Well, I'm probably a bit late in posting this, but I was going through my old shots and thought good old Pyestock was worthy of another report with some of the classic shots. These took a bit of editing, all taken with a basic camera that I didn't really know how to use properly at the time, but I still have fond memories of our visits.
If you don't know what Pyestock was, welcome to the most epic industrial derp of all time! Sadly now completely flattened to make way for a distribution centre, the place became one of those "must visit" places for most explorers for awhile. Enjoy!
NGTE Pyestock - The National Gas Turbine Establishment - was a huge industrial site in Fleet, Hampshire. The site was used to test jet engines during their development, and was expanded over time to accommodate engines such as those used on Concord. The engines could be tested in the giant wind tunnels while the conditions of flight up to 2,000mph at an altitude of 65,000ft could be simulated. To achieve such a feat, the largest wind tunnels ever constructed were needed, and a vast array of additional services including the huge compressors in the Air House, which could be configured to blow air into, or suck air out of the test cells. Each compressor set, of which there were eight, were driven by 36,500hp electric motors.
Originally opening in the 1949 with a number of small test facilities, the site was top secret at first, but that didn't last. I should imagine the noise alone would have generated a lot of interest. Large scale expansion took place throughout the 50s and 60s to facilitate the much larger jet engines being developed such as those used on Concorde. The site finally closed in 2000 due to a decline in jet engine development and the advent of computer aided simulations.
Head on over to the excellent ntge.co.uk for loads more detail - by far the most comprehensive resource ever assembled about Pyestock.
Aerial view of the site before demolition.
Constructed in 1965 at a cost of £6.5 million, Cell 4 was the last large development on the site, and also the most complicated. It was capable of free-jet testing jet engines, whereby a jet engine could be run up to full speed while the conditions of flight were simulated.
The humongous Cell 4 - a supersonic wind tunnel for testing jet engines.
Higher view of cell 4 and its building.
The huge hole is where air would be blown in at supersonic speeds.
Looking the other way, we can see a hole where a huge pipeline would once have entered the building.
Viewed from the other end with spill air pipes either side.
Close-up to Cell 4.
Looking over the other way.
Inside the plenum chamber, where air enters the test cell. This selfie (yeah, the one that everyone got!) demonstrates the size of this thing.
Inhibition torches around the outside would have had nozzles where gas was ignited, like giant flame throwers, to burn off any residual jet fuel before the air recirculates around the system. The lattice of pipes behind is the first-stage cooler for cooling down the hot jet engine exhaust gasses.
View from crane operator's cab.
Built mostly underground within a huge trench, Cell 3 was the first testing cell built after plans in the early 1950s to expand the initial capacity of the site. Constructed at the same time as the Air House, it was designed as a general purpose cell to provide greater capacity than Cell 2 - it could cater for the new larger engines with their improved performance, and could simulate higher altitudes, all within a wider range of engine entry temperatures.
The "supersonic nozzle" of Cell 3.
Looking at the nozzle from where the engine on test would be installed.
These "blast doors" were installed for the filming of the movie Sahara.
Looking back through the blast doors.
Further behind the blast doors we find this other-worldly sight, the stripped out cooler of Cell 3.
The Air House
The Air House was an integral part of the site's expansion to cater for the new breed of supersonic jet engines. It was clear that the new Cell 3 would require more high pressure air or more suction capability than the Plant House could provide and so the Air House was constructed. It performed one function: to generate right atmospheric conditions to fly a supersonic jet engine on the ground.
Looking across the motors and compressors in the Air House.
The compressors were responsible for moving air through the test cells at up to 2000mph.
One of the 8 GECcompressor/exhauster sets.
Panels in the Air House control room.
The huge pipelines that connected the Air House to the Cells 3 and 4.
Built in 1954, the plant house contained all the equipment necessary to run the original two test cells at Pyestock - Cells 1 and 2. Its job was very similar to that of the Air House, but on a much smaller scale.
Parsons compressor in the Plant House.
End view of the Parsons compressor.
Local control panel.
Plant House control room.
Exhausters 9 and 10
With the advent of even larger jet engines, such as those used on Concorde, more suction through the test cells was required. Exhauster 9 (in addition to the 8 existing compressor/exhauster sets in the Air House) was built adjacent to Cell 3, and later Exhauster 10 was built for exclusive use by Cell 4.
Exhauster No. 9.
The much newer Exhauster No. 10.
Cells 1 and 2
The original two full scale test cells at Pyestock, Cells 1 and 2 were constructed in 1957 as a way to test jet engines on the ground while they were fully fired up and running - essentially two large tubes with an exhaust duct and silencer.
Selfie in Cell 2.
Inside Cell 1.
