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  1. A piece of British WW2 History hidden under a hillside. HMS Forward, a maritime intelligence centre, was key to monitoring the English channel and and was heavily involved in D-Day. Although it's fallen into dereliction, attempts to restore and maintain it have been carried out by 'Friends of HMS Forward'. History HMS Forward was the Royal Naval HQ, setup up on the 20th of June 1940 in the Guinness Trust Holiday Home. It had responsibility for units along the south cost, including: HMS Marlborough - Eastbourne HMS Aggressive - Newhaven HMS New - Newaven HMS Vernon - Roedean HMS Lizard - Hove The tunnels of HMS Forward began life in March 1941 after an Admiralty direction that ordered channel ports to setup facilities to maintain naval plots and created the need to securely house equipment for plotting and communications. It was decided to built a network of tunnels into the a hillside of South Heighton for operations to take place from. HMS Forward was designed by Lt. Col. F.H.Foster, Commander of the Royal Engineers, and built by the 1st Tunneling Engineers Group and No 172 Tunneling Company. They were completed on the 14th of November 1941. At the time they were a state of the art facility and were kitted out for every eventuality. This including backup power generator and full air conditioning systems with gas filters. They had chemical toilets, sleeping cabins and a gallery. Although the toilet were for emergencies only and it was noted that he veterans who worked here didn't even have knowledge of these toilets. The labyrinth of tunnels had an East and West entrance. The West entrance by the main road was the main entrance. The East entrance was under the West wing of the Guinness Trust Holiday Home (now demolished). There were two Pill boxes at the top of the hill that were accessible from inside the tunnels, but were demolished long ago. During its operational period between November 1941 and August 1945, the tunnels of HMS Forward carried out many key maritime operations. It monitored the English channel from Dungeness to Selsy Bill using ten radar stations from Fairlight to Bogner Regis. It was heavily involved with D-Day as well as nightly raids on the occupied french coast. The Explore A very nice explore in a very nice set of tunnels. They are quite extensive and is quite the maze, however once you get your head round the layout its impossible to get lost. Its quite a shame that such an important piece of history has been left to rot. This is somewhere that really needs to be preserved for future generation. I'd heard that there was intention to turn it into a museum some time ago, but plans for this got scuppered by the local residents up top. It was clear that there was once some kind of open day as there were still laminated signs and notices left up by the 'Friends of HMS Forward'. Photos The West entrance with signs and notices from a previous open day / tour. Looks like it was a good few years ago though. You can see here what looks like a machine gun nest in the brick wall as you turn the very first corner. The large security gate of the West entrance. The long 100m West adit tunnel looking towards the east end. Looking from the East end of the West Adit. The two tunnels going left and right just before are the stairs up to the South and North Pill boxes. Looking up what remains of the stairs to the Northern Pillboxes. It is possible go up to the top of these, but its been sealed up at the top with rubble. The West Airlock. The Air conditioning plant room and standby generator room. The standby generator was a large diesel JP Lister engine. This provided 400V/230V power at 22Kw. Exhaust was piped through to the annex at the back of the engine room where it was exhausted through the ceiling too the surface through a 4" pipe. The start of the operational rooms of the tunnel. The room on the left side is the TURCO Office, and looking right down the long tunnel is down the length of the main tunnel with sleeping cabins. T.U.R.C.O stands for Turn Round Control Organisation, used to 'Assist naval shore authorities in the quick turn around of ships and craft'. The East gallery was used for sleep accommodation, switchboards and coders. The GPO Voice frequency equipment room. The pits in the floor are to fit the equipment in, as the modems were over 8ft tall. Looking down the East Galley and into the Teleprinters room. Looking down the the far end of the plotting rooms. The sleeping cabins. There were 4 of these for personnel on the night duty and split watches. Looking up towards the mock hen house, sealed at the top of course. The stairs up to the eastern entrance with pit at the bottom to slow down would-be invaders. The gate on the way to the East entrance. The remains of a second gate. Thanks for reading!
