I'm new to Oblivion State, but I've been doing Urban Exploring for about 18 months now.
Here is my latest explore from late last night.
Coulsdon Deep Shelter
This was the site of my first proper Urban Explore about 18 months ago. I remember scrabbling through the woods one October night with some friends (that I think were quite convinced I was trying to get them killed) trailing behind me to try and find the way in. Eventually of course we made it in and it was all worth it. I of course had no idea what I was really doing, I don't think any of use really do when we start this rather weird hobby.
Neither the less, 18 months later and I'm still hooked (and somewhat poorer with all the camera equipment I've bought).
I heard that this the shelter had been sealed up with a massive pile of dirt back in the middle of last year. However a few months later there was a report up in October saying it was back open again. So I made a mental note to go re-visit when I got a chance.
The History has been said many time about this locations, so I won't go into great detail. You can get a very detailed write up anyway if you look this shelter on Google, so I'm not going to try and compete with that.
It was constructed in 1941 It was bough by Cox, Hargreaves and Thomson Ltd, a manufacturing company that made Optical Equipment. They operated from the 1950s to the 1960s. However the moisture and cold made the tunnel unusable for manufacturing high precision equipment. It was bought by a motor vehicle repair company but they moved out for the same reasons sometime later. It was sealed up and left for years before being opened up at sometime later.
I tried to find 'the usual' way in, but as reported a massive (Its truly massive, it would take a digger hours to clear it all away) mound of dirt and bricks was piled on top of it.
Anyway, we dug about with sticks a bit to try and work out how someone got in previously, but gave up after a short while. We started to head back in defeat before accidentally stumbling across a totally new way in.
Compared to 18 months ago, not much has really changed in the shelter.
The only new thing is the bright pink speakers and DJ mixer that have been left in there from rave some people must have had in there. There was actually cable going into the entrance from outside, so I am assuming they ran a small generator outside and ran the power inside for the speakers. Pretty clever IMO.
Full album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamr123/albums/72157661916861733
By The Elusive
Lovely trip to see this place; I think its been a while since it was photographed.
Sometimes you often find yourselves questioning why we do the things we do… today was no exception.
Migraines, hidden holes, rubble every where and bad air! not to mention the occasional squeeze
Still had to be done and feel very fortunate to have seen this place,
Despite the state of me and the location!
Bit O history..
There was a prevailing mood in the Government against deep shelters being built for the protection of large numbers of civilians. Their effectiveness from high explosive bombs was questioned, based on reports of their performance in the Spanish Civil War, and there were also concerns about costs. The Government’s preference for almost two decades had been for smaller, dispersed shelters, and so the large deep shelters that went ahead all had very specific causes, such as their being in areas with previously excavated mines and tunnels, or eminently suitable geological conditions, or even very determined local authorities who were willing to risk losing government grants to build the shelters they wanted.
However when the Blitz started in the autumn of 1940 policy changed and permission was granted for the two large civilian shelters Grant funding was generous given the need to protect the skilled workers.
The shelter was in the side of the hill allowing access at grade into two main entrances, while at the uphill end a 25m ventilation shaft was sunk, doubling up as an emergency escape via a series of steep metal ladders. The tunnels in between these ends were cut out in a familiar gridiron layout, with four long perpendicular tunnels fed at both ends from the two main entrances, and eleven cross tunnels. Toilets, a canteen, and a first aid post were provided either in the cross tunnels or at tunnel intersection nodes. Within this 1596 bunks and 793 seats were provided for those lucky enough to have the requisite shelter permit.
Construction began in December 1941 and was largely completed within a year, having suffered from escalating costs, geological problems, an unskilled labour force, and also paradoxically trespassers and vandalism. The original intention was that the tunnels would be 2.1m wide and 2.0m high with an arched roof, but the surviving tunnels are considerably larger than this. Records indicate that the considerable height came about following roof trimming required in the latter stages of the project due to the softness of the rock and problems with instability after exposure to the air.
The shelter, like many of the deep shelters reluctantly approved by the Government, came too late to provide mass protection during the periods of heaviest bombing. After the war it was used for customs and excise storage, fire brigade training, and was even considered for Cold War use but rejected due to extensive dry rot. The Local Borough Council visited in the 1950’s to see if they could find a use for it, but disapprovingly recorded it to be “damp, dark and featureless” and it has been sealed in recent times. Local groups in the last decade have looked at ways of reopening it as a tourist attraction, and hopefully one day will be successful.
Thanks for looking
The public bath, constructed in the style of Art Nouveau, consists of three pools (two for men, one for women). Additionally, it had several showers, steam- and public baths and even an own bath for dogs. It was opened in 1914 after a construction time of three years (1911 - 1913). In the same year it was shortly closed due to the start of World War I. The entry prices at that time were between 10 - 40 pfennig (former German currency).
During WW II the swimming pool was protected due to different air raid precautions, which contained mainly brownout through covering the windows with curtains or cardboards. Some lamps and windows were also coated with paint. Below the consisted several bomb shelters for the nearby population. Despite all measurement, the building was largely destoryed due to several bombings. After the war it had to be reconstructed, which took around 15 years until it was completed totally. In the 1970s the number of visitors decreased steadily, due to a lack of investments, which made the baths more and more unattractive compared to other, more modern swimming pools. In the year 1994 the baths was closed and hasnÂ´t been opened until today. It was temporarily used for popular techno parties in the 90's but the future is still uncertain.
A re-use as a swimming pool has been considered to be unprofitable so far. ItÂ´s a pity to see such amazing architecture in the state of decay.
The Entrance Hall
Swimming Pool for Women
Swimming Pool for Men I
Swimming Pool for Men II
This is my first post on Oblivisionstate even though I have been a member on the Fb page for a while, I thought it was about time I uploaded my photographs on here! You will see that alot of my uploads will be in black and white as this is my preferred medium, with some editing. I thought I would begin with my visit to The Grove Air Raid Shelter back in november 2014. I have only included 3 images, as all to see were a series of tunnels. There were 6 entrances in total, which can be found via the grounds of a prestigious hotel, by this point alot of the entrances to the tunnels had been blocked up as you can see by the 3rd image, so there was abit of hunting to find one which hadn't been bricked up. The tunnels were relatively easy to find, I visited during night in the hope to catch some bats in these tunnels, unfortunately I didn't encounter any. All that was left in the tunnels were some broken benches and rubbish!
I hope you enjoy my post and expect more from me coming soon!
The London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Railway, with some foresight one presumes, bought a large area of land near Watford along with it's now disused Manor House for use as their HQ in the event of a war, away from their current HQ in Euston Station. As events transpired, by Easter 1939 with the on going approach of WW2, the move had started in earnest, being known as Project X. The full report/history of this place can be found here: http://rastall.com/grove/projectx.html