A few weeks back me and Dweeb headed off up the M6 for a week of digging holes and mooching around interesting places. We didnt really have much of a plan but sometimes thats the best way! As it would happen, exploring wise at least, the trip was dominated by mills and thus it became the Midsummer Millorama..
Dobcross Works - First up was this intriguing place. We had a hour or so spare before we needed to meet Ojay for the evenings activities so i bunged it in the sat-nav and we turned up not really knowing what to expect. Its a lovely mill but when you take into account that the Office block is both inaccessible and alarmed it makes for a slightly annoying and fairly average mooch.
Rugby Mill - We picked up Ojay and started to head into the city. The vague plans we had made suggested we needed to kill a bit of time so Dweeb suggested we go check out Rugby. We had all been there several times in the past and not been able to find an easy way in so we were not really expecting much. We knew the rumours of cameras working and instant police attendance were largely fictional but it was still a good feeling to finally crack that last of the derelict oldham cotton mills. Things were looking up!
Hartford Mill - After Rugby we headed into the city for what can only be described a night of fail! Still, you win some you loose some! After dropping Ojay back home we headed in search of somewhere to sleep. Hartford mill was the obvious spot. Luckily we managed to find it before 3am and as it was a cracking summers 'evening' we set up camp on the rooftop. Strangely id not been here before and after being awakened early on by some guys working on the railway next door i was keen to have a quick look around.. Upon exiting we bumped into some locals who A. recognised us straight away and B. seemed keen to talk to us about snakes and valves. A highly enjoyable experience for all involved!!
Chadderton & Nile Mill - After the shenanigans at Hartford we were fired up for some more Milling action. We had enquired at Nile about the possibility of having a look around earlier in the year but at the time the right man to show us wasn't on site. This time around he was there but we were greeted with the answer 'No ones to take any more photos' so i can only assume his bosses may have been unhappy something or other! Maybe its something to do with us ignoring the man we spoke to the last time we were there, exploring the engine house, then getting chased off. Who knows!
Over the road from Nile is another mill that goes simply by the name of Chadderton. Now i know we had looked at it before but when you have looked at every mill in Oldham they all seem to blend into one and i cant for the life of me remember what the deal was back then. This time it defiantly seemed abandoned and it was easy enough to walk around the outside unchallenged. The mill still has a nice pond in its grounds and also a set of small air raid shelters. Unfortunately however once inside we seemed to set off some sort of alarm and decided to retreat and live for another day. From what we saw of the inside it was fairly modernised, although we never made it off the ground floor so who knows!
After Chadderton we briefly turned our attention to cinemas and in particular the Eccles Crown that Dweeb wanted to see. Its a great place so didn't object to a return visit. It made a bit of a change being there the blazing sunshine rather then the damp freezing snow that was around on my last trip. Dispite the place being stripped to hell we still had some nice finds under the seats in the gods. Thats what i love about cinemas, old or new, fucked or mint theres always something to look for.
Next Up was a trip across to Liverpool. I was in two minds whether this would be worth it and to be honest i wish we had not bothered. Mobil was plain poor and Johnsons in Bootle was just a little too far gone (epic failure by the scoucers amoung us!) To top it off we got kicked out of our beds by a police dog and made to sleep in the car. Not a good night really..
Eckersley Mill - Up next was a trip to Wigan, again we were only really killing time. Dweeb had been here a few years earlier but knew there was plenty that had gone unseen. The mill itself didn't seem too promising at first, the ground floor was in use but after speaking to the guys working in there it appeared there was a way, they simply demolished the wall blocking up the stairs and off we trotted up the tower! Most certainly not something that happened everyday but goes to show its worth asking if there's no other way!
Once we did the main mill a bit more head scratching had us in the main Engine House, quite sight!
After Eckersley we swung by Holdings Pottery. Another average place and then on to Preston. To be honest we were too early for our man objective, the cinema, and the backup plan of the orphanage wasn't happening either so after a bit of head scratching we dicded to knock it on the head an go check out a little lead i had in the valleys above Bolton. Springside Paper Mill made a nice place to get some kip but after spotting people inside we decided not to go for the full monty there either. It didn't seem worth getting busted for.
Facit Mill - Next up Facit Mill. Pretty much as we were expecting, a small mill, nice engine house and a bit to see in the basement.
Back on the road again we stopped at Halifax to mooch around a death trap of a mill just outside the city centre, i dont remember the name and nor did i take any photos but it did have a good room full of paperwork from a previous occupant who appeared to have a business demolishing country mansions and selling the contents at auctions which was highly amusing and worth risking my life for.
Murphy's Machinery - We had a date with a farmers field in the area so decided to finally have a quick look at Murphys, all the reports i had seen of it previously seemed to suggest a old but small works with little of major interest so i was surprised with how much i liked the place. The main problem here is people only going for the 'easy' parts. Theres more to see if you work a little harder people!!
The trip ended nicely with a day of Churches, Asylum tips, George Barnsley mooching, and not being bothered to go in yet another modern brewery. None of which i can be bothered to sort photos from either so i will have to leave it there im afraid!