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UER Forum > Journal Index > Boringly Titled by MindHacker > Ilchester Paper Mill and Power Plant (Viewed 4181 times)
Ilchester Paper Mill and Power Plant
entry by MindHacker 
1/26/2010 8:18 AM

Jan 14th 2010

Simkins Paper Industries Mill, also known as the Thistle Mill, was introduced to me rather serendipitously. I was racing carts down Ilchester road, and the finishing line ended in the parking lot of a very abandoned looking building... I resisted my urges to run in so that we could head off to another hill before the cops came to hassle us, but it was in the back of my mind. So when I had an interview in Towson, I put a change of clothes in my trunk along with some camera gear and reviewed my coursework for the interview.

What I should have done was put the address in my GPS. After spending an hour weaving through Baltimore to arrive at the Ilchester road in inner-city ghetto, I pulled out my kindle, and did my best to find nearby addresses, based only on a single site about trains (I knew train tracks were nearby, so it wasn't a complete shot in the dark) and google-maps. Which is painful on a kindle.

I eventually found it, parked at the trailhead for the nearby paths, checked the guard booth (trashed) and stepped through the fence and on my way. I was slightly concerned, everything was tightly locked, though basement windows might be doable, though not preferable. Luckily, the entire rear half of the building was wide open.

It was unseasonably warm... but the building kept the interior chilled. The first thing I noticed was an ungodly amount of graffiti, some funny, most boring, and some bizarre ( I HAD SEX HERE -> ). The picture speak for themselves for the first few rooms.

Hearing voices, I decided to go vertical, even if they did sound like stoners. But... I'll just admit it. I pussied out on the first one. The I-beam was rusted away to an upsidedown T-beam, and only half as wide as it should have been. with no other supports, and no railings, I decided I'd find a better way. Which wasn't hard, since there was a staircase on an adjacent side of the room.

Going up... not much was there to see. A few holes in the floor, and a good view out the windows on top. On the way back down I saw a few mixing tanks with propellers to stir, and a huge rusty pressure tank I took a great photo of. To be fair, I took 5 or 6 hoping one would turn out.

I also found a staircase that left off an entire section from the ground... just hanging out over rubble. A fun foreshadowing hop there. Outside, I checked a barn... but it seemed just rubble, as did the canal.

On the way out, to cross the river, some kids saw me leaving. I just walked straight up to them, pants falling off (I managed to snag and pop the fly climbing through the gate, and couldn't fix it with my hands full of camera/tripod/etc). They were curious about it, lived nearby. I advised them of the holes in the floor and encouraged them to have a look. Later on I saw them leaving, must have been a quick look.

After I crossed the river I went for the attached power plant. At first glance, this, too, was pretty secure, but there was a hole in one side that only required slight buildering to use, and even had sturdy, if slippery (in boots) pipes to use. Instantly, I knew I had a better location.

The interior was graffiti free, and still had the original equipment largely intact within. I climbed the near side, which required a dozen feet of balance-beam I beams (no T beams of rust over here) and climbed for the roof, pausing to take a few pictures (none of which came out all that well. I did manage to drop my camera case 5 floors down through the catwalks while taking them though.)

The roof was firm, afforded a great view of the plant, and pretty boring.

Back inside, I went to the other side of the plant before playing on the bridge. This side had the more technical equipment, huge ventilators, stacks, and corrugated... um... prefab burners, I think. Oh, and I grabbed my camera case too, almost had to crawl under a pressure-tank for it though. I made my way up to the stacks, which were my immediate goal when I first peered through the side of the building. The ladders quivered a little but were structurally quite sound. This side of the building, perhaps having avoided the fires that plagued the mill, was quite solid.

Not as cool as I thought it'd be, but it did look sorta like a face, and I was, of course, going to be climbing up here regardless of how interesting it was.

Back on the ground, I found a generator, which I thought was the coolest part of the day so far... but I'm kind of an engineering geek. Well, tied with climbing I-beams 15' over space. That was also cool.

Done with the location, I did the riskiest (exposure-wise) thing I could think of: I climbed out on the gangway over the river. Which was fun, surprisingly sturdy, and offered a good view of the upriver dam. Took a few pictures, and then bailed before the cops could arrive, just-in-case.

Lost my GPS, guessed my way home, and refused to tell my mum how I got so filthy.

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UER Forum > Journal Index > Boringly Titled by MindHacker > Ilchester Paper Mill and Power Plant (Viewed 4181 times)

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