I'm slightly torn. This blog should ideally feature photographs primarily from Shrewsbury. It is after all the blogs title "Shrewsbury from where you are not." But I have explored rooftops in Oswestry too, and I want to show them off. Would they be relevant in a Shrewsbury blog? Probably not. Would they be better suited for another blog, perhaps titled "Oswestry from where you are not?" No, there isn't nearly enough to warrant an entire blog. In fact I could probably squeeze all that remain into one blog entry.
And that's exactly what I'll do! Here's Oswestry, spewed forth to remind the people of the world that it does actually exist.
Note- The group I explore with have a strict policy of leaving
everything as it was, not vandalizing or stealing, and not exploring or
violating any residential properties, nor do we force entry, merely
utilize existing openings. Any entry on the blog that does detail a
means of access does so under the assumption that the means of access
can no longer be reached. Never would we reveal an existing opening over
the internet, for fear of negative consequences against the property.
The above photos are taken from a bank in Oswestry. I forget which one, but I'm thinking it was quite possibly Abbey or Natwest. Banks are, of all the rooftops in the towns I've explored, surprisingly easy to get to. Nothing quite as worrying as Halifax has ever popped up again though.
The above two photographs are from the rooftop of the Fox Inn, and that means we had a unique view of the mural in the garden, and the band nights that occasionally play there, at least partially. Naturally, nobody saw us because humans rarely look up.
And best of all, Oswestry offers a maze of abandoned stairways and ladders behind the scenes were nobody can see.
The above ladder leads nowhere. The window it used to open up onto is blocked, but the ladder was caked in anti-climb paint nonetheless, just to stop anyone climbing up it for some reason.
Of course it raised the question, why were ladders caked in anti-climb paint? I understand when they put it on drainpipes and lamp posts. But ladders? Generally these ladders are there for a reason, be it rooftop maintenance or fire evacuation. Numerous ladders we encountered in Oswestry were covered in the stuff. I'm not sure which is more baffling- that what are presumably fire exits are coated in paint, or that ladders nobody would even want to climb are. I mean you can tell by the photograph we were able to find other means to the rooftop opposite the top of the ladder. We didn't even need to touch it at all.
Lastly, and none of us had a decent means of taking photos for this, we did find an abandoned attic of Peacocks open to the public. Or at least open to whoever had the courage to climb that high.
My friends hung back at the door while I snuck inside to snap whatever was there to see with my phone. And as luck would have it, they ended up calling me back, having found a sign that warned of asbestos. The likelihood is this building was stripped of asbestos long ago and the sign remained, but there is a chance I inhaled a load of it, which led to ridiculous amounts of research into asbestos, and how much is required to kill someone.
It turns out that the amount one needs to inhale to be at risk varies depending on whether employers are trying to convince people to work with asbestos or to avoid it. Convenient!
Oswestry isn't a bad place to explore. In fact it's quite fun. An epic work out. No, it's not got the heights and views of Shrewsbury, but it's definitely more challenging.