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Report - UK Roadtrip 11 - 19th April 2009

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Shadow, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
    28DL Full Member

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    Fuck me where to begin..?

    1450 miles, 8 Days, 3 people, and 40 cans of coke, 2 nights in service station car parks, and 2 angry welsh miners later I present to you…THE UK ROAD TRIP!

    Embarking on this monstrous UE mission were fellow explorers Maniac and Jesus (not on this forum). The idea was to start off in the Midlands, then work our way to Manchester, then back down through Wales to Kent and back up to Nottingham.

    There were lots of ideas floating around of what sites to hit, so we had to narrow it down a hell of a lot to fit them all in, we decided that we wanted to visit a variety of sites, Underground stuff, Industrial, High Stuff and an Asylum.
     

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  2. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
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    Day 1 - Easter Sunday– Industrial Porn

    Having never really done anything of a huge industrial scale I made large industrial sites a high priority on my to-do list. As I am based in Nottingham; Stanton Iron Foundry seemed a pretty good choice.

    Having previously recce’d this site a few days before the road trip we knew our access point onto the site but we were still uncertain of access into the buildings themselves. Our plan was to arrive as early as possible i.e. 6.00am on Easter Sunday as we assumed security at this point in time would either be none-existent or extremely relaxed.

    Maniac and Jesus decided to crash at my place so that we didn’t have to bother picking people up etc, my alarm woke me at 5.30am (Why the fuck was I awake at that point in time on Easter Sunday????) I walked into the living room to find Jesus awake and Maniac still asleep. So, in what method should I awake him? I was in a bad mood from the early awakening so I decided on a particularly evil technique. I got my shaver; ran into the living room and pretended to shave off a large portion of his hair, he proceeded to chase me round the house for 10 minutes before he could be convinced I didn’t actually shave anything off (he’s somewhat touchy about what hair he has left haha).

    Anyway on with the explore, we left for about 6 and arrived at Stanton Iron Foundry for half past. We decided to walk the perimeter fence to check up on the security situation. FUCK.. these guy’s are determined, a patrol at 6.45 on Easter Sunday?? I hope these guys get paid enough. It seem that I would have to don my tabbi boots and go full Ninja mode :p

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    We waited for a while before entering the site and dashing across to the main buildings. To our dismay all the doors had been sealed with metal plates, all of them! All the larger doorways had fences with razor wire stretched across them and I wasn’t prepared to risk my bollocks so early in the trip so climbing them wasn’t an option. We were literally about to call it a day and head to another site when Maniac spotted something.
    I will skip out the access details here, mainly because I don’t want to give them away, as far as security are aware the place is sealed. And also because it was a tiny squeeze through some stupid hole and it hurt a lot. I also ended up in some quite embarrassing positions. Anyway – needless to say, we were in!

    We entered the main Hall through a service tunnel. The feeling that I got by coming up through a grate in the floor to look around me in shear awe defined Urban Exploration for me; this is what it was all about!

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    This place was pure industrial porn, the scale of which I’ve never really seen before, after getting some shots across the main hall we headed up, through all the gantries and walkways.

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    We eventually reached the top and what a view it was! The massive 250 ton crane sat above the hall dominating its roof space. Impressive would be the biggest understatement of the year.

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    We started to head back down when I heard it, what sounded like footsteps.. we dropped to the deck, lay flat out on the walkway we were on. I made my way along and saw; just meters away from me, a security guard in high vis, oh shit!
    I sat there, motionless in the shadows as he made his way along the walkway below us an entered the cabin that overlooked the main hall. Shit, that meant that he would be able to spot us if we left.

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    I made my way back along the walkway trying to keep as quiet as possible to meet up with the other two. We made a decision to try an make a break for it. We swapped stealth for speed and sprinted out from the darkness to our access point flinging the grate aside and jumping into the access tunnel then pulling the grate back over our heads. We made our way outside and sprinted back to the fence thinking that any second a security van would come speeding around the corner.

    But no van came, had they seen us? Did they think we were still in the building? It didn’t matter, we were out! And it was still only 11am.

    The plan after Stanton Iron Foundry was to head over to T.G Greens Pottery, but since it was still earlier in the day then we had originally planned to leave Stanton we decided pay Black Rocks park in Derbyshire a visit for some climbing. We ended up recce’ing the next days site as it was just a few miles down the road. After all the Walking around night was falling so paying T.G Greens a visit was off the cards as we had to get an early night for what was in store for us the next day.

    Instead we drove to the ‘Epic Shed’ that I previously reported on as Maniac hadn’t seen the tank yet.

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    Then after a long days exploring it was back home for a takeaway pizza of the awesome variety and general farting about.

    This was just the first day, little did we know what this trip had in store for us!
     
  3. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
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    Day 2 – Monday – Epic Underground

    Middleton Mine is the only underground Limestone Quarry in the UK, all the other Limestone Quarries are open cast due to the sheer amount of Limestone to be removed. This particular mine (I will call it a mine because the word mine is less effort to type then quarry and it will cause less confusion. Middleton mine is named a mine but its actually and underground quarry, got it? Good)

    It closed 7 years ago (I think, I can’t remember the exact date so don’t quote me on this) it was explored shortly after this by the guys at urban assault. But since then nobody has been there, this puzzles me, because its easily the best underground site in the midlands (as far as I can see) it stretches for 22 miles on 3 levels, and these ain’t little tunnels either, these bad boys are big enough to drive the biggest trucks down, you know the ones with 15ft wheels that can crush cars?