Inside the exhauster stack of Cells 1 and 2
I make no apologies for all the selfies
Now onto the main target. This is the block that contains all the bits and bobs. Total contrast to G Block with this one being more intact and full of interesting stuff. It seemed like a storage place for things from the museum. The Bombe machine that had been made for the 2001 film Enigma was cool from the front anyway Some nice decay in here also. The block is alot more derelict then I expected it to be. We where pushed for time in the end and rushed round the place abit. With hindsight it would have been better to do them the other way round. Visited with non member Paul.
Thanks For Looking
More pics on my Flickr page - https://www.flickr.com/photos/135648593@N02/albums/72157676836766674/with/32103170494/
Been wanting to see this place for a while so I was well happy to finally get a nose round here. G Block was the first area we covered. Would have been better doing it the other way round with hindsight but, we where not to know at the time. This block is pretty much stripped with some nice peeling paint and decay in places. This was the traffic and deception operations block and was later used by the GPO. A nice relaxed wander around a interesting and history steeped building. Visited with non member Paul.
Thanks For Looking
More pics on my Flickr page - https://www.flickr.com/photos/135648593@N02/albums/72157680397416355/with/32775422922/
New Scotland Yard
New Scotland Yard was located on Broadway in Victoria and has been the Metropolitan Police's headquarters since 1967.
By the 1960s the requirements of modern technology and further increases in the size of the force meant that it had outgrown its Victoria Embankment site. In 1967 New Scotland Yard moved to the site on Broadway, which was an existing office block acquired under a long-term lease.
The Met's senior management team was based at New Scotland Yard, along with the Met's crime database. This uses a national computer system developed for major crime enquiries by all British forces, called Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, more commonly referred to by the acronym HOLMES, which recognises the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. The training programme is called 'Elementary', after Holmes's well-known, yet apocryphal, phrase "elementary, my dear Watson".
A number of security measures were added to the exterior of New Scotland Yard during the 2000s, including concrete barriers in front of ground-level windows as a countermeasure against car bombing, a concrete wall around the entrance to the building, and a covered walkway from the street to the entrance into the building. Armed officers from the Diplomatic Protection Group patrolled the exterior of the building along with security staff.
In May 2013 the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the New Scotland Yard building on Broadway would be sold and the force's headquarters would be moved back to the Curtis Green Building on the Victoria Embankment, and renamed Scotland Yard. Ahead of the move to the Embankment, the Metropolitan Police sold New Scotland Yard to Abu Dhabi Financial Group in December 2014 for £370 million. Staff left New Scotland Yard on 1 November 2016, when ownership of the building was passed to Abu Dhabi Financial Group who plan to redevelop the site into luxury apartments, offices and shops. The Metropolitan Police are due to move to the Embankment in early 2017.
Since this appeared on here a couple of months ago I've visited a few times with @Maniac, @KM Punk, @starlight, @extreme_ironing, @Miss.Anthrope, @adders, @Porkerofthenight, @DirtyJigsaw, @TrollJay, @Merryprankster, monkey, suboffender, silentwalker, theriddler, dragonsoop, and many non members. Most of these photos were taken on my first visit when we did a sweep of every floor looking for anything of interest. Much had been stripped before the Met handed it over unfortunately but there was still enough to make it a decent explore. The view from the roof is pretty sensational on a clear evening, made even more special by the fact you are sitting on top of perhaps the most notorious police Headquarters in the world. A great place for a dragon soop and some classic 80s tunes.
1. Starting from the bottom and working our way up, the underground car park. Sadly no bunkers or anything quite so interesting under here.
2. Security control room for monitoring cctv and opening gates.
5. Press conference room
6. Briefing room
7. Locker room, now in use by construction workers.
8. A message from the last officer to leave
9. These marble lift lobbies were the only bit of grandeur really, the lifts were still fully functional which came in handy a couple of times.
11. The remains of a once plush office
12. How most of the building looked....stripped and being prepared for a new lease of life
13. Pretty much every floor had large server rooms in the centre, this one in particular held restricted access servers.
14. Where firearms would have been distributed, there was a similar firearms storage room on the ground floor.
15. Label on the cupboard above
16. Sand boxes presumably for discharging rounds of ammo when handing in firearms
17. safe room
19. Bridge connecting the two buildings together
20. Just off the bridge sat this lecture theatre, a week later it was completely ripped to pieces.
23. Cctv monitoring work station
25. Plant room on the top floor
26. Engineer's control room
28. And last but not least, the rooftop.
30. 55 Broadway, TfL's art deco Headquarters until recently
31. Buckingham Palace
32. One of the best views in London really
35. Fish eye view from the top of the mast.
Scotland Yard, it's been emotional.....