Tales of the Urban Explorer: Richard Dunn Sports Centre
I am sure the owners of the 'Richard Dunn Sports Centre' are ecstatic that their monumental iconic property of the 1970s has been awarded Grade II listing status.
It was due to be demolished but after some probable dodgy negotiations, the new status means it cannot be flattened. This in turn means, the weeds grow longer, the vandals get more frequent, and what now looks respectable will in time become a landmark monstrosity.
The Twentieth Century Society, which campaigns for the preservation of buildings constructed after 1914, requested Historic England to have the building listed.
I do wonder what the owners think of ‘The Twentieth Century Society’. I suspect hard words have been said with the promise of demolition pending and all that land that could be used for something else.
Oh, what a minute, this is Bradford…, maybe not.
“Who’s that standing around on the corner?”
It's bad enough that the entrance is opposite a row of houses but we didn’t want some busybody seeing us mitigating the anti-climbing fencing and walking toward this obviously abandoned property with possible ill intent.
Whoever Mr ‘I fuck around on corners and annoy people’ was, he wasn’t going to move. We decided to dump the car and head in. I purposely never look back as it arouses suspicion and we heard no challenges.
"Over there is where I got in", @lpff was telling us both. It looked a little freshly tinned in that direction but we had to check it out.
“Sealed” he was saying in discontentment. We would need to look for an alternative access point.
It was a chance to look over the externals which looked remarkably good. This was a first for me, something that looked almost untouched and a far cry from the depilated ruins, holey floors, and death traps I generally enter.
The view from the other side was looking better. Someone had created a makeshift access point that involved minimal climbing and a challenging balance on a very dodgy gang plank. I was more concerned about who else was inside.
We found ourselves in a slightly grubby basement area with what looked like doors heading to the upper areas. Not wanting to arse around, we duly ascended.
After navigating several tunnels and doors we found ourselves overlooking an old sports hall, with a few pieces of crap strewn around.
I could see the vandalism but it was far from being totally wrecked.
Opposite was the swimming pool, and it was dark over there with my giant light struggling to compensate.
It looks like the old shallow end with a little graffiti to add some extra colour.
The minimum stock level looked severely breached. I mean, what if I tripped and grazed my knee? Making a note to call the ‘Richard Dunn Sports Centre’ complaint depot soon... we continued.
I figure all these ‘staff’ no longer have any problems scheduling their holiday rota.
Water slides, I still love them even now, but they can bite you in the arse if you gain a little more speed than intended.
The scaffolding is in place to make sure you really don't go that way, call it a double 'No Entry'.
The strange-looking 'tree' in the middle of the pool didn't quite look genuine or 'growing'.
Steep steps but if you want to slide, then you must go up there.
I took note of the rules before settling in for the slide of my life.
The orange or the green, it was a tough decision.
After peering hard down the green tunnel I changed my mind. Where's the water? Crawling down there and getting stuck no longer seemed a particularly great idea.
You climb up there to check on everyone from a high watchpoint. As there were zero swimmers, I vetoed the climb.
@lpff had seen it all before and was showing a decided lack of enthusiasm far below.
Did swimmers climb up to the tree base? It would likely have led to a reprimand from the auditors on their high perch.
The deep end, none of those swimming aids in this area.
‘Richard Dunn Sports Centre’ appeared to be full of rules. I was fully expecting 'No Swimming' to be in my vision next.
We moved away from the swimming pool in search of alternative sports.
The reception and surrounding rooms had been beaten up quite badly, though we were quite early with this one.
Nice artwork adorns ‘Richard Dunn Sports Centre’, as well as terrible scrawly graffiti and lots of glass.
These are some kind of old receipts, old being dated 2003.
For now, it's safe to walk these tunnels. Give it a few years and you might be falling to your death if the floors start to disintegrate.
If there's glass it will be broken and smashed to smithereens, that is a fact.
Were we being monitored? I figured not.
Very uncomfortable plastic seating that hurts your arse, I wouldn't have liked to have watched a basketball match from here.
I think those lines denote Basketball, a sport that few give a toss about in the UK.
Using the seating at the base level, you can get a better view when watching whatever boring crap is going on.
Dated February 2022; it was May 2022 when we visited; someone had been in here in an official capacity very recently.
Some areas were a little more vandalised than others.
We passed some squash courts but as there was nothing of any photographic value inside, I didn’t bother.
Maybe an area that they used for Martial Arts?
Passing by the old squash rooms again I patted myself on the back for being correct.
It all looks a little technical.
I was surprised we didn't meet anyone at ‘Richard Dunn Sports Centre’. The location was on the TourBus and on hearing strange voices and noises I would have assumed it would be other explorers.
Once again, we had to use the makeshift death plank to exit ‘Richard Dunn Sports Centre’. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
LOCALS have hit out after an "ugly" sports centre was saved from demolition - and now they are stuck with it forever.
Locals in Bradford, West Yorkshire were eagerly waiting for the "eyesore" Richard Dunn Sports Centre to be knocked down but it was granted listed status instead.
Well I did suspect this might be the case. Live with it locals, it's going to get worse over time!
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Sports centers were very popular, kept the kids off the grass going to these places, go behind the seating and find the actual activity normally!
Awesome photo shoot of the old place, don't see this being renovated for future use... do you?
I'm not sure, it could be.
We grew up using municipal swimming pools 60s and 70s.
These private places became packed to capacity, cost quite a bit to be a member in the 90s still going strong.
Hope they do renovate, it does help the children find somewhere to enjoy life!
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This place does indeed look cleaner than the other places you shared, but abandoned places always spread fear. Interesting that it was visited so recently, by the way.
But I would like to ask you, you mentioned that you visited this place in May 2022, is there any reason why you shared it so late? 🤗🤗
Yes, that because I have around 60 lined up and post them in order of visit.
That is great actually 😱 I thought there was another reason. 😁😁
@tipu curate :)
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A sport center! That's cool, the place still looks a little alive, good stairs to walk through, hehe. It's a big sport center and I think people enjoyed their time there.
Thank you for giving us an insight on how the Richard Dunn sport center, if was all a great view 🤓.
Once I'm sure they did. It looked a decent place, but times are changing.
Yeah, times are and there are other better sport centers now.
For an abandoned building it still looks some what maintained eh??
I can't begin to think how such a place would ever be abandoned 👀🤷♂️ can you imagine.
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In Britain these facilities have generaly been funded by the local council.
Here there was a newer facility opened nearby and keeping both open was not affordable (or even planned).
The site was due to be sold for development. Preventing the demolition of a 44yr old has deprived to area of new housing, and funds from the sale of land, as well as providing somewhere likely to become a hotspot for vandalism and drug use, and a decaying eyesore.
I don't do many like this, it had been sealed some there is someone watching it. We saw nobody else.
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Can this be one of the reasons why this sport center became abandoned?
Maybe maintainers. Seeing the condition of the building, probably it is still maintained. Or maybe it became abandoned in the recent past, and it is not maintained at all anymore.
I do not know if it is true, but I found descriptions on the internet saying that it became closed, because the maintainence and the repair would have been too expensive, and that it was "one of the most energy inefficient buildings in West Yorkshire".
I would think that if they build such a big building, then they properly planning its maintenance and repair.
It's a decent reason. The swimming pool would have to be heated and look at the size. Very expensive, and more so now with the energy hikes.
How on earth did that become a listed building, more like a death trap. What happens when a local kid meets their doom in their one day.
A blooming shame though, as it seemed a great place for a local community to have, keep the wee beggars off the streets.
Some organisation did it, most of the locals seemingly don't approve.
Yeah so I read, ah well shit happens I guess.
This does not even look that bad. With some investor it could shine again.
Wow, that's a really cool find. I'm surprised you would be able to get in to a place like that. Good call not going down the slide. Getting stuck wouldn't be good but also, I wonder if anyone stood up there and peed down it? Haha
As usual, we were tipped off. The other slide had objects halfway down, such as shoes.., who knows what was round the bend?
all the abandon building its like they left in a hurry.
Look at all those wanting holidays :) Could have been a shitty place to work in!
probably yes. 😂😂😂
Just how big is the venn diagram overlap between "people who want buildings listed" and "people who will foot the bill to maintain listed buildings"?
When I was a draftsman, I once was sent into a former day-care play warehouse of sorts to take pictures, note where fire protection was already in place, etc. in preparation for a remodel for a new business. It wasn't that creepy, but there was no vandalism yet, and the playful art took on a sinister aspect with no lights and no other people present.
I don't know, the listed buildings are generally ancient and from the 19th century. This is a one off.
Even so, who decides what warrants preservation, and who must actually preserve it?
Well, at least this time you don't enter a place where you seem to run the risk of everything collapsing on your head dear @slobberchops friend! 😂... It's a strange place and it looks huge!... Maybe in 20 years you'll visit it again and it will be full of crazy things!!!... Anyway, it's another charming article to read and with photos that border on surrealism... Thanks for sharing!
It will probably still be there, in a lot worse condition!
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There was definitely a sign there that read "no technology beyond this point." For shame.
You know, for a brief moment I thought you might actually go down one of those water slide tubes. Getting stuck would suck, particularly if there was some rat shit stuck in there with you.
Some other explorers have, I can't see the attraction myself!
So many fond memories of places like this. Now the only place with facilities like this that I know of in 100 miles is Centre Parcs that is too expensive to justify visiting.
Except for staying inside playing Xbox/PlayStation I don't know what kids are expected to do nowadays.
Never been, isn't a week in Spain cheaper?
Easily. I'd say a week in Spain would cost around the same as two days at Centre Parcs even without activities.
It's where middle class families go to mow down peasants on their £3k mountain bikes, and where working class families go to use the pool and nick said bikes.
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This looks like it was the coolest place in town 40 years ago.
I actually was surprised that it wasn't renovated, but, perhaps I am just getting old and outdated. Even a training center of sorts. It actually didn't look in too bad a shape, but, perhaps I have gone into too many of your places. :)
You are a brave soul going into those places. I am always afraid a mouse will come out of nowhere just to scare the bejesus out of me.
Safety in numbers, that makes the difference. There were 3 of us on this occasion.
Grade 2 for a carbuncle like that! Jeez we really do live in a strange stupid world