Sunday, 28 February 2010

Gash Collective

On Saturday night, myself, Gone and Appo91 headed off to Bradford for the Gash Collective's latest event - the Trans-Pennine Exodus.

Leaving Manchester, we arrived at an Asda to fill up on supplies on the Bradford ring road. We spotted a Police portakabin and Gone was up it like a flash...

We had a few hours to kill until information about the party was to be released, so we ended up driving around Bradford looking at potential buildings to climb. After getting denied by one apartment building with a lock on its roof hatch, we soon found ourselves driving around the turnstiles and supporting pillars of Valley Parade - home of Bradford City football club. As close to UrbEx as you'll get without leaving a car.

We passed an empty office block in the city centre and thought to ourselves what a great building it would be to have a look at on a return visit. Time was passing by and we didn't want to be caught in an empty building when the information for the free party was released.

After another phonecall to the Gash Collective's information hotline, we darted across town to the meeting point, parked the car and proceeded on foot. We saw a couple of police officers near to the rendez-vous and a lot of confused-looking young people.

It soon transpired as three coachloads of people arrived, that the police were outside the venue. Locals spotted the organisers gaining entry and called the police thinking they were copper thieves or some such. Not only that, but the venue itself was the office block we'd decided to give a miss half an hour earlier in case we missed the main event.

As the car park shutters opened, folk started running in and the police got their batons out. Swinging to hit, and swinging hard, one in particular seemed quite over-aggressive. As another door opened, more people ran in and more batons were swung. Appo got in at this point and I lost Gone in the crowd.

After a brief minute, police re-enforcements arrived, as did more and more potential party people, and I met back up with Gone. We slowly walked around the building when a headtorch-wearing silhouette appeared on the fourth floor roof.


By now the square where Grattan Road meets Tetley Street, Providence Street and New John Street was packed full of people. The police had blocked off all of the roads at the ends of these streets to try and contain things.

Every now and then you'd hear a huge cheer as more revellers surged through a newly opened door. The bass started pumping inside and was loud enough to be heard down the hill at Sunbridge Road.

The police (who must have numbered 60 by now) eventually cleared the building of people, this is when we met up with Appo again who told us stories of girls getting trampled on and police hitting people with their batons despite the fact that they couldn't comply with the police's instructions and get out because other people were in the way. It was around now that we saw Yaz and Sneak - two of Manchester's finest - for a brief minute before getting lost in the crowd again.

While waiting for it all to blow over (after all, my car was parked within the police corden), we decided to go to the roof of the nearby Morrisons to get a view of proceedings. Access to this rooftop was a nice mix of skills. We stayed low on this flat roof and watched the people leaving in small groups.

On our way back to Manchester we saw one of the coaches going towards Bradford on the motorway with a police escort. We arrived back in the city centre at about 2am and proceeded to bust some mad skanking from the comfort of our own car, with Gone strobing his camera's flash with some LOUD dubstep and DnB past the Printworks and down Deansgate. TAKE THAT YOU CONFORMIST SCUM!

Click this to see what it was like outside!

Images courtesy of Gone, Appo91 and myself.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Hulme Flume's Little Brother

Having had my cast removed in the morning, I popped round to Gone's residence to say hello. Obviously, we ended up going out exploring. After a quick sussing of our entry point, we donned waders and entered the Medlock on a snowy Manchester evening.

Hulme Flume's Little Brother is, I assume, a sewage overflow pipe headed towards the River Medlock. It follows Princess Street up to a small penstock chamber which dissects its course with sewage at Whitworth Street.

This six foot diameter round brick pipe is beautiful. Lots of fun, and quite dry (after initial entry).

Gone gets sewerfresh...

Gone again...



Arachnaphobia is a culverted section of Gore Brook that runs underground from Platt Fields Park for about 1km before re-appearing at the Fallowfield Loop.

Gone and Urban Soldier at the Crystal Maze infall...

Impressive ironwork beneath Hart Road and Wilbraham Road...

Further downstream, Fallowfield Brook joins...

My first explore since breaking my wrist, drastic action was taken to protect my cast from subterranean water...

Image courtesy of Gone.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Out of Action

There haven't been any updates here for a while and it's because I decided to UrbEx a mosh pit the other night...

I've had to cut back on what kind of sites I do. So here's a photo of the Arndale's food court getting the shit well and truly UrbExed out of it...

Sweet, sweet deals.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Rodney Court

If 1960s architecture in the UK is anything to go by, Le Corbusier has a lot to answer for.

The post-war years saw an increase in population and subsequently the demand for housing also grew. City planners in the UK were enamoured by the works of Swiss-French architect and Urbanist Le Corbusier.

Ignoring the fact that a lot of Le Corbusier's city planning was somewhat utopian and short of practical detail, the UK had built huge numbers of high-rise tower blocks for use as Social Housing by the end of the 1960s.

The poorly designed tower blocks were home to vandalism, muggings and break-ins - all aided by the maze of narrow corridors and poorly lit communal areas - symptoms of clumsy design.


Rodney Court is in Miles Platting in Manchester. Situated between deprived Ancoats and more-deprived Collyhurst, we certainly weren't UrbExing in Beverley Hills.

The building is 38.4m over 13 floors. Most of which are fire damaged. It's currently owned by Urban Splash who no doubt intend to make something great of it.

Heading in on the ground floor, we were aware of the ever-present potential threat of crackheads and hobos. These tower blocks were dodgy places before they became derelict. Luckily, we found a sledgehammer near our entrance which we could take with us to save ourselves.

The only thing we needed to save ourselves from in the end was pigeons. Plenty of pigeon poop on the top floor.

Comedy when Rookie shone his torch into a doorway on the roof and a load of pigeons flew out as if they were bats on Scooby Doo.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Cookie Culvert

This morning I'm sore from head to toe. Every muscle aches and it's thanks to UrbEx.

After an attempted explore of Sidedraft Induction turned into a recce in the morning, a recce of this new culvert that I'd discovered became a full on explore in the afternoon.

This culvert is about 370m in length and, judging by the number of different styles, was built in four or five stages.There's everything from round brick to RCP in this culvert. So interesting. I couldn't recommend it enough. I'm so pleased to have "discovered" it.

Visited with Gone.

Named "Cookie" because of the beautiful smell of baking biscuits that fills this culvert.