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Other A reflection of 2013

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Well! Where do I begin?! January might be a good idea! What a turbulent year its been for me. I have lapsed in the last few years on explore frequency but Northern_Ninja, an exploring partner of mine certainly helped get numbers up again, A personally upsetting situation which in itself multiplied my exploring numbers and continues to be of emotional strain on me deep down, but exploring cures all.

2013 was also the year I finally got to see Chernobyl and Pripyat, a place which has left me emotionally changed inside, a place which is hard to stomach and makes me remember how lucky I am in life. I would have been one of the last people who got to see it before its demise.

It was the year I reported on a lot of sites that were halfway through demo and I caught right at the last minute. Sites which brewed up a storm in their local area and pulled in probably hundreds of thousands of views from customers of old.

I covered a lot of ground I had hoped to in all my years of urbex, finally cracked A certain Power Station, and Denbigh, and also did my first Northern trip and covered a lot of ground in and around Manchester.

2013 certainly did have some ups, some downs, some mehs some yays, but in urbex terms it was pretty damn epic!


Off to a slow start to the year we have this report from March:

Shredded Wheat Factory, Wewlyn Garden City (UK)

This had been on my to do list for as long as I can remember, here they made Shredded Wheat cereal until 2008 where it was produced elsewhere. No Nitting Nanas here….







Onto April 2013:

G.P.S.S. Fuel Depot, Islip (UK)

I avoided this place for a few years as it had long been sealed. Here fuel was stored and supplied through pipelines for the RAF. The site was operated by Esso and closed gradually between 1998 and 2004





Still in the month of April we go onto a rather controversial site!

Crookham Court School, Berkshire (UK)

This was a really nice place, though pretty chilly inside! A lot intact and a lot not so intact. It’s served several purposes: a manor house, a junior school and a school for children of people serving at Greenham Common. It faced abandonment and then reopening, and was used as a boarding school until 1990, after which point it was apparently used as apartments (although this isn’t too obvious from looking at the place) and has been abandoned since 2007; the school shutdown due to “inappropriate behavior” from teachers.







The slow kick off of 2013 continues into June

Great Gaddesden Water Tower (UK)

Very little on this place, but it had nice views and some photogenic stuff inside.




So we remain in June and hop onboard a WizzAir Airbus at Luton and fly 1,500 miles East

Chernobyl and Pripyat, Kyivs'ka oblast (Ukraine)

Men and woman the world over should know about the 1986 meltdown of Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in The Soviet Union. 40,000 people were evacuated from Pripyat and around 150,000 in total. The still radioactive area remains uninhabitable but safe enough for regulated tours.

This place will forever remain in my heart, the modern youth of today are so wrapped up and secure they will never realise that if the Plant Workers and Liquidators hadn’t reacted with such speed, they would not even be on this planet.













Please read my full blog here:


So still in June we head to a site that’s been on my cards for many years

North Wales Hospital, Denbigh (UK)

The North Wales Hospital (locally known as Denbigh Mental) was a hospital for people with psychiatric illnesses located in Denbigh, North Wales..

Designed to originally accommodate between 60 and 200 patients, the building dates back to 1848; it was closed in sections from 1991 to 2002, but the majority seems to have sat derelict since 1994/95.







Onto July 2013!

Inov8/Testing Facility, Bucks (UK)

This place appeared to be some sort of test facility for the local university and has been closed since about 2008. Our trip was cut short when the caretaker saw us.





Fast forward onto August

Flamingos/The Empire Night Club, Milton Keynes (UK)

Rumor had it that a 90s style complex was being demolished in Milton Keynes; equipped with a Night Club, Bowling Alley and Ice Rink. I braved the rain; the Bowling Alley had gone and the Ice Rink was sealed. I managed to get into the night club and little did I know this was going to draw in probably hundreds of thousands of Flickr views from punters of old.

The club opened in 1990 and closed in 2004, leading to a slow demise seemingly synonymous to out of city leisure parks. People want to park up, ice skate and have a decent meal, they don’t want to grab some cheap burger, ice skate, then go home…





Onto September!

Fujitsu Building, Herts(UK)

This has been on my radar for sometime. The inside of the 70s block it was trashed entirely since its 2007 closure and left only good views from the roof.





Planet Ice, Milton Keynes (UK)

Its three weeks later and I hear that the ice rink in the same complex is now accessible! Its three weeks on and looking at those machines I didn’t expect much. I was wrong, it was nice and intact!

Planet Ice was the last of the business’ to close in the Milton Keynes Leisure Plaza and closed its doors in July 2013. I believe it has moved to a temporary site as the new centre is being built.

This was another set of photos which pulled in tens of thousands of views from Milton Keynes.







From here on my life hit a bit of an emotional brick wall and I properly hit the urbex like never before to keep myself occupied.

We are now in October

Oriental City, London (UK)

A site I have wanted to do but been put off with stories of raging dogs and baseball bats… I visited here as a child and wanted to see it in its abandoned form. Oriental City was an Asian Cash and Carry and closed in 2008.

