Falcon house. It's been in Swindon since the early days of this towns birth and has been sat empty and abandoned for 16 years.
It was said to be the very first headquarters for the well known company zurich, an insurance company, but was promptly moved to a more practical and efficient property.
The old office block is situated in Swindon town centre on top of a car park right near the entrance to town, which is an eye sore to some but a worthy explore for us.
There was nothing much left, only old phones and some really old school computer stuff.
It was the view at the end of the video that made it all worth it, being the second highest point in the town aside from the john murray building. What a view!
So please enjoy this video by my good friend and make sure to check out the channel! Have fun out there,
This was another one of those what the fuck just happened moments in my life.
So I was on my way back from (not so) sunny South Wales with @The_Raw @extreme_ironing and @sentinel after visiting @Lenston when I got a call from a very excited @Frosty. "Mail Rail is doable." I know by now if he says something is possible then he's normally right. We had looked at ways into the network on many many occasions, each time being thwarted at the 11th hour by something so this was high on our list and deserved all our attention.
Initially like a fool I passed on this trip. Well I was supposed to be at work early the next day and I was, for want of a better word, fucked. An enthusiastic night out drinking the night before had definitely taken it's toll. However on my home to sunny(er) Kent after dropping some people off in London, I realised what an immense idiot I was being and 4 hours later found myself back where I had just been with the people I had just been with (minus @sentinel who was sleeping off his weekend) emerging into the gloomy depths of the abandoned tunnels. It was an insane day.
The Post office Railway (or Mail rail as it became known) is for many considered the 'holy grail' of exploration, especially in London. I can understand why, you've got an entire abandoned miniature underground railway complete with stations, rolling stock, miles of tunnel and the powers still on. It's pretty cool. You can walk for miles under London's streets and not really know where you are and it's also not that easy to access.
It was constructed in the early part of the 20th century to link together some of the main London sorting offices and alleviate delays that occurred in moving mail around London on the surface. Construction started in 1915, but was suspended just over a year later due to labour shortages. The line was eventually completed and became available for use during 1927 and was in service from February 1928 onward.
I could go into the detailed history of the railway and it's design, but I'd be writing for ages and there's plenty online about it if you want to do some research. Needless to say that by the early 2000's the system was in need of major investment to keep it working efficiently and now only had 3 stations out of the original 7 due to relocation of the sorting offices above. In 2003 the railway was officially mothballed, but has more-or-less been totally abandoned. It would take a significant injection of cash to even think about bringing it back into service and there wouldn't be much point as there's now only 2 live sorting offices located on the route, pity.
In October 2013 the British postal museum announced plans to open part of the network to the public and indeed this is pressing ahead. In the coming years it will be possible to visit the station and workshops at Mount Pleasant and (apparently) go on a short train ride round one of the loops. I'm actually pleased at least part of the system is being preserved because it is a unique place and deserves it's place in history. I just hope they do a good job and don't make it too gimmicky.
What you see here is only a small section of the line from Rathbone place to Mount Pleasant. I needed to get home so I left after we reached Mount Pleasant. Regretted it ever since because try thou we might we've not managed to get back in, but we have got oh so close (oh you have no idea!)
So on with some photos. It won't be anything you've not seen before, but here is my take on the Post Office Railway.
Rathbone station is now a tad damp because of the building work going on above it.
Typical tunnel section twin tracks
Before the stations, the twin tracks break into two smaller tunnels and split apart to go either side of the platform.
This was actually an abandoned tunnel to the original western district office which was re-located in 1958. The abandoned tunnel was used as a siding to store locomotives and wagons in.
Trains in tunnels
Just before Mount Pleasant station, you have these massive doors, which I'm lead to believe are for flood protection.
Coming up to Mount Pleasant
And that's as far as I went.
Thanks for Looking!
With a 2.5 meter high, fully reinforced security fence, cameras at every angle and motion sensors tucked away in strategical places, this building was designed to keep people out.
A load of good that did, eh?
This building is shrouded in mystery, its former use was totally unknown and even google wasn't any help! Turns out it was the old headquarters for the Department of work and pensions, but they could not afford to keep it running, so became a rejected building for social security. No one has ever documented this building and not a single photo of the insides can be found.. Until now.
Not my fanciest of camera work but the night time was the best time for this trip. So granted the shots could be better but with not a lot of time on our hands (and maybe setting a motion detector off) we had to make do!
The building itself was actually very clean and tidy, in and out. Fair bit of dust and clutter from the stripping off pipes from underneath the flooring but no graffiti, no vandalism.. Not a single sign of "outsiders".
Truly trapped in time with 1990's tech scattered, but nothing of worth, just old school things that required Ethernet and a few tapes and old floppy disks.
For the most part it was quiet and things were calm, the main worry was watching for the missing floor panels and pesky motion sensors above a certain few doors. So I gather most office blocks like this are still protected (A company called 'clear way') which is kind of surprising considering how long it has been abandoned and I cannot find out anything to do with that buildings future.
Originally used as a primary headquarters for the department of work and pensions, handling data and dealing with data to do with peoples income and possibly entitlement of benefits, sits unused and had been abandoned between around 2002 but the exact time is yet to be known.
It was being used through the 90's that's for sure with lift service sheets with the last service being 2002 and floppy disks and tapes dating through the 90's.
It is unfortunate we could not see the whole building, as out of the three floors it had only the ground and second were explored. The lower ground floor proved to be a challenge as that's were the sensors really were, so we decided to leave it and head out quiet as a mouse. But not without having one last look at the glass atrium of course.
Over all this building is still somewhat a mystery and i'm fairly certain we are the only people to document this building, which is mad for me.
This is my first real forum and I hope you enjoy the photos,
Til the next one!
"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints"
1. scouting a way in
2. The atrium, looking straight through
5. This tells me they were short of funds.
7. The windows for the atrium
8. Lift mechanics
9. The lift motor and pulley system
10. Service history for the lift
11. A letter (with buildings address) for evaluation of the one lift
12. Typical office corridors, minus the health and safety hazard
13. Vintage mounted desk with plug sockets built in
14. Huge computer room
15. Keys still left as they were since closure
16. Media storage units
16. Hand drawn schematics for lift dated 89
17. Lift room
18. Temperature gauges
19. Wiring for the lift
20. Very rusty keys
21. The motor for the lift
22. Lift schematics
23. The original blueprint before the construction of oak house
24. This still works!
25. Flooring lifted for strip down before being abandoned
26. Old school floppy disk dated 91
27. Media room and units
28. Stannah lift lever
29. Inside the vast atrium
30. Another angle
31. Vintage clock and safe
Hello, another from my long long long list of shitty cottages I have to post up on here tp convert you to the deeply weird realm of cottaging!
Found this almost my accident whilst exploring with a couple friends, after walking what felt like miles through small forests, over streams, up and down heather marsh lands and over several feilds to visit some of the shittest derps you could probably imagine, I spotted this on the way down the wild hills. We took a chance as it was on a live farm, found the door open and decided to pop in for 30 mins and grabbed some pics. We all felt a bit uneasy as it was a live farm and decided to get out quickly, just as we were closing the door a car came down the drive way, and we bolted like a mini heard of highland cows stampeding our way down the side of the house and over a few fences to safety. Never been back, but one day I will!
Thanks for cuming cottaging with me