A large part of what I find appealing about urbex is that feeling when stepping beyond those locked gates and thresholds that most never cross. It’s about the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of and experience something usually reserved for a chosen few. And sometimes it’s a chance to step back in time; to truly experience, touch, breathe and feel history. Sometimes there are glimpses of how it may once have been to live or work within a particular space. And, more rarely, there is a more immersive experience when you enter a space that has changed little from its former working years. This space was one of the latter. Locked up and untouched since its closure in the 1960s, The Daily Grind provided more than a simple snapshot of a bygone era.
After an initial recon of the building, some background investigation and some trial and error, I met up with my usual partner in grime on a mild Autumn morning. We entered with great care and stealth and set about a thorough explore. Machinery still stood where it had for 130 years. Signage from the 1920s adorned various walls and doors. Wooden staircases and ladders creaked and groaned as we ascended and descended the various levels. Huge metal cogs carried aged leather belts from the basement to the top floor. I can only imagine that the noise, the dust and the heat, combined with the cramped and confined conditions, would have made this a tortuous place to work.
I could spend days in a place like this, finding the finer details to study and photograph. Alas, after many hours of breathing in possum and pigeon faeces, and forty years of detritus, we finally packed up our gear and emerged once again into fresh air and daylight. I feel somewhat blessed to have experienced this one!