VIDEO: Dearham man explores abandoned West Cumbrian building

By Federica Bedendo


A Dearham man filmed the interior of the derelict pencil factory building in Keswick ahead of its redevelopment.

Brendan Richardson, 25, documents abandoned Cumbrian buildings on his Youtube channel FlexUrbanExploring.

Brendan said: "There's quite a few things that attracted me to the pencil factory.

"It was the only place that did this kind of manufacturing in the county and when it shut down it marked the end of an era for Keswick.

"I've read a little bit about the history of when it was founded and the work with graphite in the area.

"I love the history of buildings, walking around to see what they look like and finding out what it was like for people who worked there and why it closed down.

"There's something beautiful about these buildings.
"For example if you go to an abandoned factory you'll see trees and grass taking the site back, it's that contrast between mother nature and man-made structures."

The former pencil factory is owned by Keswick Ministries, which wants to turn the site, and its neighbouring Rawnsley site, into an integrated base for its annual Christian convention.

James Devenish, business director for Keswick Ministries, said he was surprised the videographer did not contact them before entering the building.

He said: "In today's day and age, with online technology, everyone is able to access our contact details from our website.

"We would urge people not to put their life or that of others at risk through entering a derelict and fenced-off building such as the former pencil factory."

He added that they would pursue any breaking of the law on their property.

He said: "We have indeed made strong representation for those concerned to be prosecuted."

Brendan claimed he did not know who owned the building.

He added he only wants to document old buildings.

He said: "I never break into places, I always try to contact the owners and if I can't I'll see if I can get in, but without forcing my way in.

"What I do to me is like speaking on behalf of the buildings and saying: 'I'm still here, don't forget me.'"

Sergeant David MacDonald of Cumbria police said: "This is a derelict building, which is unsafe for members of the public to enter.

"We would like to remind anyone that is considering entering the building without permission that it is dangerous. Trespassers will also risk prosecution."

Brendan said his fascination for derelict buildings started with an abandoned farmhouse near his grandfather's home in Gilcrux.

Brendan said: "I always had an interest in that building and wondered what the atmosphere would be like inside.

"From then I've stepped into video making and documenting what I see.

"It's a shame that some of these buildings are left, I would love for a developer to see my videos and see the potential of some of these structures and act upon that."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:30AM
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