28DL and UE in the News - Coventry Telegraph Nastech (2.2.2010) | 28DL and Urban Exploring in the News... | 28DaysLater.co.uk

28DL and UE in the News Coventry Telegraph Nastech (2.2.2010)

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
found this today in the coventry telegraph

I’M standing in the middle of a derelict wasteland that was once the place where hundreds of Coventry folk flocked to work.
Armed with just a torch I jump over fences, dodge barbed wire and wade through mud just to observe a part of the city’s heritage that will soon be levelled by developers.

I’m joined by a young man, probably in his early 20s, who I know very little about.
There’s a reason for that. This man – known to some by his online name “Dweeb†– is a leading member of a group of people known as urban explorers.
Dweeb and like-minded people have spent that last five years accessing a variety of buildings destined for demolition. He goes in and photographs what remains, creating a permanent record of the structure.

The pictures, some of them unbelievably haunting, are then uploaded to an internet message board.
Inspired by these pictures – the most recent of which show Courtaulds’ Little Heath Works in the city – I contacted the explorers
And here I am now, not at Courtaulds, but at the former home of Torrington Ltd, on Torrington Avenue in Tile Hill. To get in we hop over a small fence and scale down a mud hill.

We walk through the site as Dweeb, obviously an incredibly passionate individual, tells me about the history.
And even though it’s half demolished, Torrington, a firm who used to make needles for the hosiery industry, is fascinating. We walk around the site which still shows signs of its bustling heritage.
Dweeb tells me that part of the factory was built underground, and sure enough desks, chairs and all sorts of office items are floating around the flooded lower levels.
Apparently months ago it was a remarkable place. The wet summer had preserved the site making it a photographer’s dream.
Now it’s semi-derelict and there are security guards on site protecting the demolition gear.

Which brings me to my first question. Worthy though this is, is it strictly legal?
Yes, and in some cases no, Dweeb responds.
“You wouldn’t believe some of the garbage I’ve read about myself.
“I’ve been called a thrill-seeker, a vandal, a criminal, absolutely everything.
“But I’ve never broken into a site in my life.â€
I believe him. Dweeb, and his explorers, are more guerilla historians than criminals.
Technically at Courtaulds and Torrington we are guilty of trespass, a civil offence. If we had broken in or taken anything, the police may get involved.

Dweeb explains though that his motives mean that caretakers and security guards usually greet him with kind words, even though he is on their land.
More often than not they share his passion for these buildings.
Many caretakers have spent decades there and would like nothing more than seeing them photographed for posterity.
That’s because these remarkable and unique buildings are being pulled down at a rate of knots.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Dweeb, himself an engineer by trade, has a problem with that.
“What can you do?†he said. “I live near Nuneaton and I didn’t want to see the Co-op Hall go, no-one did.
“That was a real shame. We heard there were no plans for the land and in about two weeks Lidl announced they had bought it.
“How stupid do local authorities think people are?
“And a lot of the time people who campaign to save these buildings, their hearts are in the right place, but they don’t know the best way to help.

“A Facebook group, for example, will achieve precisely nothing on a local level.â€
His comments illustrate perhaps the biggest myth about urban exploring.
For all the death-defying reports posted online from cranes and empty tower blocks that are carried out, quite clearly, for the thrill, there are people out there like Dweeb who do it to highlight the death of industry in the UK and the death of the buildings that housed the industry.
These remarkable structures could be turned into apartments or offices and our heritage could be preserved.
But, more often than not, they get demolished and the places where our parents and grandparents toiled disappear.
And the only record of these buildings can be found online – posted by people filled with passion and a healthy dose of enthusiasm.
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
it is a very good article, the repoter gives an opinion instead of just reffering to urban explorers as " dare devils " or "adrenaline junkies"


I should have danced all night
28DL Full Member
Bloody lovely! Well done you Dweebooo! :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice to see an article which doesn't demonise explorers/exploring. Nice one. :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Torrington Avenue Is 5 mins walk from my house!! Fantastic newspaper article. My dad read it & said "Is this what you were trying to explain to me?" Thanks Dweeb...that article explains what urban exploring is all about..plus the fact it puts us all in a good light!!
Wish i'd known about it before, I would have loved an invite! :)
On another note "Dweeb" did you get a chance to explore the MASSIVE warehouse at the top end of Torrington Ave before it was demolished?


Badass dare devil gangsta
28DL Full Member
yeah must agree - very nicely written for a change

a good example to fling at other useless journo's me thinks


Silent Assassin
28DL Full Member
..... have heard people call it Guerilla photography ....
Sounds familiar... now where have I heard that phrase before?? :p


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
We walk through the site as Dweeb, obviously an incredibly passionate individual, tells me about the history.
dweeb humped the cramp out of the reporter aswell? Good work that hairy man!

good article aswell, titles mint I thnk.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Who is the Dweeb ? hehe
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