Sometimes you're lucky enough to stumble upon a seemingly abandoned space and have the opportunity to build ramps out of wood (or concrete) and take shelter from the harsh English weather.
Kai Remsbury and a bunch of his friends did just that, and the results are fantastic. They call this place 'The Ballroom'... You'll soon find out the reason why and much more in the article below. But for now, just take a look at this place. It's incredible!
Interview by Neil Fraser
Photos by Freddie Dalton
Video by Eimantas Kriaucionis
– First up, how did you come across this location in the first place?
"We heard about this place a while back but never really visited it... One day we were heading home from a spot and drove past it on the way back so we thought we’d go check it out..."
– Are the owners cool with you guys riding it?
"The owner is cool with it! He sees us as a kind of security/surveillance as he doesn’t want the place getting even more smashed up and he also doesn’t want any travellers moving in."
– Where did the wood come from? And did you have much help from other people?
"The wood has come from a mixture of places really. The old caretaker of the site used to live next door (he still visits often) and he had a garage which he’d built a few years ago which he wanted taken down so we ended up doing that for him and gained a lot of wood that way.
"The owner is cool with it! He sees us as a kind of security/surveillance..."
A lot of the rest of the sheets are from my work which I’ll get dropped down once we’ve finished using them from site. Then we’ve also spent a fair few quid at B&Q, haha. There’s a group of about ten people who are like the locals who come down all the time and help build etc. Then there’s quite a few people who help here and there and come down for a session, which is cool as the place isn’t too local for everyone."
– We won’t disclose any locations, that goes without saying. Spots like this are best kept hush hush, but how easy is it to get to? Is it a dry spot to ride if the weather is shit?
"The place is pretty easy to get to! It’s actually got a train station right next to it. But we all tend to drive there. We’ve got a big gate with a lock at the front of the site that only limited people have keys for. Then we’ve also got a big lock on the door of the actual building.
The spot is in a big building but unfortunately the building has been abandoned for 9/10 years so it’s got a fair few leaks in the roof. We’ve actually been onto the roof and tried fixing it with tarpaulins etc! It’s improved a lot but we still do have a few leaks."
– Why did you guys name it The Ballroom?
"The meaning behind the name ‘ballroom’ is simple – it’s an old abandoned ballroom! Originally when we first got into the building there was a massive disco ball above our heads but since we’ve had the place we’ve had quite a few break ins where people have just trashed the place and unfortunately ripped it down!"
– What are your future plans for the place, if any?
"Our plans are really just to ride it and build as much as we can until the place goes! We’ve also built an outdoor plaza which was coming along nicely in the summer but obviously now the weather has changed we’re not making much movement on it. We’re running out of space on the inside to carry on building so I believe the main focus of next year will be to get the outside plaza up to scratch."
"Our plans are just to ride it and build as much as we can until the place goes!"
– Do you have a time limit, is it due to be used for business purposes any time in the near future?
"We have a time limit but we have no idea when it’ll be! The place has been abandoned for 9/10 years now, and they’re not closer to making any movements on it since it first got abandoned. They’ve been trying to get planning permission for 3000 small houses, then it changed to 300 big houses. But recently we haven’t heard anything about anyone making any movements on it."
– Any shoutouts?
"Shoutout to all the Wycombe crew! And Richard (the old caretaker who lives next door) who's been a legend, always been trying to help us out from the first day we got in there. Without him wanting his garage taken down I reckon our progress on the place would have been a lot slower!"