Urbex Bingo… and a whale’s tale.


As it turns out, the rock and metal scene can be a small world- even in a festival of over 75,000 people. I mentioned in my Wacken blog that the English seemed to find me- maybe my accent carries, or maybe my appreciative shriek at finding apple crumble in the catering tent was especially loud? Either way, a fellow Brit I met there happened to live in the next stop on my agenda: Hull. So we went exploring the massive building that is St Andrews Quay and accidentally playing ‘urbex bingo’.


Do you ever visit abandoned buildings? Have you ever noticed that almost every site has exactly the same graffiti or messages scrawled on the walls? (Especially central locations which are easy to get to.) If you aren’t an urbexer, what about underpasses or side streets? Keep reading for the “Life Out There Urbex Graffiti Bingo Sheet”. (And please feel free to add your own!)

Our location didn’t require any breaking in- the door was open. Even right next to a road, the nearer we got, the quieter things became. As always, it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. How can things be reduced to rubble and debris so quickly?! They can’t all be that structurally unsound! The local teen tearaways can’t be that destructive!

I loved the main room which reminded me of a messier, less fortified mine of Moria… but maybe that was just me. Still, the lower floors were covered in the especially mindless graffiti that started our discussion in the first place- not that there was any less paint as we climbed higher but things got more interesting. The higher you go, I guess the less chance that you’ll be found and figuratively slaughtered so you can spend a little more time making your mark.


While I’m stronger than I look, I’m no parkour expert and really quite heavy. Thanks, Matt The Viking, for hauling me up and down the ledge!!

So things opened up as we climbed higher and the tunnel-like halls became sunlit spaces relatively open to the elements, giving us little fern gardens to make things pretty. Seriously, if I had a local ‘spot’ like this, I’d make a garden, leave bottles of water or a snack box for visitors and hope that people would keep it nice for me.


I had a coach to catch just a few hours after we entered so I had to leave a quest unfinished. While walking around, we found these bits of a story but though I insisted on looking I couldn’t find the rest of it! Have you been there? Have you seen it? Was it you? Please mail me the other parts- I want to know what the whale said!

We’d found our way to the top so it would have been weird not to visit the roof and set the world to rights up there… and show off ridiculous party tricks- but after half an hour up there it was already time for me to catch the last coach. I don’t know why finding the way back always feels so much faster but with the exception of a largish drop and a last look into Moria, we were out in no time and moving on.


I understand that really crap graffiti is usually the domain of teen and pre-teen boys but at the same time, is the collective consciousness that unimaginative? Perhaps it’s just English youth?! This is my urbex crap graffiti bingo sheet… though I hate to say, just one Milton Keynes underpass could get me some serious points!
So where have you been and how did it do?

Crap graffiti bingo sheet:
[ ] = a point

[*] = a bonus point
[ ] Upside down crucifix. Caution- here be frustrated Catholic teens.
[*] Bonus for a crucifix that isn’t upside down.
[ ] A pentagram. Nothing says ‘I’m desperately trying to be satanic’ like a pentagram.
[ ] … unless it’s an upside down pentagram for added shock.
[*] Bonus for the unholy trinity:
– the word ‘Satan’
– 666
– Upside down pentagram
[ ] A penis. Because of course. There’s always a penis!
[ ] A sad solitary swear word. There are fewer things more pathetic than the word ‘fuck’ scrawled on a wall with an almost-run-out spray can.
[*] Bonus for an imaginative swear word. Knob jockey. Pork swordsman. Wankbadger.
[ ] Is there anything more douchey to scrawl than a swastika? Probably not, and yet here they are. Ugh.
[*] Bonus for a swastika that has been edited by a better person. Like this.
[ ] What else do the badass anti-establishment do? Smoke weed and then tell you about it on mould-damaged brickwork, apparently. Anything weed related.
[ ] Advice for life- ‘don’t bullshit a bullshitter’ and ‘kill your darlings”. Such wisdom.
[ ] The anarchist symbol because anarchy.
[*] Bonus for a semi-coherent anti-establishment statement. The more ludicrous the better.
[ ] Somebody else’s news. “Bob likes boys” etc etc.
[*] Bonus point for if the news ISN’T that He is gay or She is a slut!
[*[*]*] A special final bonus point for something so bizarre or tasteless that it surpasses anything seen before to become a force of tastelessness even sensed by people robbed of sight and sense.

Comments 3

  1. Björn Sträter

    Quite surprisingly: due to the conditions the structure is left in after abandonment and quite a multitude of other factors (yes: younglings feuling their destructive urges as well) secondary conctructions are quite fragile. Not to say houses and buildings are structurally unsound themselves, this takes some more time. I would guess the first few years, apart from nature encroaching un the property, nothing much can be noticed on an abandoined building. As paint start to flake, thats when it really starts. Additionally: the internals of a building are never designed to withstand the full (wet) force of nature, thus once a building is open to the elements, the first decay is actually pretty fast. That is before we go onto the more specific details on how something is built and how that acts under very unpredictable “open to nature” conditions.

    1. Post

      Ooh! How on earth did I miss this?! This is fascinating and thankyou for explaining. I think I may have to write a full blog about this as I think a lot of people underestimate the danger of entering.

      1. Björn Sträter

        After re-reading I caught even more mistypes in my comment :P. But seriously though: I love trying to explain structural engineering oddities and details with everyone I can find (as a structural engineer myself). Why things are at the same time dangerous, and also not dangerous at all, and how it is all in the details (like all devils are).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *