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Visited today with my daughter, my first 'underground, for me as not done a tunnel before and found it most enjoyable despite my claustrophobia , was longer than I thought and decent Torches are the next purchase for me now !! A bit of history from a signpost and a few more pictures (not great as lighting was poor !!)
Well here is my first report on the site so please be gentle !! Wasn't sure what to expect with this it was either going to be a fail or a quick mooch round a yard but how wrong I was ! Was there for several hours and the place is a lot bigger than it looks and relatively untouched, it made for an enjoyable morning and a lot of pictures to go through. Below is a History of the place and then the pics. There were also some resedential properties here but were all much of the same and not of any real interest.... The British pig industry owes a huge debt of gratitude to its centre of research and development done here. The UK pig industries Development Unit, in Bedfordshire was opened by Lord Belstead, Minister of State (Lords), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods in November 1984. Over the years it has undergone many changes but has always been at the forefront of research firmly aimed at delivery of practical opportunities, work which could be quickly disseminated and implemented on working pig farms. At its peak the unit employed 10 staff and had 300 sows farrow to finish. However major changes in the industry and a fundamental shift in the strategy of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) meant it was no longer needed and over the last six months has been gradually wound down. The final piece of research work was completed in May 2007, part of the Defra LINK ï¿½3.5m weaner research programme. The centre's part was to look at weaner diets that maximised the use of home-grown cereals and oilseeds. To the end, the stock performed excellently with weaning to slaughter growth rates of 740g/day and grower to slaughter in excess of 1050g/day. A BPEX Director of Pig Industry Development said: "It has been a huge asset to the industry over the years and we are sad to see it go. "BPEX carried out a major review of its research and development and unfortunately itdidn't fit into the new perspective." Research over the years Over the years, the work has included: - Introduction of soya bean meal to pig diets - Copper sulphate as a growth promoter - Evaluation of commercial genotypes for sow productivity, growth - Performance and carcase and meat quality (Stotfold First Trial) - Development of ultrasound technology for carcase composition - Blueprint for pig meat eating quality - Stotfold sow lactation feeding strategy - Phase-feeding - protein requirements of commercial genotypes - Established speed of growth and pork tenderness were positively correlated - Liquid feeding offers savings of 14p/kg dead weight - Liquid feeding halves the percentage of pigs testing positive for Salmonella at slaughter BPEX has been exploring the redevelopment of the site and planning permission is being applied for.
RAF Thurleigh Air Traffic Control Tower The Explore After a double visit to the RAE Bedford Windtunnel testing site, we decided to take a look at the ATC tower which was basically situated on the same site but on the other side of the massive multi-runway airfield. A long walk past some smelly sheep and a few dives into the bushes thanks to some farmer spreading equally smelly shit around the neighbouring field, eventually we were at the tower. On first inspection the place looked like it had been recently â€œsealedâ€ with nice fresh looking boards all around but with a bit of head/ball scratching and a leap of faith from The Lone Shadow, myself and Session9 were in Didnâ€™t bother with zillion cars parked on the runways as there were transporters and humans in hi-viz kicking around most of the time.. The History Thurleigh was built for RAF Bomber Command in 1940 by W & C French Ltd. Its first use was by NO.160 SQN RAF, forming on 16 January 1942. Thurleigh was one of 28 fields listed for use by the U.S. Eighth Air Force on 4 June 1942, tentatively designated station B-4, and was allocated on 10 August 1942. With the essential construction completed, the 306th Bombardment Group deployed to Thurleigh on 7 September 1942. The group flew the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft, and remained at Thurleigh until 1 December 1945. That was the longest tenure of any U.S. air group at a UK base. Starting in 1946, construction work began on the airfield to turn the site into what became known as the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford. The runway was extended in the post-war period to accommodate the Bristol Brabazon aircraft (which required a very long runway) that ultimately never went into production. One local road was dropped into a cutting so that it would not sit above the level of the runway. All this airfield activity justified a Control Tower of this sizeâ€¦ The Pictures Taken in 1957 (not really, was a few weeks ago ) 2/3. On the long walk to the tower we went past this rickety wooden construction with the bottom of the ladder entwined with thick thorny shit.. 4. Also this collection of buildings which didn't look worth the effort accessing.. 5/6. On to the ATC Tower itself.. 7. Main Tower Control.. 8. 9. 10. 11/12.. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19/20. 21. Central Stairwell 22/23. Lurking in the ladies.. 24. As always, thanks for looking and feedback always appreciated