(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 )
To recap, Operation Cobra is an epic road trip, to some distant abandoned location in Wales, that may or may not be sealed, or possibly demolished, because my sources are known for their lies. However, the house does exist, and we are going there. Just in case it was a wasted journey, I had my loyal sidekick, Tree Surgeon, help me organise a route that would take us past as many abandoned sites as possible, so that I could make many little adventures throughout Shropshire and Wales, and watch as my blog title goes from inaccurate to outright ridiculous.
All we needed was a team to make the road trip with, each armed with skills that we may need, from the utterly crucial driver to the potential cannibal bait just in case we ran into any in the wilderness, and then we hit the road.
Eventually, on the way to a ROC bunker, we came across this creepy abandoned caravan park hidden away from sight.
The best adventures are the accidental ones. Tree Surgeon and I had planned out our journey meticulously and still stumbled across this place completely accidentally.
So what's the story?
These static caravans sit on a patch of land which also included a derelict mill, which upon inspection appeared to be in the process of renovation. It wasn't always so though. Had we got here a few years earlier, the mill would qualify for this blog too, but the mill was purchased in 2015, and is being fixed up.
The mill is of significance to the area, in particular a nearby town in the quaint Welsh wilderness, whose name translates in English to something to do with a parish built on a former Roman fort. Seriously, you might look at Welsh places and think "Good grief, I may need to put a golf ball in my mouth in order to pronounce that correctly," but often they just translate to simple things like "village by a bridge" or "church on the remains of a fort" or "That house by the river where Timmy hung himself that one time." There's method and meaning to Welsh names.
So the mills significance was as the first hydro electric generator in the area, owned by a rich guy in 1914 named Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, a name which repeats and repeats throughout history as a chain of Welsh nobility. The first Watkins Williams Wynn was a Welsh politician, born in 1692, and the name passed down to his heir, and then to the next heir. Every generation had a Watkin Williams Wynn. He's probably a bit like the Mayor of Sunnydale. His name became so common in later centuries that there's even a Welsh folk song about it. And he owned this mill, and the land around it, on which later a Caravan Park would be established.
At some point the land on which the mill stood opened up as a caravan park, and probably once had a lot more vans to it, considering the size of the field in which the leftovers sit, and it remained as such until around the 1980s or early 1990s. Only a few caravans remain, but they're all open for anyone to casually have a nose around.
Here we have the first van, decorated with around 25 years of decay and vandalism.
I'm probably not alone in the opinion that this is an ugly mattress with ugly matching curtains.
Most static caravans follow the same design, with the bedrooms at one end and the lounge area at the other, with the middle section being a kitchen and dining area.
There would have once been a table between these two seats, and the entire thing would also have converted into a bed.
Just down from the dining area, this little unit would have held the TV, facing towards the lounge area.
The kitchen area was of interest, particularly the sink. If you think that's dirt in there, look again.
This is the remains of a wasp nest, smashed to pieces with its contents filling the sink. All of these are wasp corpses, some complete and some still developing from the larvae. For those of you who don't know, insects have a larvae form, which is essentially a baby version that later develops into the adult. The larvae is put in little honeycomb cells where it swims around and consumes food that is secreted for them. Once it's fully developed, it leaves the cell.
Often, once the seasons change and a wasp nest is abandoned, a nest can be found with semi-developed wasps dead inside, like a massive communual tomb. However, this one was emptied down the sink.
Intriguingly, this van still has loads of cuttlery left behind.
The lounge area has seen better days.
But remarkably, this is actually the van in the best condition out of the bunch. Onto Caravan 2.
The exterior is different but the interior layout is the same, albeit slightly more trashed.
Here we have bunk beds. These rooms are narrow and confined, and the beds themselves are ridiculously tiny. As a child, I fell from many a caravan bunk on our family holidays.
The kitchen in this lounge is a little tidier. There are no dead wasps, and a surprising amount left behind.
The dining area in this van is losing its seats as well as its table.
Curiously, the remains of a wasp nest are on the floor of the lounge, revealing the honeycomb nature of the nest. These caravans are actually the perfect environment for a wasp nest, protected from the elements and such. But often when the Winter months arive, the nest is abandoned and rarely returned to by future generations.
Looking closely one can see the rest of the wasp nest, still hanging underneath the lounge furniture.
It's about the size of a football, and is currently not being lived in.
But as far as wasp nests go, the other vans had a surprise waiting for us.
Entering the third van, things seemed even more trashed. If you look closely at the exterior photo you can see that the bedroom portion of this van has been ripped apart. There's barely any wall left, and the flooring was collapsing too.
In hindsight, it was a bit odd that the condition of an abandoned static caravan should decrease as one makes their way through the lot. Why are some more trashed than others? Surely if people came to vandalise, they'd have no preference over which they'd smash?
Here in this van, I found a name, which I assumed might be the name of the caravan park. However, Glan-y-Mor is Welsh for seaside, and if you type it into Google maps, you'll find several holiday destinations by this name dotted around the coast of wales, but that's still ages away. We're barely out of Shropshire at this point! I guess it's feasable that this van was transported from a caravan park at the coast, and retained some decor that reflected it. It's a stretch but that's my best guess.
Unless some urban explorers robbed another caravan park at the coast, and placed this here just to throw people off, since urban explorers in the UK are prone to silly behaviour like that. But that kind of prank would require them to understand Welsh, and also expect other people to. And Welsh isn't exactly a language many people know.
