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A reporter would be interested in talking with some of you.

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Hugh Jorgan

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An Urban Explorer from this forum did carry out an interview by a newspaper reporter but I cannot remember who it was, I think it could have been UrbanX but I could be wrong. The reporter concentrated on his questions about urban explorers trespassing onto other peoples property which made the explorer uncomfortable and at the end of the interview the explorer wished that he had never agreed to the interview. But why does the reporter wish to interview an explorer? Could the reporter not get all his facts from the vast amount of explores on this forum, such as what type of buildings do explorers explore? Do the explorers find out about the history of the places they explore? Explorers do record what they explore by taking photographs (and leave footprints). I, personally wouldn't take part in any interview because all the answers are within this forum. I don't see the point.
 

Hayman

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I can see the problem between wanting to let other derelict place enthusiasts (industrial archaeologists?) know what is there to explore and the reality that people out to steal from such places will log onto websites solely to gain information as to what there is of scrap value to plunder.

Regarding “trespassing”, it is mostly only a civil offence. Unless there are criminal laws prohibiting being on certain property without authority (railway lines come to mind), or deliberate damage or theft has occurred, there is little chance of being prosecuted. The infamous “Trespassers will be prosecuted” notices on field gates, etc had no validity in the UK.

While the walkers’ motto “Take only photographs, leave only footprints” could well apply to exploring old buildings, etc, there is the matter of taking items to prevent them going legitimately for scrap or being buried when sites are ‘bulldozed’ or ‘redeveloped’, or just left to disappear under re-encroaching nature. Museums around the world hold objects that fall into all these categories, from ancient civilisations up to the present day. I know of heritage railway museums where, thanks to the concerns of enthusiasts, objects that would otherwise have been destroyed or lost are displayed as part of our industrial history.

Of course, there are the ‘private collectors’ (a euphemism?) who delight in taking things solely to keep at home, perhaps to be shown only to those who will not spill the beans. Little different from rich people who (if one believes the stories) pay to have famous paintings stolen so they can gloat over them in their mansions or even in bank vaults. The extra noughts are all that separates the latter from the former.

While there are plenty of local museums that show the histories of their areas, museums dedicated to either individual industries – or to industry in general – are less common. Then there is the matter of the size of what can be preserved. Looking through the photographs on Derelict Places, much of what is seen is either large or is very difficult to preserve while showing its original purpose and setting. Should such sites be left totally untouched, or should small items be removed to be shown as ‘small relics’ to represent the whole? Along with descriptions and photographs of those whole sites. If so, who is going to do the ‘removing’? And the storing and looking after of those items until they can be securely and properly displayed?

Or, are we just trying to retain too much of the past? Not until the middle of the twentieth century was there any real concern for preserving what now is called ‘the built environment’ of this country.

Buildings were routinely demolished so that new ones could be erected in their place; anything made of metal would be melted down, for the copper, brass, lead, iron or steel to be reused. Who today bemoans the cutting up of a Boeing 747, or the demolition of power station cooling towers?

Perhaps we should just take only photographs, and leave only footprints. If truly “the past is a foreign country”, having ‘visas’ for fleeting visits may have to be enough.
 

Roderick

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@JayGeesBSE Me too, the way I read it, it came across very neutral. If anything the feeling I took from it was the explorers were doing a worthwhile job helping people remember places they used to frequent. There was nothing judgmental from the reporter and it sounded like the explorer had been quoted verbatim. He could maybe have mentioned the explorers ethos of take only pictures but otherwise it was fine by me.
 

BikinGlynn

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This chap has already had several locations of one "crap" explorer who seems to like having his name in the paper.

I personally declined his offer of doing a feature on one of my explores which he contacted me directly about before this thread.
The annoying thing with what he was asking if he visits the site himself Im sure its pretty unchanged & am sure the current owners would grant him access so he could take his own bloody photos!
 
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