite a small mine and mostly flooded but there were some nice photos to be had. Thanks for looking
  8. This was the admin block for an adjacent steelworks. It was built in 1704, and despite being pretty battered nowadays, it still retains some of its former grandeur. The mixture of decay and natural light makes it quite photogenic. Plenty of reports from here before so this is just an update on its current state. Visited with @Maniac, @Andyand @extreme_ironing. Thanks for looking you bunch of silly little tossers
  9. History The factory was opened by Saunders-Roe during WW2, where it fitted out Catalina flying boats purchased from the US for the RAF. After the war, products built at the site included patrol boats and minesweepers and also bus bodies for London and Cuba. The site was taken over by Laird (Anglesey) in 1968. One of Laird s products was the unsuccessful Centaur, a Land Rover-based half-track vehicle. In 1996 FAUN took over their long-standing licensee Laird (nglesey) and in 1997 moved production to its newly built facility in Llangefni. The explore Pretty uneventful really. A lot quick hop over a wall and we were in a field of sheep who were so friendly they would foil anyone's attempt at stealth. 30 woolie shadows going baaa really loudly makes things really unsubtle. A quick squizz through the bushes and we were in. A nice relaxed amble around the bigger open sheds and an easy wiggle through a window into some others. Looks like the place is partially live though. As we peered around a corner near the front entrance we noticed a land-rover parked inside the fence and the door open but no one in sight. On trying a door as dilapidated looking as the rest a nice loud beeping started so we made a backwards retreat and mooched around the rest of the site. f Dffd Fg
  10. I have hardly any information about this former boarding school. Apparently it was an institute for boys only. The building is in a decaying state. Fortunately, the vandalism isn´t too bad so far. The size of this insitution almost kills you. It´s very emotional to explore this part of history, when obviously a stong religious belief was one of the most important parts of education. As already mentioned above, this institution was huge. It´s picturesquely embedded between hills. It consisted not only of numerous dormitories and classrooms but its own chapel and infirmary - with rusty bed frames and old medical stuff left behind - as well. You´ll find traces of religious importance again and again, for example old images of saints - to remind you over and over about the importance of a strong belief that was once an omnipresent theorem in this institution. Let the pictures speak for themselves.
  11. A site that needs little introduction Battersea A Power Station was built in the 1930s, with Battersea B Power Station to the east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the long-recognized four-chimney layout. The station ceased generating electricity in 1983, but over the past 50 years it has become one of the best known landmarks in London and is Grade II listed. I never saw myself coming back here but when a couple of friends travelling from afar got in contact I decided I wouldn't mind checking out the current state of play, @extreme_ironing and @shaddam came along for the ride too. We got around the whole site and didn't see a soul all night, security here seems to be on the ball one minute and completely useless the next. After recent events with another group getting caught and finding themselves in a shitty situation I would recommend using caution here though. They seem to treat this site like it's on holy ground when they catch people but the truth of the matter is it's no different to being on any other site legally. It's just that security are bigger assholes than usual and I have a message for them. Fuck you asshole security, I've been on your site four times now you dumb twats and I intend to come back for more 1. Control Room A 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Maze of scaffolding 7. Switch Room B 8. 9. An area that was previously unaccessible before the scaffolding went up. 10. This allowed us to access Control Room B, completely empty now but this was once full of dials and switches with a control panel 11. It faced towards the turbine hall in this direction 12. Some old pipes tucked away on B side 13. An old painting still preserved in the turbine hall 14. Fake security on the roof 15. Looking down from the base of one of the chimneys 16. Morning mist blowing past as we bid farewell Thanks for looking
  12. After a curry and some beers with mates I decided to go climb something on my way home, as you do. The first site was a fail so I headed for the nearest crane and ended up here. I've always wanted to get up above Leicester Square but the insane amount of police everywhere always put me off. Tonight I didn't give a shit and it was quite amusing looking down on the police totally oblivious to me above them. Raw 1 - Police - Nil.....on this occasion at least 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Thanks for looking kids
