The Wenty File
Wentworth College, Block A, student residence at the University of York. This accomodation block, fondly known to its residents as "Wenty A-Block", has been standing for many, many years. Thousands of students have known and loved its concrete-clad, white painted breeze-blocked
However, it had been decided that such rooms are not sufficient for revenue-making conference guests, so newer, en-suite, accomodation was required by the University. The old blocks were to be knocked down, one by one, starting with... A-Block.
The demolition crew began work towards the end of November, 2000. Previous tennants were gutted upon hearing news of this move, and regretted having no memento of their beloved A-Block. So began... Operation Wenty.
The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to access and retrieve artefacts and photography from and of the partially demolished Wentworth A-Block. Entry to the site to be obtained through gaps in the security fencing surrounding the perimeter. Entry to the building itself to be obtained through partially demolished window openings on the ground floor. Mementos (old door-signs etc.) to be collected efficiently and photographic evidence of the monstrosity is also to be obtained. Safety is, as always, paramount, the demolition site is dangerous and "no place to play in". This message will (not) self destruct in five seconds...
Photographic evidence collected from the site:
The outside of the block. Notice the security fencing, demolition equipment, and that all of the window openings have been ripped out.
Inside the perimeter fencing. Chosen point of entry just obscured by the large skip in the foreground. Debris -- spintered wood, shatterd glass and broken tiles -- lays strewn all around.
The building interior - almost entirely gutted. About an inch and a half of water covers the ground floor, with the other two floors also dripping with water (perhaps a broken mains pipe, perhaps tanks emptying). This picture shows the old kitchen. The fridge missing (althogh some cookers actually remained), cupboard unit gone, and sink lying discarded. Notice too, the smashed pipe/cable conduit to the right.
A view from the Kitchen towards John's room. The water is more obvious in this image. Notice the state of the ceiling -- pipes exposed, cables and twisted metal hanging loose. Note: The 'bright twisted rope' appearing in this photo (and others) is a artefact of the digital camera under low-light conditions (when the CCD elements are exposed to a bright light source).
The bathroom. A sorry sight. This, and other doors, wrenched from their hangings. Plaster debris lies in the tub itself. Twisted metal lies on the floor, and a large electric cable hangs from the ceiling. Here, and everywhere in the block, a very musty, damp, cold smell hangs heavily in the air.
John's Room. What was once a window, now a huge opening slashed out of the building by a JCB. Twisted metal and spintered wood lay strewn on the soaking floor.
My Room. Another appalling sight. As with all rooms, it is completely gutted -- the sink smashed from the wall, the wardrobe ripped out. The window void filled with the carpets and panels from this room, and from the rooms above. A lone shelf floats in the cold water.
Richard's Room. Packed with yet more warped window frames and discarded doors.
The corridor, as viewed from the bottom of the stairwell. A most disturbing image of forlorn abandonment.
The stairs. The old heater recklessly destroyed, even the flooring tiles have been ripped up.
The other end of the corridor, viewed from the bottom of the stairwell. Matt's room to the left, and James's on the right. The smaller kitchen lies treacherously impassable.
The mission was entirely successful. However, there is now no trace that building ever existed. The mission allowed us one final glimpse of the wonderful Wenty A-Block!