Epicentre of English Eccentrics – Cuckooland, Knutsford

Currently working on a documentary relating to timekeeping, the owners of Cuckooland Cuckoo Clock Museum have graciously given me time and access to the country’s largest collection of antique Black Forest cuckoo clocks – not only for the short-form documentary in which they will feature but also for the creation of a series of immersive field recordings. Two 8k recordings with spatial audio were taken in the larger rooms and a lower resolution in the back room. Both to be uploaded here soon!

Blue Power Plant, Charleroi, Belgium

An abandoned nuclear power station in Charleroi, Belgium.

Listed in Google as ‘Blue Power Plant’ – there are several routes of access to this site, make sure you arrive on the correct side of the river that adjoins this location as it is impassable. Access is (as of March 2019) relatively simple & the spot seems to be very popular with urbexers and other interested parties, as is the rest of the surrounding area; a long decline in the regions once thriving industrial economy has apparently left many photogenic abandoned places. I was concerned with encountering security at several points but in fact ended up meeting many other like-minded souls filming, taking photos and exploring. There are some security measures like fencing etc but are on the whole easy to bypass thanks to paths created by earlier visitors. The dam which is located within visual range of the cooling tower has a guard, however he showed no interest in the numerous urberxers that visited the site during the few hours I was there.

The cooling tower…

Metal stairway that leads to entry point.

The door seems to have been sealed at one time but now is easy to enter.

The interior is imposing in scale and creates remarkable acoustic effects.

Video and spatial audio soon to be uploaded on my VR channels.

As previously mentioned Charleroi is chockablock with fascinating abandoned structures, including Charbonnage Number 10 (a well-known urbexing site that is free to access and is apparently a great starting point for urbexing debutantes.) On the opposite side of the river from the cooling tower is an absoutely humongous disused factory – entry is via the smaller building further down the hill from the main structure. The interior of this monster has been entirely gutted an so gives a spectacular impression of scale, similar to the hollow interior of the cooling tower.

Exterior from outside security fence

Close up of exterior

Other urbexers look for entry points

Interor of the main building…

I made sure to record immersive video and audio from within the compound, a further visit might permit me to enter into the main structure (the build-up of material on the reverse side of the structure means that there is quite a drop to the inner floor).