  13. History: Briefly, the abandoned St Joseph’s College, Upholland is a former Roman Catholic seminary, situated at Walthew Park, Upholland, Lancashire, England. The foundation of the large building were laid in April 1880 and college was opened in 1883. The buildings have recently been deconsecrated following the announced closure of the College which saw the last students leave in 1992. The seminary was founded in 1880 by Bishop Bernard O’Reilly to be the Seminary serving the North West of England. The college was formally opened in 1883 and was situated in Walthew Park, Upholland, the geographic centre of the Diocese of Liverpool. In 1986 the total number of students was down to 82, of whom only 54 were Church students, and it was no longer viable to educate them on the premises. From 1987 the remaining students attended St. John Rigby College in nearby Orrell for their schooling, an arrangement that continued until the very last of these students left Upholland in 1992. Explore: I visited here with loocyloo (shout to her for letting me crash at hers and being the designated driver), redhunter, whynotdiex, and a couple of non-members. we arrived here pretty early and under dakrness made our entry. Now, we had a little bit of time to kill, so what better way that to do it with a fry up on the roof? Nothing kicks off a day of exploring better than a bacon buttie! Soon enough the sun was up and we were off to take some pictures! Bumped into about 8 other explorers here - unfortunately I'm not sure if any are members:confused: We had a real laugh, and no doubt this was topped off with a brilliant security encounter. We were on the roof shooting and heard a car arrive, and in record time a head popped up from the access hatch - "youre not supposed to be here" he muttered, and after a brief moment we said we'd leave. We packed up out gear and descended the ladder only to find he'd wondered off, so we took that as an opportunity to spend another hour inside shooting! Definitely one of my top explores, in a beautiful location with some top company! I was told the sinks were sealed, but coming all this way I had to go and check for myself. An awkward climb through a smashed window led into the courtyard, and I thought I'd go check it out before dragging all my gear out there. Realising they were sealed i now had the job of getting back through this smashed window, and with glass left in the frame it made it awkward. I opted for a heard-first approach and hoped for the best. Lucky, loocyloo was on hand to document the whole situation on my camera. It's safe to say she got a bit snap happy, as 2 minutes later I had over 40 pictures of me attempting to get through a window! To finish off, a group shot in the courtyard! As always, thanks for reading!
  14. Dongzhimen is Asia’s largest transportation hub, connecting 3 subway lines, buses, the airport express, and the Second Ring Road. The Guoson Centre aimed to take advantage of this with a 600,000 square metre space including a transport interchange, retail mall, five-star luxury hotel, two office towers and residential apartments. However a long term equity dispute lasting 7 years has meant the complex remains unfinished and accumulating debts. The exteriors of the buildings look all but finished from a distance but they are just empty shells. I visited here with a couple of friends on my recent holiday with the intention of scaling one of the abandoned 35 storey twin towers. Unfortunately we were spotted by a nosey neighbour who shouted for security so we had to make do with one of the smaller buildings in the complex instead. Still, at 20 storeys high the views were pretty decent and it was nice to look down on somewhere a bit different from London. There are much bigger skyscrapers than this under construction but I am told they have workers on site 24 hours a day. The unfinished mall was just concrete floors and pillars, I didn't bother getting my camera out as it was dark but I reckon it would definitely be worth a daytime visit as it's pretty huge. The amount of unfinished construction projects in China is astounding, apparently it's quite common there to build the shells of buildings and forget about them for a few years. It's certainly a fast developing country. 1. 2. My first chance to have a play with my new fish eye up high 3. 4. 5. 6. Working through the night 7. 8. 9. Part of the unfinished mall is visible in the bottom left of the shot 10. 11. The abandoned twin towers 12. 13. Raffles City, a roaring success of a similar complex down the road 14. Totally staged 'looking hard and covering my identity' UE selfie Thanks for looking
  15. Another place I visited a year ago with Obscurity and 2 non members, an old hotel with a huge car lot and garage for repairs. Don't ask me why it's called Hotel B, I have no idea. Access was ridiculous, how nobody called the police on us is beyond me. Some nice features in this hotel and a few interesting bits and pieces out the back in the parking lot. Oh and a dead cat, like really really dead! No idea about the history, I'll let the pics tell the story. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. Miaaaoooowwwww
  16. Tower Bridge Magistrates Court is a Grade II listed building dating back to 1906. The three storey building was designed by John Dixon Butler with a stone and brickwork exterior and an Edwardian Baroque style roof. The Court entrance is flanked by high socles supporting giant Ionic columns to the 1st and 2nd floors with the Royal coat of Arms above. There are 3 courtrooms, two are formal dark wood panelled traditional courtrooms and one is a late 1970's relatively modern courtroom. The court closed it's doors in June of last year and there are now plans for it to be turned into a hotel. I've had my eye on this for a good while, it has 24hr security inside the building and various people turn up to to work in the offices upstairs. With no obvious ways inside and with so much activity I was thinking of trying for a permission visit but just hadn't got around to it. Then something amazing happened when myself and Gabe walked past at 6am after a night of rooftopping and drinking. We rang the doorbell, security came to the door, barely even looked at us and just waved us straight in as though he was expecting us. We waltzed straight past him like we were meant to be there and disappeared through the first door we could see. We managed an hour sneaking around inside before a different security guy found us and asked us who we were. We gave him a load of cock and bull about how we were doing a photography project and our lecturer had arranged our visit. After checking his records he said we would have to come back another time when permission had been established, apparently the guy who opened the door for us was on his first shift and had assumed we were meant to be there. It was a hilarious adventure from start to finish, the only gutter was we didn't get to see Court No.1. Still, we saw the two other courts, found loads of cells downstairs, and ventured into part of the police station before we got rumbled. I took a few externals months ago before the hoarding went up.... Reception Area Court No. 2 Court No. 3 Heading for the cells Check-in Counter The Cells Taking the piss Our friendly but confused escort showing us the towards the door Sneaky last pic before we left, the door to Court No.1 on the far right, the one that got away..... [ Thanks for looking
  17. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So it's a normal mundane Tuesday afternoon at work and a text comes in from ZeroUE. Was I up for exploring a location that's been sealed up for ages and needs visiting ASAP before it's sealed up again? It would be silly not to, so off I goes. Inside was pitch black throughout and seemed much bigger than we expected. Lots of rooms full of random stuff too. Thanks to ZeroUE for the info - and the extra lumens!!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here's some history on it all 'lifted' from elsewhere.. Built in the early 1800's and was the rather grand home of few big cheeses until the early 1920's when it became a private school for girls. Listed status given in November 1966. In 1974 it was home to various council departments including social services, housing and maintenance. It's been unoccupied since 2006 and in 2011 it failed to reach its reserve price at auction. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WARNING - This report contains extreme lens distortion that some viewers may find unsettling. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Well, it is nearly Christmas An original wrought iron cantilever staircase: There was a room upstairs that at one time must have been used for secure document storage. A few items remained and this one was quite moving And finally the original ballroom, most recently used as a council chamber
  18. So, after discovering a thread I convinced my camera club that Loudon would be worth a wee visit. We set off this evening to explore and take some photos. Remarkably easy to get in, despite the big gate - it was just a matter of walking around the outside of the gate and then up to driveway to the castle. That's it really - you have complete access to the site. To be honest it appears to be far from abandoned - in fact it is very well looked after. The grass is mown and everything appears to be largely undamaged. Many of the rides have been taken down and removed but there was still a fair bit to see. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
  19. While browsing flickr I came across shots of what looked like a large manor house with a stunning staircase. I new they explored with a different forum regular. So I checked it out and luckily it was posted on there. Terrys? I thought it was empty. I wasn't sure if the post was a bum steer the skylight is not visible on google earth. I took a punt and off I went at 3am. Not planned that well access was quite easy and I was bloody early, hanging around for the sun to rise. Nice views from the roof and clock tower though. The large art deco site opened in 1926 and made great chocolate until 2005 when it finally stopped production at the cost of around 300 jobs. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Thanks for looking you can find a few more shots at Terrys Chocolate Factory
  20. Following on from my Pripyat post, one of the other places on the mini tour was a visit to the Chernobyl power plant. I must admit that this was an extra, and to this day I am not sure that it was a good thing. But go I did. Outside the entrance to the power plant is the memorial to the Liquidators. These were the people who took on the job of "cleaning up" after the nuclear explosion. Interestingly a number of studies indicate that there is no increase in incidents of cancer among the Liquidators. The cynic in me wonders if the government that only allowed the world to know of the explosion after it was obvious to do the massively high radio active readings in Scandinavia, would allow a report which indicated more casualties were the result of the accident? In the background is the sarcophagus which is the structure that "contains" the nuclear core of Reactor 4. The sarcophagus is corroding, far quicker than the scientists thought, and should it breakdown completely, the reactor core would be exposed. In order to prevent this from happening, a new structure is being constructed to encase the reactor. Known as the "New Safe Confinement", the NSC is an incredible structure. I watched a short video on how it was constructed. The dome was assembled first, and then lifted so that the remainder of the arch could be raised in to place. The idea is that the completed arch could be slid over the top of the reactor building. This could only be done once the chimney was removed. Seen in the image below on the left - the chimney has now been removed. I learned on my return from Chernobyl that the removal started the day I returned to the UK. More by luck than any sort of judgement, I had seen, in a manner of speaking, how the reactor would have looked before that fateful day in 1986. As part of the visit to the power plant, we had a talk / presentation on the disaster, the explosion and how that affected the structure of the reactor. After this, we went to one of the control rooms - similar in design to the one that the operators looking after Reactor 4 would have worked in. The processes and procedures governing the operation of the nuclear power plant were so important that only the president could sanction a change in them. However, people will find a way of doing things more quickly, maybe skipping out a step or two here and there. Over the years, and without incident, the strict procedures were not all followed. On the fateful night, there was an experiment. It went horribly wrong. A power surge occurred and when the operators attempted to shut