Factories & Industry

Cathedral Of Concrete - Factory SCW

This was a gargantuan hulking grey structure with a mist of cement dust drifting around inside. Spectacular light. Spectacular space. The Engine room was a superb find half way around, even though the security landrover was parked just outside the open doorway here.

Crumbling Flour Mill

Lots of photos here I’m afraid because this place was simply too stunning.
A real trek across wasteland looking out for roving security guard cars. So worth it once inside though. The colour and light were amazing.

The Blue Gasometer

Absolutely loved this space.

Only way in was through the top, so that meant a long walk up the rickety rusted stairways on the outside.

The only way down was the crazy swinging concertina stairway suspended from the ceiling inside.

The scale of this place was huge. 300 feet high, or about the height of a 25 storey building, it was a long and nerve-wracking climb up and down.

Can’t believe its destined for the chop.

It will be the loss of a West London landmark.

Shredded Wheat Factory

A pretty empty shell with not much to see to be honest. The most interesting thing about this visit was the PIR sensors and cameras inside the building. Wasn’t long before we had security hot on our tails. They were often calling to us from a few yards away. I haven’t explored a place in these circumstances before but it made a dull place quite interesting. As a result, all photos were handheld, in a panic, in dimly lit situations…..so not very good.

The original company opened a factory in Welwyn Garden City (UK) in 1926 which became part of Nabisco in 1928. The tall concrete cereal silos that form part of the factory are a local landmark and are listed structures.The first 18 storage units were completed in 1926 with a further 27 constructed in 1938, in both instances they were built by Peter Lind & Company of London who continue in business today. In 1988, Nabisco sold the UK site to Rank Hovis McDougall (who made own-label cereals for supermarkets), whose breakfast cereals division briefly became The Shredded Wheat Company. In 1990, RHM sold the site to Cereal Partners. Now, all Shredded Wheat is made at Staverton near Bath, as the Welwyn Garden City site was shut down in 2008.

Water Pumping Station For Huge Steelworks

This water tower and pumping station fed the vast steelworks on the banks of the Charleroi canal.
This was a small part of a huge complex that would have kept me happy for a day here in the UK. Here with so much to see, I could afford only to spend 15 minutes. No time to climb those stairs ;o(

Up The Gasometer

Climbed up these to enjoy the beautiful view

Used my drone to get some decent angles.

2 Ragged Brick Factories

The signs outside warning of dangerous chemicals and contaminated land only attracted me even more. Small little places but with lots to see.

Rotten Radar Factory

Previously visited this joint a few years ago, it really is………..a pit.
Anyhow, I was bored and hadn’t really got around the whole place last time.
There are actually a couple of photogenic rooms and I really liked the mushrooms – Haven’t seen a good crop of mushrooms inside a building before. But essentially it is a real mess. There is the full life cycle of pidgy in here, in mass numbers as well – eggs, chicks, dying and dead….as well as stalagmites of crap.

Another Trashed Fertilser Factory

Putrid smells came from this factory pumping out chemicals for agriculture. This was one occasion that I wished I had brought a gas mask

This had a very modern ‘wing’ as well as a very retro old school wooden one. I’m very surprised this one hasnt gone up in smoke yet.

Apocolyptic Industrial Zone

This place was pretty far gone in terms of destruction. The paint fairies have been out in force in this place and add a vibrant splash of colour to the grey backdrop. Add a good dose of fire damage and broken glass into the mix and it made a perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Interesting to see the tribute graffiti to the young woman there. Looked up her name and found that she was found dead, by suicide I presume. Always fascinating to piece together clues and connections between people and these places. Article about her included

The Illicit Gallery - The Klinger Factory

In dullest Kent, this place beats most modern ‘official’ galleries hand down.

Long corridors of magnificent art work

This place surprised me. I expected it to be a short stopover but ended up spending hours in here.

Derelict Cat Litter Factory

One of my first

This huge beast sits in the Surrey landscape and used to serve one purpose - churn out boxes and boxes of cat litter

I especially liked the staff social club with the interesting tube light fittings hanging down like decorations.

The lab outside had hundreds of canned cat litter samples.

This has been a muse of mine over the last few years and I have revisited it a few times to appreciate the process of decay over time, you’ll see different style of photography in this gallery

Under, In and On The Battersea Dock Cranes

After deciding to postpone another nearby event, we decided it was time to check these 2 small beauties out.
Its quite a pleasant part of the site to get to because you feel quite out of the way, and at peace once you have got over onto the jetty.
We took the original ladders up rather than the newly erected scaffold to 1)reduce our visibility and 2)experience the original way up. The wind was blowing in the right direction so that the park puppy didn't smell us.
The cabin was a rank odorous aviary full of crazy birds. They couldn't find a way out whilst I was in there and so they did continual kamikaze dives into the glass and then into my face. It made quite a noise. I had one of those 'why on earth am I here' moments in there.
Photography conditions were terrible - dark, cramped, no easy place to put tripod. The part off the jetty bobbing up and down. Most of my shots were on a totally guessed focus as it wouldn't lock, and lighting with torches was definitely no-no.
A pleasant walk down the river finished this rather lovely outing.

Power Station Gas Tower

Another spaceship like structure.

Time was ticking with so much to see, so was unable to spend the moments climbing inside and down.

