Tales of the Urban Explorer: Fern Mills

The current owners of Fern Mills attempted to sell it in 2015 but made the mistake of over-valuing the property in the region of £100,000 - £150,000.

It failed to generate any interest and has been sitting in a similar state to what you see now. The last recorded activity was by a pallet, crates, and cardboard packaging manufacturers who went bust in 2002.

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I had read a report from another explorer about Fern Mills and that it was ‘challenging to access’. Having personally met this explorer and knowing that he's a lot better climber than me, gave me little hope.

His report mentioned '"broken glass", "shimmying across a ledge", and "dropping through a window on to sodden floor".

The last part made me shudder. Never, I mean never jump blindly onto rotting wooden floors, especially upper storey ones. You are asking for injury, hospital food, and decapitated limbs.

I looked upon Fern Mills on one scorching hot day. This part of town was decrepit and almost deserted. There are some benefits to visiting shit-holes like this, one being the lack of people milling about.

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There it is”, pointed @anidiotexplores who exploded into action climbing up a wall, navigating the top a little more gingerly, and disappeared over the edge in a matter of seconds.

Fucking bastard, I thought with some a degree of envy. My climbing skills are as graceful as a cat that has just been run over by a car and is about to become worm food.

I started the climb over the 9-foot high wall that admittedly had some decent footholds pausing close to the top.

Several pieces of jagged glass purposely embedded into the concrete and designed to slash your hands open glinted back at me.

After lots of grunts, groans, and swearing, I ever so slowly pulled my weary legs over to make the descent sweating like a bastard but miraculously not getting any cuts. - bloody heat

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We were on the grounds and out of the eyes of the local Karen's. Could we get inside this tough nut?

It appeared things had changed as I glanced up the green metal stairway noticing a nice large hole at the top.

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I did need to check out the ground areas first. It seems a lot of effort to get in here for your injections.

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They are not bags full of old newspapers from before the Second World War but some old tiles or bricks.

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Crawling through the bottom window within the main building that was thankfully devoid of glass, revealed a broken-down room with some large padding. Hmm, not very interesting at all.

@anidiotexplores, I guessed had already ascended the green metal stairway which turned out to be sturdy enough.

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Climbing through the hole in the concrete I found an extremely wobbly bucket that threatened to collapse with if I added my weight on the landing zone.

Narrowly avoiding twisting my ankle, I stretched and stretched for the ground not wanting to place too much weight on this upper storey that was four inches deep in pigeon shit.

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Fern Mills had seen better days that was for sure and I tentatively tiptoed around hoping the floor would not collapse.

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I felt heart-warmed that the owners have erected herras fencing INSIDE to stop us, explorers, from killing ourselves.

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There were many holes in the floor; one even had a handy toilet fitted. There were no warnings about NOT placing your arse on it.

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We were not the first to view the astonishing sights within Fern Mills.

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You do get used to avoiding holes and straddling over them.

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The real toilets, and a reminder of when I was young and had to drink very bad beer because the good stuff didn’t exist then.

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We were already upstairs but when there are more stairs, you just have to climb up them.

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Up there was plenty of light and I was looking for that great shot once again.

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Walking on the top level was tetchy. I was edging around more than walking.

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It's the old foreground/background shot except this rusty old bin was not cutting it.

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Either Skol is a person or someone likes drinking rats piss and is a little obsessed.

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Danger signs, I never did stick to the rules.

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Ultimately there was little left in Fern Mills besides lots of shit.

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This is as good as it gets. I think I captured a little atmosphere.

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Those chains are very common within old mills and are wonderful for attaching corpses too. If exploring wasn’t so popular the local serial killer could use Fern Mills as a decent base and remain incognito.

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On occasion, I do take note of the danger signs. Having signs at all inside is quite unusual.

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While escaping and struggling on that glass encrusted wall again, @anidiotexplores told me in no uncertain terms that two cops had noticed me exiting but were on the wrong side of a canal bank.

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In my struggles, I had not noticed, but they seemed ‘unfazed’ according to him. Nevertheless, we legged it to the car and screeched away at high speed.

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