Driest Place in Town

A  few weeks after a group of guys we’d met at an urbex meet had done the YMCA dance on the roof of this building, we thought we’d have a wander down. At that time we weren’t aware that there was any graff here it was just an explore, but within minutes of getting in we were aware that there was.

Kid Acnes’ art fags were scattered about the place.

We had a really good look around the buildings are huge and some parts are partly demolished, it would have been amazing to see it all intact but it’s way past its best now.

Bob/ Drot character.

A cheeky little Phlegm piece, that we didn’t know was here!

Sela, Saer, Skint and Kest.

This has to be the scariest door I’ve ever seen, when we were in that part of the building I was petrified every time we got to a door just in case it was that one.

We haven’t been back in to this site, but on passing it’s easy to see that it has deteriorated considerably, another part of Sheffields heritage just rotting away.

Zombies? In June?

After a little detective work, we set off for a location where I had figured Phlegm had done a new piece.  As we were trudging towards the place we saw this lot. Now urbex and graffiti hunting attracts all sorts, but zombies, that was new.


Below is a preview of the horror trilogy they were making.

Anyway as zombies go, these were quite friendly and allowed us to have a nosy round as long as we stayed away from the movie cameras. The piece below was the one we’d come to see, but there was another surprise instore for us, a very bemused artist called Phlegm!


Phlegm was working on another piece at this site and he wasn’t having a good day. Phlegm prefers to paint in solitude but this day he’d got us, a couple of other guys that were ‘helping’ and about fifty zombies and a film crew. As we were talking they were staggering through the door.


It was quite bizarre watching zombies photographing graffiti. We left Phlegm to it after about 10 minutes and had a wander around the rest of the site.


There was another Phlegm creation too that we hadn’t known about.


Other artists had been at work here as well, one who had definitely been busy was Clem Alice.


His surreal creations were all over the place.


Phlegm had had the two guys mulshing a wall in preparation and was mortified when I pointed out that the spider they had painted over was one of Clem Alices. But I’m pretty sure Clem Alice forgave him.


There were other pieces there by local artists and writers. This was a particular favourite by Kest.


We had a bit of  wander around but between being in Phlegms way and being in fear of eaten alive by zombies we decided to call it a day and come back when it was a bit less lively – or undeadly depending on your view.

Probably the Largest Factory in Derbyshire (Not)

I was told about this place by a graffiti artist and am very grateful for that information, I never even knew of its existence. This building was huge and I wasn’t able to establish exactly what it had been although it was clear that it had at some point been split into several units and most recently parts had been used as an airsoft site.

The place felt totally abandoned even the graffiti was not recent, although it was fascinating.

It had obviously been a popular graff spot once, I didn’t know who most of them were then, but I do now.

Nature had been doing a paint  job of its own, I love these “Life finds a way”(Jurassic Park)  shots.

In what had been offices was more graffiti and much more evidence of the airsoft guys.

It was quite a maze, I couldn’t guarantee that we saw it all and we were in there over three hours.

Overall there was some really good stuff here and it was a fun place to explore. It will always be remembered as the first place I saw a graffiti’d  caravan. I was gutted that the whole site was flattened within a few months of our visit. This was a place I would have liked to go back to.


Urban Art School

Well, agile I’m not, so getting in this place was quite a feat for me. I was quite giddy once I was in and found the spongey floors hilarious until I realised I was on the first floor. I didn’t think it was so funny then!

Not for the first time do I find myself in a potentially life threatening situation in search of Phlegms’ work, but it was worth it.

In between dodging holes in the floor I was really struck with the beauty of this building, even with this level of dereliction it had such character. I know I’m biased but Phlegms paintings just went so well with the surroundings. It was all so very serene apart from the flooring problems and the potential for being struck by falling roof  tiles.

This was just a corridor, with lovely huge windows, that must have looked amazing when it was intact.

Just wonderful…

…and there’s more…

These doors were awesome, small doors, because they were on childrens toilets, which unfortunately made them portable and they had left the building within days.

It felt like this building  had been Phlegms playground, he’d certainly spent some time here and even he had nearly fallen through the floor. Personally I’ve resisted the urge to go back, I don’t think I’d trust my luck a second time.

Bricks, Bricks, Bricks

I have seen more of the city while following graffiti than I ever saw before. But I can safely say I never would have found this place without the help of a good friend. We had a walk through some beautiful countryside to get here.

Rocket01 has done a little bit of painting here.

Some of the pictures are not good quality as the there was no light in some areas of the site. I do apologise.

Gutted that I didn’t get here until after the fire, but the damage/decay almost adds a little to the post apocalyptic feel I get from some of Rockets pieces.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Fauna Graphics’ peacock which I would have loved to have seen in all its glory.

Thankfully only one part of this vast site had been affected by fire, this famous painting is quite wonderfully intact.

Another well known piece by Rocket01 as reflected in a mirror.

There is a little graffiti by other artists, not artists I am familiar with.

This place was quite a hike for us but really worth it, not just for the graff but the building itself, just as well.

We got there and I was happily snapping away and my batteries died. No problem, I always carry spares…which were also flat!

We returned the next day and had covered most of the site before the security guard escorted us, very kindly, off  the premises.

Due a return visit me thinks.

Water Water Everywhere, But Not Anymore…


I don’t drive which does sometimes make my hobby/ obsession difficult to say the least, but luckily my boys are now all grown up and can on occasion be begged or bribed to get me to the more inaccessible places. Bribery it was that finally got me here, a former water treatment site left to fall derelict due to a battle over planning permission. This is really bad for the building and the local community, but really good for local street artists, particularly during bad weather.


Rocket01 was able to use this place almost exclusively for quite some time until the popularity of his and other artists work made it a kind of graffiti tourist attraction, for photographers, and a potential painting spot for other writers and artists.


An early Phlegm piece before he’d consolidated the style of his characters.


Fauna Graphic has also painted here, though this piece was starting to deteriorate, so clearly wasn’t recent.


This collaboration between Rocket01 and Sebasura (I think) had obviously been there a while too. In more recent times no pieces have been left long enough to deteriorate naturally.


The skylights are what make this place so special for the artists because of the quality of light they provide although the glass is out of most of them now.

The general decay of the building can be seen as my journey continues.

A Window Closes, A Door Opens…


The awkward moment when you enter a buiding, adrenalin pumping and think you’ve arrived at a murder scene and the killer’s still there!


Lord Bunn before becoming a master calligrapher, used to do faces of dodgy looking men.


When partaking in urban exploration one should be aware of hazards such as this hole in the floor, through which can be seen a piece by Boms.


I make no apologies for posting this image again, as I said, it took me a year to find a way that I could get in this place. And I could still look at this all day long every day.


This collaboration with Boms Black and Meth is painted over a Phlegm piece that the artist wasn’t happy with, wish I’d got a picture of it first or at least got to see it.


This Phlegm and Rocket collaboration has to be one of the most famous pieces of graffiti in Sheffield and one of my (many) personal favourites.


I have no proof but firmly believe that this is where Phlegms cat/manatee was born.

This building, long since stripped of most of the signs of its industrial heritage is a huge and fascinating  explore none the less, and over time it’s walls start to tell an entirely different story.