Friday, 12 November 2010

Manchester Salford Junction Canal

The Manchester Salford Junction canal was opened in the 1830s to take boats from the River Irwell to the Rochdale canal. The Great Northern Warehouse was built above it at a later date.

The canal closed in the 1920s, and this huge space was converted into air raid shelters during the Second World War.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Medlock Tomfoolery

Met up with my boys Gone and nckt today.

After we failed to reach one drain because it had been raining all night and Gone got a wader-breach on his way in, myself and nckt headed down to YouMissed and HFLB for some epic drain lolery.

Walked home with nckt fully wadered-up through the city centre. You love it.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime is probably the largest culvert in Manchester.

It leads the River Irk beneath Victoria railway station before it reaches the Irwell near the MEN Arena.

Visited with nckt and ConcreteJungle, surprisingly none of us had visited this well-known Manchester drain before.

I'm so poor at the moment I can't afford batteries. The ones in my camera died before I could take any decent shots of this drain's main feature - a wooden, Victorian cattle bridge that has been culverted over. FML!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

In My Sights

"In My Sights" is a giant sewage storage tank in Greater Manchester.

When I say "giant" I mean GIANT. This place is huge.

Visited with nckt and ConcreteJungle. CJ made his first visit a few weeks back. A lot of safety rails saving workers from an 80ft drop into raw sewage had been removed by pikeys before he visited, but when we opened the same manhole on our joint visit we were in for a surprise.

The lid lifted, flies, heat, steam and the horrible stench all billowed out.

"In you go" suggests ConcreteJungle.

nckt and myself look at each other.

"Err... how?"

The pikeys who had removed the safety rails had been back and taken the ladder that had been bolted to the wall. There was now a 20ft gap between the manhole and the platform we wanted to get to. Luckily, the place was vast enough to have about 5 or 6 other options.

Many grated off, some locked, we eventually got lucky and found a ladder beneath one manhole. Only this ladder was roughly 80ft in height and completely exposed to the drop.

Leaning back on this ladder to avoid the debris and raw human waste caught on the rungs was terrifying and disgusting in equal measure.

Wading through raw sewage, slipping on the sloped concrete floor and getting used to a smell that could only be described as "Ungodly" was all part of the fun.

Unfortunately my pictures only really showed the filth and not the scale of the place. Check out ConcreteJungle's pics ( to truly understand the scale of this epic shit tank.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Ice Plant Crane Climb

The Ice Plant was originally built at the turn of the 20th century to make ice, store meat and fish, and was integral to making ice cream for Italian immigrants in the Victorian slum of Ancoats.

It was since used as the rehearsal space for legendary Madchester bands Inspiral Carpets and the Happy Mondays.

Currently undergoing a £12m re-development that will include 82 apartments as well as commercial units on the ground floor in an effort to recreate a "bustling village atmosphere" in Ancoats according to the developers northerngroup.

This was my first crane climb. Not huge by crane standards, but my numerous ascensions of the Lowry Footbridge held me in good stead for the vertical ladder.

Visited with Reddood and an another wrong'un.

And a naughty one from Reddood...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Dodge Hill Air Raid Shelter

Stockport had 3 air raid shelters chiselled out of the soft, red sandstone beneath its foundations during the Second World War - Chestergate, Brinksway and Dodge Hill.

Chestergate is now a museum where, for a fee, you can walk around the largest of the three.

The more adventurous might have a stab at the sealed up, abandoned Dodge Hill.

The place is still lined with the bunk beds that Stockport's citizens once slept on while waiting for German bombers to piss off home.

We also found a bottle of methadone and some empty wraps of smack. Time to leave!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Grange Caverns - Holywell

After a search for new drains with nckt, Buttons and Ojay, we stopped off here hoping to find a way into this former munitions store.

Buttons and myself had a look a few weeks ago to no avail. Though the site has been changed around recently and made access a little bit easier.

Originally a limestone quarry, it was used during WW2 as a munitions store and even mentioned by Lord Haw-Haw in one of his infamous Nazi broadcasts.

After the war it lay empty for a while before being briefly opened as a military museum in the 80s and has been empty ever since.

The place is well guarded by the farmers that own it. We legged it from dogs on the way in and found a spent shotgun cartridge on the way out. If you pay this place a visit, keep it real.

More on the Flickr.

Friday, 4 June 2010


Built in the 1930s, Rylands Warehouse was one of the last cotton warehouses built in Manchester.

These days it's a Grade II listed branch of Debenhams.

Most of the upper floors are used for stock storage, though some are abandoned apparently due to asbestos.

The top floor houses what seems to be a now abandoned ballroom.

Yaz getting us banned from UrbEx again...