Friday lunchtime in work. I decide to take a wander over to a little chinese restaurant for something a little different from the usual salad for dinner and my phone goes off:
Dai: “I know we were going to Cwm Coke this Saturday but I’m over it dude. Not worried about it now, especially since you’ve been there twice before……”
Me: “OK but if you change your mind, I am still free so talk later” – slightly relieved on one hand that we don’t have to go as it’s a big place, I’ve been twice before and its dirty/dangerous.
5 minutes pass and my food arrives. Phone goes again.
Dai: “Ah, I’m being indecisive, I would like to go – 50/50 on it. I’m in two minds about it as I know you’ve been before” (or words to that effect)
Me: “We’ll go, I know I’ve done it before but you have done plenty for us in the last few years. I have my 50mm lens and there will be lots of things I’ve probably not seen”
Dai: “OK, lets go for it!”
Sorry, I’m just setting the scene here.
So, I text Martyn as I know he wanted to see this place and he picks me up at 4:40am on Saturday morning and we get to Dai’s for 5am and leave.
Dai still has this paranoia that “Max” – the Alsatian guard dog and handler that caught him ages ago will catch us in there but as I said before, I’ve been there twice with others and spent a considerable amount of time photographing this place top to bottom with no issues besides getting dirty and always came away with something worth the visit.
So we park up and walk to the place I normally use to get in, for obvious reasons it is sealed as it used to be quite easy to get in without leaving the beaten track. Somethings have changed but that is to be expected. After some time trampling through very overgrown forest and some swampy ground we find some tricky gaps to get inside the site and find the way in.
Immediately we have to deal with some very overgrown undergrowth which I blame the rain and hot weather on. I have never seen a location so overgrown as this but it is to be expected as no one cuts anything down on such a large and derelict site. So we spent a good twenty minutes trampling through to get to the bottom of the site ready to work our way up. We were tired before we started and it was still only 6am.
We worked up through the site bit by bit and found some areas that I had never seen before which we spent quite a bit of time on including the coke ovens and underneath.
I also managed quite a few shots using the 50mm F1.4.We had a very successful morning and lucky that I had prior knowledge of the site meant we got to the interesting places without any problems or loss of time.
Some of these photos are below and the rest will be processed over the next few weeks as I don’t tend to edit everything in haste these days.
‘Underneath the coke ovens’
Thanks for looking in and persevering with my dialogue above!!