the reactor down, a larger power spike occurred. This cause a series of explosions resulting in the reactor being exposed to the air - the fire that raged sent radioactive particles in to the atmosphere. As the group walked through various corridors, we passed this large red door. I asked our guide what was behind the door. Reactor 4 I was told. I thought he was joking. I mean, why would anyone want to go anywhere near Reactor 4. The reactor that was at the centre of the world's biggest nuclear disaster. I later learned that it was no joke, that is what lurked behind the red door. At the end of the corridor was a memorial to the first person who died as as result of the nuclear disaster. Valery Ilyich Khodemchuk was stationed in the southern main circulating pumps engine room, likely killed immediately; his body never found, buried under the wreckage of the steam separator drums. Valery was posthumously awarded the Order "For Courage" of third degree. As we gathered near the memorial, the air was filled with the sound of our radiation detectors. With so many going off, warning of the levels of radiation, the sound was eerie, scary and hypnotic all at the same time. We were asked to turn them off, so that we could have a 2 minutes silence in memory of those who died. A few seconds after turning off the radiation detectors, the realisation that we were standing very close to the centre of the world's biggest nuclear disaster slowly seeped in. Almost without saying anything we started to move away and walk back down the corridor we had walked along to get to this point. Once outside, we visited a memorial to all those who had died in the explosion. There are no official figures for the number of deaths that could be attributed to the disaster. I am not referring to those that may have contracted cancer of some description as a result of the exposure to radiation, that number will never be known. Rather the workers, both military and civilian who worked around the power plant to contain and make the area... safer. There are 28, I think, official deaths as a result of the explosion. The statue of Prometheus is part of that memorial. It was originally located in Pripyat, and was moved to this spot after the disaster. Hopefully I haven't offended anyone with my, sometimes scathing report, thank you for viewing
  21. After a long and bumpy ride (lowered car, which was terrible on the roads surrounding the sanatorium:D ) we finally arrived on location. While searching for an entrance we saw some fellow urbexers on top of the clock tower, I just knew i wanted a piece of that. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157648892818131/ Cheers!
  22. 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
  23. The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe. It was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011). Kopachi was a small village near Chernobyl, it was entirely torn down as it was heavily contaminated, only the kindergarten - which was too solid to tear down quickly - remained..... Thanks for looking
  24. This is my second explore of this place, last time I got busted, having seen a few people have explored without a hitch I thought I would try again. No problems this time, apart from an eventful journey home being involved in a car crash on the M40, this was a good day. History: The exact date Silverlands was built is unknown, however it is thought to be between 1818-1825, the first owner being Vice-Admiral the Rt. Hon Sir Frederick Hotham. Silverlands was used as the Hotham family home until approximately 1887. The Actors Orphanage was started in 1896 and was both a home and school to approx 60 children. The home and school was moved to Silverlands, Chertsey in 1938. In 1941 it became a female nurse’s school for the nearby Botley Park Asylum and St Peter’s Hospital. This ran alongside the buildings use by the Actors Orphanage, until 1958 when the Orphanage Ceased to exist. In 1990 Silverlands Nursing School amalgamated with other schools of nursing in Surrey and Hampshire to become the Francis Harrison College of nursing and midwifery. At some point in the late 1990’s Silverlands ceased it’s role as a nursing school and the National Probation Service was looking for a new site for the ‘residential assessment and intervention programmes for adult males with allegations of, or convictions for, sexual offences involving children’. Silverlands in Chertsey was considered the most appropriate. The proposal was met with strong opposition from local people who organised a candlelit vigil to protest about the site being used for such a purpose and were concerned about the impact of the 7000 children attending the 25 schools within a 2.5 mile radius of Silverlands. After a lot of debating and protests on 4th July, 2002, it was confirmed by the Home Office Minister that Silverlands will not become the home of the Wolvercote paedophile clinic. However during this time, the Grade 2 listed building had already had £3.7 million pounds spent on its refurbishment. It remains empty. Its future uncertain. More images here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuarthomas/sets/72157648367883600/
  25. Loved this place, failed at first attempt a couple of months back so was really happy to get inside on this trip. I don't know much about the history of the place other than it's an abandoned university with much grandeur going on inside. Massive thanks to Obscurity for letting me borrow his fisheye lens, it worked pretty well in here so most of my shots are fisheyes. It was funny randomly bumping into the only Belgian explorer I know as we arrived, we made their entry a little easier and was good to have a quick catch up. Onto the pictures Grand exterior Hallway and stairs Hall at top of stairs Books dating back over 100 years Looking into the Boardroom Study materials Fireplace Ceiling Chandelier Old taps Room with Y shaped staircase The Lecture Theatre Thanks for looking
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