Tales of the Urban Explorer: The Polish Ex-Combatants Club
I had heard about this Polish Church and its notoriety about entering. You needed to be an expert climber and be as flexible as Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2 to get in this one. That counted me out..., no chance I could compete with BendyMan unless I was holding a SNES controller.
It was a surprise when @anidiotexplorers messaged me one day, 'The Polish Church, the front door is open'. Could it be this easy, was this more bullshit information designed to waste our time and my gas?
We added it to a shoddy Manchester agenda of previous fails, Karen-infested targets, and holes in the ground that nobody wanted to explore. If it was sealed, it could go down as the worst expedition ever.
‘The Polish Ex-Combatants Club’ closed in 2007 and has been rotting since that time.
The club opened in May 1949 after thousands of Polish pilots flew in the RAF, having escaped the crushing forces of Hitler's German army which overran much of Eastern Europe by the end of 1939.
A demolition plan was proposed in 2020 which came to fruition later in 2022. The club has since been flattened.
However... before all that happened…
‘The front door is open eh? we will see soon’…
We stood outside the red-bricked 'The Polish Ex-Combatants Club' wishing there were not as many people or parked cars in the vicinity.
Getting a shot was tough unless you wanted to look at Range Rovers, as well as the main course. I compromised on some external higher-view shots that are at least less distracting.
After negotiating a lot of anti-climbing fencing which appeared to be layered we arrived at a very solid-looking front door made of extra thick wood from another time.
We tried the handle; it didn't move. @anidiotexplores simply pushed and to our surprise it opened like Ali-Baba's cave. Startled, I dashed inside closing the door, not too hard or we could be trapped inside.
The first impressions were bad. It looked like a building site, not a veterans club. Rubble and broken stones made for tough walking.
Old newspapers but not Poland flavour.
Heading further in, the building site look ended quickly and it got more interesting. These are definitely not English language.
Whereas one of Mr. Swayze's earlier efforts is, the beer I don't recognize.
There was no shortage of undecipherable literature strewn around.
The door was intriguing. 'Members Only', perhaps 'Zombies Only' would have been more appropriate.
Inside was the Snooker Table from hell, extensively layered with cumulative stale pigeon shit built up over the years. I remember this sight taking me back a little.
The table looked more monochrome to my eyes, though the images have picked up some colour. See the window in the top corner? That was our next port of call.
…the was going to be one strange explore…
After exiting into a courtyard and back through a window, into another section of ‘The Polish Ex-Combatants Club’, we continued. This section looked less damaged and more interesting.
I got a feeling the Poles like to drink a lot. The building looked suspiciously like a church externally but internally was turning into a series of bars.
A dusty crystal ball perhaps?
May as well check the inside of the bar; there could have been a stash of drug money within. Who knows why that front door had suddenly become open?
Plenty of cobwebs for sure.
Why is there an upturned pick-axe in a bar?
Don’t come on Mondays, something to remember for the future.
Just shove all the furniture up together in a heap, won't you?
It's tough walking down narrow passages when there's ill-placed red seating lining the length of it.
This was turning into one of those explores, where you don't know where to look.
It’s a playlist of 80’s songs, the ones you don’t want to hear ever again as they are constantly played everywhere.
You know, there's bad music and then there are these LPs.
Not this bar, but another one. This one plays 'Woodland Birds Greatest Hits' on repeat.
I don’t know where the ‘Chopin Bar’ was, the sign was here but there was no bar.
Brand new, still boxed, and probably old; I did check the value and they go for a few quid.
Pascal to me is a computer language. These CDs don't strike me as educational in that sense.
‘The Polish Ex-Combatants Club’ was big and maze-like inside. I wondered just how much more there was. Upstairs I think.
Graffiti was in short supply. So far the only explorers in here were the more dedicated type. It had been a serious undertaking to get in before now.
Bypassing the shelves that were barely holding on by the hinges I climbed yet another set of wooden dodgy stairs.
… only to exit via some more stairs.
It looked like a large hall, perhaps once with many chairs.
At one end was yet another bar.
Noting more Polish children's books, I snuck behind for a closer look.
Are those the small glasses they use for that Polish Vodka? They were dusty but serviceable.
At the other end of the hall sat a fading piano, sadly unplayable. I did try.
The keys looked intact but appeared to be ‘glued’ down. Hitting a key resulted in no moving parts.
This was not the end, and another corridor loomed ahead with a partially collapsed roof.
It’s an antique of the past.
A few broken-down doors and a lot of pigeon shit.
Maybe there was some religion in ‘The Polish Ex-Combatants Club’ as well as lots of beer drinking.
The contents were a little gunky for me.
The vodka bottle is a little more predictable.
Big piles of old books caked in shit. Not touching those.
Granny's best china, as well as corroded Ever Ready batteries.
These can take some beating but I wager this one was bust.
It’s an extra small canteen for when you need tea and biscuits.
… with a polish bill.
Climbing down to the depths of ‘The Polish Ex-Combatants Club’ we had to take some care at the bottom; kind of bad stairs.
What did we find? Another fucking bar.., in very good condition.
It looks like it came from the realm of King Arthur, but is only about 55 years old.
An alternative exit was provided but it was proving a little much, we backtracked up the other ‘not quite so collapsing steps’.
After a fifteen-minute hike and getting lost a few times, we found ourselves in the builder's yard again, quite relieved that nobody had locked us in.
That was quite an adventure and one not readily forgotten.
Do you like posting your Urbex content and photography for FREE on Facebook and YouTube? I like to get some form of reward for my work and every time I create I do just that. Take a look at The Urbex Community on HIVE.
If you want to keep creating for FREE then ignore what you are reading. If you want to be like me and gain something other than BUGGER ALL for your work then click here and learn about posting on the HIVE blockchain.
If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, rehive, engage me or all of these things.