Archive for the ‘Industrial Urbex’ Category

Urbex in Cuba: Havana Train Wrecking Yard

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On October - 4 - 2009

Cuba Street View I just got back from a trip to Cuba where I spent a couple of nights in Havana before going to a beach resort for a much more traditional holiday and I thought I’d share my mini-urbex outing I had in the city.  Aside from trying to get a feel for the place and doing the touristy-type things I also took a little walk with my camera during which I came across a corrugated iron enclosure, my urbex-based 6th sense made me think “hmmm… I wonder what’s in there?” and I navigated round to the entrance (FYI, it’s on Dragones between Amistad and Industria – near the Capitolio).

It turned out that the yard was full of wrecked, rusted and derelict trains, most (if not all) having been made in America in Philadelphia’s Baldwin Locomotive Works or the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  After I spent a little while wandering around the yard the owner (or at least keeper) of the place turned up, a lovely old man who rents out the space not filled by trains for use as a car park.  The man (whose name I couldn’t quite understand) spoke no English but proceeded to show me around the yard pointing our the ages on the trains, most of them seemed to have been made around 1920 but one was as old as 1873.

Here are a handful of shots that I took in the yard…

train1

train2

train3

train4

train5

train6

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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

Fisher’s Seed Company, May-2008

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On May - 22 - 2009

Bridge Between SilosThis was just a quick trip, I had some bits and bobs to pick up from the town and I thought I’d leave early to get some urbex in before too many people were up and about. I skirted around the edge of the site on what I presume is a disused railway line (it certainly had that feel to it), carrying on until I saw a clear hole in the fence that was easy enough to fit through.

Once on to the site I had a mooch around the silos, there’s not a great deal to see but they’re pretty impressive and very large structures which are quite a sight to behold if you’ve not seen that sort of thing before. There were a few bits of graffiti around and some wooden boards laid out as though some skaters had been around, though nothing looked overly vandalised which surprised me for a site in such a built up area. One cool and unexpected part of the site as what seemed to be a petrol station, complete with a petrol pump, I guess this must have been used to fuel the delivery trucks but I’ve never worked in a place like this so I can only make assumptions.

Spot the RatI had a little poke around the rest of the compound and saw a rat scampering into a warehouse, unfortunately I just missed getting a decent shot of the flighty little bugger but I managed to get his tail and some fur in frame. I didn’t really make it into any of the warehouse areas but got a quick look into what I presume must have been the offices which was utterly wrecked with collapsing ceilings and smashed up walls – the reasonably intact boiler and a set of drawers were the only things that gave a clue to its original purpose.

46.5 GallonsThere’s quite a bit of exploring to be done at the site, though I’m not sure these days since this mini site-report is almost a year out of date, I may attempt to return at some point in the next few months and see what it’s like. In the end I abandoned the explore part through lack of time and also due to a mild suspicion that I wasn’t alone, in all likelihood it was probably just the wind or cat but my head was telling me that it could’ve been a chav or a crack addict so I decided not to venture into the huge dark warehouse and exited the site the same way I came in.  It might seem overly cautious to some but I’ve always been a fan of following my instinct, tens of thousands of years of evolution have made it what it is and I’m not one to argue with that!


Annesley Colliery, Mar-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On April - 2 - 2009

I grew up in a mining area and like so many others the mines that my father and grandfather worked in were closed down in the eighties and nineties. For me this made visiting a still intact and historically significant mine such as Annesley an absolute must, especially given that the whole thing could be torn down any minute, my historical information on this mine comes from Subterranea Britannica whose article dates the mine back to 1865, running all the way up to the year 2000.

Despite the fact that the whole area of Annesley has been designated a Conservation Area many of the buildings on the site have been demolished and there is a great fear among the locals (proud of their heritage) that the rest will go too, along with the iconic headstocks that still stand. Besides the headstocks only two other buildings have been spared the bulldozers, one I believe housed the canteen and the other seems to have some exterior winch-like equipment but I have not managed to determine it’s original usage.  An article in local newspaper The Chad says that demolition was given the green light in January 2009.

Surrounded by a mound of dirt and piles of extremely large tyres, the only building left easily accessible is the headstocks still white with the giant red “A” on the side (although it shares it’s space with some graffiti now). Once you’ve made your way past the completely ineffective (bent out of shape) fence you’re into the main chamber, there’s a few bits of hanging metal and cables around but it seems safe enough. The area inside is relatively small and you can’t see a great deal looking up to the roof but there is a ladder, for safety reasons I didn’t do the climb myself but others have in the past and have lived to tell the tale – take care whatever you decide. There’s a lot of metalwork inside, along with a giant rusted doorway and several rusted pieces of switchgear left over from the mine’s operational days.

The other buildings weren’t easily accessible and I was in a hurry so I didn’t try too hard to get in either of them, the winch building does have a window entrance that might be OK and the larger building with the clock seems to be fenced off but there may be a way in round the side or front (it is accessible from the main road).

I’m not quite sure if this causes a TimeCop-esque Urbex paradox but I did come across a few bricks on the site made by the London Brick Company, previously based at one of my recent explores at Stewartby Brickworks – I guess the world is full of coincidences!


Pyestock NGTE, Mar-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 26 - 2009

I’d read about the National Gas Turbine Establishment at Pyestock before I went and I was dying to get in there, unfortunately despite walking the entire perimeter (quite a distance) I couldn’t find a way in. I did manage to find a hole in the fence to a smaller compound out the back where I found a giant pool, some rusty ooze and an electrical substation with some cool orange switchgear. It was a worthwhile trip but I was disappointed not to get into the main site, I’m going to get in touch with a couple of Pyestock veterans and see if they’ve got any tips. It’s worth noting that there’s definitely security on the site, I saw at least one security guard patrolling near the front gate.

Check out www.ngte.co.uk for examples of photos and some historical information on the site.


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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.

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