Drug Den

Research takes us to remote locations, many of which are dependent upon tide times to enable access to, time to explore and indeed time to return safely back to the car. Given the dangers of rising tides and the risk of being caught off guard—of being swept out by the tidal flow of the river that takes you out into the North Sea—often we enter a space cut off from civilization twice each day.

Remoteness and privacy are two obvious attractions beside one particular location we’ve investigated. What we considered, initially to be an additional gem to the place we’d wanted to visit for a while turned into something else.

In order that we don’t expose what we are investigating, or indeed uncover this space for those that use it for their privacy (and our safety) we need to keep the location and type of building to ourselves. We will state, however that being able to enter this type of building is rare these days, so we were excited to find the entrance passable. It was both a slight climb and crouch to enable us to heave ourselves through the gap. Squeezing through the small doorway into the dark space, it was soon apparent we might not be alone but were committed to what we might discover as we dropped into the unknown. For all we knew this space could have been occupied, what we were unaware of was the state of awareness they might have been in. All was silent as we listened beyond the wall that was in front of us. Our next thought was there might have been an overdose.

We’d entered a drug den.

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Lining the floor at one end of the tilted building were bottles of liquid—we suspected the contents to be urine but didn’t inspect them. Discarded among these were several nitrous oxide canisters, along with tin cans blackened with soot and slightly crushed. We expected these had been used for taking crack cocaine. In a small clearing was a small cooker, covered in worn foil—we didn’t see any sign of used needles but at the same time we didn’t exactly search too hard!

Turning the phone torchlight to the ceiling and external walls, we noted the graffiti. The walls had blackened from the smoke and soot created from the drug taking activities. Etched into this were names and painted in darker black were images only those who had created them would be able to decipher for they had been created in a drug induced state.

A few images from our find


Thankfully, it was only the two of us present and we expected this was due to our early morning exploration. Had we called after dark, matters may well have been different!

By Donna Siggers and David Last