By Martin Ruffell
THE INCREDIBLE moment an urban explorer unexpectedly stumbled upon an abandoned CANNABIS FARM in a disused nightclub has been captured on film.
One photo taken during the exploration showed dozens of empty plant pots, once used to grow drugs left scattered across the nightclub’s floor.
In a second, a huge mound of dried-up cannabis can be seen left abandoned after the nightclub was raided by police.
Former plumber and now full-time urban explorer Colin Smith (36) from Hampshire, UK, who goes by the name of ‘The Bearded Explorer’ on YouTube was driving home from Wales when he decided to drop into an abandoned nightclub in Gloucester that he had heard about.
On entering the building through one of the many wide-open doors, Colin discovered promotional flyers to bygone events, drink and food menus, and a kitchen full of cutlery and glasses.
Exploring the two main dance floors and the upper floor of the nightclub, the explorer also found three locked safes, empty money bags and a cloakroom.
On entering the basement however, Colin was shocked to find the remnants of a cannabis farm, complete with broken strip lighting and over 300 rotten cannabis plants. There was also a bed and clothes which were presumably left behind by those operating the drug factory.
“I was on my way back from another exploration in Wales and I had been told about this place in Gloucestershire, so I pinned it on my map and drove to it,” Colin said.
“The doors were all open, so I literally just walked in.
“There was still loads of memorabilia including restaurant menus, promotion flyers, drinks and all of the standard stuff you would expect to find.
“I saw lots of strip lighting left dumped in one of the upstairs rooms and thought ‘that’s a little bit strange, why are these in here?’
“It wasn’t until I went downstairs to the ground floor and opened the door to a huge back room when I came across the huge haul of old cannabis plants.
“The guys that were doing it were obviously living on site because they had a bed area and their clothes were all still hanging up.
“The amazing thing is that it was just across the road from a police station.
“Whoever was growing it there certainly had some nerve.
“From my research, I believe the nightclub was raided by the police in 2019.
“But everything that was in there the police left behind which was really weird.
“Usually I would expect the police to take everything as evidence.
“When it was fully functional, I expect the haul could have been worth hundreds of thousands.”
The former nightclub in Gloucester was originally closed in 2009. The police raid in 2019, put an end to the drug operation housed there and the site is now set to be bulldozed to make way for student accommodation.
Whilst the recreational use of cannabis has been legalised in 17 US states, in the UK, it is classified as a Class B drug with those in possession facing up to five years in prison and those producing the drug facing up to 14 years in jail.