GES159 - Old St Magistrates Court, London
Having seen some pictures by other explorers on Facebook, I was keen to have a look myself. I asked GE075 if she was about, and we headed over the following evening. We knew the Occupy movement were here, but not as to whether they would let us in, or if we could get in. We opted for finding our own way in, and went to climb a gate at the back. However, as we were about to ascend, a door opened in the gate to reveal a chap with unwashed hair and a camouflage jacket on. He was happy to let us in and take some shots. Easiest access ever.
The main entrance gave way to these rather nice double flight stairs and wood panelled hall.
The stained glass windows have the royal seal of King Edward VII, showing the windows are over a 100 years old, from when the court was built in 1908.
The lit up stained glass dome above the stairs, shows how well civic buildings used to be made.
In the centre of the tiled mosaic in front of the stairs, are the initials MP (the P sits in the middle of the M), standing for Metropolitan Police. The central wooden doors lead down a few steps to the main doors to the Court. The entrance to the cells area is on the right side of the stairs and past the camera.
The reception area for the court. The door on the right leads through to the main court. The reception area is in the centre, and the access from the main hall above, is on the left.
The main court, with a bunch of odd lookalikes.
Looking the opposite way from the photo above but one of the reception area, the ominous black bars lead through to the cells. The ceiling skylight is also suitably sealed. A holding cell sits with the door open and light on inside.
What at times must be quite a busy court, what with the number of cells.
The occupy movement had labelled up the cells with the names of scumbags from the world of banking and politics. Tony Blair had a cell, something I'd love to see, although preferably in the Hague for War Crimes.
The cells were in quite a dilapidated state after many years of neglect. The cells don't offer much in the way of privacy either!
A secure room for what might have been payment of fines or registration or something. Devoid of detail other than a talking hatch, it's difficult to tell.
Outside the cell area, a set of stairs lead up through a secure gate to the upper floor. A smaller courtroom sits up there.
After finishing off looking around downstairs, it was time to hit the roof. I was told not to go on the active Police station's bit of the roof. I wasn't quite sure which bit that was, so chose to just do what I wanted as normal. I wasn't too happy stood on the chimney stack, as it was pretty windy the day GE075 and I went, and there's a sheer drop down to the pavement.
Civic pride, Shoreditch Town Hall. Sadly buildings like this just don't occur any more
A close up of the city, and it was time to leave the cold and windy roof to return for some warmth. Dodging squatter carrying a baby, it was down the stairs, where the chap in the camouflage let us out. I gave him a tenner towards the cause, and returned to the street. Bidding GE075 farewell, I headed off to central London for another explore, this time solo due to the risks.
Cheers to GE075 for being the usual delightful bouncy company. And to the Occupy movement, may your efforts continue and succeed!