Monday 29 December 2014

Vue Cinema, Pilsworth - December 2014

This 12 screen multiplex cinema opened in 1989 as a Warner Bros, re-branded as Vue in 2004, finally closing July 2010.

In March 1996 the cinema hosted the UK premiere of the John Travolta/ Christian Slater blockbuster Broken Arrow - sadly neither Travolta or Slater turned up, but thankfully John Leslie and Sonya did.

So as 2014 drew to a close up popped this little gem, we had been very patiently waiting, watching the grass and moss grow around the place for years.
 Vue, Pilsworth

 - and then photos appeared....

Weeks passed, with one thing and another we didn't get there, by the time we did the metal fairies and local vandals had trashed the place.

This is what we found, myself, Jdub, Urban Spaceman and a rather pleasant new chap on the scene, Shucky. With tales of roaming metal fairies safety in numbers was order of the day.


First off its a cinema, it is dark, tripod and light painting are the themes of the day, oh to repeat it is dark, very dark and I would not recommend a solo, you wouldn't want to meet anyone dodgy here.





A few of the auditoriums had been stripped bare, seats and all, thankfully not all.







Alas the show was over, time to leave, it had been kicking off down at the Pick n Mix.



Jolly good fun after an extended break from mooching, also interesting to note that at its time of closure in 2010 it was turning over £71,000 a week in nacho, popcorn and hotdogs sales......

Saturday 6 December 2014

Budapest Street Art - October 2014

Bolton is sterile of street art, Manchester is slowly becoming sterile, Budapest was refreshing !!

Don't get me wrong, little men wander the streets of Budapest with scrapers removing post ups and stickers, we saw two painters going thru a pantomime arrest - poor chaps shitting themselves.

 Budapest Street Art

Like many cities, every back street is full of tags, but also plenty of quality artwork and well take a look at the following for your delectation, enjoy...............

Budapest Street Art

Budapest Street Art

Budapest Street Art
Budapest Street Art
Budapest Street Art
Budapest Street Art
Budapest Street Art

Then, the daddy of them all......

"Hungary's 6-3 victory at Wembley 60 years ago resonates like no other in the history of English football. It wasn't just that this was a first home defeat to non-British or Irish opposition, the magnitude of the scoreline or the brilliance of the Hungarian display: it was the sense of shock. Over the course of one game – one hour even, given Hungary pretty much eased off in the final third – the complacency and the insularity of the English game were exposed. After 25 November 1953, none of the old certainties were certain any more."

Budapest Street Art

Plenty more on my Flickr

Saturday 22 November 2014

When Frag met Darmon - Welsh Fail - November 2014

We should have gone to Bulgaria, it all went tits up - so he turned up in Manchester.

If you ever get the chance to meet Darmon Richter he just oozes adventure and mischief with his tales of his international urbex travels, totally a charming chap with none of the bravado bollocks.

Urban Spaceman AKA The Driver and I picked our worldly traveler from the once mighty Trinity Street Station, Bolton - now nothing more than a depository for the local rail "cattle trucks".

Mr Richter had been at it all night with a bit of overground and a lot of underground so we whisked him off to Wales for a bit of a leisurely autumnal drive, breakfast (ish) and some hill walking come disused mine mooching.

We all had a similar goal and off we went looking for tunnels in a hillside, avoiding the lingering school parties and landowners wandering the area, we haphazardly went about our quest.


Urban Spaceman at this point set his stall out and mocked as Darmon and I entered the first tunnel with a rapid duck of heads and what felt like icy water up to our waists with thick mud at our feet. I think the words "cracked cunts" ran thru Urban Spaceman's mind at this point.

Fuck me that water was cold - shit dead end. My legs burnt from the cold water.

Another tunnel, more water, blocked.

Up to a icy cold waterfall, Darmon was like a ferret on heat, I think at this point he was just moving at this speed to fight off the onset of potential hyperthermia - tunnels, rocks, tunnels, oh down to another tunnel, this one looked interesting and down we went....

Fuck, more water and again up to our waist - oh, the water felt not as cold this time - arrrr, it was just we had lost the feelings in our legs.

Keep on moving we did, Urban Spaceman just sat, pointing at tunnels and vaping and laughing under his breath.

