Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Haygate

(DISCLAIMER:  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 )

Hello everyone. Today I'm doing something slightly different, which will infuriate all the people who complain about the inaccuracy of the blogs name, which surprisingly since we started in 2014 is a grand total of one human being (I am so sorry Catherine). Usually this blog alternates between Shrewsbury and Not-So-Shrewsbury, so that I'm not as inaccurately titled as I could be. This should be the Shrewsbury slot, but for various reasons I decided to give it to Telford.
The main reason was that on the internet, during a discussion about how people from Shrewsbury dislike Telford for some reason, some Telford guy told me to persuade the people of Shrewsbury to like Telford.
I did inform him, I'm not some tribal chief. I can't just stand on a stool and say to the people of Shrewsbury "Guys, from now on lets start liking Telford." But I think the guy thought I was someone influential that the people of Shrewsbury would pay attention to, like Charles Darwin or Captain Planet. The best I can do is show how Telfords got a teeny bit less good, with the removal of a much beloved pub and music venue.

The second reason for blogging about this particular Telford location is that I'm aware of a group in Telford who do what I do, the whole forbidden tourism thing, but loot and trash places that they visit, and I felt the need to blog about the Haygate before they noticed that it's explorable. I mean if it gets trashed and looted and then my photos go up afterwards, I'll be reaching Kate McCann levels of complicity suspicion. And who on Earth wants to have anything in common with Kate McCann?

Also one of those urban explorers from Telford broke my camera, so this is somewhat personal. But don't worry, Tree Surgeon is confident that it can be fixed with some chicken wire and the components of vibrators. I didn't ask questions, I'm no electronic genius. But he is, and he's kindly taken the time out of plotting a robot uprising to help us out.
I did put off the Haygate blog for as long as possible, but a few pictures from other explorers are starting to creep onto the internet now, so I guess this is a good a time as any.

So for those of you that don't know, the Haygate was a pub in Telford that hosted live music, and was popular with metal heads, rockers, goths etc. It closed its doors for the last time roughly a month or two ago, when the owners allegedly decided to move abroad, and it's apparently due to be demolished to make room for houses. I wasn't a regular but I have enjoyed my fair share of nights here, so hearing that it was closing did shock and sadden me. But for someone who blogs about forbidden tourism, it's scheduled demolition suddenly made it blog fodder, and I didn't want all those fond memories to slip away without taking one last look. In we go.

I don't force entry, but rather only use available openings, and this place had already been broken into when I got here, so it should go without saying that I am not the first person to sneak in here. Nor will I be the last.
But I'm probably the sexiest.

The Haygate was a popular rock pub which frequently had live music. I'm not sure when it was built. It doesn't appear on any of the old maps I've looked at, although they do limit my perspective somewhat to the 1800s and the early-to-mid 20th Century, so all this tells me is that the Haygate isn't super old. It was said to be an integral part of the local pub circuit in the 1970s and 80s, so it predates my existence at least, but you could probably guess that anyway just by looking at it.

Exploring the Haygate was a nostalgic experience, and I only wish I'd been able to document it a little better, but as mentioned, someone from Telford broke my camera. It does still work, but is somewhat hindered in its capabilities. Nevertheless, I don't want to tread on any toes with this, just take one last look at what was once a fun place to drink.

 Upon gaining entry I first found myself in the area which once had a pool table and a few games machines. Here I have lost many a game of pool. Of course I do have dyspraxia, so I never really have high expectations there.

 There's still rum in some of these bottles. It all looks kinda like the very last people to leave this building all just sat around for one last drink together, and thought "Fuck it" to the idea of cleaning up after.

There are still loads of glasses behind the bar. My guess is that the building will be cleared out in the days leading up to its demolition. That's if all the local urban explorers don't loot the place.

 It's still possible to see where the pool table would have been, based on the ceiling lights. The TV still sits in the corner, and faces the bar. As you'd expect, there were stools along the bar, but they've since been removed.

 Over there in the corner, I think, was the jukebox.

 It sure is cool to see this wall covered in the final scrawlings of the people who loved drinking here. Of course, as a gesture of immortalising the era, it's good in theory, but in reality, this whole place is going to get torn down. But at least we have photos!

I'm pretty curious about the oldschool entertainment that played here on the 23rd December 2018, given that we're still in May. What kind of temporal sorcery is this? Is the Haygate a tardis?
If anyone out there feels that it would be problematic to move into a new home only to find a pub, and live rock band, suddenly burst through a time rift while you're trying to sleep, it's probably best not to get a home on the site of the Haygate this winter.

"Dim Diolch" is Welsh for "No thank you."
It's strange to see Welsh in Telford.

And next to all this graffiti was a little wall scrawl presumably written by the owners looking to get rid of their jukebox and pool table.

Moving past the "pool table area," the second half of the pub is actually pretty spacious, more so now that there's barely any chairs or tables left. This are was where the bands would play.

The tables and chairs are long gone, but the place still retains its character, and I totally suck at capturng it. But the main door leading out into the beer garden has been barricaded, which indicates that there have been some other intruders here, and it's not gone unnoticed.

