Wednesday 22 November 2017

Haddon Tunnel, Derbyshire, November 2017

After a short break in explores I joined Tbolt and Snapt for chips and curry up in Matlock Bath followed by a quick mooch into the Haddon Tunnel in the failing light of the late afternoon Autumn murk.

Haddon Tunnel opened in 1863 and closed as part of the Beeching Report. Built to hide the railway from the sight of the Duke of Rutland as it passed his home, Haddon Hall. The now closed tunnel runs a total length of 967 metres.

Sadly I brought the wrong tripod for the job in hand.







Easy potter in, sadly I have been spoilt with tunnels and one gets a little complacent over time.

Sadly a 5/10 from me.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Melba, Bury - September 2017

This place was one of my very first explores back in 2012. Interesting to go back and reflect on the change in both the building and my photography - here is the first report.

On this latest trip I visited with Tbolt.

Not much history, closed donkeys years ago, used to make traffic cones, the company still trades from another location.










Strangely found it rather good this second time around, but then sometimes its simply the company you keep that makes an explore. 6/10 (point deducted for size).

Monday 4 September 2017

Commodore Lithographic Publishers, Liverpool - September 2017

Visited with Porky Pig and Tbolt prior to demolition.

Very little history about the place, but it seems to have closed for business around 2007.









Not great, but not bad 4/10

Sunday 3 September 2017

Hulme Hippodrome, Manchester - September 2017

I had wanted to visit Hulme Hipperdrome for a good few years and it would seem this is now the latest tourist bus explore for the Autumn.

Visited with Tbolt and Porky Pig, warmly welcomed by a small group of squatters currently living in this semi derelict theatre.

The friendly group have taken occupation of the building in the last few months and taken it upon themselves to tidy the place up.


The unimpressive, from the outside, building opened in 1901 and was originally known as the Grand Junction Theatre and Floral Hall.

The building was last used as a theatre in the 1960s, converted to the usual bingo hall in the 1970s during the bingo fever that swept across the UK, closing in 1986.

The theatre was then bought by the church group Deya Ministers, run by one Gilbert Deya an evangelist minister from Kenya whom was later deported to Kenya in a miracle bady scam which involved child abduction and trafficking. This man also preached that AIDS and HIV was a spirit or a pestilence that comes upon people who are cursed, the conditions could not be treated by medicine because it was a spirit. Gilbert Deya also preached however that the cure of AIDS was by rejecting it in the name of Jesus.

Don't let the bright colours in the photos fool you, this place is sadly in a very poor state of repair.








Excellent, 10/10 - ask for Syd and take an offering.

Thursday 31 August 2017

Sports Venue, Varna - August 2017

My first explore of the day with Darmon Richter, we had a wander round with the cameras and had a cheeky beer whilst hiding from the harsh afternoon sun.

History is somewhat lacking for this abandoned sports venue, apparently built to be a showcase to the world as to what Bulgaria could offer as a possible Olympic venue.

Built on the Black Sea coast, the building is unfinished and abandoned for an Olympics that never happened.




Please forgive me for repetition of similar photos, I just found the place very photogenic and one of them very special chill out type of locations so very sorry the over indulgence - the cold beer and company did also add that extra to the visit.













For me this is one of those special places without any Indiana Jones type shit, simply sat hiding in plain view on main city road hidden from the world by the undergrowth around it.

I give it a resounding 10/10 chill with beer score.

Tuesday 15 August 2017

The Monument to the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship, Varna - August 2017

Earlier in the year I managed to persuade Mrs Hunter to book the family holiday in Bulgaria. Why persuade you might ask ? Well you see a rather splendid chap whom I infrequently meet up with is based in that part of the world and if you travel all that way it would be very rude not to pop round and well, meet up and see some stuff.

I sat in a local cafe waiting for Darmon Richtor, and him not being a morning person he was late, sorry hang on he wasn't - I was early, having had only 3 hours sleep I sat hiding from the midday sun drinking coffees with fresh lemonade chasers. I hadn't seen him since our Latvia and Lithuania road trip and well I knew he had something rather good to show me and I will be very honest, I was a little excited.

This place was in our second explore of the day.

The Monument to the Bulgarian Soviet Friendship or as it is sometimes called The Russian Monument is a rather grand monument perched 110 metres up on top of a hill above the city of Varna overlooking the Black Sea. A rather deceptive monument which is in fact building with a big secret (more on that later).

Built over a four year period from 1974 the monument acts as a memorial for Russia's support of the Bulgarian people during the 1828-29 Russo-Turkish War.  The political changes of 1989 saw the monument fall into disrepair and without going into any politics, the monument splits opinions.

On with the explore


Hang on, 301 steps and although I didn't count them it was a killer in the early mid afternoon sun, oh you will have to trust me on this, it was hot - very hot.


This shot does not really give a sense of the size of the monument, but it stands 23 metres in height with a width of 48 metres.



So now having reached the summit it was time to go in and unfortunately the entrance sadly had been recently sealed preventing our access.


Fortunately my guide knew of the "servants" entrance and with a bit of a wiggle and limbo in we went to darkened snaking maze of corridors taking us up thru and ultimately onto the top of the monument.

By this time I was hot and bothered, however it was nearly time for some of that cold beer that we had cunningly picked up from the shop before our ascent.



We then started to make our exit and for that promised beer, via the "Star Room".


Pausing to look in the darken depths to a sealed lower level.


Out back into the heat of the day we paused and chatted for a catch up since our last meeting drinking our hard earned beer and then Darmon teasingly let slip "there is more".

We carried on towards the base of the hill, I heard mention words of warning about snakes in the undergrowth - great !!!

Resembling a Dharma Initiative hatch way from an episode of Lost and all we needed now was the dreaded Smoke Monster as we entered some kind of military bunker.



It was vast....


Really, really vast and a sprawling maze.



After a good wander around Darmon directed me to a shaft which rose up thru the hillside into the monument above.


Under our feet lay uniformed guillotine cut stone and we stood a few feet below the surrounding floor level. The shaft seemed to continue below us and had been obviously filled in, but someone had been busy removing the stone by hand - perhaps the bunker complex continued below into further levels ?