We dare not go a-hunting, for fear of little men

There’s nothing like a good prowl around the suburbs after dark. Particularly as we’re coming into spring, and there’s all sorts of scents and promise in the air.

Not being acquainted with the western half of my suburb, I thought I’d have a sniff around in the direction of Moonee Ponds, and – god forbid – cross over the freeway. Unlike what will happen if I ever cross Bell St (land drops away from feet, insides impact, blood spurts out of eyes, etc) I emerged on the other side unscathed, and found some jolly nice houses, endless storm water drains like in Grease, a park called ‘Fanny Reserve’ (the sign was unmolested) and hard rubbish.

On the long haul back up the hill I discovered a most wondrous derelict site on the pointy end of Albion St. I think it was called Laceys, an utterly art deco and fabulous orange brick building set back from the road at an angle. It was dark and spooky. There were tiny circular portholes all over it and dark brown striped brick as accents. Walking along to the front, I realised it was a burnt-out factory, with jagged triangular beams standing out against the sky.

It reminded me of only one thing: Willy Wonka’s factory before he opened the gates. I felt like Charlie Bucket pressed against the forbidding black gates, dreaming about the riches therein. I half expected the scary tinker man with his dangling knives to tap me on the shoulder and hiss: ‘nobody ever goes in….and nobody ever comes out!’ This place is SUPERB.

Along Duggan St is an adjoining factory, which is also fire-damaged. If you look through the barred windows at ground level, the entire roof has burnt, leaving only charred beams and a vast sea of fallen plaster. In the dark it looks like the earth has split open. Complete destruction. And high up on one side of the building are two aircon units. The fans inside them are still spinning. Fast. Like they’re being powered by unseen forces.

Ideally, I’d like to clamber all over it with my Lomo and pinch stuff. Who’s with me? And anyone know where to locate an asbestos suit in black??

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