  2. I like graffiti and ever since I saw this place I wanted to pay it a visit, it was second on my list for the day and I was alone. I parked up and found a way in, I could hear a generator and see a cabin on one side, so I went in a different direction. After about half hour I walked out of a building and straight in front of secco. He looked at me and ambled up while I walked down to him, he didn't say anything so I told him what I was doing and asked if he minded if I carried on. He asked how I got in and if there was anyone with me, I told him, he asked how long I wanted I told him and he said I could as long as I didn't go anywhere stupid. They have cleared between the buildings and he said they will be down in 3/4 weeks, so it looks like I got there in time. As I was squeezing through my exit point I was face with a couple of coppers, they asked what I had been doing and ask if I knew I was trespassing, I told them that I had spoke to the secco and they were happy. They were looking for some young kids and asked if I had seen any, when I said no they just walked back to their car. As I said, I did take some photos of the buildings but the graffiti was the main subject. full set here http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157640154562644/ Thanks for looking
  3. Visited with Maniac, The_Raw and MiaroDigital. The tower was originally a Martello tower which was part of the UK Napoleonic defenses, there were over 100 of these towers built along the south coast in the 1800's. It was converted into a water tower in 1902 (in fact there are two of them on the site, both identical) and the one we climbed around also had a lookout post attached to it which why it had those extra rooms on the side. (Thanks to Maniac for this information) Later, the area was used for training of young navy recruits. Unfortunately we didn't get much further than the tower and couldn't explore the other buildings, because shortly afterwards we were escorted "friendly" from the ground... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  4. A bit of history, shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia. HMS Ganges was a training ship and later stone frigate of the Royal Navy. She was established as a boys' training establishment in 1865, and was based aboard a number of hulks before moving ashore. She was based alternately in Falmouth, Harwich (from 1899) and Shotley (from 1905). She remained in service at RNTE Shotley until October 1976. In 1907 the 143-foot (44 m) high mast of the old steam corvette HMS Cordelia was erected.[3] It would become a major landmark. The old HMS Minotaur had been HMS Ganges since 1906, but was renamed HMS Ganges II on 25 April 1908. This was a great explore, I loved it. Actually I love all of them, except 1 but that's another story all together! I had seen a little about this but not too much, not many recent reports at all so decided to go and try our luck. Access was really easy. I really came for that swimming pool! Got in to a few out buildings but not too many considering how many were actually on site. Found a few little treasures in them. Then we made our way to the swimming pool. I definitely didn't anticipate a 20ft climb that's for sure but if I wanted in on the pool it was the only way so up I went, with some help of course! It was amazing, a little graffiti but relatively no damage. Lots to see including the old boiler room, changing rooms and a junk room where we found a police shield! I had seen police training manuals in one of the out buildings so presumed they had used this place for training. Anyway, pics! Old Tannoy Machine HMS Cordelia mast, which was climbed up to the platform, a bit rotten after that. The pool Changing rooms Junk room Sorry.. but had to have a pool selfie Hope you enjoyed them
  5. Towed up the Mersey this morning on it's way to Turkey to be scrapped!! http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/PICTURES-HMS-Plymouth-finally-towed-away-scrapped/story-22787599-detail/story.html
  6. HMS Plymouth HMS Plymouth is a ‘Rothesay’ class, type 12, anti-submarine Frigate. Her keel was laid down in Devonport on 1st July 1958 and she was launched just over a year later on 20th July 1959, the ceremony being carried out by Nancy, Viscountess Astor. Her fitting out was completed two years later in Plymouth, and she was commissioned on 11th May 1961. Powered by twin steam turbines, providing propulsion to two screws, she was capable of a top speed of 28 knots. Her dimensions are 370ft (113m) in length by 41ft (13m) breadth, with a draught of 17ft (5m) and a displacement of 2,800 tonnes. Armament consisted of two 4.5" guns, four 20mm guns. She carried a normal compliment of 250 officers and crew. Her first commissions as part of the 4th Frigate Squadron and the 22nd and 29th Escort Squadrons were to take her to the Far East, participating in various exercises and operations, before returning in 1966 to the Naval Dockyard at Chatham for a substantial re-fit. Re-emerging in the January of 1969 the conversion work had entailed:- The provision of a flight deck for the Wasp helicopter