Thursday, 21 September 2017

Bungalow in the woods

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offense 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. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model )

A few months ago I was contacted by a guy called Riggy. At least, thats what we call him. Riggy used to write a very derivative blog, similar to this one, although it didn't bother me because really, what's the point? I only say it's derivative because he'd sometimes copy and paste my phrasing, but that's really more complimentary, and in regards to the content I've never been the only person interested in forbidden tourism. With me operating in Shrewsbury and with Riggy only a train ride away in the sunny land of Telford, it was inevitable that we had the eventual team up. And we did so, when I returned to Ironbridge Power Station, and later with two abandoned houses in Telford. That post was surprisingly successful and even got featured on Telford Live.

Shortly after, Riggy contacted me again. He had discovered yet another abandoned house, boarded up and quite obviously unused, complete with overgrown driveway and huge cracks in the brickwork, obviously in need of a little TLC but a long way from getting any. But Riggy had not ventured in, because when he had attempted to do so, he had heard the faint sound of a radio playing within the house. Wondering if the house was occupied, he returned again at stupid o'clock in the morning, to find the radio still playing but the house undisturbed.

Now, this isn't unusual in places that have electricity. Sometimes in spite of years of inactivity it's possible to turn the electricity on and activate the place. This was done when Michael, Syphilis and I explored Lincoln Grange Nursing Home, and we were able to do it in a decades-abandoned house in the still-to-blog-about Operation Cobra. Personally, from Riggys description, the place he was describing had been found by squatters, or even maybe was still under legitimate usage. It's also incredibly likely that it had been found by urban explorers. It's not at all uncommon for urban explorers to do silly things like put motion-activated halloween toys in abandoned buildings, and do other things to prank people. Christmas House, for example, had a dead bird in it on both of my visits, but more recent photos of it on the internet show that since my visit, someone has put the bird corpse into a bird cage, to imply that the owners abandoned their pet bird. It's not the case. The point is, urban explorers do make alterations to scare future visitors, and that was a perfectly feasible option here.

Riggy ruled out legitimate usage because the main doors were barricaded, and remained so on all of his periodic check ups. And he insisted that there was no sign of squatters either. Maybe there had been once, and they'd moved on. Maybe the culprits were former trespassers, as I suspected. Either way, Riggy wasn't going to investigate it on his own, and I'm a sucker for adventure. It was time to check out the bungalow in the woods.


And straight away, my establishing shot was ruined by a raindrop falling on my camera lens. We're off to a great start.

As you can see, this place is boarded up, and is clearly not in any use.


 Adding to the mystery, it doesn't have a residential vibe around the entrance. It seems like it would be better suited to commerical use.
In spite of its modern design, old maps of the area show a building on this site as far back as 1902, however this building is clearly not that old. Its garage, however, does look a lot older, indicative that an older building stood on this site once. I'm not sure when it was left like this, or why, but there are clues dotted around.


 Among the other buildings on this land are two greenhouses.



Of course, it's been a long time since anyone tended to them.


In addition, there are the remains of play equipment in what was once a garden playground, now massively overgrown. So children did play here once. 

In regards to getting access to the bungalow, I'm strictly against forced entry. If there's no non-destructive way in, I'll call it a day. But Riggy pointed out that one of the boarded up windows wasn't fixed in place, and behind it there was a smashed window. So it had been broken into prior to our visit. This supported the urban explorer theory for its present condition, since this is a common trick, to break in but cover it up, so that the means of entry goes undetected at a glance, and they can have repeat visits.

From the exterior of the building it was possible to hear the radio inside, and it did make me cautious. It was possible that someone was here. Of course, there was one perfectly legal way to find out, and that was to make a lot of noise.
What followed was a good old fashioned musical number, performed live by myself as I danced around this abandoned bungalow in the woods. Just picture Alice Cooper but with Jedwards talent, and you'll get an idea.
Nobody came out to see who was making such a ruckus, and when Riggys ears stopped bleeding, we made our way in.

I want to remind everyone that abandoned houses are usually abandoned because the occupier has passed away. As such, it's important to treat these places with respect. I see them almost like a gravestone for the previous occupier, reflecting their life. As such I don't disturb anything.

Climbing through this window, we came into a small bathroom. For some reason I completely forgot to photograph all of it, beyond these shelves.


The bathroom had what you'd expect- a bath, a sink and a toilet thats in better condition that some of the toilets in some pubs and clubs.

Moving on, I got a few shots of the bedrooms, still full of furniture, but nothing too personal. No clothing, or books, or anything that would give this place a sense of who lived here.


 This room had a wardrobe, some drawers, a couple of chairs and a headboard for a bed.



 A second bedroom did contain a bed, and two televisions.


One of the televisions is wearing a hat. Clearly these are old sets, back when televisions were boxes instead of flat screens.

