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  1. This turned out to be a good day out with @SpiderMonkey and Exxperious. This is a big site, by far the largest RAF base I've explored in terms of area covered, so we spent the whole day looking around it. History of RAF Bentwaters RAF Bentwaters is a former Royal Air Force station in Suffolk, named after Bentwater Cottages, two small houses that stood on the site of the main runway prior to its construction. Construction of the base began in 1942 for use by RAF Bomber Command and opened for operational use in April 1944. In December that year it was transferred to No. 11 Group, RAF Fighter Command. The runways were constructed in the typical RAF layout of one main runway diagonally intersected by two secondary runways, forming a triangle. The base was used by the RAF during the Second World War, and then used by the United States Air Force from 1951 until 1993, primarily for efforts during the Cold War. Bentwaters was to play a key role in the defence of Western Europe during the Cold War when large numbers of USAF aircraft were assigned as part of the air arm of NATO. Current Uses Bentwaters was handed back to the UK Ministry of Defence in 1993 and was subsequently closed. Now known as Bentwaters Parks, the site is used as a business park and filming location. Owners are constantly developing the filming and production facilities available at the site. Movies and TV programmes filmed there include Derren Brown's Apocalypse, movies The Numbers Station and Fast & Furious 6, along with some Top Gear stunts, amongst others. In 2007 the Bentwaters Cold War Museum opened, including tours of the fully restored “War Operations Room” and “Battle Cabin”. Aerial view of the site after becoming Bentwaters Parks Star Wars Building The so-called “Star Wars Building” is surrounded by concrete blast walls and contains some interesting spaces including a medical room. The Star Wars Building Concrete blast walls Entrance of the Star Wars Building Medical Facility Bomb Stores Built during the Cold War to securely store nuclear and conventional weapons, the bomb store was heavily fortified with three layers of fencing, razor wire, a swing-arm vehicle barrier, two gates, pressure pads, armoured guard house, guard tower and overhead cables to keep helicopters out. We didn’t get passed the gate! Entrance to the Bomb Stores Armoured Guard House One of the storage facilities with overhead cables One of the store buildings had a couple of old fire engines parked up behind it.... Planes and Helicopters There are all sorts of jet aeroplanes and helicopters parked up around the site, in varying states of decay and dismantlement. Exxperious modelling his entry into "Miss Fighter Jet 2018" K-9 Building The K-9 building contains spacious dog kennels. K-9 Building Kennels inside the K-9 Building Hangers The site has a lot of hardened aircraft shelters, or hangers, spread out across a vast area. Several are in use by private companies, and others are empty. A common feature of the hangers is the huge sliding doors that form the entire hanger's frontage – these slide to the side on rails to open up fully allowing access for aeroplanes. One of the many hangers Typical interior of the hangers Original sliding door controls The framework sits on rails and supports the huge doors, allowing them to slide fully open 527th Aggressor Squadron Hardened Aircraft Shelter Deputy Commander Operations This building had been out of use for quite some time and is suffering a lot of decay. The moisture and condensation cause constant rainfall inside the building, which was ideal for plant growth. Deputy Commander Operations building Runway, Control Tower and Maintenance Vehicles We didn’t make it over to the control tower, which is situated within the live business park area of the site. The runway still has some of the maintenance and de-icing vehicles parked up. The Control Tower pictured in 1972 The Control Tower today (poor quality due to crazy crop, as we didn't go over there!) North/South runway with the control tower in the distance De-icer truck The Hush House Originally built as a jet engine testing facility with an exhaust tunnel, the Hush House was a soundproofed hangar where fighter Exterior of the exhaust tunnel Interior of the Hush House The exhaust tunnel Hush House control booth and viewing window Thanks for looking! Of course I got a selfie!
  2. 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
  3. This was a day a out that I had been looking forward to since we planned it all. Nice day out with mates visiting a nature reserve and getting a bit of fresh air too.. The plan was to see all the site and sneak into the pergolas as they said we could get in close to them but we were just not meant to go in....Well que 3 hours later when we are stood over 700mt away from them and now have a angry trust volunteer and a land rover patrolling the site making sure we go nowhere near them we knew it was just going to end up with some very pissed off people. All the way back to the Ferry we got followed... Something tells me they did not trust us at all I get home later than night to find out my mate has already emailed the national trust to have a moan about how annoying the staff are and that by charging and extra £70 p/p that they do for the photography tours it will not make the pergolas suddenly become 'safe' so you can take people into see them. History Atomic Weapons Research Establishment The 1950s saw the construction of specialised facilities to exploit new post-war technologies such as nuclear power. AWRE Orfordness was one of only a few sites in the UK, and indeed the world, where purpose-built facilities were created for testing the components of nuclear weapons. At the height of the Cold War AWRE and the Royal Aircraft Establishment used Orford Ness for developmental work on the atomic bomb. Initial work on the atomic bomb concentrated on recording the flight of the weapon and monitoring the electronics within it during flight, but much of the work involved environmental testing, which in itself was being developed and advanced. Although built and developed specifically for the testing of nuclear weapons, by the 1960s efforts were being made to find commercial markets for the site's capabilities. Between 1953 and 1966 the six large test cells and most of the other buildings on the shingle around them were built to carry out environmental tests on the atomic bomb. These tests were designed to mimic the rigours to which a weapon might be subjected before detonation, and included vibration, extremes of temperature, shocks and G forces. Although no nuclear material was said to be involved, the high explosive initiator was present and a test failure might have resulted in a catastrophic explosion. For this reason the tests were controlled remotely and the huge labs were designed to absorb and dissipate an explosion in the event of an accident. Pagodas Perhaps the most impressive buildings from this period are two of the test labs - the so-called 'Pagodas' - which have become such well-known landmarks on this part of the coast. The work was secret although details of Orford Ness' involvement with the research and development of the British atomic bomb may become more available over the next decades and may illustrate the priority and significance this project had to the government in the post-war years. Amongst the atomic experimental sites Orford Ness is perhaps the most architecturally dramatic and remains the only one allowing general public access at the present time. The AWRE ceased work on the site in 1971. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 So after we had finished being stalked around the island and ticked that one of the list we decided to head back to Bawdsey as 2 folks we were with had not been before for some odd reason, and it was also cool to have a look and see how trashed it was now.... And it is sad to say that it is now that trashed in the Bunker I did not even bother to get the camera out, in fact I do not think that anybody did... The best shots for me were to be had above ground.. I was gutted to see that somebody had been into the police dog room and nicked, and by nicked I mean nicked the whole wall that had the snoopy art work on it History In 1935 Bawdsey Manor Estate in Suffolk was selected as the site for a new research station for the development of radio direction finding and the Manor House, close to Bawdsey Quay was taken over for this purpose. Following this research, the first Chain Home radar station was developed on the site being handed over to the RAF in May 1937, two years later 15 Chain Home stations were available for use around the coast. Bawdsey continued in the forefront of the expansion of the radar network with an AMES Type 2 Chain Home Low on a 200 foot platform on the southern (No 4 of 4) transmitter mast. (each mast was 350' high). Towards the end of 1941 Coastal Defence Radar was established making Bawdsey the only site in the UK with three types of radar (CH, CHL and CD) in operation. By August 1943 Coastal Defence was changed to an AMES Type 55 Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL), again this was mounted on a 200 foot platform on the northern (No 1) transmitter mast. Bawdsey is listed as being operational with both CH and CHEL in 1948. In 1950, the station was chosen to participate in the ROTOR programme which should have been operational by January 1952. Work on the R3 two level underground control centre at the northern end of the site began late in 1950. Bawdsey was designated a GCI/E site utilising 1 Type 7 Mk3 on an R7 building remotely sited on Alderton Marshes, 2km north east of the site. The following radars were planned for the 'A' site: 1 Remote Type 7 Mk 3 with T79 IFF 3 Type 13 mounted on 9' high concrete plinths 2 Type 13 mounted on 12' high concrete plinths 1 Type 13 on a 25' mounted on a 25' gantry (4 of the above are Mk 6 with IFF the other 2 are Mk 7 without IFF) 1 Type 14 Mk 8 mounted on a 9' high concrete plinth 1 Type 14 Mk 9 mounted on a 25' gantry 1 Type 54 Mk 3 mounted on a 200' tower There was a transmitter and receiver site at Shottisham and married quarters in Alderton village. In February 1953 an American (Bendix enginers supervised these UK installations) AN/FPS-3 'search' radar was installed using an air ministry wooden hut as the R3 bunker was not yet complete. The new control centre wasn't ready until 1954 although the station was already operational. In July of that year links were established between the UK and French reporting systems allowing two way extension of radar cover over Europe. Bawdsey was manned by 144 Signals Unit from 11 Group and together with 6 other station in the Easter Sector it offered cover from 30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after sunset; there was no night cover. Type 80 radar at Bawdsey In 1958 an AMES Type 80 Mk 3 (Green Garlic) was installed together with 2 AN/FPS-6 US made 'Height Finding' radars. The AN/FPS-3 was retained as a standby as was the Remote Type 7 on Alderton Marshes. In October 1962 the 1st AMES Type 84 L Band radar came on line. In January 1963 Bloodhound SAGW (Surface to air guided weapons) were regrouped under Master Radar Station status at Bawdsey and Patrington but in June 1964 Bawdsey lost its Master Radar station Status and became a satellite to Neatishead. This status was regained in February 1966 following the disastrous fire in the R3 control centre at Neatishead. By 1972 the Type 54 had been removed and a reflector for a microwave link was attached to the tower. The microwave link brought live radar feed from the Type 84 and Type 85 radar's at RAF Neatishead. In 1974 Neatishead resumed Master Radar Station status from Bawdsey on the completion of the installation of the Standby Early Warning & Control System (SLEWC). The following March Bawdsey closed and was placed on care and maintenance. In 1977 theROTOR period plinths, Type 80 modulator building and 200' Type 54 tower were demolished. In August 1979 Bawdsey reopened as a Bloodhound Mk2 surface to air missile (SAM) site operated by C flight of No 85 Squadron. It was divided into 2 missile sections, each equipped with 6 launchers and a Type 87 fire control radar. The Type 84 modulator building (R17) was retained as a crew room and store for Bloodhound armament handling flight. A new control room was established in the R3 bunker to administer the missile control site. The new storage sheds and storage bays and protective wall are all of Bloodhound origin. From 1984 - 85 Strike Command's (UKAIR) Interim Alternative War HQ was established in the R3 operations block while a new Strike Command Bunker was being built at High Wycombe, during the construction period the bunker at Bawdsey was given a short new lease of life. The R3 was given a refit and much new (temporary) equipment was installed. At this time the central operations room was altered and a new control cabin installed above. When the new bunker at High Wycombe was ready the team pulled out of Bawdsey, their equipment was stripped and the bunker was abandoned. In 1988 two Type 87 radar heads were removed and replaced by 2 Type 86 Radar Caravans mounted on platforms on top of the Type 87 plinths. On 31st May 1990 the Bloodhound force ceased operations and in June all the missiles were withdrawn to RAF West Raynham. The RAF Ensign was lowered for the last time on the 25th March 1991 and the station closed on the 31st March. 14 15 16 17