I love the purple colour scheme.

Over there's the stage where the bands would play.

There are still pictures of various bands hanging on the walls, and still books on the shelves.

There's a couple of hats on the bar which I propped up for the sake of a picture.

I'm hoping this all gets cleared out before demolition. It would be a shame to leave them behind.

Up in the ceiling, which I never noticed when I used to come here, is a wine rack that still has bottles in it.

There's a picture of young Alice Cooper behind the bar, next to a statue of Teresa May.

We decided to check out the toilets, and found that the ladies in particular have a great decor. Check it out.

The mens are pretty typical...

I do like the little collage behind the door though.

That's it for the staff-only parts of the Haygate. However, there was still more to see.

The cellar was actually pretty huge, but flooded.

Luckily, it was traversible due to the raised bits.

I think the flooding may actually have been due to a burst pipe somewhere...

Anyway, back on the ground level...

Behind the bar, the building continued into a staff area,

I'm not sure if the Haygate did food or not, seeing as I've only been there at night, when a bands been playing and there's been large quantities of alcohol in my body, but this seems like a kitchen area, and the dishes still on the rack would suggest so.

There's a big safe back here, with these massive old keys on top.

And there's a drum back here, possibly left over from a gig.

Making our way upstairs, we found a home made stairgate, which would indicate that one of the occupants had a dog, or a small child.

But it's worth pointing out that the upper floors of the Haygate were residential, and so wandering up here is a little more tabboo than poking around downstairs in a formerly public bar. Nobody lives here anymore, but it was still a home, so we were respectful.

The first bedroom was this blue one, still partially furnished.

That's the worst penis graffiti I have ever seen. It looks like some kind of Penis / Nipple amalgamation. If my penis, or my nipples looked like this, I would join the circus.

On a shelf above the door was the Ice King from Adventure Time.

And lining the walls were all these old posters of previous gigs that the Haygate had held.

The next room had this creepy teddybear, and loads of graffiti.

It's clearly not actual vandalism, but rather what I call "House graffiti." The wall scrawling was done when the house was still being lived in. In that sense, it did remind of of Chaos Manor, particularly with the stuffed toys still lying around.

"Bron has an amazing pen."

My favourite piece of graffiti is right under the robot.
"Even when he is getting his dick wet, he is thinking about Bronny, and hoping it's her, but then when he finds out it's not he cries inside."
That's beautiful.

I seriously hope someone comes back for all this.

This room reminded me of the hairdressing suite in Radbrook College for some reason. I guess they smelled the same and have a similar decor. It sure is odd that the Haygates rooms are reminiscent of various prior adventures.

There was quite a spacious kitchen up here too.

Alcohol, tinned food, kettle and toaster. It's totally ready for squatting!

There's a distillation bottle still up here, in an old fireplace.

And finally, we have the bathroom.

The toilet up here is actually pretty cool. I love the decor.

In fact, what I love about the Haygate is, graffiti aside, a lot of effort went in to making it look pretty. It wasn't everyones cup of tea, given that it was a rock pub, and that's okay. But rockers, goths and all that, they get a lot of shit from more conforming members of society, simply because they have long hair AND a penis, or something. And I think it's important that people who are made to feel uncomfortable just for not fitting someone elses standards need somewhere to go where it's okay to be them.
So pubs like the Haygate are, in my opinion, pretty important. When I heard that the owners had sold it, I hoped someone else would pick up the business opportunity, and like many, I was sad to see that it was going to be demolished.

Finally moving into the beer garden, I actually found it was a lot smaller than I remembered it. But then this adventure was probably the first time I'd been sober at the Haygate.

I love this passive-aggressive poster asking for people to keep the noise down with the additional line "Our neighbours do not like to hear people enjoying themselves."

All of the old games machines are out here.

Well I guess that answers the questions of if they served food.

It also seems that someone here kept rabbits. That's pretty cool.

I don't remember the table football from any of my visits to the Haygate, and I assume it was in one of the upper rooms.

But that's about all I have on the Haygate. I feel like its a bit of an open wound for the people of Telford, and hasn't quite been left to rot long enough to get the real nostalgic vibes that come with some of the other pubs I've blogged about, but I'm sure that once it's rubble then these final pictures will make someone happy. In the future it will be destroyed, either by the demolition, or by idiots. I wanted to see it one last time first.
But that's why I love the internet. Everything we put onto it is preserved. In one hundred years this will be considered recorded history, as will all of our social media. People in the future will use our internet output to study older civilisation. That's a big deal. Some poor history student is going to have to swim through oceans of photographs of meals, dogfaces, and mundane Facebook updates about mundane days. And I guess I want to record the existence of places like this, which were important in their day.

Anyway, share the blog if you enjoyed it, and don't forget to like my Facebook page, follow my Instagram, and my Twitter. I barely use Twitter, but who cares? If it's your thing, you'll get updates.
My next blog will be important, and so much fun.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Only visited once when Facade (indie rock band I managed) played there as part of Rock Band competition. Shame it is going. Progress I pressume. Lack of thriving business being undercut by supermarkets selling alcohol and laws on drink drive.