And urban explorers aren't traditionally known for putting this level of intelligence into what they do either.
This next van was the curious one, because it contains a lot of alcohol bottles and some graffiti, indicative of it being the hang out of some teenagers at some point. But why this van?
The main bedroom is surprisingly intact.
With a bit of the cooker randomly placed here.
The double bed has mysteriously vanished.
I actually wonder if these cookers could actually still be functional? Could they be retrieved and put back to use?
The dining area is in "bed mode" which literally just consists of taking the dining table, using it as a bed frame and putting a mattress on it.
Ah, there's the bed. In the lounge, of course.
See, all this alcohol was probably drank here after the initial
abandonment of this park, likely by teenagers from the nearby town.
Although it is all strangely tidy for drunk leftovers. But then we get to the graffiti.
"Stab me like a stalker. Rape me and be my hero."
And then someone has added at the top "Fuck you!"
Nice response. I'd probably say the same if this was said to me.
There's a pentagram there too, of course.
Holy AnneFrank! That there is a colossal wasp nest.
It seems that at some point someone came along and gave it a good old jab with this stick. It's actually possible that some poor idiot did this when the nest was still active, and would probably have suffered the expected consequences, but the violation of the nest would have led to the abandonment of it too, such is nature. However, crack it open and there's probably a few hundred leftover half-formed wasps.
The final van was impossible to access via the doors, due to being trapped in this overgrowth. But that didn't stop me squeezing in through the window. But oh, how my nasal passage regretted that.
I'm not sure what happened here, but I sure didn't want to breathe it in any longer than I needed to.
The bed is still in tact.
The dining area is mostly still in tact.
I guess this cookers not retrievable.
By the looks of it, damp has gotten in and the cushions are all moldy, which would explain the stench.
Thankfully this was the last caravan, and we proceeded to exit the park.
But wait, don't traditional urban exploration stories come with a silly fictional antagonist, such as non-existent guard dogs, zombie Nazis, or claiming to be chased from a property because someone else also happens to be driving down the same country lane? Something clickbaity. Something silly. A straight up outright tale of bullshit that only an urban explorer could think of to make it look like a minor nose around a forgotten location is actually something Indiana Jonesy?
Well as you know, we don't lie here on this blog, but as we were leaving the caravan park one of the locals spotted my friend, Ouija LeMay, and said "She's lush."
As you can tell by her totally real name, Ouija LeMay isn't from around here. I think she's from a completely foreign culture. I think she said Essex or something. Either way, she had no idea what a Welshman means when he calls a woman "lush."
Some members of our posse did inform her that Lush is short for Lucious and is generally used by the Welsh to say that a woman is attractive.
However, I had to interrupt because this is bollocks. Everyone knows Lucious isn't a Welsh word.
No, Lush derives from the Welsh word "Lluwch." To pronounce it, just try to say "Lush" while slurping a drink, and you'll get why they slanged it up to Lush.
I explained to my posse that in Welsh, they have this strange aspect of the alphabet where certain individual letters put together make a completely different sound. Two L's together make a slurp, and a C placed before a H make a zombie apocalypse noise. And to add further confusion to the mix, W is a vowel. So Lush means Lluwch, and this actually translates to "Dust", which is what the dreaded Welsh Mafia, the legendary Yacusio, say to their targets when they've been marked for death.
All you are is dust in the wind, dude.
I'm dead serious!
This is all Ouija LeMays fault, of course, because we stopped in a chippy and she made the joke "What's the difference between an Ariva bus and a sheep? It's more embarassing being seen getting out of an Ariva bus."
Except there is no Ariva bus service out here, so all the puzzled folk in the chippy just heard Ouija rabbiting on about something they didn't understand followed by something to do with being inside a sheep, which is not ideal conversation in a chip shop, least of all one in Wales.
What a berk.
And remember, this is all totally factual and not some made-up plot point to add unnecesary drama to a blog post about poking around static caravans. The Welsh Mafia is very real, and very deadly.
So will Operation Cobra continue now that the Welsh Mafia have marked Ouija LeMay for death?
Damn right it will, this is my show, and we're finding what we came for. In the meantime, near the caravan park was the previously mentioned ROC bunker. And I sure was excited to see its hatch wide open.
Exposition- this is a nuclear monitoring bunker that would have been used by the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) back during the Cold War. They're about fifteen feet below ground level, and consist of an office filled with communications equipment and bunks, paperwork on what to do in a crisis (such as how to trap and cook animals should society come to an irradiated end) and a small toilet.
This particular bunker was built in 1961 and was decomissioned in 1968. Most ROC bunkers are locked tight and therefore immaculate inside, and the ones that are open to the public tend to get trashed by urban explorers and local kids. However, sometimes even the trashed ones are photogenic.
This one... was a disapointment.
The shaft is just full of rubble, and the ladder is missing. There's no way down. And to test it out, I did something a little foolish and lowered myself in, so that I was standing on the rubble. It didn't budge. So either the rubble is packed in to the entirety of the bunker, or the shaft is just so well jammed. Either way, there's no getting in.
There will be other ROC bunkers.
That's all I have for this blog post. If you like it, don't forget to share it on the social media of your choice. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and like my Facebook. If you can spare the money, hit the donate button, and all proceeds will go to the blog and enabling future adventures and equipment. But don't feel that you have to. Remember, far more important is that you all go out there and make someone happy. Because we all have the power to make sure somebody else has a good day. Do your best to cheer someone up.
Anyway, thanks for reading. Stay awesome!