Mamma mia! This decaying Droitwich ballroom with flushes of pink and a retro clock has been frozen in time to an era when this was once a booming hotel and Abba was in the charts. While the once glamorous Worcestershire hotel is a shadow of its former self, there is also a retro chic that has been captured by an urban explorer.
Peeling wallpaper and ceilings, a smashed-up piano and even an abandoned fridge containing 12-year-old tartare sauce are among the remnants of the once grand Raven Hotel in the spa town off the M5. Urban explorer Daniel Sims – known as BeardedReality on his Youtube site and Instagram – has captured the aging beauty of the hotel, left to ruin.
But among the debris at the St Andrew’s Street building is also a retro charm that reflects the ambience of the 1970’s. A chic angular shaped wall clock, a flower arrangement, chandeliers and light fittings achingly reminiscent of the hippy era and even the sign on the reception door shouts to the decade that brought us flares and Abba.
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Daniel, who has over 6,000 followers on his YouTube page, said: “The Raven Hotel is absolutely huge and was an interesting place to explore. The building itself is beautiful.
“It seems such a shame that this place is lying abandoned and decayed. It’s now a target to vandals and thieves. Hopefully something becomes of the place.”
The unspoken rule of urban exploration is to “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”. It has become a way of archiving online some of the beautiful relics of the past, now lying in disrepair.
In the video, the urban explorer can be seen discovering a menu from behind the dated wooden bar with a wine list and old-fashioned beer glasses. There are also red velvet curtains hanging in the function room and stunning pale pink columns.
While some of the hotel’s timber dates back to the 1500s, some windows are from the 18th Century and the fixtures and fittings from more recent decades before a decision was taken to shut it down in 2010. Over the past decade, the building has only become into a worsened state of disrepair.
The frontage and many buildings at the historic Raven Hotel site are protected by Grade II listed status, granted to it in 1951. This is especially as the hotel was created using age-old, historic “wattle and daub construction”.
That type of construction means it has wooden strips woven together in a lattice using a combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. The Raven Hotel also once included St Andrew’s Brine Baths in 1887.
Despite this special status, the hotel has become a fly-tipping hot spot. Over the years, parts of the hotel has also seen thieves come to strip it of roof tiles and copper wire.
Last year, plans were put forward to build 51 homes at the site while keeping the protected frontage in place. Plans also emerged showing that a new Brine Baths and gin bar could be built at the hotel site.
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