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Report - Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London - April 2015

Discussion in 'Noteworthy Reports' started by The_Raw, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Earls Court Exhibition Centre is a closed exhibition, conference and events venue in London that originally opened in 1887 and was rebuilt in 1937 in its most recent art deco style exterior. It is located in Earls Court within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and was the largest such venue within central London. The founder was John R. Whitley and the first exhibition included performances by Buffalo Bill Cody as part of the 'American Exhibition'. This was followed by 'Four National Exhibitions', the title of C. Lowe's 1892 book about Earls Court and its founder.

    Earls Court is widely known for serving as London's premier exhibition hall for many decades, hosting the Royal Tournament and Motor Show, Ideal Home Show, the Brit Awards (until 2010) and a number of other notable events and concerts. It was also used as one of the venues for both the 1948 and 2012 Olympic Games. It was served by two London Underground stations: Earl's Court and West Brompton, opposite the entrances on Warwick Road and Old Brompton Rd respectively.

    In 2013 controversial plans to demolish Earls Court were approved in order to make way for a new residential and retail estate on the site, which is expected to be completed in 2033. Demolition work began on the site in December 2014.

    With so many landmark sites in London it's simply a case of waiting for the next one to reach the end of it's life cycle. Earls Court exhibition centre's fate has been doomed for a while now, the hoarding went up last year and we'd nearly forgotten all about it until Maniac mentioned it in a conversation recently. Probably just big empty rooms with nothing in them we said to each other, but then as the conversation continued we started to wonder actually what might be lurking underneath the place and whether or not we might be able to access the roof. We made it a priority and got ourselves down there pronto with Ojay and sirjonnyp. It's an absolute beast of a site (check out the aerial view later) and we weren't wrong in thinking there might be more to it. It took two long visits to get around the majority of it and I'm sure we still missed some bits. The main arena was like a scene from the apocalypse, rain falling from above and twisted metal railings strewn across the place. The labyrinth of service tunnels were hiding some epic plant and boiler rooms amongst other things. The roof contained the most gigantic gantry I've ever seen which enabled you to climb to the very top of the structure, happy days! A really satisfying explore this one and perhaps a last glimpse of one of London's most famous venues before it disappears off the planet.​



    1. Epic external shot found on google images, standard.
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    2. Entrance Hall
    17093360209_e785304032_c.jpg

    3. Main arena
    17057620177_014ddedaf3_c.jpg

    4.
    17057627037_f78cf5281d_c.jpg

    5.
    17077480540_9c8ab4cc12_c.jpg

    6. Restaurant posters
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    7.
    17279047921_588917e6cc_c.jpg

    8. Some machines and bits around the perimeter of the arena
    17057630687_877411c894_c.jpg

    9.
    17091758008_8b26c47fec_c.jpg

    10.
    16659323363_e3b952afd4_c.jpg

    11. Service tunnels underneath
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    12.
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    13. Some old photos presumably taken here
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    14. Restaurant kitchen
    17277718482_c141f83bd5_c.jpg

    15. There were 7 of these huge boiler tanks (I'm guessing that's what they are....), you can just about see through the door how long they are
    17093335729_382d3c16ed_c.jpg

    16.
    16659299963_6d06ee45be_c.jpg

    17. Plant room
    17093320609_ca05c9a037_c.jpg

    18. Found this little control panel in there
    17279513115_4897cbc7b0_c.jpg

    19. The Roof
    17057617217_803e306df2_c.jpg

    20.
    17264489541_df5b780b67_c.jpg

    21. Up on the gantry, I used incandescent white balance on this shot
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    22.
    17265012225_a6a2cc2fcc_c.jpg

    23.
    17057606727_b9d9bdc4d5_c.jpg

    24. The last climb to the top
    17263225582_8d458a0934_c.jpg

    25. Sketchy hand held shot looking down with the arena visible below
    17077467100_47af298a0b_c.jpg

    26. Taking a break at the very top of the roof inside one of the little black areas seen on the photo below
    17263228152_9ca40deef2_c.jpg

    27.
    17092309998_47087cb2af_b.jpg

     
    #1 The_Raw, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
    Kal-El, Forlatt, Kimbo and 25 others like this.

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  2. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    continued.............

    Earls Court Two

    In response to the drastic need to increase exhibition space, Earls Court Two was constructed at a cost of £100 million. The barrel-roofed hall links with Earls Court One and the hall's 17,000 sq m floor is entirely column-free. The hall was opened by Princess Diana on 17 October 1991 for the Motorfair.

    Little work has been done on this side yet, not as interesting as the main arena but still well worth a look. Climbing up the sign was comedy gold!

    28.
    17265001165_110512bae5_c.jpg

    29. The scaff didn't go quite high enough to reach the roof
    17077501530_010d57992a_c.jpg

    30. This was an epic moment
    16657103294_5d15b7f0ec_c.jpg

    31. Facing away from the sign
    17077281598_1226214d8c_c.jpg

    32. Ok so this room was quite large and empty....
    17077496400_a70e59b7be_c.jpg

    33.
    17077276768_0ae315f776_c.jpg

    34.
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    35. Giant air conditioning vents
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    36. Car parks beneath
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    37. Up on the gantry above
    17279538995_251d19f4f3_c.jpg

    38. A fitting sign to send us on our way :D
    17093346939_d4aa96a630_c.jpg

    Thanks for looking :thumb
     
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Nice report. Loving those gantry shots :thumb
     
  4. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Yeah was good to see this before it's wiped from the face of the earth, we should have bothered earlier in the year really before work started, myself and @adders popped out of a nearby manhole one night never to return :D

    That said nothing much had changed and I'm surprised nobody else had bothered with it really..
     
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  5. Monkey

    Monkey 28DL Regular User
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    Noice
     
    #5 Monkey, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
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  6. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    I like it!
     
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  7. Kaplan

    Kaplan Procrastinator
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    Massive YES! to this. Top stuff fellas.
     
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  8. mrwhite

    mrwhite 28DL Regular User
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    This is phenomenal!!!
     
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  9. Punk

    Punk Obi Punk Kenobi
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    Awesome, just awesome. amazing report and you were right, that Ariel shot is immense :thumb
     
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  10. Maniac

    Maniac rebmeM LD82
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    Was a cracking night doing this, seems like the bits I didn't see the first time round are the most interesting, isn't that always the way!

    Nice set of photos Mr Raw. :thumb
     
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  11. jimfoz

    jimfoz 28DL Full Member
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    Great report. Sad to see this go - particularly as the Birmingham NEC is so horrible. I went to several Motorfairs at EC and also went with my dad when he exhibited at the yearly jewellery exhibitions - that was held in the upper gallery. There would be walls put up against the balcony so that you couldn't see into the main ground floor exhibition area. I recall sneaking around one of these and just looking down on a tiny solitary person walking within the massive ground floor space.
     
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  12. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Fucking awesome mate, proper good photos. Got good memories of this place from various gigs I went to about 10 years ago
     
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  13. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Pretty awesome report mate :Not Worthy
    Been to a few exhibitions in the past there, shame really :(
    Keep up the fab work......epic pics btw :thumb
     
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  14. zombizza

    zombizza Pink
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    excellent job. the main arena looks good. i didnt even know this was going!
     
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  15. TheTimeChamber

    TheTimeChamber The other one
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    Fuck! Would love to see this - went past this on the train and idly wondered when it was going to be destroyed.
     
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