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Report - - Remains of Union Carbide, Sheffield 22/01/2008 | Industrial Sites |

Report - Remains of Union Carbide, Sheffield 22/01/2008

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Yesterday I decided to cycle to the gym and be really healthy. On my way back I passed The old site of Union Carbide and decided I would poke my nose in and have a gander at what was left.
I followed the old footpath over a bridge across the river, past the in use site next to Union Carbide then up into Birley woods. No one was around at all and the air was still and silent. There was nothing to chain my mountain bike to which could not easily be broken so I hid it in some bushes and stepped over the dilapidated remains of the once tall fence, up the banking and into the site, intending to only be 10 minutes.
The site that greeted me was heart breaking. Where once mighty factories stood tall and proud, a vast and open expanse of concrete stretched out as far as the eye could see, littered only with puddles and occasional mounds of bricks and rubble.
My mind wandered back to a late September in 2006, in my early days of exploring when Myself, Mini, DBS and Iniquitous has visited here, our young hearts racing with excitement and anticipation and our eyes open wide in fascination. Across the empty expanse, a soft breeze rattling the overgrowth was the only sound for miles around. How different it had been then.




I wandered out into the wasteland, my heart heavy but my trusted camera by my side. My only companion.








When I approached the remains of the ancient silo, I recalled how our trip had ended:
Cars had begun to drive around the site and people in army uniforms had been spotted. An Airsoft gome was about to begin. We dived into the nearest door to find our selfs, as DBS put it, "In a room the size of a cupboard." The 4 of us had frozen still as people walked within inches of our faces. Finally young Iniquitous, who was clearly viable had shifted positions and and the noise alerted an army man. After attempting to explain what 4 of us were doing, hiding in a tiny room on an industrial site together, he had ordered us off of the site.
This was the room.



This water tower had always fascinated me as I could see it from my bedroom window as a child and often wandered at its purpose.







Finally I realized that I had been much longer than I had intended to be and my bike was still not chained up. Not to worry I thought. I doubt that anyone has wandered past, and certainly no one who would attempt to steal it.
I got back to the woods and the bush I had left it behind. F*ck! It was gone! Wait. I looked around and spotted it down at the bottom of the hill behind another tree. Perhaps someone had stolen it but not gone far before deciding they didn't want it. I ran down and picked it up. No damage, it seemed ok. I looked up, into the eyes of two police men.
As it happened, two pikies had attempted to take it. They had got to the bottom of the hill but been spotted by the workers at the active factory next to the river, who had seen me on it on my way past. They had called the police who had turned up immediately and scared the pikies off. I was shocked and had to explain to the police where I had been and how stupid I was for not chaining my bike up. They did not seem to mind and I thanked them and left. As I headed for the bridge across the river. I saw movement in the trees and saw two ruff looking blokes nip behind a tree next to the bridge. I looked back at the police, across at a group of 4 factory workers, again at the barely concealed pikies in the woods and the sticks in they're hands and decided to cycle back the other way. A 2 mile round trip out of my way.
Well I certainly caused a lot of fuss but escaped with my camera, mountain bike, life and and these photographs, which I hope you will like.