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mookster

UK 2014

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As is customary for me and others, now we find ourselves at the end of the year I kind of feel the need to sum it all up into one topic of glorious remembrance of the year that was.

And this certainly was the 'year that was' for me.

Not just the best and most varied year of explores I have done, but the best year of my life full stop. I think I did around 64 or 65 explores, of which around 5 or 6 I didn't take photos of for various reasons usually a re-visit. I celebrated my fifth anniversary of my first ever explore on June 12th. I successfully crossed off my entire top five 'must see' list plus some, which I have never managed in any other year before but also means I now need to find an entirely new top five 'must do' list! I only took one trip to the continent which was a shame but what a trip it was, a four day trip through France, Luxembourg and Belgium in absolutely glorious late July summer sunshine, easily my favourite Continental trip I have embarked on to date. I suppose the main reason I only got involved in one foray across the channel was that my massive seven week trip to the USA kind of wiped out all hope of affording another one this year. It was ten months in the planning stages, with many friends and contacts made over there in the months leading up to it which led to me jetting off in September for what I later decided was the best thing I have ever done, bar none. In the almost seven weeks I was over there I managed to fit in 22 explores, touched ground in 11 states and took an absolutely ridiculous number of photos....I'm planning my return in February and taking an even more massive leap than I did in September...

Anyway enough waffling, here is my pick of the bunch from 2014.

1. The year kicked off in January with a revisit to one of my favourite industrial locations, Clock House Brickworks.

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2. Runnymede Campus, before we were disturbed by security and ran away quite fast.

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3, Live infiltration of a vehicle crash testing facility

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4. Ash House, former nurses accomodation for the now long gone Burderop Hospital in Swindon, converted into a residential care facility later in life.

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5. Elvian School

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6. The other building at Elvian

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7. NIRD Research Farm

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8. Wycombe Summit

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9. Tone Mills - finally paying this place a long overdue revisit after my first visit in January 2012.

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10. Coles Quarry

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11. Naylor Jennings

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12. Hartford Mill, before some little oiks set fire to part of it while we were inside.

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12.5

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13. Liquid/Envy Redhill, the most suicidally silly access I've ever had to use to get in somewhere before.

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14. Pianoforte, a true oldschool gem of a place and a natural decay wonderland

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15. Ski Village

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16. Cannon Brewery

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17. Something that wasn't George Barnsley's

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18. Loxley Chapel Burial Ground, sadly the lovely chapel was well sealed.

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19. Dyson Refractories

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20. Sileby Maltings. Went back a few months after this and found the place being converted.

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21. Cwm Coke - the first one of my top five ticked off.

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22. Pine End Works

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23. Chateau Lumiere - the second one of my top five ticked off.

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24. Terres Rouge

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25. Centrale Thermique

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26. Hotel du Coin

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27. Maison Indiana Jones

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28. HF6 - the third of my top five - after some help from the worlds friendliest hobo who spent too long putting his hands down his trousers and nearly an hour spent trying to find a route over the internal razor wire fence, I couldn't believe I was finally stood on somewhere I had wanted to see for years and years.

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29. Villa Heil - my favourite Belgian derp house.

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30. Graffiti School

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31. Wellness Farm

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32. Research Farm revisit

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33. Defence Medical Equipment Depot

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34. Angel Croft Hotel

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35. Derelict House #1, Potomac, MD USA. My first taste of explores across the Atlantic, driven past on a fruitless search for something else. Starting small and all that.

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36. Derelict House #2, Potomac, MD USA

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37. American Ice Factory, Baltimore, MD USA

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38. Lonaconing Silk Mill - the fourth on my 'must see' list ticked off.

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39. Carpet City Power Plant

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40. U.S. Military Hospital

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41. Gary Methodist Church

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42. Apartment block, Gary

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43. Half demolished Theatre, Gary

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44. Gary Post Office

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45. Another Apartment block, Gary

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46. Cargills Pool Elevator

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47. Concrete Central Elevator - at half a mile long this is the biggest single structure I've ever explored.

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48. Transfiguration Church

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49. Union Carbide

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50. Sacred Heart Church

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51. Central Terminal - takes a new top spot on the 'worst weather I have ever explored in' board.

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52. Cutlers Elementary School

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53. Grossinger's Resort - the last of the top five 'must see' list ticked off. And this was a big tick.

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54. George Dyke Forgemasters

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55. Langley Maltings

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56. RAF Daws Hill

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57. Malvernbury Care Home

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58. Beacon Waste Incinerator

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So overall, a pretty decent year. Many big plans for next year on the go though!

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