Tuesday 29 October 2013

Prospect Mill, Bradford - October 2013

As the rain lashed down in not so sunny Lancashire we dashed over the border to not as damp Yorkshire for a taste of Bradford Millage.

With Tin Dog at the wheel we arrived on site (Urban Spaceman being grounded and currently sentenced to hard labour with an industrial sander) to admire this derelict Grade II listed building which dates back to 1849.



Formally a textile mill, the property had then been subdivided into multi tenure business units in later years, before falling into dereliction and some parts sadly falling into the hands of the local fire bugs.





 With the rain starting to tumble down the intrepid explorers took shelter inside the mill, be rude not to and given a big open door invited us in shelter from the Autumnal weather shelter was taken not a moment too soon.





With with the floor good to soggy in parts we wandered a good part of the complex within, a few doors blocked and sadly it would seem we missed a few areas I'd been wanting to capture, maybe a return visit may be needed when time is on our side.





Sadly this place was another blight on the landscape screaming to out be saved, once again making a mockery on the UK's heritage preservation.

More Yorkshire millage to come as the area sports scores of these rotting buildings, such as previously visited Midland Mills in Bradford.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir - October 2013

Spotting an article on the BBC website, an underground Victorian reservoir open to the public for two weeks before its demolition.

Developer Kingswood Homes should be applauded for opening its future building site up to the public for a view of this Victorian brick vaulted reservoir.

Being what many explorers would perhaps call a permission visit, it had also been featured on the local BBC TV news, so off we popped down the motorway this damp Sunday morning.

On arrival you could have sold parking tickets, as PR exercises go it was a success if the number of visitors where anything to go by.

Compared to the Bolton Womble Hole, this underground reservoir was a lot smaller than Bolton, with lower ceiling - but it had style and quality.

 Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

Clayton-le-Woods Reservoir

With every generation of the populous represented in this dark Lancashire underworld we ended our visit via the temporary stairs we had entered, briefly pausing to allow a lady in a fur coat and high heels usher her Peppa Pig Wellington booted kids in.

- All photos taken in Bulb setting, with a rather large tripod to annoy the pensioners.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Explore Everything - Bradley L. Garrett

Reading the forums, Brad (to his friends) has pissed a lot of people off with this book (has he got any friends left according to the forums?). I don't have a problem with people selling pictures or tales to be honest, good luck to the chap - I also have been stick for allowing use of some of my pictures over the last few years.

 Explore Everything

To be honest (note to self -need to stop using that phrase) I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a long while and according to some reports from the Toronto Film Festival that I've read a film deal has been signed (could be a total lie).

I've never met the chap, we have exchanged a couple of tweets a while ago (I can't remember why the hell why - not for any bad reasons I'm sure, I'm derp and aerial he's just mental???), but I got a good discount from Amazon on the £20. cover price and given the coverage in the UK press it had to be bought.

First off the rather nice plastic cover is a slippy pain the arse (very petty I know) but the first few pages grabbed me straight away sucking me in and then sadly it descended into a philosophical lecture into why and how to justify the act of urban exploration or urbex or UE or what ever you want to call it. Originally written for a PhD it does often read as a PhD thesis.

Despite the books inner lecture I found the whole read a page turner and I did read the whole 288 pages over a rather damp weekend and I can highly recommend it, some may however disagree...

As I previously said who am I to be throwing mud at Bradley for what many are saying is screwing over his friends and selling out - I got my friends pissed, booked them flights to a winter wonderland in an ex Soviet disaster zone and then screwed over an international (thieving) sports company - but hey everyone got free boots !!

8/10 to Bradley for the book, looking forward to the film????

10/10 for the exploits which are far above what I will never,ever,ever ascertain (or wish to).

Mr Garrett, if your passing Manchester have a free flight on me, yep seriously just give me a shout.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Chilli Action Cam 3 HD - Velcroed to a DJI Phantom Drone

Following last weeks rapid destruction of the SDV1B DV camera we thought we would try out the Chilli Action Cam 3 HD.

A nifty lightweight little thing, with not much to it. The camera unit is simply a lithium battery powered lens with a slot for a memory card and usb lead output, 720p definition at 30 frames per second - so not the best quality nor the worst.


Given the size of the camera we simply used a bit of sticky back Velcro strip to attach said camera to the DJI Phantom drone and prayed it would still be attached on landing and thankfully it was.

The resulting videos involved no skill what so ever (trust me you can tell), heart pounding I wondered if we would ever see the bugger again?

- Should be noted that the videos do have a bit of jello and whilst with a far from perfect camera setup the propellers of my Phantom are a bit battle worn (understatement) and need changing (spares supplied in the box from DJI).

Video two, a bit more cocky flying in a little more of an enclosed space.

 My worry with the DJI Phantom was without a camera the novelty would rapidly wear off and this very expensive toy would simply languish in the back bedroom, with these admittedly crude videos I can see without any doubt that with a lot of practice, some nerve and a GoPro camera amazing videos will be (could be?) possible.

I could become addicted !!!!

Anyway this is what is possible with a DJI Phantom and a decent camera setup (which seems to be a science in itself).

Oh, the Chilli Action Cam 3 HD, yep worth money if bought from Chilli themselves as its a lot cheaper from Chilli than from retailers. It is going to take the knocks and you won't cry if you do destroy it or lose it, not the best picture quality but hey this was the stuff of dreams a few years ago and at this early stage I'm not going to risk losing a GoPro and attachments.

Let training and saving up begin, best also to avoid destractions such as the text message I received whilst up on the moors "want to fly?"

October Urbex News - October 2013

News for September was fast and flowing, so here is my round up of stuff running from the last few days of September and early October.

First off over to Yorkshire with the Independent, and a time capsule of a country hotel, abandoned for three decades.

The Daily Fail's "undercover" urban explorer goes wandering round a closed military hospital and gets on its high horse about the waste of tax payers money - memo to Paul Dacre, stop editing a vile shit rag of a paper and do something about it, the country is littered with places like this - write about it instead of kicking the BBC and politicians dead dads.

For some strange reason the next story comes from Business Insider of Australia.

Darmon Richter, is individual who seems to creep from country to country writing his journals and this report is of a country that the world forgot, Transnistria,still stuck in a 1980's Soviet time bubble. My pal Tin Dog so wants to go here early next year, but  Darmon did it first (I still owe for that translation).

Under New York, NPR tells the story of Steve Duncan with a nice write up, together with photos and bonus audio.

Daily Fail on "eerie" wartime tunnels, involves use of word Hilter and Nazi (Daily Fail favorites)

Spooky treehouse time, a la Treehouse of Terror, IO9, rather nice.

Bradley Garrett hit all the papers with interviews and details of his forthcoming book (now out as I finally write this) and every paper and the Daily Fail got in on the act, so some variations on the theme.

First stop the Guardian, I'm a bit of a Guardian fan to be honest. The Mirror steps in with a nice gallery of photos from the book, not really known for its interest in urban exploration. Even the daily free paper Metro featured an article, as did the Daily Beast.

The Scottish Daily Record also get in on the act, But then some backlash reports from the Scottish, looks like they don't like him crossing the border and a bit of a Garrett bashing from the Daily Record.

Finally, yes I have ordered the book and it should be hitting my doormat 8th October (which it didn't, thanks Amazon - I see the free postage they offer now means they sit on an order for days rather than simply posting 2nd class post).

One from the Daily Fail, American theatres, nice.

Until next time....