  4. Rougham Hall is a Grade II listed manor house, a largely 19th-century building on the site of the former Jacobean manor. During its restoration in 1878 it had added to it a staircase dated from circa 1700 taken from Finborough Hall, in Suffolk. It is the ancestral home of the North family, descendants of Dudley North, 4th Baron North, and his son, the lawyer Roger North. Rumored to have been in residence was the army and during ww2 was used as storage for warheads and ammo in various scattered bunkers. Our first time here was amazing! we turned up to what we have only see on pictures and to be amazed at what we saw, not only was this building in a bad state of decay but extremely dangerous. The first part you notice upon a drive or walk is the long road leading up to this remarkable grade II listed building and a feel of urgency that "im not supposed to be here" haha like thats ever stopped a explorer Your then greeted by the clock tower and the ruin of where the "former" kitchen would of once been, plus seen as the building was hit by a 2000lb german bomb and rumored to of been knocked off its foundations part since have had to be demolished see picture below for the "frozen in time" clock tower stuck on 12:05 since the bomb hit! When you walk around the building on approach you see the back end of the manor house in all its glorly extensive damage and more. The front and what may have been your route into the hall and ornamental gardens Extensive damage ment we had to tread with extreme caution, rotten walls and decayed brick made the remaining structure extremely unsafe and load creaks to be heard. Given the level of evidence gathered the bomb entered the last remaining turret roof crashing down through the floors smashing into the cellars and causing such ground force that the building was forced off its foundations meaning that the last turrets joining the kitchen areas to the gatehouse and clock tower was demolished due to danger and severe structural conditions. This stunning place was once a great place to be judging from old pictures and its a sad example of what war did to us. we will return one day and hopefully find its been cared for so it last for more generations to come. Uk Uncovered Team
  5. That moment when you turn on your computer and nothing happens.... And its a case of oh heck It has a bloody Virus big time... So a quick phonecall to my buddy the next county over and he says drop it off in the morning and he will have it sorted. So I decided to take the camera as that is always a great way to pass a few hours.. I decided I would go and have a look for this ROC post. It was not to hard to find after getting out of the car and looking around in a muddy field that was nicely overgrown. I had not seen anything pop up online from this so thought it had to be looked at, and with it being in the middle of nowhere and attached to a live private airfield I was hoping it would be in good condition. I opened the hatch and was greeted by a scene from arachnophobia. So I lowered my camera bag down first to clear the way and then climbed down. I was a bit gutted when I got inside and it was rather bare, but also glad that it had not come a cropper to one of their normal ends. What was inside and had not been cleared was still in good condition, and it had also attracted a few field mice that had got stuck inside. So I took the few obligatory photos and popped up the top to get a few more. The Locking bar was missing, the lock was also missing and had been cut, and a few of the fittings from on the surface were also damaged. All things considered it was nice way to spend a few hours on a damp midweek day. Images 2,3,4,7 and 8 were taken using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 A HISTORY OF THE AIRFIELD IT IS LOCATED ON Beccles aerodrome was completed in August 1942 and opened in 1943. It was constructed under the direction of the London-based company Holland, Hannen & Cubitt and had three concrete runways built to the specifications of a Class A bomber airfield. The main runway was a good 1,800 metres (6,000 feet) long and 50 metres (150 feet) wide. There were fifty loop-shaped aircraft dispersal points each designed to accommodate one or two heavy bombers, and two T2 hangars. The airfield was intended for the use of the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) Eighth Army Air Force but was never used by the Americans. In its heyday (December 1944) the aerodrome dispersed campsites accommodated 2,667 male and 27 female personnel. The station, which was locally always known as Ellough airfield and in official documents is referred to as RAF Beccles [Ellough], was the last to be built in Suffolk during the war and the most easterly aerodrome in wartime England. It was designated USAAF Station 132. The USAAF, however, had no use for the base and in the summer of 1944 it was transferred to RAF Bomber Command, and a few months later to Coastal Command. In September and October 1944, the 618th Squadron, flying De Havilland Mosquito aircraft, used the main runway at night for practicing the dropping of "Highball" bombs, the smaller version of the "Bouncing Bomb". The 618th was the sister squadron to the 617th Squadron, the famous "Dambusters". The tests were carried out under great secrecy and the level of security was heightened with the arrival of a Special Police unit in early September. From October 1944 to October 1945, the base was used as an Air-Sea Rescue (ASR) post. The squadrons involved were the 280th, flying Warwick aircraft, No. 278 Squadron flying Walrus floatplanes and No. 119 Squadron, flying Albacores. No. 279 squadron, flying Warwicks and Supermarine Sea Otters, the last biplane in RAF service, used the base for anti-shipping duties. The airfield was closed to military flying in the winter of 1945 and transferred to care and maintenance under the control of RAF Langham. All medical supplies held at the small base hospital were handed over to the local hospital in Beccles. The accommodation was used by the Royal Navy for training reservists and for a short period the airfield was designated HMS Hornbill II. In 1946, a Prisoner of War camp was opened and up to 1,000 German prisoners were held there. The Officers' and Sergeants' quarters located in College Lane were used for housing some of these prisoners, who worked as labourers in the vicinity. By the time the camp was closed in 1948 the airfield was disused and the land had returned to agriculture, but in the 1950s a De Havilland Vampire jet fighter running low on fuel made an emergency landing on the flying field; the hot efflux from the aircraft's jet pipe set the grass on fire. The Vampire was the last military aircraft to land here. Many of the temporary buildings located on the various dispersed sites, all of which were located to the west of the flying field, were dismantled or demolished, and most of the runways have since been broken up for aggregate. The airfield's Watch office was pulled down in 2009 due to it having fallen derelict after many years of neglect. It was located on the edge of a field to the south of Benacre Road. The underground Battle Headquarters (BHQ) situated in the near vicinity, which for many years had been inaccessible due to being flooded, was filled in at around the same time. The only structure still in place is a brick-built blast shelter that adjoined the Watch office in the north-east. ROC POSTS Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room.