A sight you won’t see again… Over 130 years of history was obliterated yesterday due to an horrendous fire which swept through the formerÂ premises of Langley Maltings Brewery in Oldbury.
The Express & Star reports that “More than 60 firefighters from stations across the Black Country and Birmingham battled through the night” after security guards first spotted the blaze catching hold inside the building at around 22:30 on the evening of the 8th. From there, it was more containment than prevention for the WMFS as the flames quickly spread to the entirety of the structure, causing massive damage and also causing its three characteristic towers to collapse into the structure.
Fortunately, the hobby of Urbexing (aka Urban Exploration; exploring buildings and the urban landscape, taking photos as you go for documentary purposes) is alive and well in the Midlands, and some good photosets have already been taken – in one case, less than a week before it was destroyed in the blaze. The photoset from adders0121 on flickr shows you what the Brewery was like inside prior to the blaze.
All this provides further evidence as to why UrbexingÂ should become an officially-endorsed practice, supported by the local Government and associations like English Heritage! As a form of documenting the region’s past and its plethora of historical landmarks and buildings, it is almost unique in that just about everyone who Urbexes shares a similar attitude – do no damage, always be careful and be very thorough. Some people’s dedication verges on the obsessive, and I’ve seen people travel for hours just to visit a derelict building!
The saddest thing is that, aside from people who actively go exploring, the region’s industrial past is all around us yet much of it is simply being left to ruin, destruction or redeveloped into boring luxury apartments orÂ offices… and most of us never even realise until it’s all gone. You may be surprised as to just how much you can see by simply opening your eyes and studying your surroundings a little more, so give it a try next time you’re out and about around the Midlands. 🙂