misc | portfolio
Last update: 09|03|13

bbc world service: outlook
august 2003
interviewer: heather payton

Ten minute interview on the subject of urban exploration. Conducted at Paddock with permission of the owners. Nick Catford, of Sub-Brit organised the visit and was interviewed about the history of the bunker. Later repeated on Radio Four.

See also: Paddock | Far From The Light Of Day

wired magazine: mental!
october 2003

Commissioned piece from the editor Angela, this three page article for this Croydon Listings Magazine was a tongue-in-cheek history of the asylum emphazing its legends and reputation. A frightener for their Halloween issue. Also featured on the front cover.

first page (pdf) | second page (pdf) | third page (pdf)

bbc 4: restoration nation (eastern region)
august 2004
director: clive dunn

The BBC were keen to devote ten minutes to a piece about asylums but the original plan fell through (the owners of Severalls wouldn't give permission). Successfully suggested a substitute (Rauceby) and quickly found ex-staff for interviews. Was interviewed myself on the history of the asylum, being titled an "Asylum Historian".

Restoration Nation: Asylums (6MB Windows WMV file)

digital camera magazine: top ten derelict buildings
september 2004
interviewer: george cairns

The top ten derelict buildings feature resulted in a telephone interview about urban exploration and my corridor shot of Severalls being rated as #2.

Top Ten Derelict Buildings

the independent: asylum seekers
4th july 2005
interviewer: rhodri marsden
photographer: ben stansall

Took The Independent urban exploring at West Park. Resulted in a full page colour feature and some now iconic pictures from award winning photographer Ben Stansall.

Full unedited text of feature
More unpublished pictures

D - La Repubblica delle donne: london explorers
15th april 2006
interviewer: nicola scevola

Mechanised, Major Tom and I took two reporters for two different foreign papers around Severalls. The result was a three page feature in the Italian La Repubblica. Pictures by Mechanised, Nicola and myself.

first page (pdf) | second page (pdf) | third page (pdf)

metro: what is in that old house?
20th april 2006
interviewer: oliver stallwood

After a couple of telephone interviews with Oliver Stallwood, and some dubious changes thanks to a sub-editor, urban exploration hit London's free newspape.

what is in that old house?

the sun: what a cell-out
18th august 2006
reporter: harry macadam

Supplied pictures of Aldington Prison for The Sun's feature on unused prisons. One and a half page spread. References to me and urban exploration were edited out at the last minute.

what a cell-out

construction history society: urban explorers
august 2006

I was asked to write a piece for the Construction History Society's newsletter. To my knowledge, this is the first time an article on urban exploration has appeared in an academic publication. Secondly, it was far more about the aims and limitations of urbex itself rather than a piece about asylums etc.

Urban Explorers At The National Gas Turbine Establishment

inside out: the urban explorer (eastern region)
9th october 2006
director: martin friend

The spec: a piece about urbex, shot as true urbex. Lawyers in the upper echelons of the BBC gave their permission. However, it would require a very stripped down film crew: cameraman, director and presenter. Two day shoot at two locations. The result? I presented ten minutes of prime time BBC One.

coming soon

british forces broadcasting: the cox & bumfrey show
14th october 2006
interviewers: stephen bumfrey and hannah cox

Early Saturday morning, I was interviewed about urban exploration on BFBS Radio One. A quick five-ten minute chat with hosts Stephen Bumfrey and Hannah Cox ensured that all the British Forces were brought up to date with my hobby of scrambling inside derelict buildings.

coming soon

treefingers: shoebox archive
october 2006
album artwork

Sleeve designers Thomas Featherstone and Dale Harris used the floral wallpaper from St Crispin for Treefinger's debut album Shoebox Archive. The floral motif was also used throughout the album booklet and promotional material.

Floral Pattern by Simon Cornwell
Photography by Martin Featherstone and Peter Morris
Artwork by Thomas Featherstone and Dale Harris


family history monthly: inside the madhouse
december 2006

One of my brooding shots of a corridor at Warley was used to illustrate a piece on the history of asylums in the UK.

county times
4th may 2007
reporter: tim raw

After the destruction of Beedingwood House, I offered some quotes, background and pictures of the former house for the county newspaper. Little did I know that it would make the front page.

inferno wipes out historic mansion

testimony exhibition (epsom)
9th - 18th august 2007

My first exhibition.