[1] The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  6. This explore was one that I had wanted to do for a long time... Not for the quality of images, as I knew it would be dark... But just so I could say I had done it. So a army of us.. About 10 if I remember right, scoured the perimeter looking for access.. In the process of doing this, we bumped into 2 on site security huts and plenty of CCTV and PIR. We found a easy way in (well except the person who could not climb a 6ft fence) My initial plan was for some star trails in the roller coaster, but by the time we had dragged mr I cant climb over the 2 fence's it had started to cloud over. The group split up and we had a little snout around.. I stayed down by one of the coasters and took some photos, but on hearing some vehicle movement and lights popping on we decided to make a move and go check out some other locations up the coast. Even this turned out to be fun and a good end to the night. Sorry about the shortage of photos, but we did not stay for 2 long and it was bloody cold. History (cheers wiki) The park was created by entrepreneur Joe Larter in 1983 as a small American-themed family attraction, containing a miniature railway, Cine 180 and adventure playground. Yearly expansion brought the addition new attractions and general improvements. Controlling interest in the park was sold to RKF, a property development company, in the late 1980s. RKF built attractions including two Sea Life centres (Great Yarmouth & Hunstanton), a Ripley's Believe It or Not (Great Yarmouth seafront) and the 9-mile (14 km) Bure Valley Railway (in Aylsham). It started building a second Pleasurewood Hills style park in Cleethorpes. RKF went bankrupt in early 1991 and its attractions were sold. Some Pleasurewood management staff took control of The Bygone Village at Fleggburgh. Noel Edmonds converted the Haunted Theatre into Crinkley Bottom Castle in the mid-1990s. The park also featured appearances by Mr Blobby and Edmonds himself. The park continued in this vein until 1996-7, when it was bought by Leisure Great Britain, a caravan park operator. It owned the park until 2000, when Peter and Peggy Hadden, who had been connected with the park for many years, bought it. The name changed to New Pleasurewood Hills. In 2000 the park bought Magic Mouse. In 2004, Grévin & Cie, a French leisure group, purchased the site. The name reverted to its original form and in early 2005 the owners said they would spend £3 million on improvements. Changes included repainting and renaming a number of rides, but the first major investment was in the park's first inverting coaster, Wipeout (roller coaster), from the closed American Adventure. The old cars were scrapped and new ones bought from Walibi World. In 2009 the Mellow Yellow log flume was repainted and had a revamped entrance. It is now called Timber Falls. In 2010 the park put a StreetDance show in the Castle Theatre. In 2010 the park appointed a new manager. On 30 January 2011, it was announced that the park had been sold to a new company. H.I.G Capital France, in partnership with industry expert Laurent Bruloy, purchased seven leisure parks, including Pleasurewood Hills, from across Europe. The seven parks will benefit from a joint investment of around £1.7million over 5 years. This included the addition of 5 new attractions for the 2012 season and another 4 a year later. The site Security Spot the other explores Later on up the coast
  7. Tolly Cobbold brewery Intro After a frustrating visit to St. Clement's I wandered down to this and spent a few hours here. I think the reason I didn't enjoy it so much was because I was annoyed I didn't get into St/ Clement's/ Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place. Just not quite as good as I was expecting! The building itself looks awesome and hopefully it does get renovated, even if it's over priced flats, at least the building would be retained. I'd been siting on these pics for a while, t'is about time I posted them up. Enjoy the essay! Pictures at the end as always. History The history of Tolly Cobbold starts with the original Cobbold brewery at Harwich founded around 1723 and ends (almost) in 2002 with the merger with Ridley's and closure of the Cliff Brewery at Ipswich. It should be noted, however, that Ridley's have retained the Tolly "brand" for versions of the Tolly Cobbold beers brewed by Ridley's. It should also be noted that the name Tolly Cobbold comes from the merger of two family brewers - the Tollemaches and the Cobbolds in 1957. The intervening events reveal the interesting story of a pioneering regional business in an ever-changing world. Time line 1723 Harwich Brewery Founded. 1746 Cliff Brewery Founded. 1752 Thomas Cobbold (maltster) dies. 1754 Thomas Cobbold (brewer) opens the "Brewer's Baths" at Harwich. 1767 Thomas Cobbold (brewer, born 1708) dies. 1770 The Cobbold & Cox partnership is running the Harwich operation whilst John Cobbold is running the main company including the Cliff Brewery at Ipswich. 1835 John Cobbold dies. 1840 Thomas Cobbold (son of John) retires and the Harwich Brewery closes. 1863 John Chevallier Cobbold acquires the new Harwich Brewery 1876 New Harwich Brewery closes. 1880 Tollemache brothers acquire the Ipswich Brewery from Cullingham & Co. 1894-1896 Cliff Brewery Rebuilt. 1920 The Tollemache family acquire the Essex Brewery at Walthamstowe and become incorporated as Tollemache Breweries Ltd. 1923 Bi-centenary of Company. Cobbold acquires half of the Catchpole tied estate. 1924 Company becomes incorporated as Cobbold & Co. Ltd. 1930 Tollemache Breweries Ltd. acquire controlling share of the Star Brewery, Cambridge. 1947 White Star Brewery becomes wholly owned by Tollemache Breweries Ltd. 1957 Cobbold & Co. merge with Tollemache's Breweries Ltd. to become Tolly Cobbold. 1961 Tollemache brewery at Upper Brook Street, Ipswich closes. 