along with the subsequent removal of one of the Mortars. The installation of a Sea Cat missile system to replace her 40mm guns, and a program of general modernisation work throughout the vessel. For the next few years she would spend time in the Indian Ocean, Far East, Australia and a number of European ports, before returning home to Devonport, for a re-fit. The next commission took HMS Plymouth to the West Indies for the first time, returning home eighteen months later in the February 1973. After a short period in Icelandic waters and the Mediterranean she docked in Gibraltar for further maintenance, returning to Britain on 11th December 1974. Leaving the UK in 1975 as a member of the 8th Frigate Squadron she participated in exercises in the Mediterranean, South China Sea and Australia, returning via the USA and Caribbean, before further exercises en-route back to Britain whilst crossing the Atlantic. The remainder of the decade she would be found in more local waters being engaged in coastal patrols as well as work in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. In 1977 HMS Plymouth was present at Spithead for the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, and in July 1978 HMS Plymouth returned to the UK for a major re-fit, being re-commissioned on 23rd January 1981. Going South Falkland Sound - The calm before the storm HMS Plymouth participated in the 1982 Falklands Conflict. She sailed with Tide Class Tanker RFA Tidepool and County Class Destroyer HMS Antrim to South Georgia with Royal Marines and SAS aboard. On the 25th April 1982, HMS Antrim's Wessex Helicopter picked up the Submarine Santa Fe on Radar and it was subsequently spotted on the surface leaving Grytviken after landing reinforcements. The Santa Fe was attacked with depth charges which exploded close to her port outer casing, causing her to return to Grytviken badly damaged. She was further attacked by HMS Plymouth's Wasp Helicopter and HMS Endurance's Wasp firing their AS12 Rockets. HMS Plymouth and HMS Antrim then provided Naval Gunfire Support, and the Argentine Garrison at Grytviken then surrendered at approximately 1715hrs. Lt. Cdr Alfredo Astiz signed the surrender document in the Wardroom of HMS Plymouth on the 26th April. HMS Plymouth was then assigned to provide cover for the aircraft carriers and amphibious vessels and was the first vessel to enter San Carlos Water. On May 21st she came to the assistance of the bomb damaged Leander Class Frigate HMS Argonaut. HMS Plymouth was attacked herself on June 8th by five Mirage aircraft. Although she managed to damage two, HMS Plymouth was hit by four bombs and numerous shells. One shell hit her flight deck, detonating a depth charge and starting a fire. Another bomb entered her funnel and failed to explode, whilst the other two destroyed her anti-submarine mortar but also failed to explode. Five men were injured in the attack and HMS Plymouth was assisted in putting the fires out by HMS Avenger. She then underwent emergency repairs from the Stena Seaspread before rejoining the fleet. She then provided naval gunfire bombardment during the retaking of the island. HMS Plymouth left the Falklands with the County Class Destroyer HMS Glamorgan on June 21st, and returned to Rosyth on July 14th where she underwent full repairs. She had steamed 34,000 miles, fired over nine hundred 4.5 inch shells and destroyed five enemy aircraft. sorry lots of pics.. hope this is ok, cheers
  7. HMS St. George, Portsmouth Did this site a few months back with my mate Spook and his brother. Spent a nice few hours here, but at the end we ran into some pikeys stealing metal! Thanks for looking. Hope you enjoyed!
  8. I was lucky enough to visit this old girl a few times whilst she was accessible. Easily one of the best explores I have ever had. Stepping onboard was like taking a step back in time, filled with 1980s items and memorabilia. She is the last of her kind and I truly hope she can be saved. History: HMS Plymouth is a Rothesay-class frigate, which served in the United Kingdom Royal Navy from 1959 to 1988. Plymouth was built at Devonport Dockyard, in her namesake city of Plymouth, and was launched by Viscountess Astor on 20 July 1959. Since decommissioning as a warship, Plymouth has been preserved, and opened to the public at various United Kingdom ports. During her lifetime, Plymouth served in a variety of locations, including the Far East and Australia. She saw action in the Cold Wars between the United Kingdom and Iceland and also the Falklands War in 1982. Plymouth was one of the first Royal Navy ships to arrive in the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Took part in the recapturing of South Georgia on 28 April during Operation Paraquet. The wardroom of the Plymouth was where the surrender of Argentine Forces in South Georgia was signed by Lieutenant Alfredo Astiz. She returned to Rosyth Dockyard after the war for full repair and refit. Plymouth now resides in a guarded dock and will be scraped unless the preservation trust can raise the 250,000 needed to bring the warship back to her home city as a heritage attraction.
