By The Urban Collective
Hey, guys, this is a video from my recent exploration of Manchester's Victoria Arches.
Unfortunately, we were caught entering and as I couldn't resist taking a peak I went it alone. However, we will be back to make a proper video report on the place.
I was absolutely gutted to not get a proper vid but the footage I did get was half decent and worth it for the experience alone. This place holds so many memories and it is astonishing to wonder whats under our feet.
Well, heres another easy explore I done recently with a few friends. This is only the second location I've visited, so be gentle!
I wont bore you with TOO much history, as this has been done numerous times, and I'm sure most of you are aware of this place or have visited yourself.
CRANK CAVERNS, ST HELENS, MERSEYSIDE.
There are also legends of vicious dwarves eating children, soldiers going into the mines with gunpowder, etc.. But now to the pictures.
Sorry, not all the photos are in order, I had lots to do this morning and was just trying to get this uploaded. Hope you lot enjoy the photos anyway!
Another local one that I've been wanting to do for ages, but never got round to it until now.
It's filled full of asbestos, so I made sure to bring my good PP3 mask, but even that wasn't enough probably.
During World War 2, the Southern Railway took over the Deepdene Hotel near Dorking in Surrey for its wartime emergency headquarters. In the grounds they excavated an underground control centre taking advantage of a network of existing natural caves that had been acknowledged 300 years before in the diaries of John Evelyn. Because of the natural protection afforded by the location of the caves they were eminently suitable for the development of a bunker to house both the headquarters' telephone exchange and Traffic Control who also had their underground control centre there with underground divisional controls at Woking (South West Division), Southampton (Western Division), Orpington (South Eastern Division) and Redhill (Central Division)
I got a message in the morning saying it's doable and to go soon. So a few hours later I was there and inside.
I'd been meaning to do this one for a long time now, especially as its pretty local, so now was a good a time as any.
It's actually not a very large bunker, but its nice for its modest size. The infamous 100 steps lived up to its reputation as terrifying. I only went up a few steps, but that's enough.
I actually bumped into another explorer here who got the fright of his life as I turned the corner and shown my light at him in a moment of confusion and panic. Turned out to be someone else who got the memo and took a trip down to see it from a little further afield.
A nice little bunker, rich full of history.
With a 2.5 meter high, fully reinforced security fence, cameras at every angle and motion sensors tucked away in strategical places, this building was designed to keep people out.
A load of good that did, eh?
This building is shrouded in mystery, its former use was totally unknown and even google wasn't any help! Turns out it was the old headquarters for the Department of work and pensions, but they could not afford to keep it running, so became a rejected building for social security. No one has ever documented this building and not a single photo of the insides can be found.. Until now.
Not my fanciest of camera work but the night time was the best time for this trip. So granted the shots could be better but with not a lot of time on our hands (and maybe setting a motion detector off) we had to make do!
The building itself was actually very clean and tidy, in and out. Fair bit of dust and clutter from the stripping off pipes from underneath the flooring but no graffiti, no vandalism.. Not a single sign of "outsiders".
Truly trapped in time with 1990's tech scattered, but nothing of worth, just old school things that required Ethernet and a few tapes and old floppy disks.
For the most part it was quiet and things were calm, the main worry was watching for the missing floor panels and pesky motion sensors above a certain few doors. So I gather most office blocks like this are still protected (A company called 'clear way') which is kind of surprising considering how long it has been abandoned and I cannot find out anything to do with that buildings future.
Originally used as a primary headquarters for the department of work and pensions, handling data and dealing with data to do with peoples income and possibly entitlement of benefits, sits unused and had been abandoned between around 2002 but the exact time is yet to be known.
It was being used through the 90's that's for sure with lift service sheets with the last service being 2002 and floppy disks and tapes dating through the 90's.
It is unfortunate we could not see the whole building, as out of the three floors it had only the ground and second were explored. The lower ground floor proved to be a challenge as that's were the sensors really were, so we decided to leave it and head out quiet as a mouse. But not without having one last look at the glass atrium of course.
Over all this building is still somewhat a mystery and i'm fairly certain we are the only people to document this building, which is mad for me.
This is my first real forum and I hope you enjoy the photos,
Til the next one!
"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints"
1. scouting a way in
2. The atrium, looking straight through
5. This tells me they were short of funds.
7. The windows for the atrium
8. Lift mechanics
9. The lift motor and pulley system
10. Service history for the lift
11. A letter (with buildings address) for evaluation of the one lift
12. Typical office corridors, minus the health and safety hazard
13. Vintage mounted desk with plug sockets built in
14. Huge computer room
15. Keys still left as they were since closure
16. Media storage units
16. Hand drawn schematics for lift dated 89
17. Lift room
18. Temperature gauges
19. Wiring for the lift
20. Very rusty keys
21. The motor for the lift
22. Lift schematics
23. The original blueprint before the construction of oak house
24. This still works!
25. Flooring lifted for strip down before being abandoned
26. Old school floppy disk dated 91
27. Media room and units
28. Stannah lift lever
29. Inside the vast atrium
30. Another angle
31. Vintage clock and safe
I'm looking for people to visit locations together, somewhere in Belgium, NL, Luxembourg, France, or nearby)
I'm rather experienced with urbex, but I don't really like doing it alone and it's hard to find people who also understand what they're doing at locations.
I'm mostly interested in metro/underground stuff and roofs. Soon I'm planning to search for some roofs in Brussels and Amsterdam, and check out local metro.
If you'd like to join me - let me know!