Tales of the Urban Explorer: Ernie's Place
“Ernie’s is open, someone’s just been in”
@anidiotexplores was jumping up and down on his seat, next to me and typing away furiously on this phone while I was driving north from a hard day exploring in Wales. It was past 7 pm and the light would be fading soon. We would need to be quick.
"Ernie's Place", a relatively newly discovered Time Capsule, was now on the TourBus, there was little doubt. It was open one day and closed the next. We had failed once already a couple of weeks beforehand.
There had to be an owner and likely he was getting very pissed off with the unwanted intruders invading the property. It was now or never or was it?
I find myself at odds with morals when a Time Capsule is repeatedly being sealed. Someone is looking after it, but then again we are not the de-sealers and technically not lawbreakers if a window is open.
Dusk was setting in as we approached the overgrown mansion. Hoping no Karens were pruning their bushes, we brazenly walked up the driveway looking for this new 'way in'.
It was a window, but where? The details provided were sketchy and the front of "Ernie's Place" was exactly like last time; heavily cobwebbed, and undisturbed for decades.
Scouting around the sides, checking doors and windows was proving fruitless. Was this another wild-goose chase? The supplier of information was a friend of @anidiotexplores and not a bullshit friend who deliberately fed information of the foulest kind.
Eventually, we found it, but it was so exposed.
"If those Karens over there see us man, we are fucked", I mentioned in passing to @anidiotexplores who had disappeared through the window already.
I should know better. Don’t arse about and get on with it.
Closing the window slightly after struggling through, as usual, I looked around the dimly lit room behind me.
"Ernie's Place" was looking promising, though somewhat well-trodden. The more TourBus trips arrive, the more disheveled the sights you witness.
There are Time Capsules that are NOT in Wales, contrary to popular belief, though looking at this table you would swear not. I made a point to look at the magazine that cost 2/- before leaving.
A 'Toe Rag' is slang for 'a contemptible or worthless person'. I was more interested in the author. It looks old and directed at who? It looks suspiciously like Ernie's handwriting (see below).
A sign that many have visited before us; while it's handy that one's family photographs are strewn about, it's also impersonal. The old photograph of the house did look uncannily like the one we were inside.
Ernie was an old bloke and had lots of relatives it seems. One of them needs to claim this house and move in. There was little wrong with it.
...'same writing as the toe-rag accusation? Was he jesting or serious'
Ernie needs to work on his signature a little. Block capitals are hardly individual.
Coal fires and chimneys; I remember them from when I was a boy and this one looks like some kind of deluxe model with little chambers and plenty of ash.
Just scatter the stuff everywhere, won't you? It wasn't me.
A birth certificate from 1925 containing a different surname to Ernie? Was this Ernie's mother? It's all very personal.
It was good to see at least one gas fire, they became fashionable in the 70s. I can't say the same for the TV.
Someone had prepared the tea, but it was never served. What happened next?
The trinkets in the cabinet, now getting a little moldy.
Only four channels were allowed on this ancient TV. ITA and not ITV? Some digging may provide a meaning of ITA.
Ernie had other more modern TVs and he liked a drink as well as feasting on chocolates.
The bottle of Guinness looked intact and was probably quite drinkable. I gave it a miss.
Chloroform and Morphine? 'The Mixture' looks like serious stuff. Sniffing it could render one unconscious.
That Babycham looks old. Did Ernie change his mind and switch to Guinness? One bad hangover can put you off for a lifetime.
The kitchen looked quite usable, just a little rust here and there.
It was gratifying to see nobody had stolen the coins.
I tend to look behind the front door as it’s generally full of junk mail and other more important material. We were rushing "Ernie's Place" a little as the night was closing in and externals were needed.
David Caddock and Andrew Carruthers? Not the names I was expecting to see?
I found the stairs very roomy. You could make use of that space on the left for something or other?
Long corridors with vacuum cleaners from another time. Many of Ernie’s treasures were downstairs.
Was it a bed? If so, someone has taken the time to tip it up and destroy it. Fucking idiots.
Lighting candles a little too close to the wallpaper can lead to dire consequences.
A nice antique dresser if you like that kind of thing.
Ernie’s clothes appeared to be strewn about and in black bags. What’s wrong with the wardrobe I say?
It's a meaty safe but contained no meat whatsoever.
This room is maybe awaiting decoration. Rooms must be patent and wait in line like anyone else.
In 1976, there could have been a Mrs. Ernie. Did he outlive her?
1969 says the yellow pages. Let’s just say that’s been hanging around for a few years.
They all look old, probably older than me.
One is dated 1994 and addressed to just Ernie. I suspect he may have been a long-time widower.
Perfect for me, in good condition but unfortunately the wrong size.
I do love seeing books, and magazines priced up in ‘old money’. Pre-decimalisation marks these as being before 1970.
Is that Ernie’s wife? We will never know. I think he might have had perfect eyesight in one eye looking at those glasses. Mastitis, was she suffering from it?
I'm not entirely sure about the date, but the receipts look positively ancient.
When you get old, your friends start dying. My mother tells me this all the time.
£2000 for his wife in 1967. That was a fortune in 1967. Elizabeth could be someone else but with the same name?
We left, with me struggling to get out of that bloody window if only to get some external snaps before leaving.
FOOTNOTE: A popular Facebook explorer who tends to sell out the newspapers attempted to infiltrate "Ernie's Place" shortly after our visit.
He gained access via the same window as us with another explorer in tow. The owner happened to be inside and it went something like this:
AngryOwner - “You FUCKING BASTARDS, breaking in…, just you stay there you cunts I’m going to teach you a lesson you will never forget..”
AngryOwner advanced menacingly armed with a large crowbar scowling at the intruders with a sincere intent to injure.
Alarmed at the sight, both explorers dashed to the window determined on escaping. One cut his arm quite badly from glass shards embedded within the frame while scrambling through.
The escape was successful at a cost. Word got around the community and "Ernie's Place" is now off the radar. It is for the best.
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