1972 Star Brewery, Cambridge closes 1973 New corporate image launched. 1973 New bottling plant installed at Cliff Brewery. 1977 Company taken over by Ellerman Shipping Group. 1979 Tolly Original launched 1983 Company sold to Barclay Brothers. 1989 Brent Walker buy Company. 1989 Cliff Brewery closes. 1990 Management buyout saves Cliff Brewery. 1991 Brewing starts again in Ipswich. 1992 Brewery tours start at Cliff Brewery. 2002 Ridley's acquire company and Cliff Brewery closes. In 1746 they founded their powerbase at the Cliff Brewery in Ipswich. Their brewing ambitions had started at Harwich and although it is now known that the operation at Harwich wasn't abandoned when the Cliff Brewery came on line it was a leap to a much larger scale and was used as the springboard to greater things. When we look at the Cliff Brewery now what we see is basically the brewery that was rebuilt and extended between 1894 and 1904. Large sections of the old brewery were demolished during this time and what original parts survived were pretty much erased during the 1904 expansion and adaptation. The brewery finally changed shape again in the 1990s when production moved away from the Victorian apparatus and into, effectively, a modern microbrewery out the back. This left the old building free for brewery tours and gave the economy the modern business required. Everything, of course, changed again in 2002 when the brewery finally closed and it remains today, in a virtually mothballed state, protected by its Grade II listed status but slowly decaying in a poor state, re-development would cost a lot. Moving back in time to 1746 it is easy to see why Thomas Cobbold set up where he did. He had been plagued by the troublesome water supply at Harwich for some time and although moving up-river disconnected him from some of his customers he could obtain good water and malt in Ipswich and use the Harwich operation as a staging post, this worked well, Ipswich was where the materials could easily get to, and Harwich was just down the river where it could be exported. In fact it is quite possible that the Cobbolds started off in Ipswich malting barley and decided to take over the Harwich Brewery - probably from George Rolfe - having previously supplied it with malt. Certainly there are stories of the Cobbolds supplying malt to brewers as far afield as London. Water transport was the only way this could happen so it is quite possible that having had good success at Harwich Thomas Cobbold decided to setup a new, larger brewery close to his maltings at Ipswich. Old Maltings at the Cliff Brewery The original Cliff Brewery was probably a good deal larger than the one at Harwich but we willmost likely never know its exact size. It is quite clear that, in common with many breweries, extensions and adaptations were added over the years until in the late 19th century the complex was not fit for purpose and the brewery simply had to be rebuilt after all the chopping and changing. The old brewery before the 1984 rebuild and part of the old building left standing after the rebuild That said the new brewery wasn't greatly larger, in terms of the ground it stood upon than the one it replaced. It was just that the old brewery had evolved bit-by-bit and the new one was designed to do exactly what it was supposed to do - brew beer in an age when the brewery process had been industrialised, it had adapted what it was to fit the modern demand and new products. To achieve that designs of the day made use of gravity - the so-called tower brewery - so the raw materials started at the top and made their way downwards, via the brewing process, to be matured and put in casks at the bottom. This method worked well and proved to be a more organised way of creating products to be sold. So over this two year period from 1894 to 1896 a new brewery replaced what occupied the site before but it was a staged process and was probably carried out by Cobbold's own local people and workforce. Certainly the driving force behind the design was William Bradford & Sons, the eminent London brewery architects but we know that parts of the old brewery were retained after the 1896 rebuild was complete so in some ways the organic expansion of the brewery simply gathered pace in the late Victorian period as opposed to there being a defining moment when a complete new brewery suddenly appeared and analysis of old maps and photographs that have been documented support this idea that it is true. The Cliff Brewery after 1904, OS Map from 1887 and OS Map from 1905 After this period of frenetic development it seems that the brewery underwent little change until it was closed in 1989. Of course equipment was modernised and adapted and capacity upped as the tied estate increased and the merger with Tollemache meant that beers once brewed at the brewery in Upper Brook Street now had to be brewed at Cliff Quay. After the management buyout, a lot of things changed and with no large tied estate to guarantee sales the capacity offered at the Cliff Brewery was too much. The decision was therefore made to build a new, smaller brewery in buildings on the site and the old plant turned into a museum. Thus tourists could be staring into the old mash tuns whilst beer was being sparged out the back in the new ones. It was an interesting decision and one that worked well, But not for long, many items remain with plaques and things set up for when the museum was still open, but in a poor state covered in pigeon defecation and thick dust. Unfortunately no business stands still and the 2002 merger with Ridley's meant that the Cliff Brewery was really surplus to requirements and cost the company more than it's worth. New rumours about potential redevelopment of the site quickly began to surface. The 1989 closure, however, had prompted Ipswich Borough Council to list the brewery building and its contents and the proximity of the Vopak Terminal mean that scope for redevelopment is very limited, hence why it is still derelict. Indeed the brewery buildings stand today pretty much as they were left in 2002 and 260 years after brewing started at the site and 100 years after the impressive Victorian expansion, the future for this imposing collection of buildings seems very uncertain as they are decaying slowly. To see them standing after 260 years is pretty impressive, but to see them in this state? I can't say they'd last too much longer. History thanks to a mix of many sites but this one in particular was very helpful and great for further reading: http://www.tollycobbold.co.uk/ Future The future is still very uncertain, ideas and plans have been revealed and have crumbled or just not gone ahead. One idea seems to look very good: Pigeon Investment Management wants to turn the