During week 36 of my 52 rolls project, I was directed to this article (sorry to lead you to the awful Leicester Mercury website) that tells of plans to ‘develop’ Leicester’s Faircharm trading estate, home to several creative spaces and small businesses. It’s not a part of the city that I’m particularly familiar with, but a little time spent on GoogleEarth showed me that the area is in fact a group of large, red-brick Victorian factory buildings.
At the moment it’s only an application, and despite the misleading (as usual) Mercury headline, no decision has been made on the site’s future. Nevertheless, they looked like the sort of buildings that I should take a look at (and photograph of course) before they disappear like so much of the city’s heritage has.
I was chatting with my Polish friend Wojtek about my plans to visit Faircharm, and he described how he explores similar areas of his city (Katowice) by bicycle, allowing him to stop and take pictures more easily than when in a car. He called it a ‘hobby mash’ as cycling, photography and an interest in ageing industrial infrastructure are combined. He also pointed out that I should try playing vinyl while out riding to complete the set…
Anyway, here are the snaps from Faircharm: Walking around the area, there is no disputing that the place feels tired. Each building has signs of bricked up doorways and windows, or dismantled cranes and redundant equipment as the use and function of the structures have changed over the decades. It’s exhausted from its long and varied working life and ready for a dignified retirement and refurbishment, rather than the knackers yard and bulldozing. Let’s hope a developer is found that sees the value of preserving an area such as this and sees its potential.
On the way across the town, I stopped off at a couple of other sites where the buildings of the city’s industrial past were in a strange limbo, neither demolished or usable.Gubbins:
Leica M6, 35mm Summicron-M ASPH, Fujifilm Fujicolor C200, Processed and scanned by FilmDev.co.uk