29 June, 2011
Naughty but interesting
I have been in a fair few mothballed, decommissioned or otherwise partially abandoned large industrial or utility sites over the years, always there with a plausible and broadly authorized reason but often wandering into areas that were not, shall we say, entirely within the remit. I can well understand what leads these lads into these dark and interesting corners, though I wouldn't have the bottle to do the sort of thing they get up to, even when I was younger and (slightly) fitter.
What is addictively eerie about such places is when they are just mothballed and still have services like electric power connected. Finding old machine rooms full of specialized telecommunications kit, still powered up and quite possibly still connected to a live network, but taken out of service 20 years ago and just left in place because the cost of recovery was too great and there was no pressing requirement to re-use the space. Marvel at the now obsolete and chunky technology, leaf through ancient ring-bound manuals which describe bootstrap procedures involving careful sequences of toggle-switch settings and which proudly inform you that the "enhanced" model of the kit has all of 96K of core.
Such hidden gems can often sit humming quietly to themselves until the building itself is finally demolished.
Yes I can well understand the fascination.