Twentec Towers
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Weisse Dame
Hengelo Bier
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Other Losser
Jumbo Dancing
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Métro Charleroi
Charleroi Steel
Muiden Chemie
De Toekomst
Dyckhoff &
Doelloos Blokje
Grootse Plannen

Textilwerke Ahaus

The factory was a major employer in Ahaus, headed by van Delden, one of the famous textile families. It was grounded in 1883 as Westfälische Jute Spinnerei & Weberei to manufacture jute products. Later it specialised in carpet yarns. It changed to Textilwerke Ahaus AG in 1972. In 1989 it merged with Baumwollspinnerei Gronau but it seems it was too late to turn the tide. The factory closed down in 1991 and the company went bankrupt in 1999.

TWA = TextilWerke Ahaus. Picture from a "reconnaissance expedition".
This factory I found by looking at maps. An industrial area very close to the town center and the railroad is almost always old. In the old days they placed industry exactly like today, on the edge of the town. Except now the town has grown around the industry. Also transport by rail was much more important back then, so old industry is often found near railroad lines. Old factories show themselves by high brick chimneys. And old factories means outdated buildings, which often means abandoned. This was the case in Ahaus.

These things attract me like a magnet.

On a previous expedition I made some pictures of the outside of
the buildings and spotted a way in through a hole in the fence on the front side of the factory. I had waited around this hole for a bit but the stream of cars, cyclists and pedestrians never seemed to stop. Deciding I didn't have time for an extensive exploration anyway I left it for last Sunday.

Shot through the fence, on a previous expedition. Back side of the factory, with a bridge crossing the stream.


This Sunday I left early (meaning 10 AM) and arrived in Ahaus about 11:30. Cycled around the factory a time to check if everything was quiet and parked my bike at the train station. When traffic died down a little quickly went for the hole in the fence, which was higher and smaller than I had estimated. Combined with my hurry this cost me a right-angled tear in my trousers. But I was in.

Fence on the inside. Just visible are some old railroad tracks.
First view of the grounds showed many broken windows. This means vandalism but also easy ways into buildings. Someone thought it would be fun to throw some files from an office into the street, where they were now lying sadly, soaked by rainwater.

First view. On the left a shop or office, which I would explore later, with documents thrown out the window. The green container on the right had a high-voltage warning sticker and made a buzzing sound.

Documents (bills mainly) on the pavement

A lonely fire extinguisher was placed next to the garage door, looking ready to be taken away. This would become an often returning theme in this place.

To the left is a gate facing the street. I didn't dare to cross this bit. I'm a coward.
The first hall I entered through large broken windows. The walls and doors were covered in graffiti. Surprisingly, this was the only place I found graffiti. All doors and sliding doors were locked and unmovable, except, another surprise, one. This is another returning theme, often there was only one not very obvious entry into large parts of the factory. Like an RPG-computergame.

First room, and the only with graffiti.

Yes, and you buy da grass just across the border in da Netherlands.


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