FOOTAGE has been captured from inside a derelict building in Weymouth which was once a much-loved attraction.

Neil Ansell, 32, a YouTube content creator who uploads videos under the name Abandoned Explorer, has released a video where he explores the former 18-lane MFA Bowl - previously the Lakeside Superbowl - off St Nicholas Street.

He had permission to enter the building from landowners Dorset Council and was joined on the exploration by cameraman and friend, Dan Roads.   

The building has stood empty for the past five years after it was closed in 2019 when it was found to need around £200k for repairs to its roof.

Dorset Council has announced plans to demolish the site, which will make way for a ‘temporary surface car park.’ The authority wants to earn some income from the land while development plans for the site are finalised - probably for housing.

Dorset Echo:

Originally from Weymouth, Neil travels around to explore abandoned areas with past trips including a mansion, and the infamous site of Pripyat, the city abandoned in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986.

He said that exploring the bowling alley was different to any experience he had before.

Speaking to the Echo, Neil said: “This explore felt a lot different from any other exploration experience I have had in the past because it is in my hometown, and I have so many memories inside this bowling alley from growing up.

"There wasn't a lot to do in Weymouth when I was a kid so I spent hours down the alley, and then later as an adult before a night in town."

Dorset Echo: “To me, the best part of the explore was being able to go behind the alleys and see how the machines all work to stick the pins up.

Dorset Echo:

“One of the things that caught me off guard was the fact that the place was full of pigeons and rats.”

Neil revealed that there are more sites in the town he would love to have a look at including the Clipper and Brewers Quay.

Watch the video here: 

In the video, the explorer shows the damage to the ceiling at the alley, with fallen tiles scattered all across the floor.

Dorset Echo: Footage shows the arcade machines that previously sat in the foyer of the alley were removed however trophies dating back to 1998 were still found behind the bar area.

Parts of the bowling lanes have been ripped up, however the YouTuber does show piles of pins left abandoned at the site, as well as office supplies upstairs and chairs by what was formerly the bar downstairs.

Dorset Echo:

Neil’s channel has more than 250,000 subscribers at the time of writing.  

Neil was granted permission by Dorset Council to adventure around the abandoned building before it is planned to be demolished. He said he was ‘very lucky’ to be granted permission into the building.

“It’s rare for the council or anyone to give you permission into these kinds of places because they are so dangerous,” he said.