Peter Bargh

words pictures sounds
April 5th, 2010

Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths, ManchesterI’ve neglected my blog here so though I’d update with a recent photography excursion – yesterday in fact. I ventured out to Manchester Victoria Baths – a fascinating restoration project taken on by locals when the baths closed in 1993.

The Baths has a small entrance charge (£2 at the time of writing) and offers free guided tours around the premises. Unlike most NT and English Heritage buildings you’re free to wander around with a camera, even tripod, and take photos. The Victorian fixtures are brilliant subjects to photograph. Wandering around is almost like urban exploration, but without the trespass element.  Derelict areas, partly restored, old glazed tiles vivid green and fabulous coloured stain glass windows, rusty metal works, broken showers, taps, buzzers, victorian electrics, old flaky doors – it’s almost an urbex dream.

Victoria Baths, Manchester

The volunteers are really helpful and there’s a cafe serving baked potatoes with Chilli, Beans or Cheese and sandwiches, along with some great home made cakes.

Allow a couple of hours and be prepared to shoot loads of tripod mounted HDR brackets.

Victoria Baths, Manchester

May 31st, 2008

Urbex

Today is a beautiful sunny day, so why am I in this dingy corridor in the depths of ruin? Simple, I am stepping totally out of my comfort zone following the footsteps of the Urban Explorers.

I’m in a Victorian Asylum, the air is acrid, the floor below my feet precarious and the light spilling from holes in the roof is creating huge contrast problems for photography.

The potential health risk from Pigeon poo, asbestos and flaking lead paint compete with the risk of being arrested for being in a building I’m not supposed to be in, but the thrill to explore and, in my case, the last chance to see and record some amazing architecture in its sad final state of dilapidation, tips the balance.

Denbigh Asylum