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  1. A bit of a revisit to see if anything had changed since my last visit in 2014 Well worth a look if your passing. Some History The Culvert in Ebbw Vale is along the River Ebbw Fawr, a stretch of just over a mile of the river was Culverted in 1937 to accommodate expansion of the steel works. The tunnel was originally a brick lined concrete arch for its entire length. In places it has raised walkways on either side, it is well documented that someone died in this Culvert from touching a live wire that some metal thieves had cut some years ago. Pics Thanks for looking
  2. History Once part of Lancashire, Worsley is a small town in Greater Manchester, England. It is first mentioned in the Great Rolls of the Pipe (a collection of financial records maintained by the English Exchequer) in 1195, when it was known as Werkesleia, meaning, in the language of the Saxons, ‘the cleared place which was cultivated or settled’. Prior to the 18th century, Worsley comprised a small farm-based village and a manor created by William I; however, after the completion of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761, the village began to expand as cotton manufacturers, iron and brick works and coal mining companies were established in the area. Further expansion of the town came following the First and Second World Wars, as large residential estates were introduced, to house the increasing number of workers of nearby factories and evacuees from the south of England. A small section of Worsley Brook was culverted during the Industrial Revolution, because a canal had to be constructed above to provide a more efficient means of transporting coal from Worsley to Salford. The first part of the culvert would have been built sometime in the late 1750s. After the completion of the canal it was considered a major engineering achievement because it was accomplished in a timely fashion, built over the top of obstacles such as Worsley Brook and the River Irwell, and even allowed boats to travel underground into the coal mines themselves. By 1887, however, the mines in the area ceased production. Most of the works and several large warehouses were demolished during the early 1900s and the area was transformed so that new developments could be positioned on the land. As part of this redevelopment a larger 400 metre section of Worsley Brook was culverted, to allow for building over the top. Today, Worsley Culvert is undergoing major restoration work to address various structural problems. It was reported that the deteriorating state of the brickwork posed risks to 260 local properties because there was a risk of it collapsing and causing subsequent flooding. The plans to stabilise the structure involve lining it with thirty-six four-tonne concrete sections. According to the Environment Agency, a number of pumps have been installed to help drain and divert the brook while the work takes place. Our Version of Events After a rough night sleeping beneath a tarp, we were pretty keen to get moving and do some exploring. To avoid sleeping in two cramped cars (there were eight of us after all), which were each filled with a lot of Tesco sandwich packaging, pigeon shit, a little bit of asbestos and enough gear to get us through a nuclear war, four of us had decided to kip outside beneath the stars. We’d found a nice little spot in some sort of country park by a small duck pond, and it was only really as we were setting up that we started to noticed that the floor was turning white with frost. Still, we decided to ignore it, and cracked on with setting up our campsite for the evening. We figured that we’d just each wear three or four jackets and hoodies and light a few candles for warmth. By the morning, though, none of us could feel our arms and legs anymore. The last bit of warmth in our bodies was centred around the torso area. Getting up was the worst bit, as we left behind the little warmth there was inside our sleeping bags. Putting the boots back on felt like stepping into blocks of ice. The morning didn’t get any better as we noticed that there was a layer of ice covering the tarp, and that the pond behind us had completely frozen over. What is more, we’d left a large half-eaten cake outside, thinking it would be perfectly fine throughout the night for us to enjoy at breakfast, but it was gone! All that remained were several fox footprints (or so we guessed) in the frost. It took a wee while to thaw out a bit before we could pack everything up, so our start to the day was a little delayed. Nevertheless, once we were back inside the cars, with the heaters running at full blast, we were ready for some more exploring. First on the list was an old culvert… You can tell this was a well-planned winter trip. Having said that, there was some intelligent thinking behind this decision to don the waders in December. Prior to embarking on our trip to Liverpool, we’d stumbled across a few old reports on a fantastic looking culvert known as ‘Old Worsley’. Judging by the photographs we found, it was short but filled with all sorts of old brick and stonework. The problem, though, was that we’d read about redevelopment work being scheduled between 2016 and 2017. So, since we were passing through Manchester on our way to Liverpool, we figured it would be nice to take a quick look. We hoped, with a little bit of luck on our side, that the work crew might not have ruined it too much just yet. We arrived at the entrance of the culvert, which is situated at the side of a nice residential estate, just as everyone else seemed to be waking up. What this means is that we looked like a right bunch of space cadets as we wadered up in middle of the street. One guy who was walking his small sausage dog, which made him look ever so slightly like a camp paedophile, stared at us with an angered expression on his face. He even doubled back on himself to walk past us another couple of times, and the entire time he kept his beady little eyes on us. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to walk up to the brook, so we were soon out of sight. You know what they say, out of sight out of mind. Inside, we were instantly a bit disappointed because the redevelopment work seemed to be in full swing. The first section is now almost completely reinforced with concrete. The next part, where there is an arched entranceway and what should have been a rugged boxed off section inside, didn’t look too good either; now, a concrete shell has been erected inside it. The work looked very recent too, since some of the cement was still a bit damp, which was unfortunate indeed. Things looked a lot more promising, however, once we reached the end of this fresh Soviet-inspired culvert (someone ought to stamp a little hammer and sickle in the cement as the company logo really). We had reached a brick chamber with an arched brick tunnel leading off to the right. The first steps into the chamber were tentative. The water looked deep and cold. We weren’t wrong. As we waded a few steps forwards towards the arched tunnel, the water instantly became thigh deep (and by that we mean upper thigh). But, ignoring the ball tingling chill, we carried on; the tunnel ahead was interesting and, as far as we could see, there was much more to see further ahead. It was at this point that Ford Mayhem started to find the explore a lot less entertaining mind, as he had discovered a hole in his waders. The main thought whirling around his head at the time was something along the lines of “for fucks sake, why is it getting deeper?! Man, I’m going to have to hold my torch and snap shut the hole on my waders with my hand. Here goes… Fuck, fuck! It’s cold! Jesus, my hand is cold”. Things got even more tricky towards the middle part of the arched tunnel too, as it dips a little bit, so we were forced to lean further into the water. At this point, it was safe to say that most of us were within inches of breaching point as the water was chest deep. For poor Mayhem, the situation was even worse because the key thought swirling around his head now was, “Wait. Why am I getting wet down my right leg? I thought I was holding it shut?... Oh shit. I have a hole on the rear side as well. FUCK!”. Inside the next section the ceiling was considerably higher, so we could stand up straight again. We were still waist deep in the water though, and by this point our legs were starting to go a little numb. It was so cold in there that there was an icy mist hovering over the water. It was a bit like walking into a steamy sauna, but without the steam and heat. At least we didn’t have to worry about our balls being cold anymore mind, since they’d moved right up into our stomachs to hibernate. For reasons unknown even to ourselves, we continued on. Once again the water level started to get deeper and deeper. It was at this point, two of the Boyz bailed after having stopped for several minutes to discuss how much of a shit time they were having. They had almost reached the breaching point of their waders and couldn’t continue forward any longer as it was still getting deeper. Mayhem was left standing in waist deep water the whole time, trying to pinch shut two holes while holding his torch. What was running through his mind at this point was a slightly desperate “why won’t the others hurry the fuck along? I’m freezing my tits off here!” After a bit more debating, the rest of us made the decision to carry on and see how far we could get. Two metres later, though, and almost all of the other Boyz had decided to bail. The water was millimetres away from pouring inside the waders at this stage. So, now, there were only two happy-ish WildBoyz willing to carry on, all for the sake of producing a swish new report at the end of it. Soul led the way, followed by Mayhem. For some reason, Soul’s waders seemed to go right up to his nipples and beyond. He might as well have been wearing a dry suit, so he was pretty comfortable throughout this entire endeavour. As for Mayhem, he battled on, trying to pinch his waders with one hand while carrying a torch and now a tripod and camera in the other. The rest of the group had handed it to him as they weren’t going any further. Somehow, he was doing well for a few more metres or so, until, all of a sudden, another icy trickle could be felt down the inside of his right leg. The water was so cold he’d lost all feeling in his fingers, and they were no longer capable of gripping anymore. The bitter water, which might as well have been a murky flavoured Slush Puppy, quickly started to fill up his waders. A sequence of the foulest words known to mankind quickly filled the still silence of the tunnel, followed by the cruel laughter of five others. Cold and completely wet, Mayhem decided that he might as well continue and finish off the explore. Motivated by the knowledge that he had a dry flannel back in the car, he cracked on like a proper legend. Meanwhile, everyone else headed straight for the Barton Arms, a pub that’s not too far from the entrance of ‘Old Worsley’, for a quick shandy. By the time Soul and Mayhem got to the pub, looking a lot like two washed up submariners, the rest of the Boyz had knocked back a good few drinks and a few steak and ale pies. It has to be said that sitting in the pub, close to a roaring fire, after being permanently cold for the past 12 hours or so felt pretty damn amazing. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do, Rizla Rider, Box and Soul. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22:
  3. History Faverdale is a northern suburb of Darlington in County Durham, and is well known for being the site of a large industrial estate. Although the area was rural until the twentieth century, when a large wagon works was established in the 1920s, there is evidence of prehistoric, iron age and medieval activity at Faverdale. Nevertheless, as hinted above, the area owes its expansion in the interwar period to the wagon works as wooden freight wagons were in high demand for the North Eastern Railway (NER) company. The first residential housing estate, consisting of two hundred homes, was built to the west of the growing industrial estate, to house the workforce located there. As for the culvert, there is evidence from 1939 of a bridge having been constructed of stone and brick at its current location, which was part of the Darlington to Barnard Castle Railway Line (LNER). The bridge allowed passenger and goods trains to pass over West Beck, a small stream that eventually flows into the River Skerne. The same evidence also points to the fact that Faverdale Black Path, a track running adjacent to the train line, existed around the same time as the bridge. Although the Darlington to Barnard Castle Line stopped operating in 1964, as part of the Breeching cuts (a largescale restructuring of the railways in Great Britain) which saw to it that the track was lifted almost immediately afterwards, Black Path still exists today. By the time it came to the removal of the railway, much of the original surrounding industrial estate had already been demolished, as it had slowly begun to shift to its current location following newer and larger developments. The Faverdale Wagon Works was one of those casualties, as the factory closed in 1963 with 366 jobs lost; steel framed and bodied wagons became more popular and, subsequently, left little place for wooden bodied wagons. The nearby residential area, however, continued to expand. It is this expansion that called for a larger culverted section of West Beck, to allow more houses to be built over the top. The exact date of this construction is unknown, but based on its concrete box-like design it is likely to have been sometime the late 1960s/early 1970s. Modern day culverts tend to be circular to avoid becoming clogged with sediment and debris, especially during periods of heavy rainfall. Our Version of Events Recently, we’ve been working our way through a book. It’s all about experiences underground inside the ‘unknown worlds of the urban subterrane’. In that book, there are several sections (it’s essentially a collection of short stories) that talk about things such as descending into ‘dark and winding tentacles’ which ‘extend far into the subconscious’, and the allure of mystery and curiosity which has the power to encapsulate our imaginations. Others talk about the palimpsest nature of underground places, and how they allow us, if we look close enough, to peel back the layers of history. And then there’s the stuff on the dead and ghosts of the past. Apparently, the metaphoric juxtaposition between the warm surface and the dark underworld is capable of inciting powerful feelings that are steeped in questions about our mortality. It does get a bit weird in places, though, as one guy gets onto the topic of ‘infrastructural fetishism’, where he discusses being awash with satisfaction as a result of experiencing vibrational tremors of machines and brake dust. Anyway, after reading this book we found ourselves in the mood to find something underground to explore. As it would turn out, we had a nice culvert we’d been meaning to explore ready for the picking. Our aim was to go out and see if there was any truth in the book’s tales. So, excited by the prospect that we might find ourselves, or a skeleton, deep in the underworld, we wasted no time in gathering our equipment and getting to the car. Access was a little tricky to begin with, as we had to navigate our way down an overgrown beck. There were brambles and other spikey plants everywhere, so we took our time to prevent the waders from suffering several punctures. At one point we debated whether we should have brought along a machete, as a wall of barbed branches prevented us from moving any further downstream. Perhaps these were the ‘winding tentacles’ in the dark that one of the writers had been on about? It was night-time after all. Very confused about their meaning, and its effect on our subconscious, we continued on by moving the tentacles with our bare hands. The only thing going through my subconscious was panic about getting a puncture, and the pain of being prickled on every finger. Sometime later, we found ourselves stood before what we assumed was the former railway bridge, or at least what looked like it had been a part of it. We stared into the abyss ahead, preparing ourselves for the encounter that was about to ensue. We were going to step inside and look for the peeling layers of history. Apparently, the whole experience is not unlike an onion, where layer after layer reveals more and more. One by one we stepped inside the great arched structure, taking care not to disturb the dangling cobwebs too much. After taking several steps forward we all stopped and took a moment to properly take in