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Early explores.
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Thread: Early explores.

  1. #1
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    Smile Early explores.

    I've always been interested in old buildings. I remember when I was a little kid around 11 years old exploring an old house near my school, I was terrified and excited at the same time And I've liked photography for a long time too so, putting the two together was a logical thing to do I suppose! I'll scan some old negs and prints and post them here. Off the top of my head I've got some pictures of Eastbrook Hall in Bradford and the old ABC cinema Leeds to start with.
    Last edited by converse1; 18-06-2008 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Spelling!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    ^^ yes mate there is, Exploring the your local environment has been an activity that has gone on for years. I recently read Fred Dibnah's biography, as a small boy he found his way into and explored disused cotton mills he was fascinated by what he found.

    Social history is a neglected part of our documented history. I think UrbEx goes some way to filling this gap...

    Go forth and explore!
    Last edited by converse1; 07-07-2008 at 07:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    I think my earliest memory of exploring was 13-14 years old. I lived in a little village called Pill which is opposite the docks at Avonmouth. If you ever come down the M5 you'll go over the Avonmouth bridge and to your left is a small village. Anyway at the top of the village was a hospital known as 'Ham Green Hospital' It's older name was 'Ham Green Isolation & Tropical Disease hospital'

    By the time I was at this age a lot of the hospital had closed but nothing had been done with the buildings. As teenagers we used to walk up and down the disused railway lines that ran close to the hospital. By this hospital ran a tunnel not short of a mile long and it was the done thing as a kid in the village to walk through this just to prove you had the bottle. Going slightly off topic but if anyone is a fan of 'The Young Ones' you may remember the episode where they go on a train and viven gets his head chopped off. Well that's the tunnel and the track he kicks his head around is the old village station!

    Anyway this hospital had some absolute gems, the best being the nursery for the staffs children. In 1982 it suffered a small fire. This fire forced the closure of the building and it remained closed thereafter. Inside the place was left as the night before it closed... toys left around the rooms, paintings still hanging up over the sink to dry and jiqsaw's left half finshed on the table. I am not one to feel scared, but this place freaked me out everytime I visited.

    As a kid this was the only place to explore.. nobody thought about exploring the hospital, its FOUR slab mortuary or its isolation wards... it's a good job I did make the effort prior to the final demolition of the place... it's just a shame back then (I must of been about 16) that I didn't think anyone would want to see photos and why would I waste a 35mm film on doing so

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    I used to Live near Shipley/Thackley in the 80's/90's. Used to bunk off school & went exploring old sites as something to do in the day,
    Anyone remember Shipley goods shed?(location: http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=53.83....5&r=0&src=msl) was still there upto the millenium i think, sported rails in situ along the east wall with a lovely wooden platform & wooden sash window office at the north-east corner. the yard of it was the scrapyard Damn me for never getting photo's

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    My first explore was actually in Germany when I was only 5 or 6 years old. We went for a walk in a dam, I can't remember names of course, and came across an enormous factory. I do know however that this site was demolished and used for development of housing years later. It is by memory one of the best sites I have ever visited. I remember it was absolutely gigantic, very eerie and we spent hours looking around. I also remember that I was really excited and fascinated by something that should be active being left to rot.

    A few years later and I was always exploring local little sites or dark basements of friends houses. Years later I started to go after local legends such as Lymm's Roman Tunnels (which I found, and turned out to be true!), Air Raid Shelter and then eventually, I began exploring drains solo or with friends without realizing there was a community for it all on the web!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    I remeber we used to play inside Kirkstall power station when i was a kid long gone now the 2 chimneys were a landmark in leeds for some time was demolished in the eighties
    "God will forgive them. He'll forgive them, and allow them into heaven. I can't live with that."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    Me and My Dad used to go walking when I was little, and we'd find all these great places; old tips, abandoned railway lines, old farmhouses and mills. One of my earlier memories from when I was about 5 or so was my Dad daring me to go up the rotten stairs in an old farmhouse and asking me what was up there - he got me to run across the rotten floorboards to find out what was in the rooms (thousands of bits of clockwork - out of watches - if you're interested). Later on, when I was about 8, I discovered Healey Dell and it's hidden delights (Healey ROF and the ruined mills) and then later still, as a teenage lass I'd go into Manchester early before meeting friends, and wander about in the old warehouses and canal tunnels behind Picadilly (before the bomb and before they all got converted into swanky apartments). My friends thought I was mental and would probably end up raped or murdered or both.

    I was an odd child

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    My first explore was an old factory opposite my mum and dads house. It was originally built to be a cinema, but it was never to be WW2 came along and it was turned into a factory. The factory closed in the early 80's, that's when I went for a nosey................. the rest is history
    All things bright and beautiful.............

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    The one I regularly kick myself over is Colney Hatch Asylum in Friern Barnet... I explored it during the exceedingly brief period it was doable, many years ago now... Went with one camera, one 50mm lens, and some Kodachrome - got pictures of the huge chapel with parque floor and dark wood pannelling all over as well as a very large organ [cheeky], the longest [arched, waffled ceilinged] corridor of any asylum in the UK, secure cells, the panelled board room, dispenseries, wards, the grand staircase, the projection 'box' - which was just that, a huge metal box with a door, suspended from the ceiling by bloody great bolts, reached across a little bridge & dangling over the central well of a large square/spiral staircase... I remember it like yesterday - what a gorgeous place it was. BUT then I had a photographic hiatus for the best part of 10yrs and ended up throwing out loads of negs and slides - what a silly fecker I was. I have only ever seen one other urbex shot of it [the corridor], and I was probably one of a handful of people who ever went in & even fewer who took a camera. My slides - crap as they were - would've been priceless now. Even Simon Cornwell never had the honour [I asked him], and the asylums he hasn't done over the last 15 or so years you could write on the head of a pin.

    Although I'd been exploring for some time before hand, that was the one that made me determined to do things properly and never throw anything away.
    "Look. Ready? This is it. Forget all previous orders. Just give me a sack of coke, two large rocks, two pink boobs, an enormous lemon, and a large bare lady of the house."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Early explores.

    My first explore into derelict buldings was around 1978 (i was 6) when they pulled down the streeet my first home was on. As it was my old home it did'nt feel strange even though it had no roof or windows or anything. I remember taking old broken toys my parents had left behind to the new house a block away and standing there saying i had not been near the old house But my first explore into a proper derelict building was about 1980 when a gang of us went into a huge 4 floor victorian derelict orphanage and that scared the crap out of me. My first photo explore was old buildings on grimsby docks about 19 years ago, time flies eh
    Actually danger in my maiden name...

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