War Memorial Hospital, Melton Mowbray May-2010

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On June - 23 - 2010

My first visit to to the Ankle Hill War Memorial Hospital in Melton was interesting but a little disappointing since the whole place was boarded up and we could see the interior through the windows but couldn’t get in.  Well, thanks to all of the excellent comments people left on the original post I found out that the place was now accessible and earmarked a weekend to travel up to Melton for an explore.  A few of the comments describe the place as eerie and they’re not wrong – there’s definitely a creepy atmosphere there, I visited the place with a fellow explorer in the middle of the day but it’d be an interesting place to visit at night!

Essentially there’s a few smaller outbuildings towards the road side including a courtyard/garage area but the site is dominated by the main building which stretches up the hill over two levels.  Navigating the main building can be a bit confusing at first as the upstairs part at the lower end of the complex becomes the ground floor of the higher end since the hospital was built on a hill, the corridor between the two sections is also curved so it’s easy to lose your bearings in both axes but if you proceed systematically you won’t get lost.

Since the place hasn’t been derelict for long and has only been recently opened the interior is still in reasonably good shape so the day’s photography focused on the artefacts left behind, mainly signs electrical bits and some more recent graffiti.  Some of the heating and electrical components still seemed operational (one red LED was still lit in the plant room), my favourite shots of the day came from the industrial artefacts..

Whilst walking through the darkened curved corridor I spotted a couple of large paintings on the wall, they looked dull to the eye but the flash of the camera brought them out brilliantly…

There was also an area I assume was the children’s ward since the walls were covered with stickers like this…

And finally, in one of the outbuildings that appeared to be the dentistry department I found a moment of Urbex Fluffy Time…

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!


Lisk Industrial, Feb-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 19 - 2009

After exploring Ankle Hill Hospital in Melton Mowbray I needed to find something bigger and somewhere I could definitely explore completely, as luck had it some quick Googling turned up Comrade Thompski’s Flickr set taken at Lisk Industrial Controls which was helpfully geotagged to guide us to the location. Being Winter the light was already fading by the time I arrived but there was enough light to be going on with and I had my trusty Maglite in tow anyway (wouldn’t go urbexing without it!). The first thing I saw on entry was this bizarre barrel of Green Goo, it didn’t look so bizarre until you put a flash through it and then the colour just goes mental, at best estimate it’s some kind of anti-freeze but I’m not ruling out something more disturbing or sinister! The surrounding area (and much of the site) consists of a series of giant sheds, mostly brick built with corrugated iron roofing, and mostly empty.

The more interesting part from my perspective was some of the switchgear and electronics to be found around the place, I love engineering related bits and bobs and they really give a place atmosphere. Lisk was full of switches, start/stop buttons, gauges, dials, signs, wiring, fuseboxes and all sorts of stuff like that so I was in my element. I didn’t touch too much of it very closely and I’m always wearing gloves so I don’t know whether there’s a risk that some of it is still live though I very much doubt it, the place has been empty for quite I while I expect although not too long since it doesn’t show many classic signs of decay and dereliction.

The back of the complex (probably the bit nearest the road) seemed to be a set of offices with much smaller rooms, carpeted floors and some leftover furniture and other debris. One of the more noteworthy bits of electronic debris was the chassis and main boards of their old Goldstar PBX / phone system, there were several cards laying around and none of them seemed to show signs of massive damage so they might even be usable if you know what you’re doing. Other noteworthy bits and pieces include some strange hexagonal tubs (or perhaps up-ended plinths) made out of MDF and painted green. I suspect that these were either some kind of packaging in which Lisk products were shipped (they seemed to have address labels on them) or some kind of trade stand as there was another giant wooden structure in the same room.

By the time I’d finished exploring the light had really faded outside, making the torch an essential and every shot required the sort of power provided only by an external flash unit (I have a Speedlite 580EXII) – so much so that had to change the batteries whilst on site. It’s well worth noting that after exploring there’s a Marstons pub almost exactly opposite the abandoned Lisk building, the pub does great food (the goat’s cheese ravioli was superb) and seems to have a perpetual 2-for-1 offer on main courses which is pretty sweet in this day and age.