former Tolly Cobbold site into a mixture of flats, businesses and leisure use. Part of the plan is to convert the listed building into an auditorium, commercial units and a museum space. Outline planning permission was granted by Ipswich Borough Council and Pigeon said it hopes to begin work next year. A proposal to turn the brewery building, which dates from the middle of the 18th Century, into 26 apartments and build a further 46 flats elsewhere on the site was turned down in 2004. The latest project includes 27 flats and a supermarket on the six acre (2.5 hectare) site. Clive Thompson, project co-ordinator, said: "It's very exciting as I've spent two years working on this project and we now have the support of the council to regenerate this part of the waterfront. "The brewery building will provide an auditorium with wonderful light through the lantern roof, commercial units similar to Snape Maltings and a museum space reflecting the brewing history of the building. The old Tolly Cobbold brewery in Ipswich Tolly Cobbold brewed beer on the site in Ipswich for more than 200 years "We can now beaver away to create detailed designs and consent for the prospective demand." Pigeon said it was in discussions with the Ipswich Transport Museum and Suffolk Record Office about possible moves to the site. Mike Cook, planning officer with the Ipswich Society preservation campaign group, said: "We're very pleased because the brewery building is leaking, it's on the buildings at-risk register and its contents have been ransacked apart from a valuable steam engine and copper vat which are still inside. "I think this scheme is sympathetic in the way it will combine the Victorian history of the docks with modern design. "It could become a real visitor hub if they can get all the attractions that they're talking to to move there." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-21701997) A quote from Pigeon Investment Management in that report. So that being said, I doubt the plans will go ahead, which is a real shame as the building is really nice and I suspect it'll be victim to one of those "arson" attacks. Then 2 days ago this popped up: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/gallery_do_you_remember_the_former_tolly_cobbold_brewery_share_your_memories_and_help_bring_ipswich_s_history_back_to_life_1_3845407 Now, project workers assisting with the redevelopment of the site, are looking for residents to share their memories, stories and pictures of the old brewery for a display, which will be on show at the orangery and stables next year. Charlotte Bethel, a Heritage Management student at University Campus Suffolk who is working on the project with Ipswich Borough Council, said: �This is about local history for local communities, and our aim is to bring information about the brewery to life with personal stories of people who worked at the Cobbold Brewery. �The project will be displayed at Holywells as part of the �3.5 million Parks for People Heritage Lottery Fund award.� Work to create an education space and visitor centre is ongoing, with contractors expected to be finished on-site in December, with the developments completed for an Easter opening next year. The Cobbold Brewery, which was located near the park from 1770 until 2002, was run by the Cobbold family, and became the Tolly Cobbold after a merger with the Tollemache family brewery in 1957. Anthony Cobbold, 79, from Devon, is a descendant of the Cobbold family from Elizabeth, the second wife of the original Thomas Cobbold, who founded the brewery, and has been involved with the heritage of the site. Mr Cobbold, founder and keeper of the Cobbold Family History Trust, said: �I have throughly enjoyed discovering my past, and it is certainly a great pride, I have loved every minute of it. �To me it is more than just the brewery, it�s a story of social history. What is so good about the Holywells project is it�s a place where we can display these bits of social history.� For those wishing to share their memories and pictures, the project team can be contacted on 01473 433 541, or by emailing holywells.hlf@ipswich.gov.uk. So who knows, maybe this will give them the kick up the arse they need to begin re-development! The present site The site as it stands now is in a very derelict condition. Floor boards are lowly rooting and you have to watch your step. Machinery has slowly begun to oxidise and rot. Stairs have either, already broken, or are slowly falling apart. A lot of equipment is left and there's a lot of labels, posters and mats that have been sat since closure of the short lived museum. I did notice a few needles, some from the testing equipment, and some that clearly weren't from the testing equipment and so I kept a wide birth away from them. Office equipment is still in situ but rotting slowly with the carpet I=on the floors slowly rising and bubbling. False ceilings slowly falling and the clear stench of rotting asbestos in some of the more modern extensions. Pigeon defecation, deceased pigeons and scrawny pigeon nests litter every surface on the upper levels and fern bushes are slowly growing up the walls in some rooms. Windows are smashed and there are gaping holes where old equipment has been removed. Partially open areas also show that some demolition has taken place, maybe older failed attempts to re-develop the site? Many of the fittings etc. have been stolen for obvious reasons and much of it is now slowly rotting. My explore I spent a while circling the place trying to gain access without success, then I found it and was kicking myself. I got really bored here if I'm honest, not much to see unless you like brewing. One bit that I did enjoy was going up the tower, nice views and cool breeze, had myself a drink up top as usual and wasn't to bad spending a little while up top. No security on the place as far as I could see, however there is a brewery tap next to the site so you can't really make much noise, but then why would you want to it's nice and peaceful up there. Hope you enjoy he pictures. Pictures My DSLR was being a pain that day, so in the end I gave up with it and used my phone. Didn't fancy continually unpacking ad re-packing my tripod. Standing in the same place for too long is a bit dodgy in there. A few externals, as you can see, externally the sites looks stunning Few from the brewery tap Partially demolished Doors Second floor storage Nice decaying paint in the "blue" room Bitter The "blue" room The next room with the mixers etc. Descending stairs Big mixer things Vandalism Slowly rotting beams Fire exit Looking through the decay and destruction Check list left on the window sill Mixer Nice old thing Acid Big empty room with the hatch To be continued...
