The Talk Urbex NEW YEAR Bonanza

Author Critical Mass - Last updated: 13.01.2012

So the plan had been set!! Some of the TU guys would be hooking up to celebrate the New Year, UE style!! The usual gang, with Frits and Mr & Mrs Monster coming over to join in the fun as well. Plans had been drawn up but they usually go to pot pretty much straight off the bat and this time was no exception with Police, Squaddies with dogs and hangovers all trying to put a spanner into the works.
New Years Eve, straight outta work and on the train to meet up with Nikon ( who was late) and then the 2hr journey down to the capital for day 1 of the “Goddamn Tourist” tour 2012. The plan was to meetup with our awesome host Shando and hit a rooftop right in plain view of the eye and the fireworks. Bags dropped, champagne popped and drunk it was time to head out. it was plain to see that this was going to be tricky one to start with as the unbelievable amount of Police, Security Dudes and revelers meant access to our viewing platform was going to be fun.
After a quick tube and brisk walk we turned into our destination. “That’s it” exclaimed Shando. All i could see was a fully lit scaffold in full view of the whole of London!!! “Yep, that’s it”!! . So the bottom hoardings proved no problems a few stray looks but there was too much going on to notice that Spiderman Shando had leaped over and was now letting us in through the door.
Well that was’nt too hard, it was the next bit that was going to be the deal breaker. After waiting over an hour for metwo and his gf to arrive it was time to head up or be shipped out. It was going to have to be a case of “bold as brass”. There was no way we were getting up without being seen so let’s look like we should be there, and up we went not a eyelid batted at us…….Suckers!!
It was only when we got to the top and took in the view that we realized the enormity of the crowds.


The Crowd by Critical Mass., on Flickr

So with an hour to spare before the show we still had time to take in the view and get our settings sorted for the fireworks ( which proved fruitless as they have to be the hardest thing I’ve ever shot before). With choppers and rain overhead the countdown began,10….9…8…………3….2…..1!!!! Happy New Year!!!


And So Begins 2012 by Critical Mass., on Flickr

So with bellies full of mulled wine and champagne ( not mine as I was still recovering from the Berlin tour ) it was time to navigate the swarm of people and head home, which involved abusing MacDonald’s staff and customers, trying to snap disheveled party people and to my shame, bare bums at the palace!! Insert photo here Shando!! lol. Roll on day 2!!

So after what seemed like Nikon laughing all night we were up and out ready for day 2. Again late because last nights frivolities had taken their toll on our host and we had a little lie in!! haha. Scheduled to meet the rest of the crew at 7 we didn’t even surface till 8 so we were playing catch-up! CMH here we come.
Mansell at the wheel we were there in what seemed like no time at all and a quick phone call to Odin who was already inside with the rest and our route in was confirmed. Now to navigate the 3 security guar…..sorry, SOLDIERS WITH DOGS!! and we were in. Not a problem for 3 Urbex ninja’s lol.
2 mins and we had hooked up with all the guys and were already sorting out the first crew shot!!


URBEX HEAVYWEIGHTS………..and me!!!! by Critical Mass., on Flickr

An awesome crew I’m sure you’ll agree, from left to right – Andre Govia, Frits Vrielink, Mela, Odin’s Raven, Mr Monster, Critical Mass, D-kay, Rusty, Shando and Oldskool.

This was my 2nd visit here, the first nearly 2 yrs ago when i first hooked up with Shando and D-kay after not long joining TU. The decay had really started to take over.


Critical Decay! by Critical Mass., on Flickr


Shadowlands by Critical Mass., on Flickr

Had met all the other guys before but first time meeting Mela ( Mrs Monster). Chatted on Fb and Flickr so it was awesome to finally meet in the flesh!!


A Rose Between 2 Thorns by Critical Mass., on Flickr.

As I’d done this location before i think I spent more time talking than shooting. Time is against you in Winter as the dark closes in real soon so it was time to head out and hit some Pye.not before a quick stop at maccies for a re-charge.
Quick shoot down the motorway and we were parked up and off to our 2nd and last of the day as light ( and weather )was against us already.
Only time for the Pye tourist spots in our short window but as Rusty and Andre had never been they really are the must see spots.


Goliath ( Round 2 ) by Critical Mass., on Flickr


Dare to Enter?? by Critical Mass., on Flickr


Cell 4’s Lifeline by Critical Mass., on Flickr

Missed this shot last time I was here and it’s almost obligatory to take it so when in Rome……


Inside The Belly of The Beast by Critical Mass., on Flickr

….again always time for another crew shot


Pyestock’s Finest! by Critical Mass., on Flickr.

Cell 3 was a laugh a minute!! Ropes, chains, hooks and a mammoth effort by Andre and Oldskool who had’nt been down there before and Pye was a wrap!!

Time to say our goodbyes to Rusty and Andre who were headed elsewhere the following day and Mela who was having a non UE day and we were back at casa Shando with a beer and chow provided by the awesome Mrs Shando….big up for putting up with us!!

Day 3 and the final day was a bit of a mismatch day fails and the fuzz and a bit of tourist action. the plan was to hit the care home mainly and then see what else we can come up with.
The first spot was totally sealed and it was here we had a bit of downtime and became tourists for an hour or 2. Shots from the Abbey can be seen here – viewtopic.php?f=25&t=6936 . it was a pretty chilled little visit and quite enjoyable.
Tourist schizzle over it was time to get back to the UE so off we sped, destination Care Home.
It was getting on for the middle of the day when we arrived and access was pretty straight forward it was just picking the right moment so as not to arouse suspicion from onlookers and passers by.
Coat clear and in we went. now we had heard this place was pretty on top at the moment as it is a bit of a hotspot and we were not to be disappointed. Within 20ish mins we were being hauled out by 2 of Her Majesty’s finest! Details taken and checked we were sent on our way with just a talking to. Luckily we managed to crack a few shots but that place does need a re-vist!


Somebody Will Return by Critical Mass., on Flickr


Unoccupied by Critical Mass., on Flickr

With only a few hours left of light it was time For me to hit the road and head home. it was easier for me to get the train from here than travel all the way back to London and catch a train there.
An awesome weekend with ups and downs. Killer crew and belly laughs all the way. Big up again to The Shando’s for their awesome hospitality!!

Till the next time guys!!


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