the full sense of the underworld. I stared long and hard at the wall in front of me. But, after two and a half long minutes, nothing happened. I couldn’t quite fathom how we were supposed to see into all the so-called layers the book had described, especially when the bricks were caked in years of shit and dirt. What about the cobwebs for a start? How are you meant to see past those? Were we supposed to scrub a bit off? We didn’t have time for that, and nor did we have a bucket and sponge with us, so we were forced to abandon our search for the secret layers of history. We pressed on, a little disappointed with our lack of success. It was OK, though, because we had a few more things to try out. Next, we wanted to try and get a feel for the dark, ghostly, underworld, to see if we could be at one with mortality and all that other morbid shit. Further down the tunnel, in a section that was less stoopy than the rest of the tunnel, we decided that the best way to feel a sense of the proper underworld would be to turn our torches off. Surely, if we stood in the dark and listened for it for a wee bit, we’d sense something. So, that’s exactly what we did. One by one we turned off our torches. A moment later darkness shrouded us, and it was as if we’d entered into the arcane shadows of a nun’s knickers. Its veil closed tightly around us and an eerie silence followed. We stood motionless for a while, just listening. Listening hard for any sign of the darkness – the very void that is the underworld. Nothing. Only the dull ache of my back, as it screamed at me for being in a place too small to be comfortable. Until, suddenly, a low fffffffffffffff sound rose from the depths, almost as if someone was blowing on hot soup. One of the lads mumbled something of an apology, and told us it would probably be best if we evacuated this section of the tunnel. These were wise words indeed, for we’d stumbled across the darkest thing possible to find in the underworld. It was the incarnation of death itself: the raw, sticky, stench of cabbage. For a brief moment, as the whiff floated gently past the tips of my nostrils, I felt a true sense of what it’s like to be mortal. It hadn’t been what we were expecting, but we continued feeling as though we’d gained a real insight into our mortality. There was only one thing left to do now, and that was to develop a fetish for infrastructure. This was a tricky one. Looking around, one of the lads pointed out a small portal in the side of the wall, enclosed by a ‘hydraulic’ (or so it said on the side) metal cover. “Perhaps if two of us lift the flap, and you pop something in and have a good jiggle around, we’ll understand what all this fetishism is all about”, one of the lads suggested. We thought about it for a moment, and it seemed to make sense, in a weird sort of way. So, as two of us set about lifting the flap, the third among us set about finding a long rod which he could poke into the hole and have a jiggle. He found a stick that was protruding slightly from the water and prodding uncomfortably into his waders, and decided that it would have to do. Getting down into a bit of a crouched position in front of the portal, the third among us signalled to the others to lift. As they did, he was quick to insert his stick. A bit of back and forth pump action was required to clear much of the old stagnant debris, but once he was through he was able to have a good jiggle, as we’d discussed. And then he stopped. There was a pause, as everyone waited for something to happen. Perhaps an alluring drain aroma would overcome us, or we would suddenly feel at one with the drain having been so intimate with it. There was nothing for the next few moments, until the slightest trace of something sent prickles down my spine. The smell of egg. All of a sudden I was losing the feeling in my hands, my arms, my face, until it finally consumed my lungs. A great cloud of green gas erupted from the pipe, choking us all. “Fuck man”, someone yelled amid spluttering and coughing, “did you poke it in the right hole?” The lads holding the flap quickly dropped it. Suddenly realising that we’d got this fetishism idea all wrong, we decided to escape as quickly as possible. Unlike the guy in the book we’d read, we certainly weren’t awash with feelings of satisfaction. No, no. We were awash with the putrid smell of shitty egg! To conclude, then, and to offer our own contribution to the book. Inside this culvert beneath Darlington, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to peel back the history of the place, because there are too many cobwebs. You will get a sense of your own mortality under certain circumstances, but it will require a strong curry the night before. It’s unlikely that people with a fetish for infrastructure will get off on the architecture here, unless egg is your thing. And finally, the ‘winding tentacles’ are a load of bullshit; what they surely mean are spikey fucking brambles, and there’s nothing spectacular about those. As for the allure of mystery and all that, this explore is a culvert, so you should expect that you’ll probably reach the other, unspectacular, end at some point along the way. Unless, of course, there’s a fuck off grill at the other end – and then, the only mystery will be how long it’s going to take you to walk all the way back. Explored with Meek-Kune-Do. Faverdale back in the 1930s (Black Path is up on the top left hand side of the image, beneath the railway line) Darlington to Barnard Castle Line The Wagon Works 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17:
  4. How to post a report using Flickr Flickr seems to change every time the wind changes direction so here's a quick guide on how to use it to post a report... Step 1 - Explore and take pictures Step 2 - Upload your chosen pictures to Flickr like this.. Step 3 - Once your images are successfully uploaded to flickr choose a category for the location that you have visited... Step 4 - Then "Start New Topic".. You will then see this screen... Step 5 - Now you are ready to add the image "links", known as "BBcodes", which allow your images to display correctly on forums.. Step 6 - Then click "select" followed by "view on photo page".. Now select "Share" shown below.. Step 7-13 - You will then see this screen... Just repeat those steps for each image until you're happy with your report and click "submit topic"! You can edit your report for 24 hours after posting to correct errors. If you notice a mistake outside of this window contact a moderator and they will happily rectify the problem for you
  5. Explored with Lost Explorer History Winding through the middle of Loughborough is Woodbrook. Since 1870, Woodbrook has mainly been below ground. This was following a Cholera outbreak in 1848. This section of the brook starts after Bridge Street and eventually flows beneath the canal. This is more a section of culverts rather than a single culvert. The majority of which is roughly 5ft high. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) This is flows below the canal, looking at google earth and the OS it continues the other side of the canal. (10) Cheers for Looking
  6. History “If you hear water coming, grab a chain and hope for the best†– Punk. After the Second World War, like most other major towns and cities across Britain, Leicester was widely redeveloped; these were partly reconstruction efforts, alongside the much wider movement to improve the country as a whole. As part of the rehousing initiative, many new affordable homes were built and the road systems in and around the city were improved. At the time, Thurmaston, where the culvert is located, was a small village located just outside Leicester. However, as the city has expanded radically, it is now considered to be an urban suburb area. By the late 1950s a new ring road was proposed for the Thurmaston area, to ease traffic congestion. But, during construction it was discovered that the area was at a high risk of being flooded. The area in the photograph displayed above, at the bottom of Melton Road, was often referred to as ‘the Leicester Lagoon’ or a Venetian suburb. Subsequently, a storm relief culvert was created beneath the new road, to take excess water from Melton Brook to the River Soar in Watermead Park. The culvert is based on a simple concrete design, because it had to be positioned in haste to avoid delays in the construction of the road. The entire tunnel runs for about 1.2 miles and had a diameter of approximately 2.2 metres. Despite the countermeasures against flooding back in the 50s, the area has still not fully escape the threat since a water main burst back in December 2012 and consequently a number of houses were affected. Our Version of Events We’d only been in Leicester a few hours and, after having been shown ‘The Golden Mile’, with its endless rows of jewellery shops and takeaways, we decided that it would be safer underground. Apparently there’s as much gold there as Fort Knox (I’m exaggerating, but there is an awful lot of gold lying around). Anyway, it’s an incredibly dodgy looking area with some even dodgier looking folk wandering around. It seems like the sort of place you can climb into a construction site, up a lamppost perhaps, or into an abandoned building and no one bats an eyelid; and we did indeed do all of these things to test this theory. Finding our way to the culvert wasn’t particularly difficult, and we didn’t have far to walk to reach the entrance; which is always a good thing whist rocking the waders. The actual entry was less alluring, however, since we had to navigate our way through a few nettles and brambles to reach the brook itself. Like warriors in waders (and wellies) though, we made it. Thereafter it was easy going, since all we had to do was follow the shallow brook up to the tunnel entrance. The evening that ensued was an entertaining one, as we tried a few different light art techniques we’ve never really bothered with before. Although, it wasn’t until afterwards that we realised how long this culvert actually is; all I can say is that it was an exceptionally long walk back to the car. It was the early hours of the morning when we finally arrived back at the UrbexLodge, ready for a 15 inch pizza and a bevvy or two. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Soul and KM_Punk. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14:
  7. History The River Sherbourne, whose name is said to have stemmed from the term ‘Scir Burna’ (meaning clear stream) in the Medieval Ages, flows through the centre of Coventry, England. Essentially, Coventry originated owing to its close proximity to the river, and it depended heavily on it for its continued survival; it was a vital source of food and, of course, water. Over the years a number of small villages and hamlets subsequently merged as industry grew. The river itself begins in the fields around Hawkes End, in the Parish of Allesley. From there it flows through Spoon End, and then directly into the city of Coventry. Although the river was open and visible before the Second World War, Coventry had to be rebuilt following the extensive damaged caused by the Luftwaffe between 1940 and 1941. The reconstruction of the city involved building 4,000 new residential homes and a new cathedral; in order to do this a large stretch of the River Sherbourne had to be culverted, to provide additional building space above ground. The culverting of the river, which runs for approximately 1.25 miles, was finally completed in the 1960s. More recently, however, plans to reopen the River Sherbourne have been revealed, in efforts to make the city appear more attractive: for some reason, unbeknown to myself, it would appear that there’s a widespread rumour that Coventry is a shithole and in desperate need of a facelift. Our Version of Events This was the first explore with a new crowd of people, and my first time in Coventry. In my opinion, it’s really not as bad as everyone makes out; the ice cream, for example, is apparently quite tasty. But, having said that, I guess I’ve seen more of Coventry’s underworld than its surface, so my opinion might not be the greatest to go by. Anyway, with that aside, we arrived in Coventry despite having got lost several times, and I managed to endure the wee domestic situation going on in the front of the car. Access was interesting without waders, and particularly brambly, but we cracked on and, after a bit of walking, we finally reached the entrance to the culvert. For the most part, the entire tunnel is long, and some might say rather samey; however, there are a few interesting features which stand out – especially when you reached the bricked sections. There are also a number of other pipes and tunnels leading into the culvert which, all in all, make the systems very large indeed. Explored with KM_Punk, Lost Explorer, Miss Mayhem, The Shepshed Diamondback and Stranton. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23:
  8. History “The area used to flood quite regularly until the corporation carried out work to improve the drainage system. The water used to come up through the drains after heavy rainfall as there was nowhere else for it to goâ€. Markeaton Brook, which runs through the centre of Derby, has been the cause of many problems since the medieval ages. As early as 1610 it is recorded that the brook spilled over its banks, flooding a nearby gaol which killed three prisoners because the cells were located beneath street level. Floods continued to torment those living in Derby throughout the years, and St. Werburgh’s church is rumoured to have faced extensive damage in both the 18th and 19th centuries. A Great Flood of 1740 was perhaps the worst of all, however, since it caused great damage to many homes, as many rooms which were positioned on the ground floor were entirely submerged. A significant amount of cattle was also swept away from nearby pastures during this disaster. More recently, in the early 1930s, Derby endured two more major floods which remain famous to this day since they each caused some substantial damage and disruption to the centre of the town. The first occurred in September, 1931, after many days of heavy rain. The full effect of the flooding led to many residents who lived alongside the Markeaton Brook being trapped inside their homes. Many shops were also damaged. Additionally, several allotments were ruined and what would have been the harvest was uprooted and swept through the main streets. The second flood hit the area in May, 1932; this was also known as the Great Flood of Derby. The damage to buildings throughout Derby was catastrophic. Alongside the effects of Markeaton Brook, it is thought that excessive rains from the hills around Kedleston and Mickleover also caused what was described as “an avalanche of water†to cascade throughout the town since it is located at the base of the neighbouring high ground. While a large culvert did exist, and had done for ninety years or so, the sheer volume of water was too great. By ten o’clock on May 22nd water had already breached the streets in low lying parts of Derby, to the extent that shops in the Cornmarket, St. James’s Street and St. Peter’s street were submerged half-way up to the windows. Describing the scene, one resident suggested that “the centre of town presented the appearance of a lake and the sight was unforgettableâ€. In the aftermath of the 1932 Great flood, the Borough council launched an investigation to understand why the area was hit so badly. In response to the research that was carried out, two flood relief culverts were constructed. Further improvements were also implemented on Derby’s sewage system. The relief tunnels were officially opened in 1938, with the first draining excess flows from the Markeaton Brook and the second taking surplus water from Bramble Brook. Each brook has its own inlet spillway along with a weir that overflows during periods of high flows, and once inside the system the flows are taken eastwards for 2.2km, beneath the suburbs of Derby, to an outfall in Darley Park which links to the River Derwent. It is estimated, especially during the winter months, that the catchment can generate a flow of 50 cubic metres per second within thirteen hours of heavy rainfall. Since they were originally constructed, the culvert has been improved and upgraded to cope with expected deteriorated that has occurred over the years. Our Version of Events With the alarm set at 5.30am, we decided that we would aim to get an early night after a BBQ which was organised by KM_Punk. But, once the whisky came out, it was clear that the original plan wasn’t going to happen. After many burgers, sausages, a couple of cheese slices and a philosophical conversation, we made it to bed around 3.30am; those of us who didn’t pass out at least. Two hours later, with blurry vision and the taste of whisky still in our mouths, we rose – albeit very slowly – at 5.30. After a quick coffee though, we managed to grab our cameras and tripods, and a bucket for The Shepshed Diamondback, before we made our way to the car. Somehow we managed to endure the early morning ‘domestic’ which exploded in the back by cranking up the volume of some good old heavy metal tunes, and, as it turned out, the bucket wasn’t needed after all; so we could say that, in spite of the late night shenanigans which ended only a few hours earlier, the plan was coming together quite well. We arrived at our destination in good time and it wasn’t long before we were climbing our way into Markeaton Interceptor. Due respect to The Shepshed Diamondback who managed to get this far whilst in such a state, but he wasn’t quite so lucky once inside the overflow culvert. Despite his tentative steps, the slimy slope claimed its first victim and he went down harder than a sack of potatoes while yelling something about saving his camera. Ultimately, all I heard was a very loud BOOM echo throughout the tunnel. The slippery tunnel would later claim more victims, but somewhat ironically, only those who were stone sober! (The Stranton Express for instance who, all of a sudden, sounded like a derailed train). On the whole, however, despite the slick surface in certain areas, the Markeaton Interceptor is a fantastic example of late Victorian architecture and the overflow culvert stands, rather proudly, as an example of something that was built to last. It is only while you are stood inside the tunnel that you can really comprehend the sheer size of the place, and the effort that must have gone into building such a structure. Explored with KM_Punk, ACID-REFLUX, The (Still Pissed) Shepshed Diamondback, Miss Mayhem and Stranton. The 1932 Flood. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13:
  9. My visit Got a tip off from a fellow 28DL forum member Northern Ninja, (unsure if they are on OS) and a lot of information regarding this little local explore right on my doorstep from him, so big thanks to him for that. Off I went to order some waders as at the end it was indeed waist deep as it flows in to a local fishing lake, They arrived and must say I was a bit dubious at first as to whether they would really keep water out but they actually really worked well, need to use them some more! Off I plodded down to the culvert, all kitted up in my waders, access is a doddle, I was in, pitch black inside for about 4 miles, so I had plenty of battery power for the torch, my £10 cree effort did "ok" but now I realise its time to grab a P7.2 and I used to laugh at the torch geeks Paul and Steve, never again! I was taking my time this first visit, I hadn't a clue what I was stepping into and really first venture into underground and culverts, would have been nice to see a bit more history, but the town is a relatively new town so a lot of concrete, but was still a blooming good explore, there was a few side tunnels that definitely need exploring and there was one part where there was a vertical pipe pouring out water and a very powerful side pipe, never realised just how powerful water could be gushing out at an pretty decent rate out some of these outlets. I was trying to get to the end the first time I visited, but I had been in there for a good few hours, mucking around trying to get half decent shots in complete darkness and with a pretty inadequate torch really for the job in hand, I decided to turn back because I didn't really want to pop up any drain covers to get out, wasn't sure where I was going to end up, so I walked back against the flow of the water, bloody good exercise I tell you that! I visited a second time and as had some half decent shots of most of the culvert, decided to power on walk straight to the end, and that's what I did, some more nice bits, and tunnels shapes, certainly more interesting than the square concrete culvert, saw light, the end was in sight, carried on walking there was a lot of silt or sand or whatever it might be under my feet, certainly got a sinking feeling, used my tripod to see just how deep things really were, as I was a bit concerned about the camera bag going under, luckily moving along at the end I felt concrete bottom, was waist deep and I am six foot, so I wouldn't recommend this for short arses at the end, the first half is fine in wellies (just about dependant on rainfall) Got to the end, as was greeted by the quacking of some ducks in the fishing lake peering at me through the locked gate, and must have wondered what the hell I was doing there Have to say where the water joined that lake I was standing still for a bit taking some photographs, and my word the water was cold, had to get moving again, wasit high in cold water, I thought that wasn't such a good idea, turned around and walked back, once back fully inside the culvert was a nice feeling, when hitting that relatively warm water again, but boy its not a short culvert and it certainly builds the muscles up on the legs. It was a cracking explore, great it was on my local doorstep, and a bit shout out to Northern Ninja for the heads up! Much appreciated mate and this now I think will be more new playground, might have to check out some of the side tunnels I think. Enough waffling and hope you enjoy the photographs, best I could do with a 8 year old camera and a £10 torch, but considering it was pitch black I don't think they are a bad effort Thanks for looking and I think I really have the underground bug now!
