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Report - Accrington Conservative Club, Lancashire - April '14

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Joetry, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Joetry

    Joetry 28DL Full Member
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    HISTORY

    The UK's largest Conservative Club, built in 1890 with a Grand Ballroom that once held 1000 guests. The club was designed by WJ Morley and G Woodhouse, with the funds provided by John Bullough. Bullough was a millionaire through his partnership with a Mr Howard, and owned the massive Globe Works, a huge textile machinery factory in Accrington. In the 1990's the Con Club was converted into a nightclub called Churchills that closed in 2003 due to a customer being killed in a fight outside. Since 2003 the club has had a long and painful history, having owners buying, neglecting and being taken to court over the condition of the Grade II listed building, with plans for different renovation schemes and conversions falling through more than once

    CURRENT STATE

    The current state of the club is dire, Lead thieves have damaged the roof of the grand ballroom, the lower windows and doors have been bricked up due to vandals causing a fire in an outhouse during 2013 which took out the majority of the second floor landing & Staircase, the current owner has filed planning permission to keep the facade of the building and demolish the rest (including the ballroom) which is to be replaced with an office complex. Planning permission to demolish a now unusable fire escape on the southside of the building was filed and approved in January 2014, so work is slowly being done on the site, I don't think it'll make it to 2015 unless more political red tape hinders the redevelopment. Oddly, there are 2 facebook pages (Accrington Con Club and Churchills Accrington) that both post updates on the state of the building and planning applications etc. I get the feeling the Con Club page is owned by a preservation society and the owner of the building runs the Churchills page... worth checking for updates on the planning / repairs etc.

    OUR VISIT

    Although this is my first 28DL post I'm no stranger to exploring, I'd estimate this is around my 50th location visit! Visited with fellow member #35, we were missing Gidged500 (The third leg of our exploratory tripod!) so decided we'd head here as a last-minute trip just to fill out the last hour of daylight, so weren't expecting a full explore but somehow managed it. Entry to this place is uncomfortable and dangerous, anyone thinking of attempting this be VERY careful where you put your feet from the moment you're inside! I haven't been in a building this badly fire damaged since I started exploring and fire & the elements have left every floor of this building treacherous! As mentioned, we headed there at the end of the day so all my photos are dark and gloomy.

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    Remnants of the Club's last incarnation

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    Despite being themed around Winston Churchill the dancefloor has an Arabian motif.. very odd!

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    The Grand Ballroom seen in 1996 and 2014

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    An idea of just how fire-damaged the building is...

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    There's alot of dead fowl on a stairwell
     

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  2. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    Good work get your other 49 locations posted up
     
  3. Joetry

    Joetry 28DL Full Member
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    Cheers! Gonna upload them soon... and try and avoid flooding the forum in the process! :)
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Looks an interesting place :thumb
     
  5. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Did Lar-de-darts used to be in here? I know it's a while ago (Monroe's era I think). Cracking share mate... and my old stomping ground which is nice to see!
     
  6. Joetry

    Joetry 28DL Full Member
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    Quick bit of research on Accrington forums seems to suggest Lar-De-Dars was a different street but very close-by! Unsure though as I'm from Burnley and I only started drinking in 2007, long after Churchills, Lar-De-Dars and Monroes would have gone
     
  7. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Yeah, Lar-de-darts was round the corner while this was still the Con club. I'm thinking it's around the late 80's/early 90's (Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins the snooker player used to frequent these places). Bit of trivia. Such a shame that this place is lying empty but good for sploring! Nice work fella!
     
  8. Bentley Jr

    Bentley Jr 28DL Member
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    I see you found the only way in. I myself have lost the key to the front gate so I put those ladders there by that small gap. I didnt think anyone else would find it. You have a sharp eye! ;)
    I would prefer if you could keep the entry point a secret please as I dont want anybody else getting in just incase they vandalise the place. I myself run both pages and I am the Director of a local Building Preservation Trust that we are still in the process of setting up. If you would like any more information on the building please do not hesitate to ask.
    cheers, Bentley Jr. LBPT.
     
  9. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Bentley Jnr, I think if folk from here decide to pay a visit to this place then they would definately spot any gap or way in so keeping it secret probably wont help, on the plus side people here on 28 dayslater are more likely to stop anyone who may be vandalising the place as you can probably tell if you look around the forums that we are not about damaging stuff and do actually care about these old places.
     
  10. Bentley Jr

    Bentley Jr 28DL Member
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    Sorry didnt mean to sound apain. I dont mind urban explorers goig in. Im one myself. Imjust worried that a local pikey may set up an account on here and ask you for entry details.
    And yes you are correct about lar de dars. Its on the main road just a few metres down from Tesco on opposite side. It is now Luxury Apartments. Which is what we hope to transform Churchills into.
    But youve got some great photos here. Hope you didnt drop anything. Last time I went it i dropped my phone as I climbed through!! :S
     
  11. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    good report there, nice work.
     
  12. #35

    #35 28DL Full Member
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    Let me reassure you Bentley Jr, myself and Joetry who visited that day have nothing but respect for these places, as does everyone who's a real part of this community. Can't say I envy you if you have to get in that way regularly! I guess you placed the planks across the collapsed landing upstairs too?
     
  13. stranton

    stranton subterranean explorer
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    no offence Mate,
    but theres nothing left too vandalise.
     
  14. stranton

    stranton subterranean explorer
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    no problem,
    We only give access details too trusted members.
     
    #14 stranton, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  15. Bentley Jr

    Bentley Jr 28DL Member
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    Cheers Fellas. :thumb
     
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