"I rushed back into the front office. The helicopter roared over, low, and then started
a slow arcing turn over Battle House to face the Power Station. It was fitted with a huge search
light. Black. No markings. "This doesnít look good." I bolted back into the corridor where we all
stood motionless and listened to the growl of the helicopter as it arced around the Power Station
and passed slowly overhead again." - Simon Cornwell
I've often been told how additive my urban exploration site is. From the red-eyed surfers
slumped over their computers in the early hours promising themselves fifteen more minutes, to
the secretive office workers wasting their bosses' time furtively reading snatches between dull
office memos and e-mails, the early tours are compulsive reading.
As the site became more mature, and more knowledgeable, I put aside the whole nuts-and-bolts of
urban exploration and simply concentrated on the subject at hand. Because the building, and the
whole idea of documenting forgotten places was obviously far more interesting than my dubious
exploits evading security, getting impaled on fences and falling through floors. Right? Wrong!
With that decision, I lost part of what made the original website fun.
I made this choice as I'm not one to boast of my exploits, or explain how hard it is to sneak past
security, or how ingenious I am getting into a building that has defeated all others; I find such
accounts tedious and detract from the buildings. But there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears
putting this Pyestock site together, and I didnít just mooch around with a camera and take a few
potted snaps over one sunny afternoon. Hence I wanted to return to the old style tours but I was
left with a dilemma: how could I recount the fun and frustration of urban exploration, but not
dilute the information about Pyestock itself?
The solution was simple: separate the building documentation and the urban exploration.
Have two sections.
So here are The Pyestock Diaries: a recollection of trespassing around Pyestock and
how I got the raw material to create the site. And for those who enjoyed the sheer excitement
of running from The Flincher at the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital,
or being fenced into Hellingly Mental Hospital by the security guard, or being nailed into
St. John's Mental Hospital at Lincolnshire (although Iím didn't write that one up, but rest assured
it was a "unique" moment), then youíll love this section. It outlines how we actually discovered
Pyestock, how we walked around with our jaws open, how we gradually deconstructed
the site and how we ran away from things.
Exploring and discovering is fun and satisfying. I hope this section reflects those sentiments, and
brings back something of the older tours, where readers simply couldnít stop hitting the "next" button.
(Note: The 'best' photographs have been used for the other sections of this website. Therefore the photographs used
to illustrate our explorations are not necessarily the ones I would've chosen, but have been used to give a taste of
what we found. Additionally some photographs were taken at different dates; this is because some shots were lacking and
I returned to the site at later dates to fill in the gaps.)
The Recce (24th June 2006)
With Major Tom
Our first trip was fraught with the usual worries: Would we get caught? Would we get in? Would we be able
to find the place?
Something Old, Something New (31st March 2007)
With Major Tom and Marlon
It was a day of discovery and drama. Whilst we found the Power Station and plane, we also had encounters
with other people and a mysterious black helicopter.
Magpie Abuse (23rd May 2007)
With Major Tom
The skies turned blacker and blacker as I waited for Tom to arrive. The forecast was not good - would
we beat the rain.
Luncheoning With Security (July 2010)
By Major Tom
Major Tom returned to Pyestock on a burning, hot day in July 2010. How had the site changed, and
more importantly, were the tales of increased security true?