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Report - College of Art & Design, Barbourne, Worcester - Jan 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by captainwow, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. captainwow

    captainwow 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Site visited with non member on a depressingly grey January day.

    This was a bit of a nostalgic one for me, as I studied here for two years after leaving school. To see it totally ripped apart was actually slightly sad, and I'm annoyed that I didn't know it'd closed and missed out on seeing the main part of it. Most of the classrooms, including the entire Health&Beauty department have been flattened, and the rest of it is being turned into a retirement home.
    Bit of history (slightly adapted) from Wikipedia:
    The site originally opened in 1929 as the third site of the Worcester Secondary School for Girls. In September 1945, it became the City of Worcester Grammar School for Girls. In 1962, it was moved across the city to the site of the current Worcester Sixth Form College. It merged with the School of Science and Art and became an Art and Design College, up until 1991 when the college changed its name to Worcester College of Technology, and the Barbourne College became the Art, Design and Sports department. It ran many courses including Media Production, Graphic Design, Photography, Make-up and Hair and Beauty. It stayed that way until it closed in 2014, when the college was moved to the old Russell and Dorrell building in the city centre. The college changed its name to the Heart of Worcestershire College after it merged with North East Worcestershire College in August 2014.

    Apologies for the quality of some of the shots. My battery died as we got in there, so these are a mixture between the non member's camera and some shots from my phone.

    Quick shot of the striking facade as it was in better times:

    And how it looks now:

    The main hub of this place was always the library, seen here before closing:

    Now just an empty shell:

    Thankfully, it seems like the place was locked up fairly quickly after closure, meaning the usual rock slinging knuckle draggers didn't get chance to do too much damage to much of the beautiful original details:

    Looking back out of the main doors towards the original entrance, and onwards to the amazing St.George's:

    The downstairs corridors haven't faired so well after being left exposed to the elements for so long:

    The site of the stairwell is now just a gaping hole after demolition of the Beauty & Media wing:

    Upstairs corridor. The classrooms on the left were home to the theatrical make up & costume groups. The doors at the far end open out behind the fencing at the top of the original staircase:

    Theatrical make up room:

    The now roofless room straight in front were the original toilets. The white arch way to the right led into the refectory:

    The refectory:

    Underneath the refectroy is the very reason I became so curious about hidden spaces and underground structures. Whilst at the college, I'd been told about the existence of an underground substation here. I never got the chance to look at it whilst I was there, but this was a chance I couldn't pass up. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated a closer look than we got wasn't feasible due to the fact that the place was clearly a breeding ground for spores and mould of all descriptions, and I didn;t have my mask. Still:

    First glimpse (and smell):

    This is as far in as I was getting! You can clearly see that it bends around and carries on, and it's bigger than it looks. Perhaps a night visit with a mask is on the agenda. You can see the quality of the air in this picture:

    It may not seem a lot, but being in that room was fairly important to me. I've wanted to see it for 12 years...

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  2. merryprankster

    merryprankster Conrod the Barbarian
    Regular User

    Mar 26, 2013
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    Re: College of Art & Design, Barbourne, Worcester. Jan.'15

    Nice work dude:thumb
  3. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Aug 4, 2014
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    Re: College of Art & Design, Barbourne, Worcester. Jan.'15

    Interesting stuff,that def needs further investigation...:thumb
  4. captainwow

    captainwow 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Re: College of Art & Design, Barbourne, Worcester. Jan.'15

    I need to get back there sooner rather than later. Goggles and mask are a must tho!
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