  8. This was stop number 2 for us for the Day. After seeing a few reports, I was looking forward to this. The natural light that falls in this place was just amazing, and with the added bonus of still having a pop up silver reflector in my camera bag from a wedding the weekend before, it meant I could have some fun with it. One word of warning though, if walking around the old wooden building, do tread carefully as as you go up each floor, the floorboards do get more rotten. History The Old Fisons site was originally the location for the first ever complete superphosphate factory. In the mid 19th century, the increasing demand for new effective fertilisers for agriculture led to a search for a substitute for crushed bones, the traditional source of fertiliser. Edward Packard discovered that the use of fossil dung, found across East Anglia, contained high levels of phosphate, the ideal base for fertiliser. Between 1851 and 1854, Packard built a warehouse at Paper Mill Lane and pioneered the production of artificial fertilisers for horticulture on an industrial scale. It was an ideal site due to the combination of the River Gipping, which was navigable by barges between Ipswich and Stowmarket from the late 18th century onwards, and the addition of the railway line in 1846 which both provided the means to import raw materials and export fertilisers. Edward Packard was joined in 1858 by Joseph Fison who constructed his chemical works opposite – the North Warehouse. The lower two floors of this iconic warehouse date from this time and were used for bagging and storage and are identified on early Ordnance Survey maps as the Eastern Union Works, proving the North Warehouse was purpose-built and directly associated with the production of superphosphates. Plans for the very near future? We are proposing to redevelop the mainly redundant site into a £20m mixed use residential and business development fit for the 21st century. This will involve renovating the North Warehouse  one of the largest listed buildings in Suffolk and one of the world’s first chemical fertiliser factories  to create a business centre. We also intend to build new homes elsewhere on the site. Our plans also include improvements to the open space west of the railway line beside the River Gipping. This brochure outlines our proposals so we can gain feedback from local people and other stakeholders during our public consultation, before we submit our planning application for the site. With a sign like this on it, we did not expect to find lagging made from straw inside it. The extent of the demolition of the site so far.
  9. The History (nicked from basboyjoe and Boops....) The business that became Cliff Brewery was started in 1723 ( in Kings Quay Street, Harwich) by Thomas Cobbold and is believed to be the second oldest independent brewery in England. It stood above the quays of the River Orwell at Ipswich, since 1746. The Cobbolds have an important status in Ipswich as the family were landowners in the town and surrounding area. Christchurch Park was donated to "The people of Ipswich" by the family, along with many other donations of land such as Ipswich Racecourse. The family also provided several Members of Parliament for Ipswich over the years. In addition they have provided five chairmen of Ipswich Town Football Club, Lady Blanche Cobbold was President of the Club for many years, ITFC have even named part of a stand in their stadium and a prestigious member's club after the Cobbold family. Eventually Cobbold merged with local rival, Tollemache Breweries in 1957 to form Tolly Cobbold. The brewery ceased operations in 2002, when the Tolly Cobbold company merged with Ridley's brewery. The site has been abandoned ever since and is now in a pretty poor state no thanks to copper thieves and the effects of nature. The Explore A pleasant spot to visit if you're in the area, we went on the way to Sevs and it was a really relaxed couple of hours with some really interesting stuff to see. Nobody bothered with us on our visit although I've heard that isn't always the case so perhaps we just got lucky on the day. I particularly enjoyed looking through the bits and pieces such as beer bottle labels and documents, and it's amazing to think that some of the machinery may date back to as long as 250 years ago. I visited with Sentinel, bassboyjoe and 5PRINK5, been a while getting round to posting this so it's a couple of months old now, hope you enjoy... The Pics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. Thanks for perusing....
  10. Nice one to Zyge for sorting out the visit. This site was unreal when you think of the history of it, and it was nice to get the guided tour around it all. Apart from my little daughter complaining that it is not us fun exploring when you are allowed to be somewhere, it is more fun when you are being naughty. A good group of us checked this 1 out, some had been before. For me it was my 1st trip. I shot a load on my DSLR and some on the eos 5 with velvia 50. When I get that sorted I will stick them up to. When my daughter climbed to the top of the restored watch tower, it was great to be told that she was the youngest ever person to be up in there by the owner. So proud of my little explore for that, her 1st proper climb. All that time practicing at home with a ladder and mattress in case she fell had paid off. History Military facilities had existed at Barnham since World War I. During World War II, Barnham had been a chemical weapons storage and filling station for Mustard Gas. During 1953 or 1954, construction began on a high-security RAF bomb store on Thetford Heath. The site was to become known as RAF Barnham and construction was completed in 1955 with the site operational from September 1956.[1] Barnham was constructed as a sister-site to a similar facility constructed a few years before at RAF Faldingworth. Both sites were built to store and maintain free-fall nuclear bombs and Barnham was able to supply the bomber squadrons at Honington, Marham, Watton, Wyton, Upwood and Bassingbourn. Barnham came under the control of the RAF's No. 94 Maintenance Unit.[2] The operational life of Barnham was relatively short. By the early 1960s this type of storage facility became obsolete as free-fall nuclear bombs were superseded as the weapon of choice, for the British Nuclear Deterrent, by the Blue Steel stand-off missile. The storage and maintenance of nuclear weapons moved to the V bomber airfields. The last nuclear weapons were probably removed from the site by April 1963. The site was sold in 1966, and since that date it has been used as a light industrial estate.[1][2] Layout[edit] The site was built specifically to store and maintain free-fall nuclear bombs, such as Blue Danube. This specific purpose was reflected in the facility's layout: The site was roughly pentagonal in shape. It consisted of three large non-nuclear component stores, surrounded by earthwork banking and a number of smaller storage buildings to hold the fissile cores; the cores were held in stainless steel containers sunk into the ground. The larger buildings stored the bomb casings and the high-explosive elements of the weapons. The smaller stores (known as "Hutches") were constructed to hold the fissile core of the weapons. These hutches were further divided into type 'A' and 'B'. The 'A' type hutches having a single borehole for the storage of Plutonium cores and the 'B' type hutches having a double borehole for storing Cobalt cores. In total, there were 55 hutches giving enough capacity to store 64 fissile cores.[1][2][3] In addition to the storage buildings, the site consisted of a number of other buildings including a Fire Station, RAF Police flight, Administration block, Mess block, Mechanical Transport Section, Kennels and Workshops. The perimeter of the site was protected by a double system of chain-link fencing and an inner concrete-panel wall; all of which were topped with barbed wire. In 1959, security was enhanced by the building of watch towers around the perimeter.[1][2] Current use[edit] RAF Barnham is a satellite station of RAF Honnigton and is used by the RAF Regiment for training. It is used as an accommodation and training venue for the Potential Gunners Acquaintance Course (PGAC).[4] The adjacent MoD Training Area remains the property of the Ministry of Defence, and is still used by the RAF Regiment, as well as the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force for training. The nuclear bomb storage facilities are designated as a scheduled monument by English Heritage. Several buildings on the site have listed building status.[5] Location[edit] The present main gate of RAF Barnham can be found directly off Bury Road (A134) between Barnham village and Thetford. The entrance to the former nuclear weapons store (now Gorse Industrial Estate) can be found on Elveden Road between Barnham village and the A11.
