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.
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
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"
The K-9 building contains spacious dog kennels.
Kennels inside the K-9 Building
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
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!
I saw a couple of pics of this epic little turbine hall online, so from google maps, previous euro visits and general research I had a good idea of where it could be, also having a bit of a thing for the Belgian industry at the moment I had to have it!
So while over there recently we went and checked the 2 buildings I had narrowed it down to - number 2 being the jackpot Soon enough we found our way in and were greeted by an extra bit of steelworkings as well as said turboners.
Thanks to Obs for the joint effort in tracking it down and sustaining a foot injury in the process, worth it though haha I loved this place
No major control room porn, and I do love a control room, but it had two larger panels and other smaller ones dotted about.
And the dirty steelworks bit -
The Coryton Fuel Oil Refinery was built in 1953 by the Vacuum Oil Company and is situated on the Essex coast on the Thames Estuary. It was jointly run by BP and Mobil until in 1996 when BP took sole ownership. In 2007 it was transferred to Petroplus Holdings.
Major products included petrol and diesel, fuel oils, bitumen and aviation fuels. The refining capacity was 22,000 barrels per day. Most products were distributed in the south east UK.
Petroplus filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and production ceased in June of that year. In February 2013 the gas supply was shut off ending 60 years of operations here at Coryton.
So after a tip off from that lovely chap @The_Raw, one fine sunny morning @Obscurity, @urbanginger and I decided to go have a look - the power station being the main goal of the day, opened in 2002 and producing 73 MW of gas fired power. After negotiating the access it seemed a little quiet. Great. Off we went in search of the power station building.
Saw one car go past while inside but all was chilled and we got a few shots before heading up to the roof for a smoke and food break and to check the site out.
Few other things as we made our way out, having to hide from the odd security patrols
@Obscurity eyeing up the prize, I gave that one a miss after only making it halfway up
After they got their shots up there we made a sneaky escape, got coffee and went home! Good day out that was
It's been a long time that I posted something here. Missing the time for the editing of the photo's. This was my last explore and it was an underground adventure with the same partner of all the underground explores. It's was an iron mine that closed several decades ago like many others in that neighbourhood.It was a nice walk to find an entrance (not the main entrance ). It was inside warmer than outside.
This time only one level explored but probably there are more entry's because there was also some kind of elevator (not found thou but other explorer did). There were a lot of collapses places. All the timber was parished and the metal well rusted. Also some cracks in the ceiling. Nice that there were some painted street names on the wall (some in German, other in French). There was every ware since of life ( fungi's, in white and yellow). Animal bones, one bat and animal excrements that turned in something fluffy by the fungi that were growing on that). For the rest the mine was well stripped of almost all the rails and cables.
But never the less, a nice trip.
1 it's going to be a bumpy ride
IMG_3050 by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
2 hold on to the railing
IMG_3048-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
3 end of the line
IMG_3045-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
4 big pulley (fisheye)
IMG_3041-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
5 tunnel of fungi life in white and yellow
IMG_3037-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
6 that cart didn't make it out
IMG_3034 by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
7 stack 'm up
IMG_3031 by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
8 light in the" pouderie"
IMG_3026-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
9 the main tunnel
IMG_3009-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
10 iron bows
IMG_3014 by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
10 dancing on the ceiling
IMG_3018-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr