Jump to content
WildBoyz

UK AEI Air Raid Shelter, Northfleet - December 2017

Recommended Posts

History

W. T. Henley was a cable/wire company that was founded in a small London-based workshop in 1837. William Thomas Henley is famous for having converted his old lathe into a wiring covering machine which was used to cover wire with silk and cotton as this was in high demand at the time for electromagnetic apparatus. It is reported that Henley’s company progressed at an impressive rate and that he pioneered the submarine cable field (laying cables on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean).It was Henley’s dream that all of civilisation would eventually be linked together telegraphically. 

As WT Henley’s Telegraph Works continued to prosper, Henley decided to purchase a factory at North Woolwich beside the Thames in 1859 for £8,000. It is said that this development led to the laying of the Persian Gulf telegraph cable which is 1615 miles long, for the Indian Government. As a result, by the end of 1873 Henley’s Woolwich site had spread to cover some sixteen acres and his company also included three cable laying ships and a four-hundred-foot wharf to allow five-hundred-ton ships to load and unload their cargo. Sadly, Henley died in 1882; however, his company continued to grow in his absence and went on to form branches across the country. 

By 1906 work on a new factory in Gravesend was completed. The new factory is said to have been an impressive development and it included extensive, purpose-built, laboratories and a modern reinforced concrete air-raid shelter under London Road that could hold approximately two-thousand people. The tunnels were built into old caves within the Rosherville Gardens – an area of land located between the cable works and the cliff face. It is likely that the air-raid shelter was factory-owned but also open to the public as Henley’s company did not actually own Rosherville Gardens at the time and it featured a number of amenities and six entrances. Henley’s company continued to thrive as the Victorian era ended; however, its success can be linked directly to the Great War as it was a catalyst for technological and industrial development and change. By the Second World War, Henley’s company was publicly praised for its contribution towards King and Country – particularly its contribution to ‘Operation Pluto’ (the construction of petrol pipelines across the English Channel). Despite this success, a decision was made to close the main Henley factory at Woolwich due to the repeated damaged it suffered during the war years. A new factory was subsequently built at Birtley in the North East due to its reputation for being a ‘misty valley’ that made it difficult for the Luftwaffe to target factories, and this was completed in 1950. 

Sadly, a change of events occurred in 1958 when AEI acquired Henley’s company, having already taken over Siemens Bros in 1953. However, AEI is now the world’s oldest cable company and recently celebrated its one-hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary. Unfortunately, Henley’s Gravesend site was closed in 2008, though, due to it being ‘no longer viable to operate because of strong European competition’. 

Our Version of Events

Not much by way of events for this one. It’s been a very busy few months and we ended up here to take a break after doing a spot of house viewing. Since we’d spent all day and most of the evening looking at damp, shitty rental properties that all looked as though they ought to be photographed and placed as reports on here, we arrived outside AEI in the early hours of the morning. Armed only with the essentials, our tripods, cameras and cans of Stella Artois, we made our way over the epic bog that you have to cross to find the entrance to the old shelter. We really underestimated how muddy this bit of wasteland was going to be to be honest and very nearly ended up taking a cold midnight mud bath several times. Nevertheless, we eventually made it across, with all our beers intact you’ll be happy to know. From this point onwards, getting into the old shelter was pretty straightforward.  

Once inside, we immediately set about taking our snaps. There was a shared feeling among us that the heavy feeling of tiredness was impending so we wanted to get the hard bit of the explore out of the way quickly. It didn’t really take long to photograph the place in the end though, once we’d worked out the general layout of the structure which is a grid-like setup. This left us with plenty of time to each pull up a chemical toilet and enjoy a few bevvies. And that’s how it ended. The tins were cracked and we sat wondering what it would have felt like to hear explosions outside and the thunder of guns shaking the paint and dirt from the ceiling. In reality, all we could really hear was a superb silence and the odd drip coming from a room to our left. What better way to finish an explore, with beers in hand and an abundance of chemical toilets at the ready. 

Explored with Ford Mayhem. 
 