When launching their website, Testimony held a series of exhibitions up and down the country. The first was held in Epsom, famous for the "Epsom Cluster" of five asylums. My pictures of West Park were displayed; showing the state of the asylum today.

"The first exhibition will be held at the Bourne Hall Museum, which has been selected because of its position close to the Horton estate, which was the largest cluster of mental hospitals in the world. Five hospitals (The Manor Hospital, 1899; Horton Hospital, 1902; Ewell Colony, later St. Ebba’s, 1904; Long Grove, 1907; and West Park, 1924) covered an area of one square mile. Between them they housed a diverse community of people experiencing mental health distress as well as people assumed to suffer a psychiatric condition due to what was seen as deviation from the social and moral codes of that time."

"With the exception of St Ebba’s, these hospitals are now all closed. Mental Health care went through a transition process towards Care in the Community services, reflecting the changing attitudes to the ways in which society provides care and support to people who experience mental health issues. Bourne Hall Museum holds an archive of documents, photographs and artefacts taken from St. Ebba’s on the closure of its psychiatric units. Testimony is working in partnership with the Museum to enable the participating artists to create new contemporary art works that responds to this archive material as well as to the Testimony archive."

november 2007

Writing for the influential and serious Blueprint architectural magazine, Mark Chalmers offers one of the best researched and most thought provoking pieces about the urban exploration scene in the UK.

Blueprint Article

uk web archiving consortium
january 2008

The British Library would like to invite urbex|uk to participate in web preservation programme

The British Library is a founding member of the UK Web Archiving Consortium consisting of The British Library, JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), the National Archives, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales and the Wellcome Library. The Consortium is the national effort to archive selective representative websites from UK web space in advance of the introduction of legal deposit for digital materials. The Archive can be seen at www.webarchive.org.uk."

"The British Library would like to invite you to participate in this work by allowing us to archive your web site under the terms of the appended licence. We select sites to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage and as a result, they will remain available to researchers in the future. We aim to subsequently include the archived copy of your web site in our permanent collections."

"There are benefits to you as a web site owner in having your publication archived by the Consortium such as having a historical record of your web site. The Consortium aims to develop preservation mechanisms to keep your publication accessible as hardware and software changes over time."

urbex|uk has been selected by the British Library for inclusion in the Web Archiving Consortium. These means the site will be archived in a permanent collection and will be available for future researchers. The Web Archiving Consortium will take copies of the site from time-to-time to ensure that the additions I make in the future will be added to the archive.

One of the reasons some urban explorers give for their activities is to create a historical record by photographing buildings and places that are at risk and will otherwise be forgotten. By being archived in a national collection, urbex|uk has achieved that aim.

love in the asylum
september 2008

A picture of a wall mural taken at St. Crispin was used as promotion for an art exhibition in Glasgow. The original plan was for a run of posters, but postcards were printed instead.

buckinghamshire - stories of the supernatural
october 2008

Upon its demolition the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital moved from rather crappy, trashed old hospital to the stuff of supernatural legend! As part of this transformation, its sinister ghostly stories are told in Buckinghamshire - Stories Of The Supernatural by David Kidd-Hewitt. The Flincher is subject of Chapter 2 where Damon, Owen and I bring our urban exploration tales of the former hospital up-to-date.

most haunted; live!
30th october 2008

The Most Haunted! Live crew camped down in North Wales for a ghost watch within the crumbling walls of the glorious Denbigh Asylum. Before the evening's supernatural events, I presented a five minute piece about urban exploration, the history of lunatic asylums, and discovering the architectural secrets of Denbigh for the first time.

issue #2: december 2008

A friend of Ian Richards tracked down the original, proposed floorplans of Severalls Hospital. So armed with the map, we planned to document Severalls in a completely different way.

At the same time, Olly Zanetti contacted me for an interview with the new Susology. So, it made sense to combine both.

Unfortunately we found the main buildings at Severalls barred. So, the interview was conducted in Ivy Villa at Severalls and at Beacon Hill Fort, Harwich.

