The abandoned pool at Detwiler Park. It was opened in 1970, closed in 2009 after thieves broke in and stole water pumps and other plumbing.
IMG_5923 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5925 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5926 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5927 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5930 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5928 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5929 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5931 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5932 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5933 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5934 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5935 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5938 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5939 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5941 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5945-2 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
IMG_5950 by Ken Durham, on Flickr
Visited back in November with Mookster after seeing the Typhoo Factory. Another one ticked off the list which has been kicking about for years. I really enjoyed this one; though quite bare and largely sealed, it had a lot of nice things to see down there. The air was pretty bad though in places!
History - Borrowed!
The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are what remain of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were created to increase the force of the British military against the German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War.
Munitions workers produced Merlin engines to power Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes which were used to regain control of the British skies during the 1940 Battle of Britain.
The Shadow Scheme involved two stages; the building of nine new factories and the extension of existing factories.
This extension included here; the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin, whom founded Austin Motors; had already contributed to the war effort during the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production.
The tunnels which ran beneath Austin Rovers Longbridge plant are mostly all that is left of the plant; a large housing development increases in size upon the former footprint. These tunnels ensured that production of the engines and munitions could continue underground in relative safety.
After WWII; the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were soon abandoned. By the late 60s, the plant was the second largest car plant in the world.
After the collapse of MG Rover, the site saw its redevelopment. Famously; a mini was kept down here after workers damaged it in the 70s and it was hidden from bosses. The mini is now in a museum.
This is a very small portion of the tunnels. Lots is bricked up
The history of the Albanian Navy dates back to 1925, following the creation of the Albanian Republic. Albanian naval forces operate out of two main bases; Bishti-i-Palles in Durrës, and Pasha Liman in Vlorë, with four reserve bases respectively in Shëngjin, Porto Palermo, Saranda and a submarine base on Sazan island. The vessels of the Albanian naval force are mostly patrol craft and support craft as well as four whisky class submarines (Soviet Union built in the early Cold War period) which have been taken out of service at Pasha Liman. In Shëngjin a Soviet built minesweeper M-111 and an AFD-115 gunship remain abandoned at the entrance to a bunker. The Albanian navy still operates out of Shëngjin in a low capacity so it's still an active military zone but you are allowed to drive through it to reach a beach resort on the other side. Handy for us! Visited with adders, extreme_ironing, otter and reenie. Here's what we found....
AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M-111 - A mine warfare ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. Minesweepers are equipped with mechanical or electrical devices, known as "sweeps", for disabling mines, so waterways are maintained clear for safe shipping. This one appears to have been disused since 1996 (the date of a calendar on board), just prior to the Albanian civil war, when many vessels of the Albanian navy were seriously damaged.
Behind it sits this half-submerged AFD P115 - Albanian Navy gunship (Chinese type 62 "Shanghai-II") which has had its 57mm gun mount removed
They sit in front of the entrance to a navigable bunker which was inaccessible. Another entrance parallel was also sealed although we reached the blast door for that one
The AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M111 was named after Mujo Ulqinaku, an Albanian sergeant of the Royal Albanian Navy, known for his resistance to the Italian forces during the Italian Invasion of Albania in 1939. Armed with only a machine gun, he was placed at the centre of the defense line and fought uninterruptedly until he was eventually killed by an artillery shell from an Italian warship in the last hour of the battle. He was given the People's Hero of Albania award posthumously.
On board the AFD - M111
An old gun at the front
You can see an active patrol boat moored up on the left of the shot
Inside the AFD - M111
A small engine room
Hatches and squat toilets
All the cabins were locked except for this one
Some old military posters
Back on land, this AFD S104 - Huchuan class 'motor torpedo boat' is waiting to be scrapped. Powered by Soviet-era engines, these hydrofoil-equipped boats are capable of 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) and carry two torpedo tubes for torpedoes, with some known to be armed with naval mines.
A few dilapidated buildings remain nearby
This building to the left was manned but we were just out of view so we took a quick peek at these old military vehicles
Some rusty torpedoes lay on the ground alongside one of them
A couple of old trucks overgrown by vegetation above the bunker. We were aware of someone from the base heading in our direction at this point so we hopped in the car and made tracks
We made it to the beach resort on the other side of the military zone where unfortunately the pigs were waiting for us. Thankfully they just grunted a bit and we were on our way 😮
Just in time to catch the sunset!
Thanks for looking
During the Cold War, this bunker was built as an auxiliary hospital.
The overlying school was opened in the 60s while the hospital was officially inaugurated in the 80s.
It offered 2,370 places and never went into operation.
At the turn of the millennium, it was relieved of its responsibilities, the inventory transferred to other states, and the hospital will be soon demolished.
This building is confirmed to have been built some time around 1850. It is abandoned since AT LEAST 2013, when the first reports came onto the web. There are various documents lying around the building, either on the top floor in the storage area beneath the roof.
Hope you guys enjoy.
By the way, I hope no one hates me for linking to Flickr directly, as it would require me to export all images manually and upload all of them to various forums, which is more than time consuming.
I was asked to link the pictures directly, so I decided to take the what I think are the best ones and embed them, and the rest of the pictures (which are more documentation than art) will be available on the Flickr Link. Hope that's okay with everyone. Greetings.
Report is from Dec, 2018.
If anyone is interested at all, my instagram is @ofcdnb.
DSC_2946.jpg by anthrx, auf Flickr
DSC_2953.jpg by anthrx, auf Flickr
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DSC_3043.jpg by anthrx, auf Flickr