    The Kit!

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    Even the pizza was needed; I was starving afterwards. The mine itself was incredible, the size of the tunnels were just immense, I’ve been underground, a lot, before but this was just something else. I’ve not seen anything like it, the air was clean too, we started wearing respirators to filter out the dust but after a couple of hundred meters we took them off and didn’t bother with them. I had recently bought a 15 million candle power beast from B an Q, what a buy that turned out to be; it did a far superior job at attempting to light this place then any other torch that we had. The only bad thing about photographing this mine was that to judge the scale all photos had to have a person in them, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the size of the tunnels.

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    We made our way through the mines, into the bowls of the hillside, finding the remains of huge crushing machine emplacements. We kept to the main tunnel occasionally venturing up side audits, but always quickly returning for fear of getting lost. Finding old conveyor belts and the biggest underground space I have ever seen with my own eyes, I almost did a little love wee. We eventually emerged blinking into the sunlight at the other side of the hill at the Middleton entrance.

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    Walking up to the old entrance and finding it heavily sealed with a metal mesh we turned and headed back through the hillside. There is so much of this mine that is yet to be explored. I am sure I will head back out here within days of writing this so expect many more reports.

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    This mine is the main reason I am posting this entire trip in the non-public reports, as far as the owners of the mine are concerned it is sealed, so it would be a huge shame if the only access is blocked before the mine is full explored.

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    After 6 hours underground we finally got back to the initial access point and after a ball-ache of an exit we were out. Epic is the only word that could really sum up how the day had been.

    On the way home I suggested a quick detour to an abandoned railway viaduct to have some more fun with ropes. I also took the opportunity to use my newly acquired full body harness to its full potential.

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    To be continued…
     
  4. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
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    Day 3 – Tuesday – High Spirits!

    Today would be a long day.

    After my recent media attention I was offered the chance to explore a great old lace factory in Nottingham. This was done WITH permission and the owner is a really great guy so I’d appreciate it if people left this one alone. If people want to visit here pm me and I will pass on contact details.

    The factory is set deep in the lace market of Nottingham, it stretches over 7 floors, most of the floors within the building have very similar layouts but the condition of some parts of the building are remarkable. The stairwells still have all original tiling etc of amazing condition. But the floors are very unstable in some parts due to a roof leak and water dripping down over the last decade. The lift in this building is also still in amazing condition, the door still slides open like it was installed yesterday.

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    The building next door used to be part of this factory but was hit by a bomb in WW2 and never rebuilt. The space the building occupied is now a car park but walking around the car park you can still see internal walls and tiling of the building that was once there.

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    The views from the top of this building are some of the best views in Nottingham, I also took the opportunity to climb across to the next building which is a new block of flats which also offered great views.

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    We finally finished in the Lace Factory and began on our journey. I had arranged for myself and Maniac to meet up with Sneak in Manchester for one of the most adrenaline fuelled nights of my life. Jesus stayed in Nottingham then drove across the next day to meet us in Wales.

    Our first stop in Manchester was the GMEX Network, also called the Salford Canal.
    I won’t say overly a lot on this one, its been done a lot before, it’s a great little underground site with loads of character, we didn’t have waders so we didn’t manage to see all of it, return visit as soon as I have some money methinks ;)

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    After the GMEX network we header over to the long abandoned building site at River Street, the views from the top are pretty awesome, and next to a big road for light trails, which is always fun.

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    Next it was on to a rooftop opposite Albert Square, now I must explain that city centre rooftops are a new thing for me, the experience was amazing. I loved how you could what people far below going about their life oblivious to your presence above them. Our first attempt to gain entry to the roof was delayed by a cook from the takeaway below having a fag break, we sat in Albert Square for a few minutes before attempting it again, this time we made it. We sat there taking in the city, it was so tranquil and relaxed. I could have stayed there for hours.

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    But alas time was not on our side and we had to move on. On our way back down we scared the shite out of another poor cook on his break jumping a fence and landing right next to him.

    Our next stop was another first for me, I can’t remember what this one was called, but it was my favourite of the night. But at last! I have lost my tower crane virginity! And now I want more, I love the adrenaline, the view, everything!
    This crane was at the top of a live construction site, I think it was something like 15 stories, it felt like 100 floors going up the stairs. Then out onto the roof tops with the world below.
    My photos from here came out shit, I would blame the crane and say it was swaying in the wind, blurring my exposures, which is true, but in all honesty I didn’t really want to take photos, I wanted to spend time taking in the experience, any photos I took are to prove I did it.

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    Again time was against us and it was time to leave, we ran back down the stairs, Sneak in the lead, then back out on to the street. Our night was over and it was time to move on. Wales was calling us. We said our goodbyes to Sneak (cheers for everything mate) and headed on our way. We decided to start driving to Wales then stop at the services where we were to meet Jesus that next morning. We finally arrived at the car park, exhausted we couldn’t be bothered to sign into a travel inn, we grabbed our sleeping bags, cranked back the car seats and kipped in the car…..

    It had a been a great day, now what did Wales have to offer?
     
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