The deserted fire station
The whole UANLC expedition is described here: Delfshaven rooftops, Wilton shipyard, new Benelux tunnel, old Benelux tunnel and deserted firestation.
When we arrive at the other side of the river there is no sign of Tomas and Ben, so we call them on the cellphone."Where are you guys?" "Hi we're in the deserted power-station." They explain approximately where it is.
The deserted fire station - You get this view after climbing two fences.
We find the station, it's behind several fences. How can we get inside? We call again. "Hi, it's nice here, can you see me waving from the roof?" We see Tomas, indeed, on the roof, as conspicuous as hell. We have to edge our way around one fence that ends in the river. With some driftwood we build a floating gang-plank and we're inside the first fence. The other fence is more difficult, several holes have been repaired, but in the end we find a loose section and we climb through between the mesh and the barbed-wire.
The fire-station is at the other end of a deserted grassy wasteland. A beautiful brick building, 2 floors, with an empty garage for 1 truck. All doors are locked. Then Ben comes and opens a window from the inside. We climb in through the window. Tomas points at a plastic covered hole above the stairs: "I climbed in through there."
Everything is just like the last users left it. Tomas: "We've looked around and all the latest documents are from 1999." We find agenda's, logbooks, water-samples in pots, schematics on the walls etc. Lots of tables and chairs. Signs: "Do not enter with oily shoes." A whole row of TV-monitors are built into a bench, like at a guarding-station. Everything is intact. Tomas found several Polaroid pictures of the officers that inhabited the building.
My desk is nothing special - But I have a wonderful chair, spacious and luxurious !
And I have nice colleagues - Even though they don't know how to keep the camera horizontal.
The whole atmosphere makes me jittery, it's like every moment someone of the workers could walk in. For me this feels too much like burglary. We don't even know on whose terrain we are. If we are on the Shell- or Esso refinery terrain we could be in big trouble if caught. (In hindsight I realised that Shell or Esso would maintain their fences better and would have better security.) I leave rather quickly but the rest of the group stays behind.
Two fragments of the logbook - Different handwriting, different pens, every accountant would be satisfied ...
On one of the lower floors I find a small logbook and I took two pages of it. It records the loading and unloading of ships carrying liquids, like gasoline and heating-oil, but water is also mentioned. The ships have nice names like: British Tamar, Lifra, Calendula, Anwija, Perla Nera, Atlantic Service, Regge, Varik, Vulcan and Vinca.
The improvised gangway was really floating when I came back - I got wet feet going around the fence.
At another spot I climb over the fence making a hole in my trousers and I find the floating gangway impassable. It's flood and the water has risen. I make some pictures of the floating debris and decide to accept wet feet. Wringing out my socks I warn the others and they manage to find another weak spot in the fence and keep their feet dry.
The surroundings of the fire station - Flotsam and jetsam.
Fred has found several brand new "No trespassing" signs, still in their original wrappings. And the others have also taken some souvenirs, but I've forgotten what these were.
By this time it's 17:30 and I have to go home to cook dinner (I promised, my wife is going to a concert). The rest of the group will go on to the Heijplaat power-station and they will try to float a Thai hot-air balloon (with fire inside) from the roof. The approaching dusk is good time for this experiment. I hope to hear from them soon ...
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© 2001 Petr Kazil - Are more deserted buildings hidden in the harbours ? - Mail me at (obfuscated) kazil a.t euronet d.o.t nl