Click the following link to Flickr for a few other pics taken on the day.


War Memorial Hospital, Melton Mowbray Feb-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 19 - 2009

Having decided to do some Urbex in Leicestershire I headed over to the Ankle Hill War Memorial Hospital in Melton Mowbray. Access was pretty straightforward but I did get a few scrapes from the brambles in the adjacent rough patch of land and managed to lose my torch in the rough, once on-site you can see the main hospital building which is a fairly old grand structure (the sort that could’ve been a stately home) and have complete access to the rest of the site. I encountered no security to speak of and only one security camera seemed evident though I expect that it was part of the original hospital and not erected to secure the ruins, it point directly across a doorway which would seem to support that theory as well.

The main problem I encountered here in terms of exploring was that the place is pretty well boarded up, padlocked and sealed and I’m not the type that would force entry or break anything but the exterior is well worth a wander around and you can see a bunch of interesting bits and bobs through the windows.

Despite the lack of access I think that it’s still a good site for a quick wander, the building itself is quite interesting an there’s an array of outbuildings, a fire escape, some archways and an overgrown area that are worth having a nose around. I think that because it’s well sealed the place appears to be in quite a good condition internally and whilst there was evidence of vandals having broken the odd window and having been in one of the courtyards the view through the windows is that of an abandoned but not really decayed building.

Around the site there’s quite a bit of graffiti, much of it seeming to mention “Drunk Irish” (presumably a local) and phrases such as “Prostitute Mutilation”, “Slaughter the Priest Corpse” and the pictured “Painful Stab Wounds Heal My Soul, I Beg For Mercy”. Lovely. I do generally appreciate artistic graffiti but Ankle Hill seemed to be much more ASBO than Turner Prize so I wouldn’t be looking for the next Banksy to come out of Melton Mowbray any time soon.

In summary: worth a visit, but don’t make it your main goal for the day.


Stewartby Brickworks Feb-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 14 - 2009

A few weeks ago I made it out to Stewartby Brickworks in Bedfordshire, from what I can gather it closed it’s doors in February 2008 but having read the post on derelicte.co.uk it sounds as though it had been running at a limited capacity for a good few years before that. I was looking forward to exploring an industrial unit but my heart sank a little as I drove up towards the village as I saw bulldozers around the perimeter, thankfully when I got around the back of the village they appeared quite far away and may not be part of the brickworks at all.

Once on the site I had a look around and started taking photos in one of the nearby sheds when I heard some noise, in the distance I saw a van moving and it eventually drove right past me on the other side of a wall. Other than that and the bulldozery in the distance I didn’t detect any other presence on the site but out of caution I didn’t explore some of the sheds in the direction the van came from.

Despite having not been abandoned for long the site is in a relatively good condition, there’s a lot of rubble around and dust in the air but not much evidence of mould, graffiti or vandalism – quite a refreshing change from most places! The structures seem to be intact and pretty sturdy (I wouldn’t try climbing though), there were some noticeboards that still had A4 paper pinned to it in fairly good condition (notes about the lay-offs) and dotted around the site were some interesting ‘motivational’ signs with slogans such as “QUALITY IS YOUR ONLY FUTURE” or “THINK QUALITY, IT TAKES JUST AS MUCH EFFORT TO MAKE A BAD BRICK”.

I’ve never worked in that sort of industrial assembly-line environment but I can’t imagine those signs really had much of an impact. Other paperwork and non-English language newspapers around the site seemed to point to a largely migrant workforce and there were even some photos taped on the walls showing what I assume were former employees stacking bricks.

Elsewhere around the site there was a good mix of giant sheds and nice close detail to photograph, overall a pretty cool site. If I hadn’t seen activity on the site I’d have been able to stay a little longer but as it happened I had other places to go but I imagine that I’ll return at some point.


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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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