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Report - Squatters in Royal Park Primary School, Leeds, November 2009

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by boxfrenzy, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. boxfrenzy

    boxfrenzy 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    You may have seen this place on the news if you are a West Yorkshire character. On the weekend, it was taken over by a group of community orientated squatters, and, after five years of lying derelict is having new life breathed in to it again.
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    From the outside, this double decker Victorian school rises above the red brick back to back houses of Hyde Park, Leeds. For nearly a century it was the centre of a community, where thousands of children would have gone to school. However, a changing population, government policy and the belief that new schools are better for learning has meant it was closed, much against the wishes of the community. Now, things are changing, and changing very quickly.
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    Inside, five years of no maintenance is taking its toll.
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    Five months ago, the lead was stolen from the roof. Carpets are saturated and moss grows on them.
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    Water pours in on days like today. Another winter, and this place would have had it completely. Is it too late already?
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    The dye in the carpet on a top floor classroom. This was an initially tense moment and took a second or so to work out what it was. Is this the death of Royal Park School?
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    The floor, where many a small person would have curled up tight in a ball, waiting for the teacher's instruction to become a tree looks like it has had it.
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    Water is coming in through the circular ceiling lights.
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    An astonishing sticker to find in a primary school.
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    Todays visit involved a quick 40 minutes at lunchtime and another visit after work. Although the light was fading, there was still the chance to get a few shots. The top hall. I didn't have a go on the wall bars. Sorry.
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    Cool staircases are at each end of the building.
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    After being a primary teacher for ten years, it was hard to resist.
    "Stop pushing on the stairs 6C, I said STOP PUSHING."
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    Many a bully will have had a field day on these.
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    Things had changed dramatically in the four hours I was away. This shot, taken at lunchtime of one of the squatters sweeping up while another scales the scaffolding tower was taken before furniture and rugs appeared throughout the afternoon.
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    A lonely trolley, left inside as his friends had gone out to play without him.
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    I knew there would be a basement, and sadly knew it would be fairly poor. I wasn't wrong. The caretaker would have repaired things down here. And sat and read the newspaper and smoked.
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    The "tunnels" under the school.
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    Pipes and forgotten furniture. Sadly nothing too old.
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    On the right is the remains of a long forgotten playhouse.
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    Legal papers have been served to the squatters, and a court appearance is lined up for next week. Already they have had a jumble sale, a fun day for kids, repaired damaged parts of the building and got an open mike night lined up. Will it all be too late? You can't fault them for trying. Well, I can't anyway.
    Here is a site someone has set up to keep interested folk updated.
    http://www.royalparkcommunity.info/

    Feel free to move/bin this. It was derelict last week. It may be next week. It just wasn't really when I took the snaps.​
     

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