Tuesday 29 January 2013

Turner & Newall, Rochdale - January 2013

Up on the list of toxic employers nestled beside United States Radium Corporation sits Turner & Newall of Rochdale.

Once the largest asbestos factory in the world,  the now closed factory has recently been described as Lancashires Chernobyl, this is a factory where kids now freely wander and metal thieves loot whilst bathing in raw asbestos fibres.

We thought we would grab a few P3 masks and have winters drive up to not so sunny Rochdale, a group mooch that was a little smaller than we had hoped, the rumours suggested a group visit might be a good idea.

Visited with the master of derp Judderman and the one only known simply as Zero81, Urban Spaceman was otherwise engaged in his shed.

Judderman had made an explore before, although he had left without exploring the full site, his first thoughts being a state of shock over the level of additional vandalism in such a short period of time.





So far, so good, no sign of the village idiots


The site is vast at 72 acres, which is as well as it turned out we weren't alone....












It was over 2 hours in and the expected finally happened, we ran into the metal fairies throwing scrap out of windows of a great height, falling in our path with some unpleasantries thrown in our direction. We decided to call it a day.


People of Rochdale, rather you than me.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Michael Winner (1935 - 2013)

In my vast DVD and Blu-ray collection (I'm not a digital man) one film is missing, one film that to me reminds me of my childhood years.

No its not Star Wars or Gremlins or Jaws or the various Planet of the Apes films,  its Hannibal Brooks.

You see before the age of multichannel television and video to go certain films popped up the schedules on TV, for many World War 2 was not a distant memory and war films had been a staple diet of any child growing up in the early 1970s.

With a film script written by comedy writers Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, Michael Winner directed a film with a plot about a British prisoner of war (Oliver Reed) rescuing an elephant from Munich Zoo and escaping over the mountains to Switzerland - a war film for all the family.

Roll on to 2011 and can you buy Hannibal Brooks on DVD anywhere ? It was released on a long deleted Japanese issue, but you can't buy a copy for love nor money.

In the age of social media, what should you do ???? I know lets ask the director, step forward Twitter, lets ask Mr Michael Winner how on earth I get a copy of Hannibal Brooks.

 @MrMichaelWinner kind Sir, will the 1969 classic Hannibal Brooks every come out on DVD?Sorry to disturb you if your eating your evening meal

- he had this reputation of being a bit grumpy, so I thought best be polite.

 MrMichaelWinner Michael Winner
@fragglehunter sadly i am not in control of that, there are versions avaiable on internet i bought some

- blimey I got a reply, but oh I think he's hinting a pirate copy ??

That evening, in passing I mention it to my father-in-law (not that he understands anything about Twitter or similar such works of the Devil you understand) and out come some the family photographs. Turns out he was backpacking in Austria when Hannibal Brooks was being filmed in the town of Egg.

@MrMichaelWinner Good Sir ! turns out the inlaws saw some of Hannibal Brooks being filmed 1968? and took some pics 

Egg, Austria - one of Oliver Reed's drinking holes

SS car from the film Hannibal Brooks

 Egg, Austria - one of the locations used in the film Hannibal Brooks

 Egg, Austria, Aida the elephant "Lucy"

 Aida the elephant "Lucy" on location for the film Hannibal Brooks

 MrMichaelWinner Michael Winner
@fragglehunter takes me back when i saw yr pix

RIP Michael Winner

Michael Winner will be sadly missed for many reasons (I rather liked the Esure adverts), but his now classic film Hannibal Brooks is a gap in so many film collections for people of my age I suspect., come on lets have a release or am I the only person who buys shiny discs these days ?

or should I do as Michael Winner hinted ?

Michael Winner 30 October 1935 – 21 January 2013

***Update 24th January 2013 ***

Turns out Amazon do sell this title now, sold on a DVD-R R1 disc

 This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Heritage at Risk 2012 - Crimble Mill - from the air

Back in October 2012 we popped round to Crimble Mill in Heywood, Lancashire, not to explore just to have a gander at one of the Mills on the English Heritage at Risk Register

The blog entry can be found here.

Last week I was passing and grabbed the following shot, I've posted it on Flickr, so just click the pick to zoom in.

Crimble Mill, Heywood - from the air

Another mill sadly being left to rot.

Fritzel's Mill, Saddleworth Moor - January 2013

I'm not going to go into the history of this place, although its a damp smelly old building it does seem to have escaped major vandalism thus far.

Visited with the Urban Spaceman on a chilly, snowy January afternoon.


A couple of reports had popped up, so I thought we would pop in for what surely would be an easy in.

Page 26 of the Ninjalicious guide Access all Areas, advises don't leave a trace and avoid snow, hmmmm.



Sadly what we found was indeed a damp smelly old building, it did have a few interesting bits, but sadly for me not enough to keep my interest.






It was a this point we found our further movement blocked and after a good mooch round the further building was a no go for us, so time to head back.



A quick look in Fritzel's cellar was also unrewarding and so we headed back to our exit, only to be greeted by a cheery security guard who had followed our various tracks in the snow.

A laid back kind of chap, but non the less we left, with my usual trademark photo of Urban Spaceman being escorted off site, sadly no hi-viz or rabid dog.


Friday 18 January 2013

Dambuster Reservoir Run to Buxton from the air

Daft title, if your doing the Dambuster Run of course you have to do it from the air.

So a Sunday blast over to Derbyshire in the plane, with a flight over a set of 3 reservoirs being Howden Reservoir, Derwent Reservoir and Ladybower Reservoir. A setting as beautiful as the Cumbrian Lake District without a shadow of any doubt.

During World War 2 the reservoirs were one of the training grounds of the 617 Squadron or "Dambusters" this was due to the reservoir having many similarities to the German dams.

With snow showers forecast for later in the afternoon, we slowly broke thru the cloud over Derbyshire.



Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire

Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire

Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire

Our speed was hitting between 120 and 150mph over the reservoirs, the Dambusters hit speeds of 240mph, sadly this part of the trip was over in no time at all as started to push on towards Buxton.

 Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire


Into the spa town of Buxton, via Buxton Football Club

Buxton Football Club

Buxton Crescent

 Buxton Crescent

Finishing with a view of the old Buxton Derbyshire Hospital, now Derby University with the famous Buxton Dome.

Buxton Devonshire Hospital, now Derby University, Buxton

I'm not sure how we missed it, but somehow we missed to snap a shot of Buxton Pavilion, but I gives us an excuse to nip back in Summer.....

Monday 14 January 2013

Aerial tilt-shift photography - part 4

Following on from my previous aerial tilt-shifts here we are back on with another set of tilt-shift photos from the plane, all pictures taken by myself on my travels with the legend that is Captain Pugwash.

All the pictures are once again taken within the United Kingdom, so on with the show..
Thelwall Viaduct
 New Image

Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire
 New Image

Darwen Tower, Lancashire or to give it its official title Jubilee Tower
Darwen Tower - Jubilee Tower tiltshift

Limestone Quarry, Buxton, Derbyshire
Quarry Tiltshift

A few random goods yards


Warburtons Bread, Bolton

 Wayoh Water Treatment Plant, Turton

A bit of industrial plant near Warrington

Finally, a rather lovely construction site going towards Liverpool

Thanks for looking, more to follow at some point in the near future....