Derelict Lime Works

A very pictoresque place out in the middle of nowhere. I find wild growth and graf in combo very attractive

Steelworkers Baths

This was the entrance/showers and locker area for the probably hordes of workers coming in daily to sweat on this huge industrial site.

There was something pleasing and almost art deco about this place.

Black Coke Works

This huge site has the simple function of turning coal into nice uniform super efficient brickettes to burn in the neighboring blast furnace.

I only spent a short time in here and in retrospect could have spend hours looking at all the bits I missed.

For the nerds-

To produce coke, we bake coal in high-temperature ovens in the absence of air for about 20 hours. During the baking process, by-products such as benzole, tar and ammoniacal liquor are removed, leaving a coke with a high carbon content.
(Typical chemical composition: +86% Carbon, -6% Ash, -2% Volatile Matter, -12% Moisture, -2% Sulphur)

Gargantuan Blast Furnace And Steelworks

The last item on a heavy weekend itinerary. Was meant to be the grand highlight, but legs were weak and tiredness setting in. The climb up the huge furnace offered fantastic views over this, the biggest site, I have been in.

Entry was especially nerve-wracking here - a run down a 50m underground live rail track. Timing was of the essence. We got lucky.

Steelworks Train Depot&Blast Furnace

Lovely sleeping trains in a huge building.

Decided not to climb the blast furnace as demolition had started and wouldn’t easily tell what was safe. Anyhow, there was a blast furnace planned for the next day.

Derelict Fertiliser Factory

Dirty Dirty tanks of chemically water

Where I cut my urban exploring tooth.

Alos ran around here ina bear suit for the the day on one occasion

Rusting Mine Headstocks

Looming over a suburban street of rather run down houses are these 2 beastly Headstocks.

Sadly the stairs had been chopped off at the bottom, so without climbing gear it was impossible to get up them.

Factory Of The Cups

This was a bit small fry compared to some of the places I have visited recently however, as always, these places each have their own quirks and atmosphere. The room of cups was bizarre, and the noise of the torrential rain and drips and leaks was totally atmospheric, especially as I was on my own in the middle of nowhere.

Far Gone Brickworks

Roofless wonder

Nice kilns

Some excellent graf, especially with the water reflections

Abandoned Sugar Factory

This empty huge hulk was an appropriate detour from the family holiday in the South of Spain. I spotted it on a drive to a regular 'ol tourist spot and made a location note in my head for a play on a spare evening.

Nothing left inside this huge empty monolith. But it ticked the alternative tourist activity box.
I've never felt bad vibes in a place like this before. There was a lot of odd noises including ?very young children and whistling.Dead chicken hung up on the glass on top of the wall near the entry point. A very odd kitten was sat just off the path. It was hunched over. It was staring at us. Then it finally took off and we saw it had been sitting on a snake. Bizarre. Then a dead owl, followed by a dead raven.Then this mesmerising hawk sitting on a pile of rocks staring at us, not blinking, and not moving despite being 10cm away from it. A circle of flickering candles inside. And despite the vast size inside I actually felt rather claustrophobic. I'm not into supernatural hocus pocus but both my exploring partner and I felt uneasy and didn't want to stay very long. It also seemed to have a negative impact on my photography as well, with internal shots mysteriously becoming fuzzy and washed out.

Fulham Wharf

Soda making factory

What a mess. Never seen so much filfth in one place. Looks like generations of homeless have lived here and left their trash. Lots of weird belongings, including books on elegant living, toys, a 'slendertone' box, childrens furniture etc etc.

Completely tagged to death. Not much in the way of decent graf.
Still, nice big spaces and nice lighting. Very relaxed wander.

This site was originally built in 1890 as Kops Brewery, a highly successful company at the time that brewed non-alcoholic beverages. However, the decline of the temperance movement lead to non-alcoholic drinks falling from popularity, and resulted in Convoys, who packed fruit and other food and goods taking over the brewery sometime after the second world war.

CWM - The Welsh Industrial Dinosaur

This had always been on my to do list and sadly unfinished business still lies here.

A bunch of youngsters were banging about and smashing things up and attracted in security. Unfortunately we ended up between the 2 parties.

Seeing an unleashed giant rottweiler charging towards you is quite unnerving but quite quickly we realised this one was a big softy and wanted a stroke on the head.

The guard was a very reasonable fellow and sent us on our way, somewhat disappointed.

Another day…….

Carolo Beton - Abandoned Concrete Factory

This abandoned concrete plant was built on the location of the site n°2 of the "Charbonnages du Bourbier" (former coal mining group). The activity of this coal factory goes back to the year 1923 until its closure in 1966. Two stones still testify of the location of the mine shafts (and the collapse of one of them in 1974).

Located at the bottom of a coal tip, the main building from the more recent concrete plant stands where the machineries of the former coal mining were. Some rusty tanks and other stuffs are still inside of it. The building was closed in 2005.

A minor derpy walk-in which served as a nice place to have a drink between the big local sites.

A Long Belgian Factory

Not really much idea what this and what it was used for but I can firmly say it was the longest factory building I have been in, being well over half a mile long.

Nice light, and never-ending views. It kept me happy with my camera for a good half an hour.

The Alfa Laval

Landmark on the M4.

Tall empty building. Tried to ascend to the top but the stairwells were welded up. Then tried the scaffolding on the outside but my explore buddy became chicken.

Not much to see.

Surrprised by the indoor squash courts

Woodyard Memories

A pretty decayed old-school yard with retro abandoned vehicles