Archive for the ‘Urban Explorers’ Category

Top 5 Derelict Industrial Sites

Posted by sickbritain On September - 5 - 2009

Following up on my Top 10 Abandoned Asylums post I decided to start looking at other ‘genres’ of urban exploration, in this week’s post it’s going to be industrial sites.  When I started researching the list I had a few obvious sites in mind but for the rest it was really tough to build a good solid list, industrial urbex seems to be much more diverse and localised than asylums.  It seems that explorers will travel great distances to visit an abandoned asylum but there are seem to be enough derelict warehouses, mills, factories, etc. on a local basis so people tend to visit places close to their homes.

As before, I have selected a top ten list based on the number of Flickr photos I found for each site in a single search, doubtlessly I will have missed important sites and got the ranking wrong but please feel free to point them out by leaving a comment. All of the photos used below were taken by other photographers and are used under a Creative Commons license (click through to Flickr for attribution), if you think you’ve got a better photo and it’s not CC – get your licensing sorted!


1. Pyestock NGTE

2. Inverkip Power Station

3. Nottinghamshire Colliery Group

Annesley, Clipstone, Pleasley


4. Steetley Magnesite

5. Thorpe Marsh Power Station

Top 10 Abandoned Asylums

Posted by sickbritain On August - 19 - 2009

All over the UK dotted throughout countryside and city alike lie abandoned asylums, relics of a bygone era of mental health where the aim was to isolate patients in a secure facility rather than integrating them with the community. Here I have selected a top ten list based on the number of Flickr photos I found for each asylum in a single search, doubtlessly I will have missed important sites and got the ranking wrong but please feel free to point them out by leaving a comment. All of the photos used below were taken by other photographers and are used under a Creative Commons license (click through to Flickr for attribution), if you think you’ve got a better photo and it’s not CC – get your licensing sorted!


1. Hellingly
hellingly01

hellingly02

2. Cane Hill

canehill01

canehill02

3. West Park

westpark01

westpark02

4. Whittingham

whittingham01

whittingham02

5. Severalls

severalls01

severalls02

6. Denbigh

denbigh01

denbigh02

7. Deva

deva01

deva02

8. St Mary’s

stmarys01

stmarys02

9. Talgarth

talgarth01

talgarth02

10. St John’s

stjjohns01

stjohns02

 

 

Sick Britain Interview: Simon Cornwell of urbex|uk

Posted by simoncornwell On August - 5 - 2009

[Sick Britain] I'd like to thank Simon for the interview, his site urbex|uk is one that inspired me to start taking photos of abandoned buildings.  Please note that all links in the interview were added by us here at Sick Britain to help readers follow-up and were not supplied by Simon.

Q1: Who are you?

Simon Cornwell and I run the urbex|uk (www.simoncornwell.com/urbex) website. I’m also one of the moderators on Derelict Places (www.derelictplaces.co.uk). I’m also known in the community as “Simon Cornwell”. It was a conscious decision from the start that I would use my real name for all my urban exploration; I feel it adds integrity to my writings and explorations.

Q2: Why do you do Urban Exploration?

I was always in-and-out of derelict houses, old bomb shelters, river culverts and tunnels as a child and never really grew out of it. When I discovered various urban exploration sites on the Internet in the late 1990s, I realised it was something I missed and started sneaking in and out of derelict buildings again.

I’m driven by mainly by curiosity. What’s in that old building? What was it built for? Who worked there? Why was it designed in this form? Why did it close? I turn these transitional sites into temporary museums where the price of admission is guile, agility and courage. Therefore I’ve experienced being in various locations which I would never have been able to: anything from old lunatic asylums through to top-secret military installations.

Q3: What's the best explore you've been on?

Cane Hill, 13th July 2002. There had been various pictures of some of the interiors of the buildings (mainly the laundry, corridors and water tower) on Andrew Tierney’s “the_one” website but this was the first time I’d been deep in the bowels of Cane Hill itself. The main hall had been burnt down a month before, but the Chapel was still fully fitted with its pews, pulpit, organ and other furniture.

There’s always something special about going in a building and not knowing what to expect. But that day in Cane Hill was superb. (It was later written up as “Grand Tour” on my website).  Cracking the water tower six years later was also memorable and it felt like finally finishing the site off.

Q4: What's worst explore you've been on?

