My first foray into urban exploration, or urbex, today. This is the exploration of human-built structures, generally abandoned or seldom-seen: I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but the sites become less and less in number as redevelopment takes place. This is, on the whole, a Good Thing, but does rather deplete the possibilities for such work. It seems a logical extension of my industrial work, but given the nature of the sites, could possibly define me as either an adrenalin-fuelled thrill-seeker or perhaps some kind of foolhardy idiot. I’m neither, of course, and will apply reasonable caution to whatever I do. Just by way of comparison, I was on a white-water rafting trip last summer, way more dangerous than this!
So, my first outing for such exploration ended up being my old school: Once upon a time, very close to where I live, there was a reasonably respectable grammar-school called Broadway. This was not big enough, so a rather raggedy steel-breeze-block-glass structure was thrown up next to it. This was known as Charter School and was where I spent some [ahem] interesting years of my life. Later on, these two buildings were combined under the heading Kingstone School, which is now in the process of being demolished, a modern super-school having been build nearby. That said, a great deal of my school-life was spent in utterly awful ‘portakabins’, as I was part of the baby-boomer generation, and it was not felt that the expense of expanding schools further to accommodate this statistical ‘blip’ was worthwhile. Thanks, bean-counters: I sweated in summer and froze my arse off in winter because of you!
Back to the plot … the part formerly known as Charter School is now halfway demolished, and given that I am really not completely stupid, I decided to give that a miss and concentrate on the structurally-sound former-Broadway, brick-built and with a tad more character, perhaps. It also made it easier to avoid the on-site security presence, having found a gap in the galvo-steel fence along this edge (hey, I would have asked, but in these days of health-and-safety paranoia, who in their right mind is going to let me wander around a building site full of trip-hazards, and partly-demolished buildings?). So, that’s it really, an interesting hour or two spent exploring an recently-derelict building, developing my industrial technique a bit more two. Hoping to find some more places to visit in the near-future.
So, share the old-school visit with me …