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Everything posted by Maniac

  1. This was another one of those what the fuck just happened moments in my life. So I was on my way back from (not so) sunny South Wales with @The_Raw @extreme_ironing and @sentinel after visiting @Lenston when I got a call from a very excited @Frosty. "Mail Rail is doable." I know by now if he says something is possible then he's normally right. We had looked at ways into the network on many many occasions, each time being thwarted at the 11th hour by something so this was high on our list and deserved all our attention. Initially like a fool I passed on this trip. Well I was supposed to be at work early the next day and I was, for want of a better word, fucked. An enthusiastic night out drinking the night before had definitely taken it's toll. However on my home to sunny(er) Kent after dropping some people off in London, I realised what an immense idiot I was being and 4 hours later found myself back where I had just been with the people I had just been with (minus @sentinel who was sleeping off his weekend) emerging into the gloomy depths of the abandoned tunnels. It was an insane day. The Post office Railway (or Mail rail as it became known) is for many considered the 'holy grail' of exploration, especially in London. I can understand why, you've got an entire abandoned miniature underground railway complete with stations, rolling stock, miles of tunnel and the powers still on. It's pretty cool. You can walk for miles under London's streets and not really know where you are and it's also not that easy to access. It was constructed in the early part of the 20th century to link together some of the main London sorting offices and alleviate delays that occurred in moving mail around London on the surface. Construction started in 1915, but was suspended just over a year later due to labour shortages. The line was eventually completed and became available for use during 1927 and was in service from February 1928 onward. I could go into the detailed history of the railway and it's design, but I'd be writing for ages and there's plenty online about it if you want to do some research. Needless to say that by the early 2000's the system was in need of major investment to keep it working efficiently and now only had 3 stations out of the original 7 due to relocation of the sorting offices above. In 2003 the railway was officially mothballed, but has more-or-less been totally abandoned. It would take a significant injection of cash to even think about bringing it back into service and there wouldn't be much point as there's now only 2 live sorting offices located on the route, pity. In October 2013 the British postal museum announced plans to open part of the network to the public and indeed this is pressing ahead. In the coming years it will be possible to visit the station and workshops at Mount Pleasant and (apparently) go on a short train ride round one of the loops. I'm actually pleased at least part of the system is being preserved because it is a unique place and deserves it's place in history. I just hope they do a good job and don't make it too gimmicky. What you see here is only a small section of the line from Rathbone place to Mount Pleasant. I needed to get home so I left after we reached Mount Pleasant. Regretted it ever since because try thou we might we've not managed to get back in, but we have got oh so close (oh you have no idea!) So on with some photos. It won't be anything you've not seen before, but here is my take on the Post Office Railway. Rathbone station is now a tad damp because of the building work going on above it. Typical tunnel section twin tracks Before the stations, the twin tracks break into two smaller tunnels and split apart to go either side of the platform. This was actually an abandoned tunnel to the original western district office which was re-located in 1958. The abandoned tunnel was used as a siding to store locomotives and wagons in. Trains in tunnels Just before Mount Pleasant station, you have these massive doors, which I'm lead to believe are for flood protection. Coming up to Mount Pleasant And that's as far as I went. Thanks for Looking! Maniac.
  2. My pictures don't work any more thou so you might as well delete this report.
  3. Blimy, that is impressive. All that glassware just there, untouched. Awesome!
  4. I remember walking round this when it was open to the public! I expect there's a lot of other interesting stuff tucked away in the old studio complex, it's a big old place. I believe there also used to be an access to the Manchester and Salford junction underground canal (later turned into air raid shelters, now abandoned) which runs under the complex.
  5. Bit of very old derp for you
  6. Nice pics there Damo. I've literally this evening finally downloaded my memory cards from this trip, I might even put a report together once I've figured out where to host my photos now I don't have photobucket any more
  7. I have to say it was discussed that weekend was a quality weekend this, just bought some good memories flooding back.
  8. Thought I'd post up photos from my visit here in April this year. This location is very under-valued in my opinion, it is in fantastic condition inside and makes for a really interesting couple of hours explore. The building is pretty big inside, many offices and little back rooms to be found, as well as two projector rooms (Projectors sadly gone) with 3 cinema screens and lots of other random rooms. There's also a fair amount of origenal features and detailing in the building, which is fantastic! The cinema closed its doors in 1999 (I think) when the multiplex odeon opened down the road at lockmeadow. It has laied empty ever since, although someone must maintain it, as it's surprisingly clean and tidy inside, and the ventilation/heating system is still on (as the bingo hall underneath share the same system) Apologies for the quality of these pics, they were on my old camera and were mostly handheld as I didn't posess a tripod back then!! Reception/foyer area Going up . . . Pop corn anyone?? To the Cinema Screens This is Screen 2, Screens 1 and 2 are virtually identical mirror images of each other where the origenal audatorium was split in 2. Motors that powered the screen curtains and shuttering. Screen 3 was the most amazing room with the most fantastic plasterwork in the ceiling. And this random room, who knows what it was used for, but there were lots of period features in it, and a bloody strip light right in the middle spoiling it all! Random rooms everywhere with all sorts of bits in Some projector room equipment, but no projectors And a couple of images from the roof looking over maidstone It was an amazing place to look round, nice and warm and dry for a change as well. Maniac.
  9. You have to remember the museum next door is primarily concerned with the place as it was used in WWII for the code breaking, that's what it focusses on. Most of the equipment that's left in these buildings has no relation to that activity and is much much newer. It's still interesting, but I can understand why it's left there.
  10. Lovely set of photos there, it's deinitely one of the better ones to go see this. Both times I've been here I've never got to the far end, that corridor is just so long!
  11. I cannot believe the power is still on in there! Crazy! As cinemas go it's pretty modern, but if you poke about there's a few older bits and pieces worth a gander in the building. Nice report.
  12. Hi there, Welcome to OS. Feel free to post up some of your old stuff if you'd like, it's always interesting to see. Any questions, please ask away. Maniac.
  13. How did I miss this. Yes it's still here @Shadow although looking very different these days. You going to get out and about again then? It's been a while! A lot has happened in the intervening years. Give us a call sometime, my number's still the same!
  14. This forum does auto size, however it does it to a width of 1024 pixels which means your portrait shots appear very wide and long. It's better to re-size before you upload to long edge 1024 pixels which keeps everything in proportion. Depending what camera you have there may be other options available for len's. I'm amazed the power is still on, it was a damp soggy mess 6 years ago, it must be even worse now!
  15. I know exactly which one this is. Pretty cool that you can get in again, although it looks to have decayed a lot more since my visit. I'm guessing the power isn't on any longer? Could do with resizing the photos and I'm also not sure what Lens you're shooting with, but it's a bit zoomed in and you miss the scale of the place a bit. But fair play for getting in here.
  16. Welcome to OS, I hope you enjoy your time here. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  17. Hi and welcome to OS. If you have any questions, please fee free to ask.
  18. I hope some of those rides get a new home before the vandals get in and destroy it all. Especially that old carousel deserves a new home. Great report @AndyK! bet it was a lot of fun.
  19. Hi welcome to OS. I hope you enjoy your time here. Any questions, please feel free to ask.