(I won’t publish the full-sized PDF files yet as the magazine is still current).

london evening standard
17th august 2009

A positive article outlining the practise of urban exploration. The journalist joined two urban explorers on a trip in London. I was quoted on various aspects of the legalities and dos-and-don'ts.

sunday daily star
14th march 2010

This piece by Rick Lyons links lax security (as exploited by urban explorers) with potential terror threats. The on-line version can be read here. Whilst talking with him, I realised his take on the subject and realised it needed discussing; plus I'm glad he included the motto and the fact that an urban explorer would not damage a site to gain access.

So another positive, informative piece (although the picture editor went for the sensational and chose various climbing shots).

Click on the thumbnail for larger images.

22nd november 2010

The first of probably several Cane Hill Obituaries after the fire which tore through the old Administration Block. I provided several key quotes and the photographs used to illustrate the piece.

yahoo! news: website of the day
4th may 2011

Promoted by the detention and arrest of four people going "off-piste" in the London Underground, Yahoo! took a look into the subject of urban exploration. After a broad overview of the subject, they added a link, and a lost vista of Cane hill, to my website as an example.

asylum uk: urban exploration
january 2012

Jake Hanrahan grasped the mettle and took a trip to St. Crispin for a crash course in urban exploration. The article also included an interview with me about my experiences whilst urban exploring. Unfortunately the Asylum website closed almost immediately afterwards.

asylum uk: urbex: exploring the depths of derelict hell holes
24th february 2012

Remade and remodelled, Jake Hanrahan resubmitted a longer version of his urbex article to Sabotage Times. This includes a longer interview with me and more pictures of his trip to St. Crispin.

cambridge 105: rebel arts radio
14th may 2012

Had a chat with Mark about all things urbex on Cambridge's community radio station. David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World and Simple Minds' Moscow Underground were the tracks played during the interview, both which have urbex connections. Subjects included Cane Hill, Pyestock and the local Uplands (now) legendary ruin.

bbc berkshire
15th january 2013

Appeared on the Breakfast Show with Andrew Peach where I was able to give a brief run down about urban exploration and its ethics before defending the scene against the Major Of Windsor who was having problems with alledged petty thieves at one of his properties.

cr5 magazine: the rumours of deep shelter #4
february 2013

Lucy, the editor of local listings magazine CR5, asked if I could contribute something historical for the publication. She wanted something on Cane Hill and Netherne but I suggested starting the series with the long forgotten tunnels found at the base of Cane Hill itself.

page 1 and 2 (pdf) | page 3 (pdf)

cr5 magazine: the design of cane hill
may 2013

The second article was about the design and construction of Cane Hill with special emphasis on its architect Charles Howell.

page 1 | page 2 | page 3

bbc leeds (broadcast nationally)
13th june 2013

The Mark Forrest show is broadcast to all regional BBC radio stations and concentrates on a local news story. Following an attempt to save some old maltings from demolition, Mark Forrest asked how much of the old industrial landscape should be saved. I appeared on the show to talk about the wide range of derelict buildings throughout the UK, my experiences and whether I thought these buildings were worth preserving.

buzz: bournemouth.ac.uk
march 2013

The plan was to take Sam Thomson to RAF Upwood for a nice easy mooch, total immersion in a derelict landscape and an introduction to urban exploration. Unfortunately due to a mix-up over train timetables, the original plan had to be scrapped, and I only had time to show him around our local ROC Post and take part in an audio interview. But, my comments and thoughts were included within his project at Bournemouth University.

the science museum
decemeber 2013 - august 2014

One of my imposing shots of the Adminstration Block of Warley Hospital was used by The Science Museum as part of their Mindmaps exhibition.

credo: lgt journal on wealth culture
xvii 2013

I took Sacha Batthyany on a jaunt around Severalls many eons ago and the result of the exploration appeared several years later in the upmarket Credo magazine. Luckily a version is also available online. Photographically it was difficult to "supply the goods" as they wanted pictures of me doing what I do - it was then I discovered that I hardly ever turn the camera upon myself and always point it away. I might change that in the future, but I always felt that the subject was far more interesting without imposing myself in the scene. Sacha was hungry for the experience - and relatively happy about stepping over the festering dead fox in the Frog House and crawling down the muddy tunnels into Severalls.