1:

 

27730940679_07187c9b04_b.jpg

 

2:

 

38611626585_dfdcd698ea_b.jpg

 

3:

 

38611612715_bdd671e98e_b.jpg

 

4:

 

39507308001_5b310b441b_b.jpg

 

5:

 

39477016582_dcc36f8071_b.jpg

 

6:

 

38611581775_692bcf7867_b.jpg

 

7:

 

38798985514_9f59908a55_b.jpg

 

8:

 

27730850509_02b4db3999_b.jpg

 

9:

 

39507257241_46d3816abb_b.jpg

 

10:

 

38798951544_934cea31f0_b.jpg

 

11:

 

39507238931_9fa28145e1_b.jpg

 

12:

 

39507226581_73f132f0c5_b.jpg

 

13:

 

25636905868_1189122b6c_b.jpg

 

14:

 

27730755439_fec2215a33_b.jpg

 

15:

 

39507195531_0d9de231b3_b.jpg

 

16:

 

39507180981_47bc5dd389_b.jpg

 

17:

 

39476894882_1cb2d606a0_b.jpg

 

18:

 

27730704689_333b9a922b_b.jpg

 

19:

 

38611424095_56406ffdba_b.jpg

 

20:

 

38798854594_1e38cebb9b_b.jpg

 

21:

 

25636814108_b401f000ac_b.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice these mate, we were joined by the Police last time i was here :) Good to meet you the other day :thumb 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By UrbanLurking
      The care home 2018
      Not sure to much about this place, its been closed for around 4 years now and there is no damage on it whatsoever, ive been eyeing it up for around a year but never managed to gain access. But i struck a lucky one this week. Although what i did notice when i managed to gain entry was that none of the windows where smashed, but all the windows bar the upper level where boarded so no one could look in. So right were in, the first room was the kitchen, we noticed a infer red camera in the corner, then a slight beeping noise? We shit it and get out at this point we was taking no for an answer, we headed into a little forest nearby were we could see the front door and check if SECCA or police came we waited for about 35mins and nothing came then  we discussed the options over a ice cold pint. so we did some googling and heading back, we came to the kitchen again, dodged the sensors and got to the front door where the main alarm system was, nothing happened this time no sensors no nothing? odd? we carried on strolling round after about 4/5 rooms the slight beeping noise came back on, then off, 20mins later back on? Not a clue we ignored it. we strolled round, some rooms had things moved, thrown about etc, so people had defiantly been in without a doubt. This place was cool. Things remained in places, i like that. But some rooms had a really strange feeling about them. after around 40 minutes in there, we seen about 40% maybe abit more, We decided to head out something felt weird like we didn't belong there. We got out and went back to the forest to check if secca arrived, 15 minutes later a van pulled up, it was secca. He didn't see us, but we could see him. He sat there 5/6 minutes, but for some reason did not check the building? Strange.. ... Until next time peoples. I'm not finished with this place. I shall be heading back to finish what i started. Enjoy the pics! 





    • By Britain's Decays
      Last year we tried to get in Scarborough sports centre but they have seriously locked that place up tight, nothing on the roof, no tunnels or anything.So we just made a short video of the outside. Today I went back with the newest member of our URBEX team, the drone and got some higher up shots. Here are the photos from the drone...
       
       





    • By SILVERSKULL2004
      Explore
       
      This was a fairly easy explore as these buildings are not as protected as the main college and the park relies on tourists to inform security about any vandals.
      The gymnasium was the hardest to get into as we had to avoid getting seen by any onlookers. So going at a later time of day would be advised.
      You should be cautious if you get further into the student centre as some of the doors looked to be alarmed.
      The classrooms are in the open and not surrounded by anything so you are likely to be spotted by security or tourists.
      We had a run in with security who were quite well mannered and laid back. All they said was that we were not to go near the building as it is a demolition site. 
      Explored with @little_boy_explores
       
      History
       
       
      Student Centre
       

       

      I can't believe they left this in the open
       

       

       

       

       
      Gymnasium
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      We didn't need to this door
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
       
       
      Classrooms
       

       

       

       

       

       


       







    • By UrbanLurking
      Glen Parva was constructed on the site of the former Glen Parva Barracks in the early 1970s as a borstal and has always held young offenders. Since its opening in 1974 the establishment has seen considerable expansion and change and now serves a catchment area of over 100 courts, holding a mixture of sentenced, unsentenced, and remand prisoners.
      In 1997, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons walked out of an inspection at Glen Parva because conditions were so bad. After a subsequent inspection a year later, the report stated that there was "hope for the future" for the prison but added that a lot of work still needed to be done, and recommended that some staff should be moved because of their attitude towards inmates.
       
       
      Our  Explore: 
      Late night mission to this place made the entry a slight more easy then in the daylight, secca made this explore a lot more challenging haha! but a shame it had to be in the dark and access to most of the rooms made me see only a slight percentage of this place.  but i seen what i wanted to thankfully! And cheers to the lot that helped! 
       
       
      Enjoy the pics the few of them the rest are for the  archives 





×