Post a thread

Post a report or anything else to the forums

See latest posts

Latest posts across the community

Contact Staff

Our team are here to help if needed

Kingsway Telephone Exchange, London - Late 2013

Maniac

Full member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
362
Points
83
Location
Kent
Thought it was about time these photos saw the light of day, it was 2 years ago now, FFS where does the time go.

A Brief history of the Kingsway exchange.

Kingsway started out life as the Chancery Lane deep shelter. This was constructed as part of the war effort to provide shelter to Londoners from the blitz, although it was never actually used for this purpose. After the war use passed to the public record office who used it for storing many tons of documents.

After several years of use for that purpose, the decision was made to adapt the shelter to become a hardened trunk exchange for the then GPO run telephone system. In order to serve this purpose the complex was vastly extended, with 4 new large diameter tunnels built to one side of the existing parallel tubes that formed the shelter.

The complex really was quite vast by the time this work was done, and in its hayday through the 50s-70's housed many tones of exchange equipment, something like 300 miles of cable, several generaters, air conditioning plant, staff facilities, kitchens etc. etc. evidence of most of this can still be seen in there to this day. By the 1980's however the importance of the facility started to decline as the telephone networks changed and evolved and by the 1990's there was very minimal equipment left in the exchange.

For a while in the late 80's part of it was used as the Kingsway computer centre which provided secure backup facilities and a paging network to parts of London. Since that ceased operation, the only real use of Kingsway has been for storage. A smalll part of it was also used briefly as the headquarters of a goverment organisation, although details on this are sketchey.

There is a fantastically detailed history on subbrit for anyone who cares to read it.

Our Explore

My memories of this evening are a little hazy, but I know it started with myself and SirJohnnyP checking out a certain well known reservoir and bumping into a few others who, as it turns out, were also heading to the same place later in the night - bonus. We actually ended up with a fairly sizeable group, think there were about 8 or 9 of us in the end, which is totally bonkers for a site like this.

We spent several hours in here. This place is vast, it's one of the largest underground complexs in London and you really can feel the size of the place when you're down there. Probably one of the best places I've ever has the opportunity to explore.

Explored with Sirjohnnyp, Raptor Jesus, Elliot and others who I forget now.

So here's my selection of photos.

Quite a lot of the complex consists of empty tunnels like these





But there's still a lot of plant in place

Ventilation



This one was still running



Generators









Main power distribution









The MDF (Main Distribution Frame)



Air cooling and dehumidifying plant





Some cool signs





Other bits of equipment just dotted around the place



Before the internet existed this is how businesses connected their network together.



Thanks for Looking :)

Maniac.

 

Lenston

Full member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,124
Reaction score
713
Points
113
Location
Wales
That is the bollocks mate :)

:comp

 
Last edited by a moderator:

-Raz-

Full Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
629
Reaction score
340
Points
63
Looks like you could spend endless hours down there, awesome mate :mrgreen:

 

The_Raw

Forum Admin
Staff member
Forum admin
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
3,980
Reaction score
1,880
Points
113
Epic mate, making me want to have a go at the unthinkable now :D

 

hamtagger

Full member
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
4,366
Reaction score
1,175
Points
113
Location
Lincoln
Pretty bloody cool that place. Nice bit of machinery goodness there and I like the old hand painted sign :)

 

urblex

Oblivion State Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
368
Reaction score
84
Points
28
Location
The Black Lodge
Epic stuff mate, been wanting to see inside one of these places for a while now. Cheers for posting!

 
OP
Maniac

Maniac

Full member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
362
Points
83
Location
Kent
So much easier to photograph with the main lights on :eek:
The light switch is easy to find (once you know where it is of course) ;-)

 

skeleton key

Full Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
5,627
Reaction score
39
Points
0
Quality that and well captured.

It did throw me a bit when I saw the title pop up but then clocked the date :)

Great set and nice work (y)

 
OP
Maniac

Maniac

Full member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
362
Points
83
Location
Kent
Quality that and well captured.It did throw me a bit when I saw the title pop up but then clocked the date :)

Great set and nice work (y)
Its perfectly "doable" still if someone can be bothered to put the effort in. ;-)

 
Top