Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Abandoned Village Hall

A little while ago I dragged the tree surgeon on a massive frollick towards the Shropshire border. It was a nostalgic journey for me as I grew up in the area, and we had a vastly different agenda to what we ended up doing, but upon discovery of a run-down community hall in a teeny Shropshire / Powys village the name of which escapes me, we decided that an excursion was in order!
There was a lot of loitering involved, not so much in trying to find a way in. That was obvious! But in trying to figure out if the place was abandoned.

You'd think it would be fairly obvious but this year I have investigated six houses that look abandoned, only to find that the owners have just let the upkeep slip a little. I'm always very embarassed and apologetic when this happens, and it's taught me to be a lot more cautious. But in this case the smashed windows, the cobwebs and the wreckage strewn everywhere was a dead giveaway, upon examination. All we needed after that was to get in.

Remember,  I do NOT disclose locations. I do not force entry, vandalize, or steal.
Trespass without forced entry is a civil offence rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. 

Amongst the clutter we noticed a stage at the far end of the hall, but on the opposite wall was a bricked up doorway.

The building was cluttered with artefacts, most of which was junk, but a lot of which probably has some value. Including, according to the tree surgeon, the inner components of the fire exit light above the doorway. Curiously the outer shell of it was on the floor some considerable distance away, as if someone had removed it but not taken the more valuable components.

There were a few smaller rooms, including a kitchen.

Amongst the clutter in the main hall there were some curiosities.

I've never seen a cone-shaped fire extinguisher before. There were two here, the label of which states it was manufactured in 1959. I'm not going to presume this place has been abandoned since then, but this is still very telling. Surely with modern day obsession with health and safety, this would have been replaced by modern products if the place was still being used in my lifetime.

A samurai in a suitcase.

Some kind of space display.

There was a birdsnest on top of this, just visible.

Anyway, while exploring this place, the floor almost collapsed beneath my feet. Indeed my entire foot vanished down a hole. Needless to say it gave me a shock! I mean in all my years of exploring I can probably count on my fingers how many accidents I've actually had! I'm sure I could count on my toes too if they weren't imbedded in the floor of this hall...
And yet there didn't seem to be an accessible cellar, so where would I have fallen to?

There was another interesting aspect of the place- upper floors without stairs.

I mean how am I supposed to get to this door above a door??? Ordinarily I could easily scramble up there. but I was actually pretty shaky with adrenaline, having almost fallen through the floor.

Fortunately there was a ladder in the place. It was delightfully rickety.

Upstairs was a pretty odd sight. There was a teeny room with a mattress in it.

It was an interesting thought that someone could live here without being disturbed, just by pulling the ladder up behind them. Was someone actually living here? There was a bike in the hall... although with the doors barricaded and the means of entry being so slim, I imagine keeping a bike in here is probably more trouble than its worth. But the mattress room was interesting.

There was also an awesome lamp!

I'm really not sure what to make of this place. It's small in comparison to other places I've explored, but with the ornaments and antiques everywhere it's a treasure chest for the right person. And with undisturbable bedroom facilities, it's a squatters dream!
Should I ever end up homeless, I might just head out to this place and set up camp!

Anyway as you can tell, this place is shrouded in mystery to me. I've never seen vintage fire extinguishers before! Surely this place has been gathering dust for some time. So if anyone recognises it and knows anything about it, please get in touch.
And the same goes for any location on this website. I can be reached on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find me, add me, we'll be buddies!

Thanks for reading! Stay awesome!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Latvian Consulate

Every now and again I do take this blog beyond Shropshire. I can't help it. When I started blogging my intent was to photograph Shrewsbury from the rooftops, hence the name "Shrewsbury from where you are not."
I should have known I'd end up wandering further afield. Sure, I knew I'd end up exploring the wider Shropshire area, but trips to Liverpool? Trips to Camelot? I had no idea this was going to happen! And last weekend I did it again, venturing to Liverpool to get drunk and merry with a couple of friends from Runcorn, and ending up skipping off north to find something of curiosity.

 This place is near Camelot, which this blog covered back in April, and was once a farm before it was converted into the home for the the UK's consul to Latvia from 2005 to 2007. Once it was abandoned, it became a gorgeous place to explore, retaining all the things you'd expect rich politicians to have, such as pool tables and swimming pools.
 Perhaps if it wasn't for Camelot being in the area, only local explorers would have bothered, but since Camelot was a magnet for explorers everywhere this place was consequentially exposed to the same herd that has resulted in Camelot having zero windows and no wall bare of graffiti. And as such, right when the local council were planning on transforming it into a rehabilitation clinic, someone set fire to it earlier this year.

So I'm saddened that I didn't get to see this place in its glory days, except in the photos of others, but ruins are often photogenic too!

And since I was in the area visiting my buddy in Liverpool, and checking out Camelot again anyway, I skipped merrily off to find this place too.

Oh, a sign that warns me that I'm not allowed in. I guess I'll be heading home...


First, let's check out the exterior rubble, which was full of intrigue.

I'm not sure what used to be in this circular expanse, but it was littered with books and chairs.

The bra was perhaps the weirdest discovery. 

But by far weirder, only because of the contrast, was the presence of discarded toys. 

There were stables, where I found some wellies for small children, just to add to the mystery.

Onto the main building...

The building itself looks deliciously unsafe. Fortunately the chances of a ceiling collapsing on me are quite slim when I'm walking in the remains of it.

I was pleasantly surprised by the graffiti in this place. Sure, the same boring graffiti tags were there, but some of it was actually pretty cool.

...Still in better condition than some toilets in Shrewsbury's bars and pubs.

Here are the remains of the pool table.

And here's an old metal railing.

Here are the remains of a swimming pool.

As a nice touch, I found a pipe spewing water upwards, that someone had positioned a couple of drainpipes to, letting the water flow down onto a draining board. Why? I have no idea! Although the fact that this place still has water is a curiosity.

Given the fact that I know what this place used to look like, and what I could have explored had idiots not destroyed it, I found it hard to enjoy this little explore as much as I otherwise could have, although it did have its photogenic qualities. Perhaps the most touching aspect was the fact that locals did in fact care about the place enough to dedicate an entire wall to insulting the arsonists.

And that is why, whenever people ask me where something I explore is, or how to get into it, I kindly ignore the question. Even when I'm running around Camelot and someone is standing on the other side of the fence asking me.

Thanks for reading this small non-Shropshire blog post anyway. As always if you have any additional information or stories concerning this place or any of the other places I write about, get in touch! I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I'll be back in Shropshire for the next blog post! Stay awesome!