OK I confess – I could not imagine a situation more humiliating than being (I assume) the first urbexer ever to have to make two attempts at getting into the Ski Village (for village read completely trashed shit hole) but no I managed to surprise myself with my entrance to Jacobs.
I was pleased with myself before I set of having done all my research about gaining access, checking google maps, google earth as well as doing all my relevant packing – camera, Maglite etc so I was amazed when I drove confidently up to what should have been the entrance only to find a learner driver earnestly practising their manoeuvres right at the point where I had planned to enter.
No worries I soon found a nearby alternative – a well used slope clearly used by teenagers of the BMX/Skateboarding persuasion - unfortunately my attempts at a dignified entrance went out the window when I slipped and fell ass over tit down to the bottom. My humiliation was complete when a little old lady saw me and shouted “ave ya urt ya love?” I said “mind your own business you nosy old witch do I look as if I’m alright? - why don’t you just disappear up your own bottom and go back to your cabbage smelling home for the elderly?” but for some reason it came out as “No I’m fine – thanks for asking” - at which point I continued on my merry way (or as merry as one can be with dented pride and a sore bahookie).
My initial reaction at this point was to think that maybe I need to make a distinction between what constitutes a quality visit and what – to all intents and purposes – constitutes something else entirely. Given that the factory (I use the term very loosely) basically consists of a collection of street art covered walls doing a half-hearted job of holding the roof on then its clear – at least to me – that this is an art gallery. There was nothing that I could see that was part of the original furnishings/machinery/tools that were used at the factory – even the car park is overgrown with weeds, brambles and a collection of detritus suggestive of a teenage clientele who it would seem use the area for parties, socialising, carnal pursuits , trainee drug dealing and mugging out of towners – as I was reminded in various places “Only for Locals” Eeek!
Having said that, and for reasons I can’t quite explain, I always seem to experience a feeling of wonder when I enter a site for the first time – no matter how decayed it might be. There is something quite breath-taking about walking into a vast derelict factory like this one knowing that only a few years ago it was a major employer providing jobs for hundreds of people and I found myself having a period of reflection thinking about what life in this factory must have been like for them and what happened to all those people when the factory closed down.
My earlier fears about the state of the place proved somewhat groundless as I walked around the grounds – pretty much everywhere I went felt safe – both physically because the floor both upstairs and down felt very safe, the stairs felt solid enough (save for one where a few missing steps have been replaced with a wooden board) and emotionally as the place seemed to have a pleasant atmosphere – a welcome relief since this was a solo visit. The roof area was also very spacious and solid – with no signs of rotting or damaged areas. All in all I spent a good couple of hours taking photos, admiring the rooftop view and wandering around (what was left off) the various buildings.
All in all I had a pleasant visit and one I will certainly be returning to just to see the examples of street art. Good for noobys as well as entrance isn’t difficult.
Thanks for looking!