Photographed 1989 and 1997

Page 1/5


The Buda Marly Carcoke Factory is (was) situated on the Willebroek Canal , halfway between Brussels and Vilvoorde. 

This was my first major factory exploration, but I was smart enough to know I would never get authorization to walk around and photograph. So I slipped into my dirty clothes, put equipment in my backpack, and started walking along the fence...

I found I could walk inside where trains enter the premises. There were no signs prohibiting me, so I entered.

I had only been walking just long enough to take a couple of pictures, when I got intercepted by security.

My first interrogation (but not my last) followed.

They took photocopies of my identity card and insisted on an explanation...  Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "The gate was open and there were no signs stating I could not enter".
Guard: "So would you enter my house if my front door was open?"
Me: "Well, this isn't your house".
Guard: "Are you trying to be smart ?"

Finally, I was released with a stern warning. They stated I would be sued, if my photographs ever appeared in a newspaper or magazine.
I think now, since the factory has been demolished, I take no risk publishing them.



8 km down the Willebroek-Canal and you're in the center of Brussels


The factory was down below, as you drive over the viaduct. You could smell it, long before seeing it.

The Buda Marly factory was, indeed, a very smelly place !



You could enter the premises by following the rails.


A few years later they started dismantling the factory.
The 5 huge chimneys were toppled and every material that could be recycled was removed.

Some buildings still remain…are they immune?


Halfway to destruction ...


It was a bitter cold Sunday morning, in January, when I took these photographs.
I was all alone, except for an old man shoveling coal into bags.
He had worked in this factory his entire life and the company gave him coal as a subsidy.
He was picking through the rubble to collect coal to burn in his old stove.






What does Buda Marly look like in the year 2000 ?

Return to the Photo Wheel