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  1. Evening all, I'm sure that its OK to post in here now considering the amount of people that are doing it lately? If not, please move and accept my apologies. I'll try not to bog down the post with too many photos, as I have a lot more to go and a lot on Flickr. Lots of detail shots in with these. I decided that I needed to do this, apart from a handful in the UK, I've not done much in this country this year. After help from some fellow explorers (you know who you are) I decided that a day off work was in order and a drive from sunny South Wales to London in the early evening was on the cards. In the meantime, I arranged to meet with Dursty, a fellow member of the OS forum and community who kindly took me to B and we did the roof together. On arriving and making it to the site and negotiating my way to control room A, I spent some time in here and worked pretty quickly for me, swopping between lenses and making the most out of the early part of the explore. Once Dursty arrived, we did Control Room B and climbed up to the base of the chimneys to get that awesome skyline. Some history Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, an inner-city district of South West London. It comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built in the 1930s, with Battersea B Power Station to its east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the well known 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. The station's celebrity owes much to numerous cultural appearances, which include a shot in The Beatles' 1965 movie Help!, appearing in the video for the 1982 hit single "Another Thing Comin´" by heavy metal band Judas Priest and being used in the cover art of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, as well as a cameo appearance in Take That's music video "The Flood." In addition, a photograph of the plant's control room was used as cover art on Hawkwind's 1977 album Quark, Strangeness and Charm. The station is the largest brick building in Europe and is notable for its original, lavish Art Deco interior fittings and decor. However, the building's condition has been described as "very bad" by English Heritage and is included in its Buildings at Risk Register. In 2004, while the redevelopment project was stalled, and the building remained derelict, the site was listed on the 2004 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund. The combination of an existing debt burden of some £750 million, the need to make a £200 million contribution to a proposed extension to the London Underground, requirements to fund conservation of the derelict power station shell and the presence of a waste transfer station and cement plant on the river frontage make a commercial development of the site a significant challenge. In December 2011, the latest plans to develop the site collapsed with the debt called in by the creditors. In February 2012, the site was placed on sale on the open property market through commercial estate agent Knight Frank. It has received interest from a variety of overseas consortia, most seeking to demolish or part-demolish the structure. Built in the early 1930s, this iconic structure, with its four distinctive chimneys, was created to meet the energy demands of the new age. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – the man who also designed what is now Tate Modern and brought the red telephone box to London – was hired by the London Power Company to create this first of a new generation of ‘superstations’, with the building beginning to produce power for the capital in 1933. With dimensions of 160 m x 170 m, the roof of the boiler house 50 m tall, and its four 103 m tall, tapering chimneys, it is a truly massive structure. The building in fact comprised two stations – Battersea ‘A’ and Battersea ‘B’, which were conjoined when the identical B section was completed in the 1950s, and it was the world’s most thermally efficient building when it opened. But Battersea Power Station was – and is – so much more besides. Gilbert Scott lifted it from the prosaic into the sublime by incorporating lavish touches such as the building’s majestic bronze doors and impressive wrought-iron staircase leading to the art deco control room. Here, amongst the controls which are still in situ today, those in charge of London’s electricity supply could enjoy the marble-lined walls and polished parquet flooring. Down in the turbine hall below, meanwhile, the station’s giant walls of polished marble would later prompt observers to liken the building to a Greek temple devoted to energy. Over the course of its life, Battersea Power Station has been instilled in the public consciousness, not least when Pink Floyd famously adopted it for its Animals album cover and launch in 1977. As a result of its popularity, a great deal of energy has been expended in protecting this landmark. Following the decommissioning of the ‘A’ station in 1975, the whole structure was listed at Grade II in 1980 before, in 1983, the B station was also closed. Since that time, and following the listing being upgraded to a Grade II* status in 2007, Battersea Power Station has become almost as famous for plans heralding its future as for its past. Until now, that is. The transformation of Battersea Power Station – this familiar and much-loved silhouette on the London skyline – is set to arrive, along with the regeneration and revitalisation of this forgotten corner of central London. History is about to be made once more. Getting out in the early hours after a good 5 hours in here and then driving home. Glad I made it to this place to see for myself. On with some photos. A side B side External Thanks for looking in. Tim