St Lawrence’s, Bodmin in January 2007. We drove all the way to Cornwall (from Royston) only to get busted within five minutes of reaching the Fosters building. We were really unlucky: the alarm system was malfunctioning, the security guard was therefore on the prowl looking for people, and we turned up at the same time.

Another memorable experience (for all the wrong reasons) took place at an asylum with a film crew. It was decided that we wouldn’t go up the water tower, but everyone was so fired up by the day’s filming that they all shot up the water tower stairs like rats up a pipe. The director pointed out a missing slat on the way up but forgot about it whilst climbing down. He fell the last step, scraping his shin on the jagged edge of the rusted metal slat, before slamming down on the concrete floor. We thought he’d bust his leg, but he managed to hobble out with help.

Q5: If you could explore any site/facility in the world, what would it be?

Area 51 is top of the fantasy list followed by the wreck of the Titanic.

Q6: Are there any pieces of kit that you'd recommend to others?

Heavy boots, multiple torches, mobile phone, water and food.

Also get the best camera you can afford. I wish I had a better camera for my first forays into Cane Hill. I was halfway through formatting the “Grand Tour” when I realised that the quality of the photographs I’d taken were crap. It was the early days of digital photography, and the early tours on urbex|uk reflect that, but I wish I’d got a conventional camera or a digital camera with better resolution.

Q7: If you could give any tips to newbies or experienced explorers, what would they be?

Remember the motto: “Take only photographs, leave only footprints.” Keep to that rule and you’ll stay on the right side of the law. And that’s for newbies and experienced explorers.

Never delay exploring a site. Always seize the day and get out there. These places are in transition and they won’t stay derelict for ever; they could be demolished tomorrow.

Q8: What would win in a fight: 1,000 chickens or 1 giant chicken the size of a thousand chickens?

The 1,000 chickens would swarm all over the 1 giant one and gradually destroy it.

Urbex Community: Talk|URBEX

Posted by sickbritain On July - 17 - 2009

After a run of mainly forum or photography sites I’ve found something a little different, a blog. Talk|URBEX is just starting out but aims to “share amazing locations, hints, tips and provide articles on camera equipment, post processing workflow and help on getting that perfect angle to provide the best record of the urbex site”, given that it’s aims are very allied to ours here at Sick Britain I intend to watch this one with interest!

www.talkurbex.com

Talk|URBEX

I Heart Street Art

Posted by sickbritain On July - 4 - 2009

It’s one of the many Marmite “Love it or Hate It” areas of the art world and a controvertial subject in the general public’s eye but I really do love graffiti, or to use it’s euphemistic moniker, street art. In the world of music I tend to like high-energy music (e.g. drum’n'bass, heavy metal) or songs where the lyrics really have something to say (e.g. rap, hip-hop) and the same can be said of the graffit world – I like a high visual impact or I like the graffiti to speak to me, to carry a message.

I’ve put together a few examples of graffiti that I found whilst grazing the pastures of Flickr, I guess you can’t start any post like this without really mentioning l’artiste du jour: Banksy. Not only is this piece very pretty it also carries with it a heavy social commentary as does much of his work, whist it’s instantly funny I feel a wave of sadness when I look at it – that feeling of our history being washed away…

That’s not to say that you have to be particularly arty to create work with humour and social commentary, there’s something about this piece that I really like even though there’s not a great deal to it…

Whilst it doesn’t carry any appreciable meaning I love aethetics of something like this…

The same goes for this more elaborate and colourful piece, I love it…

I’m not really convinced that this next one counts as Street Art since it was an installation in the Tate Modern but I think it shows what impact a piece of art can have when rendered on a large scale (something graffiti plays to significantly)…

Please don’t get any of my praise confused with tagging (i.e. single line drawn names – neither colourful or artful), the pointless scrawling of a name across a building or railway bridge does nothing for anyone. I’ve heard arguments that graffiti started out as tagging so we should think it’s OK but I don’t buy it, tagging is for wankers – pure and simple. The above examples all take thought and skill, that’s what makes it art to me and that’s what makes it awesome.

I heart street art.

VIDEO

TAG CLOUD

About Me

If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

Twitter

    Photos

    BarEnjoy the View...awaiting the surgeon..9047 Get Out.....admiring the view..Vale of ClwydAbandoned Textile FactoryJust Another Manic Monday.inspiral...RestaurantThe Pheasant & OrganistMinffordd Cottage Hospitalcafeteria..Reception CorridorMethodist Church UptonWard A