Some photographs of a fascinating quarry that is difficult to access without trespassing and the consequent risk of being thrown off, an experience I had on one occasion when I unwisely walked in during the week... Petra and I later managed to take a look on a weekend, having made sure that the quarry was empty and shards of rock weren't flying about.
I'd been wanting to have a look around the lower levels for quite a while. We tip-toed about, trying not to leave any traces of our passing, as they say, taking only photographs, leaving only footprints...although by the number of drinks bottles and cans left lying about, that thought hadn't occurred to many folk.
Almost all the structures here are listed and enjoy statutory protection. The current owners of the quarry seem to not notice the buildings, but it is more a kind of selective myopia, as they have bulldozed great berms of crushed slate against some of them, or placed a restless generator immediately next to a fragile wall, for instance. The structures are being allowed to fall quietly into oblivion. I can understand the quarry's attitude. The buildings don't earn any money, they are in the way and as soon as they fall down, the need to tiptoe around them won't exist any more.
There's a part of me that enjoys the sight of things rusting into a feral nothingness, so that within time, only a stain on the earth, or a few traces of rusty metal might remain. Then, only the learned historians, psychogeographers or necromancers of landscape will be able to tell what was here, and why.
But whatever happens, I don't like to see things trashed for no reason, thrown about as things have been here, by the mindless daemons of destruction, the uneducated, the ignorant and the mischievious. Recently, a low-brow red-top ran an article about exploring deserted places- an urban explorer had sold out for the promise of five seconds of fame and a few facebook likes. His photos were splashed all over a weekend glossy. The result was that several sensitive places, left open by tacit agreements between land owners and explorers who knew how to tread lightly, were invaded by groups of heavy footed people who behaved like bulls in a china shop. And now these places, having been trashed, of course, are no longer open.
I wasn't immune from all this, as some people accused me of naming places, of putting them out there for people to see. I do feel bad that immediately after publishing a photograph of a GWR slate wagon at Maenofferen, it was nicked, or rather, the axle boxes were taken off with a gas axe and the rest left, with "RIP" written on it. I don't know whether there was any connection, but it felt like there was. So from now on, I am going to be a little more circumspect. If you recognise somewhere in one of my posts, allow yourself a warm glow of pleasure. Some places need no introduction, of course, and are well-known. The subject of these photos needs no introduction among explorers, I am sure, but just in case, I am saying nothing.
My Flickr photos...