Turing the corner, I found the source of the cacophony. 


 The radio was plugged in to the wall, and was blasting out the news, something about Oceania being at war with Eurasia. Or was it Eastasia? I forget. There was nobody living here, whether legitimately or through squatting. It seemed to me that this had been done by urban explorers, or similar trespassers, to scare people off.



 My camera didn't focus on this next shot, and for some reason I failed to notice. But as you can see, the radio room was clearly some sort of lounge once. It didn't feel very homely, but thats not to say it wasn't originally. It's clearly not left as it was when it was in use.


 There was another room containing a bed. Curiously there was no kitchen, unless I somehow missed it.


 There was this other room, which had a sofa, and a few display cabinets.


And finally there's a reasonably tidy toilet room.


But as far as the main building goes, thats it. It's pretty mysterious. It looks like it was prepared to be cleared out and then just left. It's also possible that it was looted. The radio being on remains a mystery too, but I still think it was left that way by previous intruders.

Further mystery awaited in the garage!



 Sometimes a good indicator of how long a place has been empty are the newspapers. This one is dated 2004. Obviously it's not an exact date for when this place was left but it gives a rough idea.
Oddly enough, all of the items in the garage seemed a lot more personal.


 There's this ornament missing its head.


 Here's a very dusty hand-held mirror.


 A crate of bottles.


 A computer printer.


 Some shells and face masks.

I really need to get me one of those face masks, given the amount of old buildings I explore. You'd think I would have gotten a mask since the cyanide incident under Shrewsbury.

People do often say to me though that I should give up this crazy adventurous lifestyle because it's dangerous, to which I will often respond "Okay then, so how do you want me to die?"
I'm too aware of my own mortality, that's the problem. I know that in my final moments in this body I will look back on life and ask myself "Was that fun? Was it worth it?" And if the answer is no, then it'll be too late to change anything. Now is the time to make life fun. Death is the main reason that I do all this.


 There's a ring here.


And some childrens tennis stuff.


 I'm no IT technician but I'm fairly certain thats an inappropriate place to set up a computer.


 There's a dressing table here.


And as you can see, nature is slowly claiming this place back.

There's also a number plate here.


And there's also a great big Honda.


 The Honda itself is really mysterious. It's registration is dated 2002 which ties in nicely with the dates on the newspaper. But it's got numerous dents and scratches.


The back plates are particularly interesting as the numbers have been taped over. That's not edited. Someone has used black tape to obscure the number plate. There's also a nice big dent in the boot.


While the car was locked, I was able to peer in and see some of the paperwork on the passenger seat. It seems to be a plan for traveling from Dover to Amsterdam, then Dunkirk and back to Dover. Thats quite an adventure.
Finally, adding to the mystery of this place was some graffiti, all of which pertained to the end of an era.


 This says "We have had a lovely time here. We will miss you. Sophie."

I guess if anyone has the answers, it's Sophie. I obstructed her surname so that she doesn't get pestered too much. Of course, a quick Facebook check revealed that there's multiple Sophies in Shropshire with her surname, and thats just among the ones with Facebook. This particular Sophie might not even be around Shropshire anymore, and I don't have enough leads to go on. What can I do? Message all of them???


 This graffiti reads "I will miss you, Nans House," adding evidence perhaps to the theory that the occupant of this house is dead.


And this reads "Sophies childhood palace."

Presumably the "Sophie" in question came here a lot during childhood, most likely legitmately due to being related to the occupant who has either passed away or moved to Dover via Amsterdam and Dunkirk, but left the details for the journey in a battered Honda.
The battered Honda does remain a mystery, because it's out of place in an otherwise whimsical setting. It's a self-proclaimed Childhood Palace, which came to an end. And then whatever warm imagery that brings up is ruined because there's a battered Honda with tape over the number plate, which I can only imagine someone would do to a car if they were planning a hit & run. Maybe I just have a morbid imagination.

The house, cleared out of a lot of stuff, was clearly broken into at some point, but as always, the who's and why's are elusive. And as always I'm not about to go giving locations away.

But thats about all I've got today. As always if you like this blog, share it on your social media of choice. And don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and like my Facebook. If you can spare some money for the blog fund, hit the donate button at the top. If not, no worries. Far more important to me is that you enjoy your life, and that you help others enjoy theirs, and that you do what you love. Remember, we each have the power to decide if someone else has a good or bad day. Smile at a stranger. Give someone a surprise compliment. When we start giving this shit out, we start to feel better ourselves. Seriously, try it.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a great day and stay awesome!

2 comments:

  1. Hello, can you let me know where this is please as depending on the state of it i may try to buy it, been looking for a property in the telford area and out of the way for a long time now

    ReplyDelete
  2. Honda last MOT'd Jan 2015 it expired Jan 2016.. Currently SORNED..

    ReplyDelete