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Report - - Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London - April 2015 | Noteworthy Reports | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London - April 2015


The_Raw

28DL Regular User
Regular User
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
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3. Main arena
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4.
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5.
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6. Restaurant posters
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7.
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8. Some machines and bits around the perimeter of the arena
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9.
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10.
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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
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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
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16.
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17. Plant room
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18. Found this little control panel in there
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19. The Roof
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20.
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21. Up on the gantry, I used incandescent white balance on this shot
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22.
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23.
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24. The last climb to the top
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25. Sketchy hand held shot looking down with the arena visible below
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26. Taking a break at the very top of the roof inside one of the little black areas seen on the photo below
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27.
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Last edited:

The_Raw

28DL Regular User
Regular User
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.
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29. The scaff didn't go quite high enough to reach the roof
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30. This was an epic moment
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31. Facing away from the sign
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32. Ok so this room was quite large and empty....
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33.
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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
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38. A fitting sign to send us on our way :D
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Thanks for looking :thumb
 

Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
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..
 

Punk

Punkus Explorus
Regular User
Awesome, just awesome. amazing report and you were right, that Ariel shot is immense :thumb
 

Maniac

rebmeM LD82
Regular User
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
 

jimfoz

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
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.
 

PopPunkJamie

Irregular User
28DL Full Member
Fucking awesome mate, proper good photos. Got good memories of this place from various gigs I went to about 10 years ago
 

Will Knot

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
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
 

zombizza

Pink
Regular User
excellent job. the main arena looks good. i didnt even know this was going!
 

Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
I drive literally right past the gates of this to get to the A4 every time I leave London, and every time I think 'maybe should have a look in there'... Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Spot on that man, looks like you guys had a good night :D
 

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