  9. Cracking day out explored with Skeleton Key Mr W J Jordan, the New Zealand High Commissioner, with a group of New Zealand sailors at in front of the masthead and figurehead of HMS Ganges Must have been there day off Good job 1 of us is employed by the home office swim time SK's room for the night My interviewing techniques are apparently unorthodox according to my sgt it works for me And this concludes our visit site is huge so I won't bore you with all the pictures all in all a good day out
  10. Some history can be found here and reads much better than i could write down. http://www.hmsplymouth.co.uk/history.html Needless to say HMS Plymouth participated in the 1982 Falklands Conflict. She sailed with Tide Class Tanker RFA Tidepool and County Class Destroyer HMS Antrim to South Georgia with Royal Marines and SAS aboard... she is now in docks and has been for some time awaiting her fate which at presant hangs in the balance... On getting across the docks to where she is moored her grandatuer really is something else..shes huuuuuuuuge!! however...after taking a better look around we realised that yes she is fantastic ..but with no gantry shes out of our reach....big hand in head and sulk moment...very quickly all our maybe this and maybe that ideas diminished into thin air...We have no gantry and a meter mooring gap of sea between us and her...hmmm... My partner in crime PS quickly put into action his monkey skills and before i knew it hes scaling a rope and throwing me down a rope ladder...the was one way up and this was it...a rickety rope ladder...sea below me and wind and rain..so like some totally terrified jack sparrow i grabbed the ladder and just did it..the getting off was as bad and apoplogies for major torrettes and kicking you in the head PS ..ide say it wont happen again..but it will Anyway once on board i was totally facinated by every part of her...the history and atmosphere on there had to make this one of my most memorable splores ever...hope you enjoy her as i did splored with perjury saint captains Bed... Nite Folks..mission complete..cheers
  11. HMS Royal Arthur (shore establishment) was one of several assessment camps where new recruits were assessed, kitted out and sent to their various depots. In 1993 the gates were locked for good and the site was left to rot. Since the site was abandoned it has suffered heavy vandalism, being stripped by Gypsies, and excessive fly tipping. But the site is generally avoided due to the roof sheets containing Asbestos, the presence of Chavs and Gypsies, and open manhole covers. Their have been plans to turn it into a retirement home, or to demolish the site completely. However neither of these ideas have ever gone through.
  12. I don't know a lot of the history on this place,i know it closed down around 1993. Explored with 3 non members
  13. Thanks to Monk for posting this and meeting up with us i must admit i nearly had a little sex wee when i saw this place.It is even better in real life and worth the efoort.. in attendance ,Myself Urbanginger,SpaceInvader, Fortknox0, Rookinella ,lawrence Monk and canute.. Was a good start to a fun day..There is so much history so here is a samll snippet of what is written HMS FORWARD maintained a comprehensive maritime surveillance of everything that moved on, under or over the English Channel from Dungeness to Selsey Bill. Ten coastal radar stations between Fairlight and Bognor Regis reported directly to HMS FORWARD. All information was filtered and plotted and also relayed by teleprinter to similar plots at Dover and Portsmouth. HMS FORWARD was heavily involved in the saga of the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneiseneau and Prinz Eugen on 11 February 1942, the Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942, D-Day, and nightly MTB harassment raids and commando 'snoops' on the occupied French coast. Air/sea rescue was also coordinated from here. Like i say just a small bit of info google will produce much more if you are that interested... Quick planage! Great start to a day Ilove this type of structure