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  1. Another local one that I've been wanting to do for ages, but never got round to it until now. It's filled full of asbestos, so I made sure to bring my good PP3 mask, but even that wasn't enough probably. History During World War 2, the Southern Railway took over the Deepdene Hotel near Dorking in Surrey for its wartime emergency headquarters. In the grounds they excavated an underground control centre taking advantage of a network of existing natural caves that had been acknowledged 300 years before in the diaries of John Evelyn. Because of the natural protection afforded by the location of the caves they were eminently suitable for the development of a bunker to house both the headquarters' telephone exchange and Traffic Control who also had their underground control centre there with underground divisional controls at Woking (South West Division), Southampton (Western Division), Orpington (South Eastern Division) and Redhill (Central Division) The Explore I got a message in the morning saying it's doable and to go soon. So a few hours later I was there and inside. I'd been meaning to do this one for a long time now, especially as its pretty local, so now was a good a time as any. It's actually not a very large bunker, but its nice for its modest size. The infamous 100 steps lived up to its reputation as terrifying. I only went up a few steps, but that's enough. I actually bumped into another explorer here who got the fright of his life as I turned the corner and shown my light at him in a moment of confusion and panic. Turned out to be someone else who got the memo and took a trip down to see it from a little further afield. A nice little bunker, rich full of history. Photos
  2. heavy HDR Control by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Control by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Control by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr
  3. Control Room A Visited with member Chaos and a gentleman known as Evilgenius. Battersea had been in the back of our minds for some time with varying stories of success and epic fails with the over zealous secca. Just before the tourist boom we thought we'd have a crack. This time we had one location on our minds within the menacing confines of Battersea, Control Room A. Notoriously difficult to access we made it our mission of the afternoon to get in there and get it done. History Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station was built in two stages. Battersea A was finished in1933, with Battersea B coming on line in 1953. The two stations were built to an identical / mirrored design, providing the well known four-chimney layout. At it’s peak in 1953 it produced around 509MW making it the third largest in the UK at the time. This was a fifth of London’s electricity, with 28 other London stations producing the rest. By the 1970s the station's output was falling. This, coupled with increased operating costs, such as flue gas cleaning, led to Battersea's demise. On 17 March 1975, the A Station was closed after being in operation for 42 years. By this time the A Station was co-firing oil and its generating capacity had reduced to 228 MW. Three years after the closure of the A Station, rumours began to circulate that the B Station would soon follow. A campaign was then launched to try to save the building as part of the national heritage. As a result the station was declared a heritage site in 1980, when the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, awarded the building Grade II listed status. (This was upgraded to Grade II* listed in 2007.) On 31 October 1983 production of electricity at Station B also ended, after nearly 30 years of operation. By then the B Station's generating capacity had fallen to 146 MW. The closure of the two stations was put down largely to the generating equipment becoming out-dated, and the preferred choice of fuel for electricity generation shifting from coal toward oil, gas and nuclear power. Since the station's closure the site has remained largely unused, with numerous failed redevelopment plans from successive site owners. In July 2012, the power station was sold to a consortium led by Malaysia’s SP Setia for £400 million. In January 2013 the first residential apartments went on sale. (I’m told they have now all been sold “off planâ€Â) An initial £100 million will go towards rebuilding the four chimneys and repairs to the brick-work and windows. Buro Happold, which has extensive knowledge of the site, is to advise on structural repairs for the property development, which will be managed by Turner & Townsend. The Battersea Power Station Development Company will now finalise plans for the interior of the building, for which it has recruited Wilkinson Eyre. The Explore We decided on a date and time and set off for London, we arrived with the sun still shining and parked up and made our way to our entry point, after a bit of high jump and some CCTV dodging athletics across no mans land that Team GB would be proud of we made it to A side. After a few glugs of water and quick wipe of sweat we moved off deeper inside. There was a hi vis jacket milling about in the distance that stopped us in our tracks, we had eyes on and realised it wasn't a threat so cracked on, we had a good look around and with a bit of a ninja's wet dream we made it to the correct level. Another two high vis vests were spotted so we laid low observing until they moved away (not entirely sure who they were, didn't look like your average secca...maybe contractors). We had a mooch about slogging through a blanket of pigeon shit, dead pigeons, nests and eggs and found an opening. With a push and squeeze holding our breaths from the stench we made it through and found what we were looking for. The door to Control Room A was open and inviting us in, we walked in to the mammoth art deco style room, it was as if the 1920's had just stopped with everyone disappearing leaving only the the control room lost in time. We made good use of the time and nice bit of natural sunlight we had coming through the windows and waisted no time capturing this incredible location. The light was starting to waiver so we decided to exit before we ended up scaling down the building in the dark which wasn't favourable considering the route we took in. Lovely explore and nice to have experienced this bit of history. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Thanks for looking
  4. Thurleigh was built for RAF Bomber Command in 1941 by W & C French Ltd in 1941. On 7th September 1942 the 306th Group started to arrive; with some of their B17s flying in the following week. From October 1942, the 306th Group mounted a long and arduous offensive suffering many losses. The Group finally completed their long war on 19th April 1945 which was their 342nd mission; the second highest for any B17 Group. During its time at Thurleigh over 9,600 sorties had been flown with the loss of 171 aircraft in action and over 22,500 tons of bombs were dropped. In 1946 construction work began on the airfield to turn the site into what became know as the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford. The airfield was finally closed in 1997. This is the control tower
  5. This place has intrigued me since I saw it about 4 or 5 years ago, but I had no idea it was derelict until about a year ago - from a distance it looks like it's still in use as it's not in that bad shape. I'm not sure if this was a control tower of some sort, or merely an observation platform. It's next to folkestone harbour, and yellow pages dating would put it's closure at around 2003/4. Unfortunitely I didn't get many photos - I was somewhat limited photography wise as we couldn't use torches being surrounded by glass in direct line of sight of the the harbour entrance, but I thought I'd stick them up anyway. We did venture into the lower levels of the tower, but I couldn't photograph anything down there - it was too dark - there wasn't much left to see anyway, kitchen, staff room and offices. This is what it looks like on the outside This is what it looks like at the top on the inside And the view out of a couple of the very dirty windows at the top Apologies for the photos, but I thought it was interesting enough to warrant a post. Maniac.