This next tunnel went on and on and into the hillside until the tunnel opened in to a vast cavern. Stretching up above above us and then we then looked down into the blackness. We shone our torches down into the vast pit below, we couldn't see the bottom. Darmon and I looked at each other in silence and spun the torches around, this place was vast and deep. We needed to go on to find our final goal.

A historic rusting chain clung to the wall of the cavern, we could grab hold of this and step from the cliff edge and pull ourselves onto a narrow path on the left edge of cavern. It should be easy, rusty chain, pull yourself across, spread your legs, carefully position your self on the ledge and your home - pass the tripods, get your back against the wall.

Oh, the drop 150 ft ? 250 ft, who knows, it was big - no room for mistakes, one slip, one wrong grip it would be game over with no if and buts your dead.

We stood and looked at the job in hand, the drop, the narrow landing spot, "well?", "this is not good or clever", "we can go back", "this is not good at all", "its game over if you put one foot wrong", "no pressure, we don't need to do this".

We stood for what seemed like 10 minutes, eyes up, down, torches all around.

Looking at Darmon  I finally passed him my tripod and firmly grabbed the aged rusting chain and stepped gingerly across the gaping chasm with chippings of stone loosening beneath my feet - made it, back against the wall. Darmon looked in my direction, I'm not sure what was going thru his head "fuck he's done it" or "good to see chicken arse finally got the bottle" - he swung across with his usual ferret like speed.

The ledge we found ourselves on now was about 2 ft wide with an incline into the darkness, we pressed on for a further 40 ft or so until the ledge simply ended and plunged with another killer straight drop to the bottom of the cavern.

Same shit in reverse, except with a little more confidence back to the surface to find Urban Spaceman chuckling at the two filthy wet explorers stood before him.

Welsh Slate

Light was failing and we made our way back down the hillside, we found a further entrance this time on the right part of the cave system we wanted but this was sadly for another day....

Returning back to Manchester we dropped Darmon back at his digs and agreed to finish the job in hand on his next visit.

So I'm going to notch this one down up fail of the year 10/10.

Big thanks to Urban Spaceman for the wheels and timekeeping on the surface and Darmon for showing me that I'm not totally past it ( I did stuff like this in my teens) and taking me far outside my comfort zone.

I got home, examined the multiple tears in my clothes, the cuts and bruises all over my arms and legs - right Call of Duty or iron a shirt for work tomorrow?

Sunday 9 November 2014

Ledston Luck Colliery - November 2014

With no one playing out I thought I would take a spin over to Yorkshire, only to be faced with fail after fail.

 Ledston Luck Colliery

Ledston Luck Colliery, sadly like the coal industry - not much left. What we do have is two winding houses, listed with English Heritage as industrial monuments. One is sealed tight, both are pretty knackered.

The Ledston Luck pit was sunk in the 1870s and in its later life formed part of the now closed Selby Super Pit.

Ledston Luck Colliery

Ledston Luck Colliery

Ledston Luck Colliery

Ledston Luck Colliery

Not much to add really, yet another reflection of the erasure of our industrial heritage - very sad.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Internet Tax Protests, Budapest - October 2014

28th October 2014, this the second protest marched thru the streets of Budapest against the Hungarian Governments proposed Internet tax and resulted in an estimated 100,000 citizens taking to the streets. The Budapest demonstration began at District V’s József Nádor tér and moved across the Danube to the Zero Kilometre marker on the Buda side of the river at Clark Ádám tér.

The night before all this hullabaloo Tin Dog and I sat in a bar listening to the lovely lady owner explain that Prime Minister Viktor Orban was going to tax the Internet by the gigabyte of usage, a sad and dangerous world first !

Tin Dog and I looked and listened is disbelief as a crowd gathered around us to vent anger and worries of a possible revolution - these boys and girls were very fucking serious and we thought it was worth a look, we should bulk up the crowd (all two of us), add support - little did we know how many people would turn out that next autumn evening.

We pottered down to József Nádor tér, a large lawned square with a few trees, we listened to Pink Floyd's classic track Money punching the autumn chill as the crowds gathered - 2000 ? 3000 ? 4000 ? possibly 6000 ? no more than 7000, possibly...

