Although not local to me, I was on a half term holiday close to the area so I couldn’t not visit. Unfortunatley, this meant a quick drive-by visit with family waiting in the car and constant pestering for us to leave what they thought was the setting of a horror film 🙂
The site is in a bit of a mess now which is a real shame. Most of what used to be the camp is occupied by mechanics garage with a yard of abandoned buses and others that are waiting to be fixed…or just being left to rust and seize up.
Anyway, despite it being publicised online and on a note attached to the chapel door stating that it is always open, it wasn’t!
So I had a little mooch around the site trying to track down someone from the garage who could hopefully let me into the locked chapel. I had no joy, but I was able to get access to a caravan next to the chapel which only added to the mystery of the site. There was lots of information and personal stories related to camp and chapel…along with cats, who were left in there with piles of cat food to keep them fed until the next person drops by which probably isn’t that often.
Whilst I was in the hut I really wanted to read through the folders of information but I just didn’t have time. As I was quickly scanning the information I heard one of the buses from the garage being fired into life. I quickly ran out to ask whoever fired it up how I could get access to the chapel. The mechanic sat in the bus said that the person who looked after the chapel died about a year ago and no-one has really bothered with it since then, hence it being locked up. He didn’t know who had the key to access the chapel now and it was pretty much tough luck.
In the end I did spot one way to get access into the chapel without damaging anything but I didn’t want to do this without consent. So I returned to the garage and asked the mechanic if it was OK to do this and he said he didn’t care what I did.
Success! Although it is a real shame about the guy who took care of the chapel. He was obviously really passionate about the camp/chapel and had obviously put a lot of time into researching and pulling the personal stories together. With the caravan full of folders, pictures, newspaper articles and information being left in the caravan and nobody taking regular care of it anymore the information will eventually rot away and be lost.
Images can be found in the album link below