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UK Frank Whittles/Power Jets Factory, Leicester - April 2015

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The Explore

As far as the history goes this is still one of my all time favourite explores this.. to walk around a building were one of the most important inventions in the world happened was quite special.. unfortunately though the place is pretty trashed nowadays but a big varied site none the less.

The History

The Engineering site at Whetstone, near Leicester was opened in 1941 as a facility to engineer and test early Jet engines. The site was initially setup by jet engine inventor Frank Whittle's company Power Jets ltd. Their workshops produced a number of experimental jet engines. However In 1944 Power Jets was Nationalized and Frank whittle left the company in protest at his lack of control. Within two years the decision was taken to centralize research and new facilities were built at the National Gas Turbine establishment in Farnborough. The Whetstone site then passed into the control of the General Electric Company.

By the late 1940s it became an important centre for the rapidly growing nuclear industry. The Atomic Power Division produced specialist components, prefabricated parts and control systems for the early nuclear industry. Research was at the cutting edge and The work carried out at whetstone fed into the program that created the worlds first commercial scale nuclear reactor. It went on to play an important role in the construction and development of the Magnox Reactors.

Computer research was also an important part of the work conducted at Whetstone. In the late 1950's the site had two Early DEUCE computers. These were used for the calculation of engineering problems, conducting projections and simulations. As well as Writing programs for use in nuclear controls and further research into early computer science.

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Not a nice sign to stumble upon in the basement...

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These things went about 50ft into the ground, no idea what they were for and the bottom of them were flooded so couldn't get right down

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Best bit of this place is that corridor in pic 7, and i like that last shot mate :)

Did you have a shufty onto the roof? We chilled out up there a while back and watched the cricket match across the road :)

Like you said some world class developments took place here and the place was left to rot :(

:comp:

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Wow, this has really gone down hill. Shame that such an important plac has been left to ruin, but that's how they do things down here in Leicester. It's a miracle that the local kids have torched the place.

Nice set of snaps :thumb

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It is very sad isn't it!

One of the original jets that was designed there is on display in place next door, it's on loan from London science museum. Not sure if it's still there now though, was a while back I read about it actually

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