I had been thinking of doing an Urban Exploration expedition to Bradford, West Yorkshire for some time. I had no expectations on what I or we may find as cities have previously been out of scope.
My friend and reluctant Steemian @goblinknackers is a local to the area and so I asked him to scout out a few locations in advance.
Having earmarked around 10 locations using www.28dayslater.com, we intended to have an all day explore at several of them. @mender1 was up for coming and so we rendezvoused at @goblinknackers place and then headed out.
British Mohair Holdings Ltd was one of THREE city successes we had that day, the FOURTH being outside the city area. It was also not one of the ones I discovered but had been noticed by @goblinknackers.
One thing about cities is that they make me wary. In the 80’s I had my car nicked in Manchester, so I made double sure it was locked as we started walking up the side of this enormous derelict old mill.
The top area contained anti-climbing fencing but as usual there was a broken-down piece in which we all climbed past. At this point the mill was directly in front of us and looked windowless.
Climbing through windows is easy enough so long as the glass is all gone, but the problem was this veritable jungle that was between us and our target. I walked the length of this thick undergrowth and found a tunnel through it.
We had to bend double at points to get through all the shrubbery, branches and small trees but finally got close to what were once windows. @mender1 at this point stopped me at pointed to something on the ground
Sachets of Ascorbic and Citric acid covered the floor, and was that a needle?
I cautiously approached the open window and saw a young bloke who had his back to me and was in a sitting position. His head was up in the air and he looked completely off his head and oblivious to me watching him.
I knew at some point in time I was going to meet people like this and with there being THREE of us it was as good time as ever. I retreated to warn the others before composing myself and creeping up to the window again.
It wasn’t hard and my increasing skills at subterfuge were paying off as I viewed not one but two blokes both in cloud cuckoo land, eyes semi-closed and sitting facing each other in a haze.
That day I was wearing my Blauer heavyweight police jacket, a garment favoured by law agencies in the United States and so it was with extreme confidence I stood up straight and boomed...., ‘ALRIGHT LADS’.
The response was immediate, both delinquents shot up in the air and looked terrified. One had no shirt and it was the middle of February and around 8C.
<<<What the fuck were these guys on?>>>
I felt that was enough, and smiling simply said, ‘No need to worry, we are not here to bust you’.
They still didn’t seem convinced and I vaulted over the window with the other guys in quick pursuit.
‘We are here to photograph the place, nothing else’. That seemed to relax them and so they continued with their needles and whatever else they were doing.
I tried consciously not to stare. It was their business and I was not here to judge them.
This part of the mill was quite bare but had some suspicious looking holes in the floor. Some were huge and could fit a man while others were the size of my hand. Below was a 6-foot drop into a semi-waterlogged basement. Was the floor unstable?
Could we gain access to other parts of the mill via this method? I had no wellington boots so was not up for that despite @goblinknackers' suggestion. The rest of the mill was boarded up quite securely and so there was not so much to look at.
@mender1 got this great candid shot of the smackheads and has kindly allowed me permission to use it.
After realising that we were no threat, the smackheads mentioned that it was easier to get out via the back entrance and so we headed in that direction.
One stood up swaying around and started shouting, not in a hostile way but simply making a point that he was a normal person and we shouldn’t judge him.
@goblinknackers, always the charitable one walked toward the teetering addict and gave him a couple of quid. That seemed to settle him down, and seconds later they were happily sticking their needles again.
‘That will get them a couple of burgers’... <<<more like their next shoot up I thought.>>>
It was easier than crawling through the jungle using the alternate exit, but we had to get past this section of nasty razor wire first.
It was then directly through some bushes and on to the footpath but not before we saw this den and its needles. Someone had been having a good time and I was wary of getting too close to them. There must have been over 100 of the things.
I doubt they could have penetrated my shoes, but I was not taking any chances.
Technically British Mohair Holdings Ltd was a bit of a failure but meeting these characters made up for it. You never know what’s going to happen, and that’s what makes this interesting.
I have done my share of drugs in the past, but never this type. What of the smackheads? They are probably still there doing their thing and not eating cheap burgers.
All photographs were taken by myself.
Other articles in the ‘Urban Exploration’ series:
Holdings Country Pottery (Revisited)
The Ones that Got Away // The Doll's House
Camelot Theme Park // Albion Street Day Nursery
Allsprings House // The Latvian Consolute
Rose Bank Mill // Horncliffe Mansion Part One: The Car Graveyard
Horncliffe Mansion Part Two: The Mansion // Stand Athletic Football Club
A Trilogy of Failures II // Brodock Ltd, The Old Paper Mill (Failed)
Workhouse Farm // Hellifield Abandoned Train
Extwistle Hall // Huncoat Power Station (Demolished)
A Trilogy of Failures // Holdings Country Pottery
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