Name Change!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

When I first started my blog, I had no idea what to call it. I thought about calling it something exploring related. However, there are loads of exploring related blogs out there and I knew my blog wasn’t just going to be about urban exploration. At the time, I was already writing a Tumblr blog, where I just used my own name. However, I did not think that using my own name online was the right thing to do, so I tried to come up with something more anonymous.

I decided to use a version of my own name, but I always had it in the back of my mind if this was the right thing to do. Perhaps I was being overly paranoid. However, I read many articles and watched a few YouTube videos where content creators had been the victim of harassment and abuse. One even received death threats for voicing her opinion. Whilst she said that she had learnt her lesson and would keep her opinions to herself, it made me think, I do not ever want to be the subject of such hate.

Alongside writing my blog, I was also creating YouTube videos where I was putting myself visibly online. Whilst for many this is fine, I just started to feel strange about the whole thing and the more that I read, the more I thought that being behind the text and the camera was the safest option for me personally.

With this in mind, for my own piece of mind, I decided to change the name of my blog to Obscure Travels. I thought that the name also fitted a little better with my content as I like to search out the stranger places and the ones that are a little off the beaten path.

Thanks for reading and I hope you will continue to follow my adventures.

Porth Wen Brick Works, Anglesey, North Wales.

August 2020.

I have been visiting Anglesey for about 25 years. I first visited Porth Wen with my parents when I was about 12 years old. I have not been for about five years or so and sadly, on this visit, I noticed graffiti, litter and general decaying of the site.

The site is extremely popular these days. It is along a popular coastal walk and so it gets a lot of foot traffic from hikers as well as explorers and photographers. At one time, you could visit and would not see a soul. It also looks like someone is living in one of the kilns.

The path down is slowly getting eroded away. When it rains, the path forms a river with the water wearing it down. In a few years, It will be inaccessible by foot.

Brickmaking started on the site before the 20th century. An old OS map dated 1889, shows a tramway and incline. However, the site of the works states ‘disused’. Production began again sometime in the early 20th century, when the present buildings were completed. The works were disused by 1949. Below are a few pictures that I took, along with a video that I made on my recent visit.

Thank you for reading. Please give my video a like on YouTube :).

Sadly, there is now quite a bit of graffiti on the site.
Beautiful
Winding house

Thanks for reading.

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York USA

I have wanted to visit Ellis Island since learning about immigration during my undergraduate degree. I finally got there in 2019, and I certainly was not disappointed.

Ellis Island first opened its doors in 1892 and closed in 1954. At its peak, approximately 5,000-10,000 immigrants passed through Ellis Island every day. It is estimated that about 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island during the time of its operation.

Several laws and legislation were put in place to restrict immigration starting in 1882, with the Chinese Exclusion Act. This was followed in 1894, by the Immigration Restriction League and the Dillingham Commission in 1911. In 1917, literacy tests were introduced meaning that immigrants had to pass reading and writing tests in order to be granted entry to the US. This meant that many poorer immigrants, especially those from eastern Europe, with no education failed the tests and were denied entry.

The Immigrant Quota Act of 1921, restricted immigrant numbers to 357,000 per year, and the National Origins Act of 1924 reduced immigration even further to 150,000 per year. A culmination of these resulted in Ellis Island becoming redundant and finally closing its doors in 1954.

On the 11th of May 1965, Ellis Island became part of the National Park Service and in 1976, Ellis Island opened to the public. In 1984, it was renovated with $160 million from donations made to The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the National Park Service. The project was completed in 1990, and Ellis Island reopened to the public.

Below are a few pictures that I took whilst visiting Ellis Island along with a video for a more in-depth look inside the buildings.  I tried to include as much of the museum as I could on the video for those people who can not get there in person. 

 

The Great Hall.

Located on the 1st Floor is the Baggage Room, Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550-1890, Journeys: New Eras of Immigration 1945- Present, and the American Family Immigration History Center. On the 2nd Floor there is the Registry Room (Great Hall), the Hearing Room, Theater 2, and two exhibit galleries: Through America’s Gate and Peak Immigration Years: 1880-1924. Finally, located on the 3rd floor there is the Bob Hope Memorial Library, Dormitory Room, and the exhibits: Ellis Island Chronicles, Treasures From Home, Silent Voices, and Restoring a Landmark.

The museum has a lot to look around and take in so leave yourself plenty of time. Definitely buy tickets in advance.  Tickets start at $18.50 and also include Liberty Island https://www.statuecruises.com/statue-liberty-and-ellis-island-tickets/  

I would definitely advise you to book an early security check (the ticket time is your security check time, not your ferry time). I arrived at 8.30 am (my ticket time was 9 am) and there was no line so I got straight through. By the time I returned from the island, just after lunch time the queue was huge.

There is a free audio guide also included in your ticket price.  On both Liberty Island and Ellis Island there are cafe’s, but the food could definitely be improved, they only seemed to serve fast food. I was there in the morning and there were no breakfast options.  

Ellis Island is open every day except the fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving) and December 25.

More information on the history of Ellis Island can be found here and here.

Thanks for reading. 

http://www.shutterstock.com/g/Elizabethmaher?rid=2892667

The Tatton Park Stars and Stripes American Car Show, Knutsford, Cheshire, England.

2019 was my fourth time to the Stars and Stripes American car show at Tatton Park. I’m not overly enthusiastic about cars in general, but I do like old America cars, especially from the 1950s and 1960s, and they make great photography subjects.

The show has been going for 30 years and is one of the biggest America car displays in the UK, with around 2,500 vehicles on display. There are also trade stands, mostly selling car parts, but there was a variety of other stalls, selling everything from clothing to tools.

Like many UK shows, the food choices were poor. No healthy options at all. There was a choice of burgers, fish and chips, Tex Mex and pulled pork sandwiches etc. There was also one coffee stand which was extremely overpriced as the cups were tiny.

Every year the Lone Star old west re-enactment group perform stories of the old west. We attended on the Saturday, the weather was pretty miserable in the morning, but by the afternoon it cleared up and was nice and sunny.

Lone Star old west re-enactment group
Lone Star old west re-enactment group
Lone Star old west re-enactment group
Lone Star old west re-enactment group

I couldn’t photograph everything, but here are a few of my favourite cars. Apologies, my car knowledge is limited, but I’ve done my best to identify what I can :).

1964 Ford Thunderbird
1970 Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac Catalina
1955 Vauxhall Velox
Lincoln Continental
1957 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
1969 Dodge Charger
1969 Dodge Charger
1977 Lincoln Continental
1935 Ford Model 48
 Lincoln Continental
1956 Studebaker E Series Transtar
1960 Chevrolet Apache Pick-up Truck
1953 Ford F100
Chevrolet
1947 Dodge
Chevrolet
Chevrolet
SVS 546 1942 GMC CCKW 353 Cargo
1971 Cadillac Eldorado
1999 Chevrolet
Cadillac
1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 Cobra Jet Four Speed
Ford ‘Hot Rod’ Coupe
1955 Ford F100
Dodge Charger
Chevrolet Bel Air
Pontiac
Dodge
Ford
Ford Mustangs
Trucks
Bikes
Chevrolet
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Lincoln Continental Coupe
Pontiac GTO
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
1969 Ford
1959 Chevrolet Impala
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air
1958 Buick Super

Useful Information

The show is usually held over a Saturday and Sunday in early July, 09:30 – 16:00.

In 2019, adult entry was £9 and parking was £7 even if you are a National Trust member.