Many things have been filmed here since closure, including “Dredd”






Edited by Landie_Man

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Still in October!

October 2013,

Burney Empire, Lancs (UK)

So onto my big 3 day Northern Excursion to a close friend and long time explorers house.

This place started off as a The Empire Theatre when it opened in 1894, closing in 1955 and reopening as a cinema in 1958 it continued for a while before becoming a bingo hall. It was operated as a Gala Bingo until 1995 when it shut down.

Its damp, dirty and full of rats!







October 2013

George Barnsley and Sons, Yorks (UK)

Continuing my Northern Blitz, we go to an old toolmakers workshop.

In 1823; George Barnsley was apprenticed into the file-makers trade by his mother, Anne. Later; George went in to partnership with his brother and they established themselves as one of the worlds leading manufacturers of shoe manufacturing tools and leather trades. The factory ceased trading in 2003.

This was a mecca of old Aladdin’s Cave style factory. It still had very much an early 20th slash late 19th Century feel about it.







October 2013

Sheffield Crown Courts, Yorks (UK)

Same city, different location altogether and slowly dying New Lens! (This has now been repaired!)

Initially the building was a five-bay structure fronting Castle Street, but an extension was built in 1833 and once again in 1866. The most prominent feature was the new central clock tower over a new main entrance.

During this time, the building's courtrooms were linked by underground passages to the neighboring Sheffield Police Offices. By the 1890s, the building had again become too small for Sheffield, and the current Sheffield Town Hall was built further south.

In 1896-7 the Town Hall underwent one more extension, and became Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield High Court. In the 1990s, these courts moved to new premises. The building has stood empty since at least 1997.







October 2013

Fletchers Paper Mill, Lancs (UK)

Now onto my new favorite UK Site, this site just kept giving beautiful urbex goodness. Its stopped in time and just amazing.

Robert Fletcher entered the firm as a young man in his twenties in the year 1830. He was very talented, which was not missed by his employers. This mill was opened Greenfield, near Oldham in 1921. This mill specialised in the manufacture of cigarette paper. It hit financial problems and closed overnight in 2001.









October 2013

Rossendale Hospital, Lancs (UK)

Rossendale General Hospital was previously known as Moorlands Infirmary which opened in 1912. It was a Workhouse when built in the 1860 so has lived a relatively short life compared to other sites in the UK. As of 2010 the whole hospital was closed down.

By this point my defective 10-20 Lens’ was seriously struggling and we were running out of daylight FAST. We bumped into loads of people here but it was too little too late really.





October 2013

Zuby Fashions, Lancs (UK)

So onto the last site of the Northern Trip, very little history on this totally trashed, stripped, ruined place;I know one business was closed down for making imitation Nike clothing.





Thus concludes the Northern Trip.

Late October 2013

Iqra Islamic School, Oxon (UK)

Been on my cards for sometime, but sadly has gone downhill in recent months due to renovations. Originally known as Lawn Upton School Church of England school, it closed in 2003 and reopened as Iqra Islamic School, but closed in 2009. Outbuildings are to be demolished but the original school must be converted using the original building.

Back on my kit lens while my 10-20 is in for repair!





Late October 2013

Medmenham Water Research Labs (UK)

So onto the last explore of a short day, this place was pretty trashed but had some nice photograph opportunities.

Opened in 1961 when WRA moves to its headquarters in Medmenham. In1999 WRc-NSF formed as a joint venture between WRc plc and NSF International encompassing the Laboratories at Medmenham and the Evaluation and Testing Centre in Oakdale.

By 2004 the Testing of materials for water contact moved from Medmenham to the Evaluation and Testing Centre in Oakdale. The whole site closed in 2006 and has remained abandoned since.





By the end of October my massive exploring activity slowed down and my next explore wasn’t until December. By now I had a rebuilt 10-20 lens.

December 2013

Willington Cooling Towers, Leics (UK)

One day, late December, three of us went on a festive/very late year explore to the Midlands and this was our first stop.

The towers have laid abandoned since the closure of Willington Power Station in 1995; its demolition in 2002 left 5 large cooling towers.

The station opened in 1959 and served the area for 45 years. Permission has been granted to develop the site for another Power Station.

I love this place, its so photogenic!







And finally, the last stop of 2013

Wadkins Woodworking Tools, Leics (UK)

After failing one place and doing a quick phone around we were led onto this old tool factory which was beautifully clean with minimal physical decay inside. Low light cut our trip short.





All in all 2013 was an absolutely fantastic year for me. It started slow but so much ground was covered, so many places seen and I am pleased with what I have to show it.

I have condensed an extremely busy year down as much as I can and I hope you all enjoy it!

More at:


Edited by skeleton key

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Great set of photos there fella, I didn't realise you had done the Chinese shopping centre, nice one

Yep, went when it was live too. Was really good actually, you could get all the spices you needed to make lush Chinese food at home. Also had a really tasty food court.

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You've had a good year, couple places in your list there still on my to do list, one been on there way too long!

Great work, good luck for this year :thumb

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