forums
new posts
donate
UER Store
events
location db
db map
search
members
faq
terms of service
privacy policy
register
login




UER Forum > UE Photography > GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore (Viewed 154 times)
mookster 


Location: Oxford, UK
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 1319 likes




 |  | 
GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< on 11/8/2018 7:22 PM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
In my previous post on the Longbridge Shadow Factory I eluded to this other complex I explored a number of times between 2011 and 2013. The tunnels have now been filled in as the entire site is being redeveloped into a huge new hospital.

Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds - more commonly known as GKN - is a huge multinational company that nowadays specialises in the automotive and aerospace industries, however in the past they produced all manner of metal goods across a huge array of factories across the UK. Their enormous factory in Smethwick, a heavily industrialised area to the west of Birmingham, was centred around production of screws, nuts, bolts and other kinds of fasteners. The factory closed in 1991 as part of a huge restructuring effort to focus on military and aerospace industries rather than blanket steel goods production.

The factory buildings were partially demolished with parts converted into small scale light industrial use, still in use today. However everyone forgot that underneath the factory were two large sets of tunnels, utilised in the war years for continual production even during air raids when the entire area was being bombed. These remained untouched since closure in 1991 slowly decaying away with the occasional visitor braving the darkness. The factory was split in two by a canal with a set of tunnels on each side - sadly one set was majorly flooded and totally unexplorable however the other complex, set further back from the canal, was very much explorable.

This place is to this day one of the most dangerous places I have explored. Of course it goes without saying that 99% of the complex was totally pitch black, and the arched tunnels were at most just seven foot tall in the middle with all manner of pipes and girders and sharp metalwork poking out at head height. There were numerous deep pits of murky polluted water, and oil was literally oozing out of the walls from decades of soaking through the ground from above. I'm sure you can imagine the smell too, it was a horrendous mix of oil, stagnant water and decay.

Despite all of that, and despite it being in a pretty horrible part of the country, it quickly became one of my favourite spots with a guaranteed entry if you went on a weekend. There was loads of old stuff to see down there from its days as a fasteners factory, and many an enjoyable hour was spent down there in the pitch black - my favourite memory being my penultimate visit in December 2012 when it was absolutely hammering it down with rain and water was literally cascading into the tunnels from holes at the surface.

Photos go from my first visit onwards - you may be able to see my light painting skills improve dramatically the further down you go!

1


2


3


4


5


6 - This light well was one of the only areas with any natural light making it in.



7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


A year later I returned during a ridiculously heavy rainstorm one freezing cold December day and had one of my favourite explores ever.

15


16


17


18


19


20


21


22


23


24


There were a few buildings left that hadn't found a use, although only one was accessible - it was fairly empty and uninteresting but in the spirit of completion...

25


26 - these were commonly referred to as the stairs of death - an exposed staircase covered in rubble that liked to behave like a landslide on the way up and into the building!



27


28


29


30 - a surviving building on the other side of the canal, in the grounds of a bus depot and not accessible sadly.



31 - the office block which backed onto the part converted into light industrial use post-closure - this was only ever accessed a couple of times and sadly not by me.



32 - a visible part of the tunnel system on the other side of the canal, it's level was a lot lower down than the system I explored.



I actually shot a little bit of video inside the tunnels during the pouring rain storm on my penultimate visit...



Thanks for looking



[last edit 11/8/2018 7:40 PM by mookster - edited 2 times]

Yes that's right I'm an actual real-life British person.
Mr. Bitey 


Location: Milwaukee, WI
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 167 likes


What part of Mr. BITEy do you not understand? Are you new??

 |  | 
Re: GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< Reply # 1 on 11/8/2018 7:51 PM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
God I love tunnels. Another just awesome set Mook - thanks for sharing!




Give abandonment a reason for its sacrificial reclamation to nature. Love it. Remember it. Take a picture. Share it. Leave the decay to nature.
Saturn_Sayerz 


Location: Wonderland
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 42 likes


Adventure is the air in my lungs and the blood in my veins

 |  | 
Re: GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< Reply # 2 on 11/9/2018 12:29 AM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
The tunnels are sooo cool! Like a creepy maze




DescentOnARope 


Location: Long Island, New York
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 379 likes




 |  | 
Re: GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< Reply # 3 on 11/9/2018 6:33 PM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
You're becoming a real tunnel rat! An awesomely creepy set. Now I'm in the mood to try some light painting.




skatchkins 


Location: The Desert
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 1188 likes




 |  |  | No Stone Unturned Photography
Re: GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< Reply # 4 on 11/10/2018 1:10 AM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Can't imagine how cool it'd be to find that.
The video really helped convey the darkness, sounds, and the holes beneath.




Flickr Pitchrs
MisUnderstood! 


Location: SouthEast, Texas
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 1531 likes


W/MyOwnEyes

 |  | 
Re: GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore
< Reply # 5 on 11/10/2018 6:59 AM >
Reply with Quote
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Wow! What a dark, dank, nasty looking place. I can just smell the stagnant water issuing forth from your photos. Very cool shots! Kudos to you for making the explore. I cant imagine! lol.




A place of Mystery is Always worth a curiosity trip!
UER Forum > UE Photography > GKN - a.k.a A Most Treacherous Explore (Viewed 154 times)


Add a poll to this thread



This thread is in a public category, and can't be made private.



All content and images copyright 2002-2018 UER.CA and respective creators. Graphical Design by Crossfire.
To contact webmaster, or click to email with problems or other questions about this site: UER CONTACT
View Terms of Service | View Privacy Policy | Server colocation provided by Beanfield
This page was generated for you in 78 milliseconds. Since June 23, 2002, a total of 560848068 pages have been generated.