  10. The Culvert in Ebbw Vale is along the River Ebbw Fawr, a stretch of just over a mile of the river was culverted in 1937 to accommodate expansion of the steel works. The tunnel was originally a brick lined concrete arch for its entire length. In places it has raised walkways on either side, it is well documented that someone died in this Culvert from touching a live wire that some metal theives had cut some years ago. Pics Thanks for looking
  11. I can't find much information on these tunnels unfortunately, except a suggestion that they were built in the 1800s. The river is a winterbourne, so it is dry through the summer months and available to explore. This was my first underground explore, also my first solo explore. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, but the sound of approaching footsteps had me hurrying to get out...They weren't echoing footsteps either, as I wasn't moving at the time Thanks for looking, hope you enjoyed
  12. visited with alanmowbs82 and captain_kid this culvert runs for about a mile and half, it has three different build techniques, prefab concrete rings, round victorian and egg shaped, I'm assuming that the downstream half of the culvert was changed from victorian brick to the concrete to accept an overflow pit from the main sewer (pic 4&5), although the floor into the overflow chamber wasn't particularly slippery so i'm assuming it doesn't see that much use 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. cheers for looking
  13. Whilst chasing up a couple of leads i thought it would be rude not to stop and have a look at a couple of the many culverts this part of the world has to offer, plus it's been a good while since i did anything underground. With the recent rain there was quite a flow in parts, that plus the slippy floor meant an early bath, but minus the skin on my knuckles and with a fcuked ankle i plodded on....literally, and to my joy found it was a bit of an ankle breaker in parts. This culvert carried the Alden brook under Helmshore in Lancashire approx 500m and is a really nice old stone construction typical of this area with a few little modern touches thrown in, decent height to so no stooping which was nice. Upon entering the Infall you are greeted with approx 6ft stone archwork A little further brings you to a modern short corrugated prefab section. Then a section with reinforced arches. This then opens into stone and a couple of small weirs. There's a few twists and turns plus a few unexpected deep bits..... Before straightening out and leading to the outfall.... I didn't bother with the other section i was going to look at, this was enough hobbling for the day, i'll have to return at some point to check out some more around here. Cheers for looking.
  14. For the first time in a long while I was able to take my break in Manchester and as I was just on top of it I nipped down to Big Humpty and the Medlock Culvert. Big Humpty is a victorian brick culvert and to be honest that's pretty much all there is to it, the culvert section is relatively short but it's worth going through if you're heading to the Medlock culvert. Big Humpty Medlock Culvert
  15. It's been a scorcher of a day with temperatures reaching 30 C I was on my way back for a job in Luton and a combination of the heat and my sweat had my balls sticking in my inside leg, I needed to head underground where I could be cool for half an hour. I've been in the major drains around derpy all ready this year so decided to head down this one The culvert is mainly a corrugated construction which can't be very thick as I got a phone call half way in I believe the culvert was first explored by TheNewMendoza
  16. Okay!! As culverts go, it lame as shite, but its my first one and lets face it they can only get better!!! I didn't appreciate just how tricky it was to photograph in there, cold water up to my nuts, the fear of my camera going in and trying to walk on slippey crap and staying upright. The culvert goes pretty much underneath the beautiful church at Waltham Abbey
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