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Report - FORMER MIDLAND BANK HEADQUARTERS (KNIFE PARTY) - LONDON 2015.


Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
FORMER MIDLAND BANK HEADQUARTERS (KNIFE PARTY) - LONDON 2015

*More goonage gathering dust, again in here along with the others



Edwin Lutyens designed this Portland Stone Grade I-listed building in 1924 as the headquarters of Midland Bank in the City of London, which at the time was the world's largest clearing bank. Returning to extend it from 1935 to 1937.

Lutyens designed the exterior elevations plus the ground floor banking hall, basement safe deposit area, directors' and boardroom floors plus staircases and certain other areas.

The remainder of the building was designed by Messrs. Gotch and Saunders.

Following Midland’s acquisition by HSBC in 1992, the building was vacated, stood empty for several years and was eventually bought by a Russian tycoon in 2006.


I'm not sure how many people were here on the night of the 'knife party' in the end, I know there were some heads who were still stuck outside as all hell broke loose

Rewind a week earlier and a good few of us went here and had a poke about with some cans, which was pretty much a standard really

It was fairly chilled and we spent most of the night wandering about and taking pics of the place and climbing the crane before the imminent conversion (Work had already started)

The following weekend a party was organised, which in the end was thwarted by some crazy Russians and a hefty Police presence

The only thing I'd not managed to see from the previous week was the elusive spiral staircase, once in I headed upstairs with @slayaaaa in search of it and we left the others to it as they headed to the vaults to party..

No sooner had we found it and fetched my camera out for a quick shot my phone went mental.. numerous texts saying "you need to get out now" "the building is surrounded by Police" etc etc

WTF? As I hastily took another rather rushed and crappy shot, myself and slayaaaa made our way down only to find Police everywhere

We decided to sit it out for a while but things appeared to escalate rather quickly. The texts and the missed calls kept coming, I know we needed to GTFO

In the end we decided to head out and face the music as others had already been gripped by plod. The plan was to climb out down the far side of the building and walk out as if we'd just taken a piss complete with drunken swagger

We staggered out purposely mimicking the appearance of 2 drunken bums, the plan seemingly worked as we both walked past 2 WPC's and a van without being questioned

We met up with the rest of them to discover that the crazy Russians had pulled a knife on one of the party as they were busted within the vaults

Despite the fuss, the place was stunning, I've always had a lot of love for these places, and one of the best examples I've seen for sure ♥


The pics are mostly wonky rubbish, without use of a tripod and ramped up ISO it's not the best example of the place photography wise, nonetheless I thought I'd share it anyway

On gaining entry, this is what greeted us, it was a right state, thankfully we'd already seen @The_Raw pics of the place or I'd have prob sacked it off at this point :rolleyes:




We negotiated a bit more derp before seeing anything decent...










First stop the Banking Hall, at the time, it was the largest in Europe, below a couple of pics from the 30's/50's






Undergoing renovation, apologies for the cack photos, I wish I'd made more of an effort really








Here, a pic of the bank's main entrance and reception desk in 1930




And below another shonky pic during renovation




Stair Porn






The only blurry pic I took on the night of the Knife Party, before we gave it legs.. I feel a need to go back now just for this




To the Directors' Floor




Boardroom Floor






Next up the Strong Room(s) sadly the only crappy pic I have of that bit




The main attraction here being the Banks Vault, rumored to have featured in the movie Goldfinger, although some say that was a film set at Pinewood..

Still, was a decent place to chill with some cans, just a shame it turned to shit the following weekend :eek:




20-tonne, 6.5ft wide vault door






There's over 3,800 safety deposit boxes in here amongst other stuff








@sentinel keeping the cans safe




"Knife Party"




Be rude not to climb the crane above the roof




Bank of England (urbex tilt edition)




Looking towards Threadneedle St/King William St



GOOD TIMES ♥
 
Last edited:

Pammyj

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Brilliant story and some really cracking bits there! That staircase is something else as well as the vaults. You definitely need to go back!
 

xexxa

Xexxa the grey
28DL Full Member
Bloody hell those vaults! Those balustrades! The references to my beloved knife party! Ahhhhh my endorphins!
 

Gabe

28DL Regular User
Regular User
As you mention the week or so before there was no issues what so ever. I went in here with a few people a couple of weeks beforehand we had the run of the place totally interrupted. Nice and chill. Cans - the usual.

On the dodgy night in question i turned up late after leaving spoons late, i remember arriving at the bank to be greeted with what seemed like the citys entire police force, i think someone somewhere had some dodgy film footage of said 'knife party', i also remember than Jonny left a bottle of wine in there somewhere and when he asked the police about it, they kindly went and retrieved it for him.
 

Brewtal

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Sounds like a nice chilled out evening.

That vault door is incredible. Great report mate, lovely pics and an entertaining write up!
 

Seffy

SWC | Bally up!
Regular User
I just remember standing across the road watching car after car turn up - we simply observed with cans in hand. 0-100 damn quick! Good photons to boot mate!
 

The_Raw

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Haha good times. We should organise a sit down meal there some time and pay a revisit to the vault for the lolz
 

sirjonnyp

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Some corrections / additions to the narrative :D (these now seem like distant memories, but I think they are accurate and in the correct order)
  • The first group in (including yourself and Monkey) had got downstairs, somehow alerted the guards and then (at least some) started bailing.
  • As we (the second group) were making our way down to the bottom, trying to figure out where the vault was (because everyone who knew seemed to be in the first group) Monkey comes flying past making that weird noise that only he can make with two East European chaps in hot pursuit. (I seem to remember others running past but can't remember who.) We didn't know what we were walking into.
  • One guard grabbed Speed with a stanley out, Maniac went to get involved and I told Angelika to get everyone else out, then went back.
  • The more aggressive chap had Speed by the arm, marching him upstairs at knife point, Maniac was saying that he wasn't allowed to do that in this country (I was triggered at how unwoke this was) while he was on the phone to the police at the same time and I was picking up Speed's camera equipment as it was spilling out of his bag, trying to reason with the non-aggressive guard, lenses flying about.
  • It was Maniac that phoned the popo and it probably took them about five minutes to get on site, the guard wouldn't let Speed go until they got there. We just sort of stood around trying to reason with them and telling them that there was no point to call the police because we had already done it.
  • It was tense as fuck. I had to open my bottle of cornershop piss wine.
  • The police arrived en massse and separated everyone.
  • I gave my statement to a nice young policeperson who was dead interested in what we were up to, said it seemed like a cool hobby. I asked her if she could fetch me my bottle of wine that I had left in the other room. She obliged and I had a rollie.
  • One of the popo then piped up 'hang on, where's this knife then?' - I pointed out the stanley that had been thrown into the floor, stuck upright. 'Ah.' (I have photos of this on my phone somewhere)
  • The police then got the dogs and we assured them that there was no point searching - anyone else inside would have already bailed out. I think they still gave the dogs a walk.
  • Then the top dog arrived. Mrs Big Bollocks with the badge to prove it. She meant business. Gave us a talking to about trespass. Turned to the guards. Gave them a talking to about knife crime. This caused me to smirk a bit. She turned to me. 'AND YOU CAN WIPE THAT SMILE RIGHT OFF OF YOUR FUCKING FACE DO YOU THINK IT'S SMART CLIMBING UP BUILDINGS AS PISSED UP AS YOU ARE?!' Apparently 'Well I couldn't do it otherwise' was not the answer she was looking for.
  • After that the police just sort of left, and then the guards showed us out of the front door. I shook hands with the reasonable one. Maniac still trying to explain the variance in knife law between our respective nations.
  • Then we looked across the road, past the seven police vans, at the crowd of 25+ pissed up heads laughing their tits off at us, who had no idea that Speed was incredibly close to getting his aorta bisected.
  • We then went to the offy, laughed at a weird night walk thing, went into shoe lane, I got naked and Scott tried to set fire to my pants. The fire brigade may also have been involved.
One of my favourite nights out, despite how scary it was to have your mate held at knifepoint by some very angry people. I have the video of it still, shall have to get adders to make us a youtube,
 

Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
@sirjonnyp was it you who had the video clip of the knife incident ?, I do remember someone playing it back to us all on the night, however we'd all had a few too many cans and I can't remember who it was in all fairness
 

sirjonnyp

28DL Regular User
Regular User
@sirjonnyp was it you who had the video clip of the knife incident ?, I do remember someone playing it back to us all on the night, however we'd all had a few too many cans and I can't remember who it was in all fairness
Yep that's me, just found it in my phone. Will have to get @Adders to make us a YouTube of it. The above took me about twenty minutes to write up because I kept laughing and having to explain to Mrs P exactly what was so funny. Of the many blinding meets I've been to, that one is definitely up there in terms of shit going down. Someone had a photo of all the police vans to show us when we got out, it was dead impressive how much tax dollar we wasted. Speed and I had had such a lovely afternoon before we got to minories too

Also worth mentioning that the secca were only there because the guys who checked it the night before had not left only footprints I think me and someone else had checked soho and the others checked the bank and as soho was a no go we decided to do the bank because there was never any secca. That spoons in Tower Hill got royally trashed too.
 

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