  2. Evening all, Visited with Camerashy, Dai and Gareth earlier this month. This was one we definately had on the list to do, so after a very early start and over a good hour of waiting for sunrise which, with the rain made it very difficult on exposure times for the first couple of hours. Especially down stairs in the clinics which is what most people go there for. An affluent looking town with an overgrown house/clinic in the centre. Apparently Dr Anna is still alive, over 100 years old and being cared for in nursing home accommodation. Her name and her husband's were apparently above the door of the Urological clinic they ran down in the lower levels of the basement. The house is a split level affair, with clinical and waiting / administration spaces on the ground and lower ground floors with an opulent house on the floors above. Dr Anna was clearly a well dressed lady judging by the amount of swanky old clothing and bags still there and the furniture. Not to mention the hobbies and travels they clearly had judging by the items left behind. Her husband died in a car crash sometime in the 90s and the home has been left to rot. Not sure if this is the most current history, on with some photos. Thanks for looking in. Tim
  3. Evening all, Thought its time to post another report. This set of photos is nowhere near complete but thought I'd report on some of the photos that I've processed so far. For those in the know and have also visited, this is a place filled with history including the hospital where a young 17 year old Adolf Hitler was treated in October and November 1916 after he was shot following a leg injury during the Battle of the Somme. Beelitz-Heilstätten, a district of the town, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings including a cogeneration plant erected from 1898 on according to plans of architect Heino Schmieden. Originally designed as a sanatorium by the Berlin workers' health insurance corporation, the complex from the beginning of World War I on was a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Red Army forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1995, well after the German reunification. In December 1990 Erich Honecker was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government. Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinsons disease. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 2000. As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town. This has made Beelitz-Heilstätten a destination for curious visitors and a film set for movies like The Pianist in 2002, the Rammstein music video Mein Herz brennt and Valkyrie in 2008. We had a bit of drama getting around the buildings due to the size of the place and some of the older buildings had been redeveloped, the maps thankfully served us well but we did run into the Police. Thankfully, we went and hid for half hour while they did their checks and had no further drama. On with some photos. The rest will be on Flickr in due course. Normally I wouldn't drive hundreds of miles for an empty building but this was kind of special and was one that was on the list for a long time. Thanks for looking in.
  4. Evening all, Another set more or less finished with and another one in the UK - that must be 5 this year. Went here two weeks ago and the crossing the stream to get to the Mill was knee deep so worked with wellies full of water for a good 2 hours or more. Even though this place was only 109 miles from my house, it still took over 2 hours to get to it and was only in spitting distance to a previous Mill visit on the opposite side of the road. Strange world. Visited with a non member and thankfully on a clear day as those in the know already know, the roof has seen better days. Considering this place was one long and rotting room, we spent a good while here and did some obscure macro and 50mm shots as well as the typical wider stuff. Don't know the history. There could have been more mills further down stream but thats a job for another day. Photos below. Thanks for looking in.
  5. Evening all, My third visit to this place which is not that far away from me in South Wales. Wasn't really going for myself but two long time explorer non members of this forum, one of which has been caught here twice in quick succession going back a few years before security got a bit slack. As with a lot of revisits, the challenge is to find something new or a different viewpoint to photograph and maybe change lenses. As per the first and second times, security was non existant and knowing most of the site like the back of my hand, took the guys to the areas I was familiar with and also starting at the bottom and working the way up through. The site was extremely overgrown and a lot of stomping down of brambles and weeds had to be done, some of the paths and especially the steps you couldn't even see and were wet with moss and slippery too. But going on some of the areas I found, especially across the top of the coke ovens, the revisit was definately worth it - Especially considering the weather was great too. A bit of history (Found following a Google search) There was originally a colliery named "Cwm Colliery" at this site in Beddau, just south of Pontypridd in Rhondda Cynon Taf, that was sunk in 1909. No coal was actually extracted until 1914, however, and then it came from two shafts, Margaret and Mildred which were over 750 yards deep. In 1928 the colliery was taken over by Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Limited, and at this point it employed over 1000 men. It operated under their name until 1948 when the National Coal Board (NCB) was established to manage the nationalized coal industry in the UK. The NCB updated the colliery in a massive £9 million redevelopment between 1952 and 1960. This included connection Cwm (pronounced "Coomb") to Coedely Tonyrefail, and of course building a massive Coke works, Cwm Coke. In the 70s, the coke works alone employed 1,500 men and produced some 515,000 tonnes of coke each year. It continued to do so until 1986, when the NCB was privatized. The colliery ceased production at this point, but the coke works were bought buy CPL Industries and continued producing coke right up until 2002. It would have remained open had it not been for the fact it was extremely outdated, in desperate need of modernization and no one was willing to invest in new technologies. On with some photos. Thanks for looking in.
