A few months ago, TheTimeChamber had its 5th birthday. We even wrote a blog post on it, where we briefly mentioned how it all started. Since then there has been a sudden influx of Pyestock photographs across the internet this summer, causing a rush of nostalgia for us. So we have decided to write a retrospective post about our first entry into Urban Exploration. We suspect that this might lead to a series of retrospective posts about the places we have explored.
As you probably already know this website is run by two brothers, back in 2007 we found ourselves pacing the perimeter of Pyestock together looking for a way in. We had little knowledge on what we were up to, but years of being kids running riot on a housing estate had given us some preparation as to what we needed to do. Pyestock was the many of firsts for us, from our first site to the first time we were firmly escorted from a site. We had arrived at Pyestock with no more preparation that looking at the site layout on Google Earth. After a short bout of scrambling about the perimeter we thought we were in, but little did we know that there was a second fence waiting for us. We were tantalisingly close and could see the sprawling industrial complex drawing us in for a closer look.
To paraphrase many fellow exploring blogs before us, the adrenaline had sent our senses into over drive and we had suddenly become very alert. Quickly making our way around the second fence we were in. Excitedly, we began darting from building to building, ducking under the mass of blue pipes that spread across the site like industrial tentacles as we went. Moving so fast led to an incoherent photographic record of what we saw. Looking back we tried to take in too much in too shorter time, and after only a few hours we found ourselves leaving the way we came. Thoroughly satisfied that our first taste of UE had gone well.
On the car journey home that day we were already planning our return, Pyestock had wet our appetite and we wanted more. Two weeks later, we found ourselves driving the roads of Farnborough and back towards Pysestock. We had spent our time over the previous two weeks doing a little research and had a come up with a game plan. This time we were looking to spend the entire day within the site and we were safe in the knowledge that security at the time was lax. We had even upgraded our cameras specifically for the trip so that we could try and get some better photos.
Finding ourselves to be much more relaxed, we spent our time enjoying the decay. As we moved from building to building, we were amazed at the amount of engineering pedigree that had been left behind. The day was spent quickly moving through every building we came across and taking photos as we went. Looking back, we can only wish we had spent more time and knew what we were doing with our cameras! After close to 9 hours on the site, we made our way home not expecting to return.
Like most sites we have visited since Pyestock, we found ourselves wanting to return again. This time, bizarrely, we went back at night. We can admit now that we did not see much and that the AA-Maglite torch we were using may have been a contributing factor. Rather than exploring the site, we decided to climb onto the roof of the air house and enjoy the birds eye view. It turned out to be a rather bouncy experience as the roof was made from a very lightweight construction. With shaky legs and near blindness, we made our way home for the third time in a month.
After our night visit and during one of many visits to the student bars, we began to regail our adventures with some friends from university. This caught their attention and we agreed to show them around. We had already had numerous trips there and had inevitably become complacent and did not take our usual caution. Unbeknownst to us, a group from one of the exploring forums had arranged to have a mass explore on the same weekend that we were heading back. This caused the property owners to realise that their site was being infiltrated, so they lay in wait for anyone who happened to be going on that particular weekend.
This happened to be us. Not a situation you want to be in when you have only just discovered exploring and had stupidly decided to take some friends along for a ride. After a brief shock of being surrounding by some angry people, we were firmly escorted from the site and told in a very definite manor to stay the hell away. With our tails between our legs and egg dripping from our face, we decided to move on from our affair with Pyestock and look for something else to entertain us. We soon found ourselves in the never ending corridor maze of Essex.