  11. Visit Visited this place with a non-member, was great to have some fresh air and the lack of that appealing aroma of pigeon crap which has accompanied me on most of my recent trips, This was the first explore with a non-member (Thanks for the invite) and a nice relaxing explores with some good laughs and a strange encounter with a guy (nice fella) who is trekking the whole coast 6.600 miles for charity :Not Worthy, he didn't expect anyone to be down there, but after a half an hour chat and a couple of laughs and left him to his explore. History RAF Bawdsey was an RAF station situated on the eastern coast in Suffolk, England. Also known as Bawdsey Research Station (BRS), the first Chain Home radar station was built there, characterized by eight tall masts, four for transmitting and four for receiving. When the research group moved to Dundee in September 1939, the radar station was left active under the name RAF Bawdsey. The site later hosted a Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air missile station until 1990.
  12. Nice pleasant surprise to find this one in good all be it a messy condition. A lot of the original features are intact, but showing there age. The best bit was that my little daughter manages to scale the ladder to explore he 1st ever ROC post with Zyge, Ianovitch, a small person and a even smaller person. We had planned on just having a day just diving around looking at some stuff that had popped up, but thought we should stop by this one. It was nice to see some of the old ration food in there, paperwork, MOD branded poo roll and some of the communication equipment on the wall.. Even thought it had all been stripped back to just plastic casing, it gave you a good sense of what it was like to be down there. Just took internals of this one as there is not a lot to see above ground, and we were pushed for time on the way out... History Nothing on this post in particular, but if you have ever wanted to know what they are about, then here you go. Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition. The first prototype post was built at Farnham, Surrey, in 1956 and on 29/30 September of that year a trial was conducted to ascertain the usefulness of the underground posts. Of the two crews of four personnel engaged in staffing the post during this trial, the second group of four, two ROC and two Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch, were sealed inside with rations bedding and barracks equipment. With a few minor changes, mainly to the hatch and air ventilation louvers, the posts were built as per the prototype. The protection provided by the concrete roof and compacted earth mounded above the post was estimated to reduce any external nuclear radiation by a factor of 1,500:1. Construction of the original 1,563 posts was overseen by the Air Ministry Works Department and the ROC and undertaken by local contractors. Once a site was chosen (usually the site of an aircraft observation post) a hole approximately 9 feet deep was excavated. Within this hole a monocoque structure was cast using re-enforced concrete with a floor about twelve inches thick, walls about seven inches thick and a roof about eight inches thick. The whole structure was then bitumen 'tanked' for waterproofing purposes. Soil was compacted over the structure to form a mound leaving the access shaft, doubling as an air shaft, protruding above ground. At the opposite end of the building a further air shaft was formed. Two metal pipes, one 5 inches in diameter and one 1 inch in diameter protruded from the roof and above the four-foot mound to be used with operational instruments. The air vents were covered by downward-sloping louvers above ground and sliding metal shutters below ground to control air flow during contamination by radioactive fallout. The Home Office wanted 100 posts built in the first year (1957) and 250 a year thereafter. By mid-1958 only 94 posts had been handed over to the ROC with 110 under construction. The cost of building the underground posts was approximately £1000, but rose to nearer £8000 in some instances. As normal I have just looked at the small details, it is good fun playing with the 105 mm f/2.8 macro and a few wide shots for good measure
  13. Thought I'd share with you my photos using something other than DSLR or HDR or Hideously Processed Pics. Taken on a Praktica Super TL1000 that I bought for £3 out of a box of junk and using a roll of film from the pound shop. Just after I had finished this explore I went to Boots and had them developed on their 1 hour deal This is my first attempt at 35mm and although not the best pics I do feel they show it well. p.s they also appear to look overexposed thanks to my scanner Not much history on this place but this is an old timber/door/window manufacturing site that was used by Jeld Wen Ltd and formerly Boulton & Paul Ltd. Closed in 2010 and now a small part of the site is used by AKD Engineering Ltd. On with the pics Taken In Pitch Black Sneaky Pic of Secca That's All Folks Hope You Enjoyed
  14. Visited here to shoot part of a uni brief about detail, ring flash and crop, so was in the middle of doing that when another explorer and her mum showed up... Was more concentrating on shooting what I had visited for, but made sure I got enough images for a report... I left shooting the external stuff till after i had finished in the house. But unfortunately by the time it came to doing that it was lashing down with rain and I was pushed for time.. Could not see much in the way of history online, but if anybody knows different feel free to bung it my way and I will add it on.. Now for some photos.
  15. Hi guys and gals. been exploring for a while now and on 28dl using same username as here. always been interested in exploring and have really got into since I went to a Norwich meet a few months back. since then I have been out most weekends and rest days from work hope to meet some more of you guys from Norwich/great Yarmouth/Lowestoft area and of course others when i'm on my hols reports up soon
  16. I can find absolutely no history behind this farmhouse at all. Save to say, it's a six bedroomed possibly Victorian dwelling attached to a defunct farm.