  6. Right, first one in a while as I've said before I don't tend to edit a full set of pictures from a particular location straightaway. This was our first visit at the end of July. Straight off the Eurostar before lunchtime, picked up the car and drove the half hour to the first location. I heard that this was difficult at certain times of the day or the week but as it was Friday lunchtime and assuming that the occupants of the house next door whos drive we had to wander down were at work, we parked away from the place and walked down to it and in. My mates Sean and Neil had never been over the pond for an explore so it was a good one to start with and was the start of the warm 3 days we had where sweating became the norm! Unsure on the history of when this rectory/convent was abandoned but seems to be a while now. On with some photos. Thanks for looking in. Tim
  7. Evening all, One on my list but never close to was the Chambre De Commerce in Belgium. So, new tour mean't new plans and I had to get this done while I still could. Friday afternoon we arrived by eurostar, collected the car and drove up towards Bruges hitting four sites along the way. The end of the day we travelled back South following my plan towards the city where this magnificent building was situated. After some driving around in circles and checking out the street only to see what I already knew, which was where the "tricky" and public access was, we went for food and drove out of the city and to a small rest stop for sleep. I say sleep, with the combination of cars coming and going (think it was a bit of a dogging spot but unsure) and sleeping in the car with Sean's snoring and the summer temperature, I think we managed a few hours kip and we were on the road at 4am and back to the location. After parking up and ummmming and ahhhhing about it, I nearly drove off. Despite there being no one around, I was still thinking of getting out at daylight - thinking two steps ahead. So I thought if I don't do it, I will regret it. So we made our rather public access in and waited the 45 minutes for the light to materialise before photographing it and leaving. Luckily we found a door open to the rear of the fence so Neil jumped over and waited by the car for us to get to the access/exit point before helping us out. History From the end of the fifteenth century, the importance of Bruges as an international hub. After 1531, Antwerp took the role as a trading center of Brugge. Since the market was dominated by Spanish and Portuguese. Beursplein in Antwerp was a rectangular square with four sides covered galleries, with regulations as in Bruges, as well as opening and closing times. The Bourse of Antwerp is perhaps designed to preview the Bruges Beursplein: a public place in the open air with some canopies where one could hide. It is built on top of an existing street intersection. In the plan, it originally had no roof. On the initiative of Thomas Gresham, the representative of the British Crown in Antwerp,in 1565 the London Stock Exchange opened on the model of this square. It was also "the bourse", and to Queen Elizabeth after a visit on January 23, 1570 decided that the Royal Exchange had to be. The Stock Exchange of Rotterdam was established by decision of the town council "to ordain a bruised or too Plaetse, daer the coop heure meeting ordinary people were allowed to have been "dated January 30, 1595, Amsterdam followed 1611. Renovation and work has been ongoing here for some time and evidence of things happening was all around us. Who knows how long this beautiful building will stay in this condition for and be host to many more urban explorers? On with some photos Thanks for looking in.
  8. Evening all, Its a residence I guess but feel free to move mods/admins. Yeah its a set from here - doesn't need an introduction as you probably all have seen a few photos floating around of this place. Still got a few to post and will end up in the usual place on Flickr but here are the majority that I've processed from here before it got all busy. The 3 of us had the run of this place the weekend we went. On with the photos Thanks for looking in.
  9. Evening all, Another set more or less finished. This place has been on my list since I started eurotouring and finally managed this and a good excuse to use the 50mm F1.4 For those not in the know, this cemetery is the oldest of all the cemeteries in Brussels still in function. Very popular among tourists and residents alike it’s often dubbed as the little brother of the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. It rose massively in popularity when the Royal family chose the adjacent Notre-Dame de Laeken Church as their burial grounds. Since then it became the final resting place of Belgian’s rich and famous Personalities bringing some outstanding examples of 19th century funerary art. By looking at the titles engraved in the stones one notices profusion of ministers, mayors, advisers, renowned artist or high ranking officers. On with some photos Cheers for looking in.
  10. Evening all, For those who are on Facebook OS page, then you may have seen some of these popping up. This place was nicknamed "Chateau De La Police" due to the security and locals who keep a very close eye on this place and usually ends up with explorers arrests and car searches so we weren't taking any chances here and adopting the old stealth moves in and out. The weather was glorious with mean't harsh lighting but we coped I think. This place is in Royal hands and is under challenge for future heritage and legacy by over 50 different heirs and no one can come to an agreement after the old guy died and nothing has been done to it for a long time. This place is sealed tight like they want people kept out and as you will see from the photos, is full of beautiful rooms and items. I have a stack more to edit before upload but here are the majority of the photos I've uploaded to Flickr and OS Facebook, etc so far. I have about another 30 from here to process and edit yet. They will appear on my Flickr photostream.