 Tens of thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest against the government's plan to tax the Internet

As the tone of the music changed to classical music, I know not what, the police vastly strengthened in numbers with riot shields, the speeches started - all in Hungarian, but we got the gist of the angry voices and crowd - we shouted, clapped, jeered and waved our phones in solidarity with the mass.

Half an hour later the suddenly crowd dispersed, all very well behaved, a little tame for a demonstration - Hungary had been a Nazi State and then held in a cruel and evil Police State by the Soviets, but this was a little limp even so.

A family walked in my direction with a placard, "I am English, where is every one going?" I enquired, the smartly dressed head of the family group smiled and replied "the city will walk the streets !".

We tried to leave the square, but the streets by now seemed to be rapidly filling up from all directions, so we moved in the opposite direction of the ever growing crowds towards the River Danube.

Walking at speed for about half a mile we suddenly met the front of the protest - now snaking the city centre with people young and old flooding in from every direction, indeed the city was walking the streets with two English men looking on in disbelief at the sheer number of people rallying against the proposed internet taxation.

Tens of thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest against the government's plan to tax the Internet

Tens of thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest against the government's plan to tax the Internet

Ducking the BBC and Sky news crews, we finally edged our way against the still growing crowds, after two hours we needed a cider.
Taxing the Internet is wrong on so many levels, it is state censorship via the backdoor, a tax on information, a tax on learning. The demonstrators put plans in place to fill the streets every 48 hours and then finally on 30th October 2014, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suspended plans to introduce the world's first Internet tax, bowing to the pressure from the protesters.

We did our (very minor) bit and saw something very special, a piece of Hungarian history.

- the British Foreign Office strongly advises against what we did, please remember all demonstrations are not peaceful.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Szimpla Kert ruin bar, Budapest - October 2014

If Carlsberg made.... goes the saying, personally I don't drink Carlsberg as it tastes of piss in our local pubs, but if urban explorers made pubs they would make a ruin bar.

A simple idea, take a disused building, furnish it with bits of junk, unwanted furniture, install a sound system and beer pumps - wouldn't happen in the UK with its elf and safety nanny state.

Szimpla Kert ruin bar, Budapest

This trend in Budapest started around 15 years ago, the bars come and go but Szimpla Kert has managed to hang on with its head high.

So Szimpla Kert, or as it translates Simple Place is for me a refreshing break from the failing UK pub scene, good music which alternates between the open air areas and the large enclosed hall, stairwells and many rooms and alcoves.


 Szimpla Kert ruin bar, Budapest

Drinks, own brand beer, local beer, international beers, wines, the usual spirits and imported from the UK is Henry Westons Vintage Cider (classy move the latter).

In the daytime they hold flea markets and farmers markets, the early evening drinks and meals, then until the early morning hours DJs and live music.



When you enter a pub thru a meat curtain you know your in for a treat....

10/10 - p.s., ignore the photos, come 10pm its is packed to the gills with an atmosphere and music to kill for, these photos don't do this wonderful place any justice.

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar

Parisi Udvar, Budapest - October 2014

In the middle of the main shopping area of Budapest sits a grand old building containing Parisi Udvar, empty with the exception of a small office and a security guard's makeshift office.

Parisi Udvar, Budapest

On our Budapest jolly the Tin Dog and I decided to take a quick look at this empty Art Deco building dating back to 1913.

The arcade of Parisi Udvar (or Parisian Court) sits empty in the Brudern Haz building awaiting salvation, one of the entrances is left open weekdays 8am until 6pm for you wander in and a few people do simply that - so we did as you can and for once nobody minds, which is well as the security guards in Hungary are well known for stealth and prowess.

Looks familiar ? Parisi Udvar was used as a location for the film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - no big thing to be honest as if you do get to visit Budapest you will very quickly find that the city is one big film set, with all manner of low to big big budget TV and film productions going on.

 Parisi Udvar, Budapest

Parisi Udvar, Budapest


Parisi Udvar, Budapest




Parisi Udvar, Budapest

Parisi Udvar, Budapest

Parisi Udvar, Budapest

Parisi Udvar, Budapest