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Great Britain Centre for Human Sciences, Farnborough (Dec 2010 - Jan 2011) 2013

mookster

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I can't go through my archive of now-demolished sites without mentioning this place, probably one of the most criminally overlooked urbex sites in the whole of the UK which would have gone totally unexplored had me and my mate not spent multiple days there documenting every nook and cranny of this huge site that was just down the road from Pyestock.

The Centre for Human Sciences was a former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency site comprising of the Army Personnel Research Establishment, Institute of Aviation Medicine, Navy Psychologists and Air Science industries. It occupied a 10,000sq/m site next to Farnborough Airport. On site facilities included hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers, climate controlled laboratories, biomechanics labs, vibration/vision/sleep labs, a deceleration track and immersion pool. The role of the CHS was to provide advice for the MoD and other customers on aspects of science and technology where human performance and capability was critical, such as war zones/combat situations. The customers included the MoD itself, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Flight Safety Inspectorate, service medical branches and others. In 2001, when DERA split to become the DSTL and QinetiQ the majority of the place closed along with Pyestock.

I made a good few visits between December 2010 and January 2011 with the first visit the most eventful. Walking up the site we failed to spot a CCTV camera and alarm which duly went off and was the single loudest alarm I have ever heard! We decided the best course would be to hide somewhere on site and after a bit, nobody turned up so we continued. The site was split in two by one of the road entrances to Farnborough Airport and we had crossed into the other half, about 20 minutes after we entered it I noticed movement outside the building we were in and suddenly we had company! A pair of security officers from QinetiQ HQ had been dispatched to come see what was going on as we had been seen on CCTV and, we presume, by the guard on the entrance to the airport. It turned out it was staff in HQ who had set the alarm off! They were two of the nicest, politest security guards I've ever met considering where they worked for, one in particular I reckon if he'd been on his own he would have let us continue on, but the other guy was more firm and told us to leave. Good times!

Anyway on with the photos...this will be very photo heavy. Some are not so great as I only had my old bridge camera back then, which didn't really like huge dark spaces.

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Outside the enormous climatic cold chamber, with the biggest centrifugal fan I have ever seen on the left.

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Soldiers/researchers would have been attached to the guide wire and put on the treadmills while cold air blasted them from the huge fan.

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Part 2 below
 
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mookster

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skeleton key

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Quality location that Mooks defo dont see many like that come up to often.

Great to see thanks for the share

(y)

 

Shush

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Thats right good Mooks, proper interesting, and one I've never seen before, Cheers for sharing chap :D

 
S

Scattergun

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Properly done mate, what a fascinating read and a great set of shots. Love the testing equipment (including the chamber) and that corridor shots a belter. Very well documented and unique place, proper thumbs up (y)

 

mookster

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Cheers guys.

It was a great place, a real mixed bag of totally empty office space and industrial epicness. It was kind of a double-edged sword being so close to Pyestock, it meant everyone including pikeys went to see the big famous blue pipes and missed this place totally which left it almost completely intact even a decade after it was closed. But then it took people (us) that long to realise there was something worth seeing there, and even by the time we were inside it 1/3 had already been demolished! I bet a fair few people went past this place on the way to Pyestock it was hard to miss the big hoarding fences near the Holiday Inn in the middle of Farnborough!

I went past it last month and the new build houses are springing up all over the place with new road layouts as well.

 
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SuZyQue

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Fantastic write up and pics, and I have never seen this before, looks a interesting place. :)

 

Lara

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Nice one, very interesting read and lovely pics. I enjoyed that, thanks :D

 

darbians

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Great stuff. Love that pic with the flight suit thing. A great report and location.

 

mookster

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The room above the photos of the photos of equipment was full of the stuff shown, the big stuff on that table were a few of those 'body bag' style things, I'm unsure what they would have been used for whether they were survival things or not but they were tested in the cold chambers. That room was a goldmine of equipment, which is weird as the rest of the normal rooms were almost all stripped!

I wondered if this'd get a necro-bump after last night :p

 
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