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Yesterday we were fortunate enough to have been given legal entry to this gorgeous building: the Le Carbone Factory in Old Portslade Village.  Rolling up to a site mid-afternoon in the middle of town was quite a bit different to the usual experience of it being dark, wet, cold, and, not to mention, illegal.  Though it dampened the effect for my Polish partner in crime, I am personally all for any easy opportunity.  The interior was an odd amalgamation of factory floors and warehouses, 90s era offices, and distinctly industrial machinery and structures, including a 100 foot water well and a several stories high chimney.  Below, I’ve included some history of the site.

History of the Le Carbone Factory:

“The factory has been run by a French company Le Carbone since 1947 & specialises in products made from carbon, particularly for high-tech processes. It is 6 storeys high with a tall chimney dated 1881 & walls 18ins. thick. Until 1931 the building was in use as a brewery run by Smithers Brewers who owned many of the local public houses. A 100ft well, an oast house, coopers shops, cask-washing shed, stables converted into other uses and cottages of the employees can still be seen. From 1931-38 it remained empty until Shepherds Industry took over, an experimental firm with a wide range of products inc. shirts, flooring and insecticides. During the war the building was commandeered by the Canadian army who left in 1940 to be replaced by C.U.A. engineering, until the arrival of Le Carbone.”  (Source:



Le Carbone Factory, 1950s (Source: Eileen Heryet via)



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Fun in the Shoreham Cement Works with my Russian WWII SMS Gas Mask, modeled by Paul. Those giant chains in the first images? They are inside the giant metal pipes!

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On Sunday I awoke in the wee hours of the morning, gathered my pack, and headed off to pick up some friends in search of adventure. Alicja, Paul, and I arrived on site at Shoreham Cement Works well before dawn, making our way through the countryside and down into the quarry in the dark, foggy hours of the morning.   Arriving was easily the most post-apocalyptic scenario yet, on approach of the site the buildings began rising up out of the fog, barely visible in the darkness.  It felt as though we were a band of survivors, picking our way through the wastes in search of safe quarters for sleep.   We found a small room within the HUGE cement works and hunkered down until dawn broke, which is when we got up and spent the next five hours traversing several stories up and down throughout the complex.   Security on site had no idea we were there, even as we were looking down from the very top of the roof onto the security car below, and we subsequently made it back off-site without so much as a peep.   This was the first urban explore I’ve been on where I felt actual fear… and not due to getting caught, or atmosphere, or any sort of belief in the supernatural…. it was due to the heights!   Some of the grated walkways between machinery are as much as four or five stories above a sheer drop to the concrete floor below, and when one is in the middle of a particularly LONG walkway one cannot help but speculate that it’s been subjected to water and rust for well over two decades! Yet none of the stairs or walkways seemed unsturdy, which is a blessing.   All in all, probably the most adrenaline-fueled explore yet!

This explore marked a turning point in my urbex hobby: it was the first explore since getting my UK licence in December 2015.  Now with that precious licence in hand, our merry band of three explorers will be hitting up many new and interesting sites this year!