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Report - GKN Smethwick - The latest from the site that just keeps giving - Sept 2014

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Speed, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    The remnants of the former GKN nut, bolt and screw factory at Smethwick must surely go down as one of the legendary urban exploring location of the last 10 years or so. The sprawling site has been an explorers playground for as long as i can remember. Over the years the works has evolved time and time again. When i first visited the site in 2007 a large part was disused but most had been re-purposed by various other firms long in the past. As firms came and went parts would close, bits opened up, bits got closed again, bits got demolished it was great fun checking out new bits nearly every time we went back. There were few 'epicz' here, no turbines or mortuary slabs to see simply following the evolution of the place in real time was what made the place so interesting for me.

    A few years back it was announced the vast majority of the site was to be demolished to make way for another west midlands super hospital to be built. Work commenced a good few months ago now but recently work has really been pressing on and as bits come open we have been sniffing around seeing little snippets here and there that were once inaccessible or still in use. Ive missed out on some bits but there's one bit that had always looked cool and id never seen inside so during a pretty off the cuff visit recently i was happy to spot a cheeky way in and finally get a poke at what it turns out was probably the best bit yet!

    This block of offices sat at the end of a part of the site that was always active and covered by CCTV and what not, i remember on our first few visits passing though this area to get into the main site and seeing people in and out of the buildings. By 2014 however it seems as if most tenants have left the office area leaving only a few of the adjoining sheds still being used (although what exactly fore isnt too clear!) The whole building had that 'derelict west midlands' vibe to it. Grand old industry with a smattering of Indian sweat shop and a healthy dose of weird. Theres nothing like one of these types of places to give you the creeps. Especially when you return the next day on your own and find things have been on the move in a part that appears totally derelict yet quite clearly has regular Saturday night foot fall from someone who doesn't appear to want you in there.. Anyway the building itself was great. 1930s by the look of it but very unmodernised compared to the main block bordering Heath Street. It appeared it had been out of use by GKN since the 1970s but still retained loads of original features and was a right warren, especially when the locked doors are taken into account. Ive been 3 times now and can say ive managed to check pretty much every room which was harder than it sounds! I even took the ladder to the former pil box on the roof but it didnt strike me as quite the caliber of Corahs fire watch tower, shame.

    Enjoy the photos, i dont think it will be the last we see from this place!



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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Heard about this from dweeb, good stuff.
     
  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice I like the report and how you set it out. Looks like an ace site.
     
  4. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Nice one..did wonder what was inside!
     
  5. nsdev

    nsdev 28DL Full Member
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    whats the score with the catwalk on the roof? presumably a pipe bridge? looks very intriguing in that shot!
     
  6. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Its a conveyor of some sort. Probably carried parts between the two buildings. I didnt go down it as its all still in use at the back.
     
  7. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Great stuff as ever, always wondered what the insides of that building would be like.
    Being in use probably explains why we couldn't find a way in last summer!

    Some really nice features left behind in that building. Always got to love a nice art deco office.
     
  8. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    Lovely features there, good work.
     
  9. Eight-Seven

    Eight-Seven This is not a good idea. Let's do it.
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    Looks awesome! Always wondered what was in that building! Hows the hospital itself coming along? Must be worth a look at some stage
     
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